Pat Contri Invites Us to his Too Many Games Booth for an Interview
In the midst of the hustle and bustle that was the Too Many Games convention, this year I was able to force my way past several of Pat the NES Punk’s devoted fans to get an interview. Pat was kind enough to let me behind his table and allowed me to shoot a few questions at him while he shook hands and signed a certain NES guidebook.
If by some chance you’re not aware of who Pat the NES Punk is, let me give you the quick rundown. Pat Contri is the producer and star of the web series Pat the NES Punk, which features his character (The NES Punk) reviewing numerous retro video games and consoles. He’s expanded his content over the years and now has a bi-weekly podcast titled, “The Completely Unnecessary Podcast”, where he and co-host Ian Ferguson discuss video games and other pop-culture news. Just recently he’s released a book titled, “Ultimate Nintendo Guide to the NES Library” (book review here), and started a new podcast, “The Not So Common Podcast with Pat Contri”, where he conducts interviews and discusses other topics such as politics and other non-gaming news.
While we were conducting this interview Pat had several booth visits, so it may seem that some questions were cut off. Pat was multi-tasking like a champ though. He made sure every fan was leaving the booth with a smile, and also provided me his full attention.
HPP: Hello Hey Poor Player’s. I’m here with Pat the NES Punk, and I’m going to get right into it because I see that your booth is has a steady stream of traffic and I don’t want to waste any of your time. Can you tell us how you and your CU Podcast co-host, Ian Ferguson, came to know each other?
Pat: When I moved to San Diego, well I actually took a vacation a year before to check out the area, and I looked up retro game stores in the San Diego area and Luna Video Games was not that far from where I was staying. So, I went down there and I chatted it up with the, sorta employee that wasn’t too talkative at the time. Just sorta the “Hey, what’s going on?”, and that was Ian. So then I came back the next year and said, “Hey, do you remember me?”, and he was like, “Eh, yeah, kinda…”. You know, he talks to customers all of the time. We became friends, and then I suggested the podcast idea and he said, “Why don’t you just do it with someone?”. I asked him, and then so we started doing it in August 2013.
HPP: He seems like a really cool, laid back co-host. You two really seem to get along.
Pat: Oh, yeah. We get along great. We have great chemistry.
HPP: We can tell. We love listening to you two feed off each other. Was it a difficult decision when you decided to become an entertainer full-time?
Pat: Um, yes and no. You’re giving up a lot of income with the staple, full-time office job, but it was easier because of the fact that I knew what I was doing. It wouldn’t be soul-crushing to work. It was good in one way, bad in the other. There was always a risk though.
HPP: You like to point out the “Scumbag Sellers of the Week” on your CU podcast. My personal favorite part of the podcast. Do you ever have any of the individuals that you call out get in contact with you and try to start anything?
Pat: Well, yeah. One tried to do a Sega Saturn (game) reproduction with my face on it, but I got it taken off eBay. Otherwise though, they pretty much are afraid to because they know that they’re in the wrong, and they know I can come back at them. I can clap back.
At this point of the interview Pat had several fans come to his table to purchase books and get autographs, so the last question was cut short. After he chatted it up and made sure they walked away happy we were able to jump back into a few more questions.
Pat: Sorry about that.
HPP: Oh, no. You’re a busy man! Alright, besides the CU Podcast you also started a new podcast titled “The Not So Common Podcast with Pat Contri”, where you conducted some amazing interviews with the likes of Jason Lindsey, a.k.a. Metal Jesus Rocks, and Classic Game Room’s Mark Bussler. Let’s step away from games here for a bit. Who in the film industry would you like to interview on your (Not So Common) podcast?
Pat: Oh, man! The film industry… How about Richard Donner?! He’s getting up there in age but he’s one of my inspirations. The original Superman is a classic. I loved The Goonies! The Lethal Weapon series! Yeah, he’s fantastic. I’d love to interview someone like that who’s been in the business a while to get their perspective on how it is now to do film.
HPP: Yeah, that’s right up our alley. (I’m pretty sure any HPP staff member that’s over the age of 30 would consider The Goonies a classic). OK, last question, and then we’ll let you get back to your fans (Pat’s booth had a few fans that were waiting on him). Could you inform our readers about your Annual NES Marathon and what organization it benefits?
Pat: The Annual NES Marathon benefits The Children’s Miracle Network. Our local San Diego Hospital is Rady. It’s a children’s hospital that’s a non-profit and they do fantastic work. Everything is tax deductible. Everything, every year goes to them. We’ve raised over $100,000 over the years.
HPP: That’s amazing.
Pat: It’s a great event. I hope to do it again this year. It takes a lot out of me and Ian, but it’s for a great cause. It’s usually NESMarathon.com and be sure to look for it in the fall.
HPP: Thanks so much, Pat! We really appreciate it and we’re big fans. Thanks again for your time!
Pat: Thank you!