On January 14, San Diego’s own celebrity correspondent and red-carpet rude boy, Bob Stencil, took his signature mustache, aviator sunglasses, and unorthodox interviewing style to the Sundance Film Festival for ten days of celebrity interviews for movie website firstshowing.net.
Half Hunter S. Thompson, half Tony Clifton (Andy Kaufman’s onstage alter ego), Bob Stencil is the creation of 24-year-old Kyle Ray. Over the past three years, Stencil has appeared at Comic-Con, interviewing celebrities and comic-book junkies, with a cigarette or beer in one hand and a microphone in the other.
According to Ray, he came up with the idea for Bob Stencil while playing a show with his band, Monsters From Mars, where, between songs, he spouted one-liners — “Dig those awesome beats, now get on the dance floor and move those feet.”
Ray says the crowd ate it up.
Soon after, Ray and friend Tristan Baker put the finishing touches on Bob Stencil, fashioning him as an overindulgent, womanizing ex-pilot. Ray and Baker went to their local Kinko’s, made phony press cards, and took them to Comic-Con.
Stencil’s crass coverage of Comic-Con, including interviews with Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Love Hewitt, has resulted in growing popularity on YouTube, culminating with firstshowing.net signing Stencil on as a celebrity correspondent.
But with the added exposure comes added pressure, says Ray from a rented condo in Park City, Utah. “I’m getting a little worried because I’m a little more self-conscious. I think it’s just because somebody’s putting money into it, not just us. I guess I’m just afraid of screwing it up.”
His newfound self-consciousness didn’t show when he met up with actor Paul Giamatti before a showing of the actor’s new movie at Sundance.
“What do you do when you get anxious for a role, Paul?” asked Stencil.
“I drink heavily,” replied Giamatti.
Stencil pulled a bottle of Miller High Life from his coat pocket.
“Well, how you doing now?”
Check out Stencil’s coverage of Sundance at firstshowing.net/bobstencil.