Brooklyn Nine-Nine closed out the first day of San Diego Comic-Con 2018 with a triumphant, full-to-bursting panel in the Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom.
Hosted by Michael Schneider of Indiewire, who led the buzzing crowd in a couple of call-and-response choruses of “NINE-NINE” before introducing the panel, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine event was one of the most passionate and positive celebrations to have graced a Comic-Con venue in many years, and the audience was on their feet for a whooping, cheering standing ovation well before the entire cast even made it to the stage.
“You’re here. The show is here. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is alive,” Schneider told the panelists, which included executive producer Luke Del Tredici, co-creator Dan Goor, Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago, Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords, Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle, Chelsea Peretti as Gina Linetti, Dirk Blocker as Michael Hitchcock and Joel McKinnon Miller as Scully.
After the moderated portion of the panel, the audience literally began running across the hall and climbing over chairs to get in line to ask a question and – unusually, for a SDCC Q&A – every single question was heartfelt or interesting or funny in a way that was deeply engaging to both the cast and the audience. Many included thank-yous for the cast and writers’ incredible work in creating positive representation, and the joy and gratitude in the room was a constant, infectious two-way stream between crowd and stage.
It’s impossible to paraphrase the Brooklyn Nine-Nine team – it wouldn’t do them justice – so here’s an exhaustive list of direct quotes from the panel, straight from the source. And yes, they really do make that many “title of your sex tape” jokes in real life.
- ‘Nine-Nine Rises: Bigger, Badder, Stronger Than Ever – guess that’s the name of its sex tape! Welcome to the rebirth of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’ – moderator Michael Schneider of Indiewire introducing the panel.
- ‘What was wild is once we got the thing that it was cancelled, I mean, Dan sent an email to everyone and we started talking to each other – it was immense sadness. I literally didn’t know what was up or down, everything just started changing, you started looking at your kids like “Oh, they’re not that smart, they don’t need college, I’ll be alright!” And then it was a lot of sadness, and a lot of like, “I love you guys” – it feels like when your family has just split up and you know you may never see each other again, the saddest day ever.’ – Terry Crews, on his emotional response to the news about the Fox cancellation.
- ‘You guys know that phones exist, cars – we could have seen each other!’ – Chelsea Peretti, chiding Crews and Samberg on their pessimism about the cast’s friendship being destroyed by the cancellation.
- ‘But then the internet exploded’ – Melissa Fumero on the immediate and universal fan outrage that saved Brooklyn Nine-Nine. ‘It was immediately all us texting each other saying “Do you guys see what’s happening on Twitter? Do you guys see that we’re trending? Do you see that there’s so many people that love our show?!”’
- ‘It was 7:30 or so, and I had been madly texting with Andy and with the studio, and the studio were really doing everything they could, and I was sending crazy ideas for ways in which we could convince NBC to pick us up. And then David Miner, who’s a producer on the show, was like “Hey… go to sleep, man. On the East Coast, everyone’s asleep, nothing’s going to happen.” Joke’s on him, half an hour later I get a text that says “NBC said yes.” And then I texted everybody, I texted random numbers in my phone, ex-girlfriends…’ [Samberg: ‘How’d they take it?]’ ‘Oh, I am fully blocked, so it just bounced right back.’ – Dan Goor, on what happened when NBC saved Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
- ‘“Fully Blocked” – title of your sex tape?’ ‘Ehhhhhh. You can’t just do them after everything.’ ‘Just give it to him!’ ‘Title of YOUR sex tape!’ – Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero and Dan Goor, being on-brand.
- ‘The writers’ room is up, and we are five weeks into our pre-production. We’ve got a bunch of scripts, we’ve got a bunch of stories, it’s looking good. Guys – spoiler alert – I think this season is going to be really good.’ – Dan Goor on where Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 6 is currently at.
- ‘He wanted everyone to know that he could care less.’ ‘“I want to apologize for not being at the Comic-Con, to enjoy the feathery world of comedy.” That was my Andre Braugher.’ – Andy Samberg and Terry Crews addressing Braugher’s absence from the panel.
- ‘I think that if we had been cancelled – I would have just been so sad – but I think we would have… we weren’t going to change the end, but I think it’s very clear from Holt’s expression exactly what happens.’ – Dan Goor joking about the cliffhanger about Captain Holt’s career at the end of season 5.
- ‘I think the beauty of Jake and Amy is that they really are friends, and therefore [the wedding] doesn’t change it that much, but it opens it up to new storylines to do with early marriage, but I think the core is relatively standard.’ ‘I’m excited to see them join their bank accounts!’ – Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero on the marriage of Jake and Amy and how that will affect their future dynamic.
- ‘The bigger question actually, Joe, is for Boyle, and how this marriage impacts him.’ ‘Boyle will be ON the honeymoon. I have nothing to back this up, I have not talked to the writers, but Jeffords will probably have to pull Boyle away.’ ‘Yeah, I’mma have to spend all season 6 just pushing Boyle away from Jake and Amy.’ ‘Well, he’s already pushing for kids, so I’m sure that’ll be an ongoing, recurring topic.’ ‘Absolutely. Boyle wants more Jake. Or Jakettes.’ ‘It’s sweet unless you think about it too much!’ – Michael Schneider, Joe Lo Truglio, Terry Crews and Andy Samberg on who’s really going to be the most affected by Jake and Amy’s marriage.
