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The Horn – SXSW 2014: Harmontown

On 09, Mar 2014 | In Press & News | By SBI

The combative, brilliant, frustrating, witty, and brutally honest Dan Harmon brought a documentary crew along for a whirlwind tour of his podcast, Harmontown. What did we learn by the end?

I’m not sure how to describe Dan Harmon. And apparently I’m not the only one; the opening of the documentary Harmontown starts with asking a handful of actors, fans, and friends to describe Dan Harmon. They try their best but there is no singular answer; like much of the human race, he is a complex creature. A mixture of raw emotion, egotism, narcissism, passion, and drive. A great combination of features for a Hollywood writer, to be sure.

Each documentary has a goal, and Harmontown’s goal is to find exactly what it is about Dan Harmon that has created the passionate fanbase the share their woes on stage, followed by a rousing game of D&D. The kind of people that vehemently defend a fledgling comedy on NBC because of how it speaks to them. What is it about Dan Harmon and his work that connects to people so strongly?

During the span between Dan Harmon’s forced departure from his cult darling programme Community, Dan Harmon took to the road to share his popular Meltdown-housed podcast with fans across the country. They toured in January, in the middle of winter, started the tour in Phoenix, a mid-market town, and had absolutely no idea what they would do each night. Dan brought along co-host Jeff B. Davis, girlfriend (now fiancée) Erin McGathy, and dungeon master Spencer (yes, they have an appointed dungeon master) on a rented bus as he embarrased himself, them, his fans, the venues, and practically entire cities by being a drunk jerk on stage for a little over an hour for 20-straight days.

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