At the opening of “Harmon-town,” the documentary that captures the nationwide podcast tour of television writer and showrunner Dan Harmon and his crew, he runs through a Cliff Notes’ version of the tours events: Blackout drunkenness, crowd surfing, topless performing (by Harmon) and “collapsing onto a table full of hot wings.”
It sounds debaucherous — maybe not Led Zeppelin destroying hotel rooms, but certainly more hard-core than an Internet show featuring an in-progress “Dungeons and Dragons” game would seemingly warrant. But as the documentary unfolds, what’s shown is less a traveling rock show and more a man connecting to strangers by being as truthful as possible on stage.
amNewYork caught up with Harmon to talk about the film, opening Friday at IFC Center.
The doc really shows how much these fans who come to your shows mean to you.Very much. Fortunately, my work isn’t about anything other than wanting to be liked, so I can get away with just letting myself be affected by any encounter.
Spencer Crittenden, your show’s Dungeon Master, was plucked from your audience, and attendees often become a part of the episodes. How does that affect the show?I like to think [the show] has a kind of strange merit: It’s two hours that dispels the myth of performer versus audience, or performer versus performer, the idea that performance is inherently competitive. It’s fun to see really, really talented professional performers come up on stage and they’ll be thrown, and they’ll have to adjust.
Would you tour again?
I wish there was a way to just do this, that it would somehow support getting married, having a kid and medical bills. If there was a life that consisted largely of traveling like a migratory bird, and stopping at these quick stops, having five minutes to pee and then taking off again, heading for someplace, the sense of camaraderie, the total organization — that’s right up my alley.