- ‘Dan is not only a brilliant writer but he is also a person who believes in equality and inclusivity and that shows in his writing. He was interested in possibly exploring the idea that Rosa might be queer but immediately when that started coming to the writers’ room, he asked me what I thought about it, because he wanted – we do have some writers that are gay, a couple now – but he wanted a bisexual person’s voice to be heard in that storyline, and it just so happens that the person that’s playing the character that they wanted to turn bi was also bi. It was a gift, and I think we did it in a really amazing way. What I think Brooklyn is very good at, and that I think you guys really love is that we are sort of tackling these “issue” things that aren’t really issues, that are just things that we are all dealing with and navigating in our own lives, and we do it in this fun, joyful way, in this idealized world in which everybody’s a feminist, everyone’s into equality, everyone loves their LGBTQIA family members – cops are good, in this world. So I was very thrilled to have a voice in that storyline and felt that it really reflected, at least for me, a lot of what is reality in my home life.” – Stephanie Beatriz on Rosa’s coming out as bisexual during season 5.
- ‘There were so many things that kind of surprised, shocked and saddened me, that we found out in doing the episode. Apparently, Rosa saying on camera that she was bi, and using those words was like the first time that had ever happened on a network show, with a protagonist, where the character hadn’t been killed off instantly. That wasn’t our intention, and yet it was something we did, and I’m just going to say that’s crazy, again.’ – Dan Goor on the discoveries the B99 team made when they created Rosa’s bisexual storyline.
- ‘What you guys don’t know is that when Gina [Rodriguez] was on our episode, our episodes take five days to shoot and she was there for one day. That was the only day she was able to do it, her schedule is so packed, and she’s a friend of mine and so she wants to come back so badly but it just is a matter of scheduling. So, I dunno, maybe there are some other hot babes in Rosa’s future.’ – Stephanie Beatriz on Rosa’s new crush and whether that storyline with Gina Rodriguez, who skipped out on her vacation early to shoot Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will be going anywhere in season 6.
- ‘Terry Jeffords is me. I’ve never had a character that I have played that is more about me – about his family, about his friends. Let me tell you, I get choked up thinking about these guys a lot because I want to see them win, as if they were my own family. It’s real. What you see with Terry Jeffords, his care, his relationship with him and Jake, and Melissa when [Amy] made it to sergeant, he wanted to see her win. It’s the proudest moment, with every character. When Chelsea [Gina] came back, the joy that he had in his heart – there were so many moments that I was like “That’s me!” because that’s exactly how I felt in the moment and I’ve never had a character that just synced up in my life like that. It’s super-special.’ – Terry Crews giving us the feels about his ‘precinct mom’ role on the show.
- ‘She’s a gentle spirit, but she has layers like all of us do, you know. We’re all multidimensional people, one minute we’re soft, the next hard – title of her sex tape!’ – Chelsea Peretti on whether Gina is losing her sharp edges at the precinct.
- ‘They’re playing these very – to use a nice phrase – “old-school” kind of cops, and they’re super closed-minded and they’re gross and those are laugh lines and they’re great, but they’re played by the most warm, amazing, feminist, dope actors you will ever meet.’ – Stephanie Beatriz on Dirk Blocker and Joel McKinnon Miller as Hitchcock and Scully.
- ‘When we started in the industry about four or five thousand years ago, the only people basically being hired in television were white guys, so now to be on a show kind of towards the end of our career – ‘ ‘Well, maybe for you!’ ‘Well, only because this show is gonna go on for about another ten years! But it’s really kind of a cool thing to have seen the business evolve even though it’s got a long ways to go, but you can have gay and lesbian characters, and an integrated cast, and it’s pretty amazing.’ – Dirk Blocker and Joel McKinnon Miller on their perspective as the older white male fall-guy cast members.
- ‘I think you’re going to be very excited about the first few episodes, there’s a kind of fun Hitchcock/Scully episode – you might see them in their past at some point. That’s a little nugget, don’t tell anyone who wasn’t here.’ – Dan Goor with a final tease for season 6 before the audience questions portion of the panel.
- ‘Thank you for giving voice to LGBT characters, and as you giving voice to all of us – Stephanie I’m looking at you – and Terry, thank you for your part in #MeToo, and I am so sorry from all of us who are also part of #MeToo that you have to be part of it, but thank you.’ – The opening statement from an audience member, to kick off the fan questions portion of the panel.
- ‘All I know about it is that there are different factions of Fox. The people we dealt with there, I truly believe really loved and supported our show. I don’t know what they would say publicly about the Fox News wing of Fox…’ ‘But I love it.’ ‘Chelsea loves it.’ ‘Fox News is so good, that’s the hardest part about leaving. They’re so on the money, so accurate, and fair.’ ‘I mean, I think it was a good moment for us to switch. – Andy Samberg and Chelsea Peretti tacking a fan question about what it meant to be a part of a Fox show so heavily steeped in activism.
