Thank you for being an iconic TV series.
It’s been nearly three decades since NBC’s “The Golden Girls” ended its legendary run from 1985 to 1992, yet the timeless show endures, gaining new fans with each generation thanks to nonstop syndication marathons.
And soon, they’ll have their very own fan convention to revel in all things “GG” — at the “first-ever” Golden-Con. Think: Comic Con, but instead of pandering to Marvel and DC comic book nerds, it’s geared toward lovers of cheesecake and wisecracks.
The classic sitcom followed four badass retirees — Rose Nylund (Betty White), Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan), Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) — living together in a pastel-hued Miami home, deciding it’s better to face the ups, downs and many hilarious moments of aging together.
But fans no longer must wait for retirement to bring their “Golden Girls” dreams to life as it’s been announced that 2022 will mark the inaugural Golden-Con: Thank You for Being a Fan, an official convention to celebrate the beloved series. Mark your calendars: It’s going down April 22 through April 24 in Chicago.
Event producers Zack Hudson and Brad Balof announced this week that the event will feature appearances by “guest stars, producers, and others directly connected with the show,” although no names have yet been announced and ticket prices have yet to be determined.
“We’re creating a space where fans can celebrate all the things they love about the show; friendships, laughter, families of choice, Scandinavian nitwits, sexy Southern belles, stern substitute teachers and Sicilians,” Hudson told Edge Media Network.
This leaves one burning question: Will the golden guest of honor be there?
The Post has reached out to reps for Betty White, who will have turned 100 by convention time, as to whether the Hollywood icon would be in attendance. The Emmy, Grammy, SAG and Teen’s Choice Award winner is the only surviving golden gal, as her co-stars Getty, Arthur and McClanahan passed away in 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.
We know the truth — but does she realize she’s a legit living legend?
“My egomaniacal answer is — of course, I’m the center of the storm!,” White once told The Post with a chuckle. “That’s a joke. I’m just grateful to be working, and that starts at the beginning. When you start out, you’re so grateful to have a job … and you carry that feeling through your whole career. At least I have.”
Of course, “The Golden Girls” turned out to be so much more than a sitcom about mature women untethered by marriage and careers. It tackled progressive and sometimes taboo subjects for its time, including several episodes devoted to gay rights advocacy, AIDS awareness and the risqué notion that women of a certain age wanted sex, too.
Long after their original seven-season run came to an end, their legacy has lived on — in a a short-lived TV spinoff “The Golden Palace,” mountains of merchandising, live drag queen musical extravaganzas and, of course, in the hearts and minds of viewers young and old who dreamed that they, too, would one day live out their golden years alongside their besties.
Golden-Con will take place at the LGBTQ+ community’s Center on Halsted in Chi-Town, as well as in the multilevel entertainment complex Sidetrack, where guests can expect live parody acts; “Grab That Dough” trivia games; “The Greatest Gift” vendor’s market; “Mother of a Solid Gold Dancer” disco party; a Rusty Anchor pop-up bar (Dorothy’s favorite watering hole); and, of course, the “You’ve Got Style” costume parade of women, men and everyone in between dressed in comfortable pantsuits, costume jewelry and silvery perms atop their heads.
Reps for show creator Susan Harris, 81, did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment about her thoughts on the whole shebang.
Meanwhile, organizers said they are “working diligently” to secure a Betty White appearance in some capacity — but even if she can’t make it, co-producer Balof said the timing is perfect for Golden-Con.
“Folks go through enough daily — don’t get me started on life in a pandemic — that we need to embrace the things we love, and that’s one of the remarkable things about ‘The Golden Girls’: It’s something that unites people across multiple demographics and age groups,” he said. “You walk through an airport with a ‘The Golden Girls’ shirt on, and you’re going to make friends. That’s what we want for Golden-Con. We want folks to bring and celebrate the friends they have and make new ones while they’re here at the event.”
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