- ‘Uh… yeah. I think that was the also the beginning of me realising that I was not the same as all the words I really had for it when I was little. Because I knew that something else was going on, because I could feel my body react, my brain react – when I would see you know, a shiny ponytail swinging and it wasn’t like “I wanna put that in my hair!,” it was “I wanna put that in my mouth!”’ – Bisexual icon Stephanie Beatriz on whether she’d ever had a dumbstruck ‘relatable meme’ moment similar to Rosa meeting Gina Rodriguez’s character.
- ‘Our characters work at a place where there’s so much stress and turmoil that they need that kind of love and support, and that’s not just true for these characters, but it’s true for people and where they work. So I think it’s important that you have a show that can show that. Speaking for my character, Boyle just loves people so much and isn’t afraid to show unadulterated affection, physical affection, which I think is amazing for a male character in a show. And the great thing about Boyle is that he doesn’t care, love is love and he just loves the whole squad. That’s what I’ve learned about playing Boyle. The world is Boyle’s family, if he had a choice.’ Joe Lo Truglio answering a fan question about what the show has taught the cast about family.
- ‘Any time that we tackle something that is tricky like that, that maybe doesn’t have a lot of representation, especially because we’re a comedy, it has to be the right story, so we are walking the line correctly and it doesn’t come across as us making a joke out of it and giving it proper respect. That’s why episodes like Rosa deciding to come out and the episode “Moo Moo” where Terry is racially profiled in his own neighborhood, those episodes take a lot longer, because if you fuck it up, it’s bad. So, not to speak on behalf of the writers, but I think our track record has proven that we are open to all of those things, it’s just gotta be the right story and us feeling like we’re going to do it justice.’ – Andy Samberg following up on a question about whether Brooklyn Nine-Nine could possibly develop any of the character’s implied mental health issues into textual representation.
- ‘I don’t want to promise anything. We’re trying, yes. He wants to do it, we want to do it, oh God, I can’t handle this.’ – Dan Goor, on whether we’ll see Doug Judy in season 6, after devolving into nonsensical speechless mouth-sounds from the stress of both keeping spoilers secret and the fans’ overwhelming enthusiasm at every word leaving the panelists’ mouths.
- ‘We’re on record as saying that the sex crimes unit has the best Christmas parties, so there is a pitch. Sex Crimes Christmas Party.’ ‘Uhhhhhhhhh, title of your sex tape?’ ‘I don’t think so.’ ‘Sex Crimes Christmas Party ISN’T the title of your sex tape?’ – Dan Goor and Andy Samberg on the possibility of a Law and Order: SVU crossover, now that Nine-Nine is on NBC.
- ‘I didn’t know I was involved in this!’ ‘Title of your sex tape!’ – Andy Samberg and Dan Goor, after Andy was made to answer one of the trivia questions that Dan brought along to the panel.
- ‘Do you want hard or medium?’ ‘Title of your sex tape!’ ‘You’re scaring her!’ ‘I’m just sittin’ here waiting, man!’ ‘Title of YOUR sex tape!’ – The cast devolving into chaos during Dan Goor’s very serious trivia attempts.
- ‘Is that the season I was pregnant? I don’t remember anything from that season.’ ‘Yes. What is the name of the scrapbook Amy keeps for Holt, do you remember that?’ ‘Oh, well there were so many alts!’ ‘There were. It’s hard because there were a lot of alts. That means alternate jokes. Named after Heinz Alts… This is a disaster.’ ‘Please move on.’ – Melissa Fumero and Dan Goor losing control of their lives while attempting to hold the panel together.
- ‘Full-fat Greek with a touch of honey.’ ‘Title of your sex tape!’ – Dan Goor and Andy Samberg, not letting it ever, ever die (actually regarding a Terry’s Yogurt question).
- ‘Is Kelly Scully’s dog, or wife?’ ‘Great question. That will definitely be answered this season. That is the arc of the season.’ – Dan Goor with a confusing, semi-serious tease about season 6.
- ‘We just wanted, on behalf of everyone up here and everyone who works on the show, to thank all of you for all of your support, online and watching the show and everything. It really means the world to us and I really don’t think we’d be up here if it weren’t for you. So thank you all so so much.’ ‘Nine-Nine forever!’ Dan Goor thanking the Brooklyn Nine-Nine fandom as the panel – which ran well over time – comes to a close and the cast are ushered offstage.
As you can see, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine panel did not contain any breaking news or major spoilers about the show’s upcoming sixth season – rather, it was a huge, rowdy love-in between the Nine-Nine and its fans, who turned out in force to celebrate the show’s existence after its close call earlier this year, when Fox unexpectedly cancelled the comedy and the internet, as one, rose to its feet and screamed it back into existence.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has found a loving home at NBC, who already seem to have a better handle on marketing the show and tapping into its audience than Fox ever did during these past five seasons. The network has also brought their other Michael Schur-created show The Good Place, to Comic-Con, including a huge activation dominating the Gaslamp and a panel set for Saturday morning, which is sure to be just as full and just as rowdy as Thursday’s Brooklyn extravaganza.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine will return this winter on NBC.