When Kevin Pereira left G4 and Attack of the Show back in 2012, he very much expected that this chapter of his life would be closed for good. Less than a year after departing, G4 ended up shutting down original programming before the network as a whole then shuttered in 2014.
Now, close to a decade later, Pereira is returning to the newly-revived iteration of G4 in an official capacity. After appearing during last year’s reunion special, Pereira is set to once again be one of the hosts on Attack of the Show when G4 formally launches this summer. For Pereira, though, the return to G4 isn’t just one that is exciting for all of the obvious reasons, it also represents a rare second chance for him to go back to the place where he cut his teeth with the knowledge that he now has in life.
Recently, we had the chance to catch up with Pereira to find out what he's been up to for the past few years, what plans he has in store for the new version of Attack of the Show, and how he feels about working in a media landscape that is much more competitive than before.
Catching Up with Kevin
CB: After you left G4 and Attack of the Show, you ended up staying in the media space quite a bit. You hosted a few different shows and also started up a podcast and Twitch channel. Within the past few years though, you’ve been laying a bit lower than normal. So what’s been going on in your life?
Kevin Pereira: Yeah, when I left the Attack of the Show, I was really delighted. I mean, it was so hard to leave because it was my... I mean, I started at the network when I was 18. It was every formative year you could have. It was my college. It was my social outings as well as my career, the beginning of all that. So when I left, it was super tough but I felt it was time. And I hosted some game shows there. I did a show about life hacks for Tru TV and got to host different things, which was great. And then I got to try my hand at running my own business, and that was equally just a nightmare. And I realized I was ill-equipped to do that. It was also in many ways, super successful. Got to make a lot of great stuff and help people launch their careers.
So, the last year or so, when the pandemic hit, I know there was a big shake-up for a lot of folks. And for me and my now wife, at the time my fiancée, we were sort of saying like, "Well hey, what do we really want to do?" And we were connecting with our neighbors more through that process and really just falling back in love with connecting with people one-on-one and getting away from screens. And so, we decided to get a very small trailer and we said, "Oh, we'll travel around a little bit and see how that feels." And three days at a State park turned into four days at another State park and that turned into, "Okay, we're going to sell our house, get a giant diesel truck and get a 35-foot fifth wheel." And now I know there's a new Xbox out and I'm sure it's giving people a lot of joy, but I got to tell you, the hydraulic auto-leveling system on my new Keystone 35-footer has me over the moon, which is why I'm so perfect to host the Attack of the Show again.
CB: I had seen you posting pictures of your truck on social media every now and then but I wasn’t sure if it was just a weekend hobby or something. But you’ve really ended up changing your whole life it seems.
KP: Yeah. No, that's fair. Look, I love anything that blinks or bleeps or bloops. I love tech. It permeates every sense of my being and even while away from it. Deciding to sell the house and go mobile and see the world a little bit more, at least see the country and meet interesting folks has been a real, just eye-opening, amazing experience. But the entire time I've been fretting about which LTE modem is the right one to hack and which SIM card is going to give me the most gigabits, and like "Oh, which In Command system is best for Bluetooth monitoring of my grade tank systems." It's still the same stuff. I got rid of a Tesla and I got a diesel truck so that's a negative one for the environment and I feel a little bit bad about that. But on the other hand, it has a 19 speaker sound system and 360 cameras, which I can tell you all about. So it's like my apple hasn't fallen too far from my tree. I'm still hanging out in the same wheelhouse.
CB: With that big life change in mind and the fact that you perhaps had the best separation from the old G4 compared to some of the other hosts and employees, was there any hesitancy from you to come back to this new iteration? Or did you just think it might be better to leave that chapter of your life in the past?
KP: When it was announced, I mean, I got excited. Part of me was equally surprised it took this long for it to come back. Anytime you seem to get more than like five like-minded nerds or hyper passionate folks get together about anything, they would always reminisce so positively about G4. They'd always come out with, "Oh I miss this show," or " Oh, E3's coming around again and I wish that team was there doing it again." And you saw it with every convention. And so, I was like, "Why hasn't it come back?"
And then when it came back, there was definitely that moment of like, "Oh man, I'd love to play again. I'd love to be involved but I'm in such a different space." And there are personal insecurities of, “Am I even relevant to that space anymore? Would I even belong? And what would I have to say?” And when they asked me to do the reunion special, it was a lot of nerves and I lost a little sleep over the decision.
Because again, like I said, there are personal and professional insecurities that permeate everything because I'm a human being and, spoiler, flawed. But when I said, "Okay, let's do it", and saw the script and we showed up on the day, it all melted away. It really was like the band was back together and we all played our part and it sounded good. There weren't any rusty solos. We had a good time.
And from then on, I was like, "Oh, that's right. This is an amazing thing. It was an amazing time." And granted, I've been cruising around a lot, in a lot of RV parks, which are, it's like retirement communities, so it's like I'm hanging out and playing pickleball with 55-pluses, and having the time of my life, I really am. And a common refrain has been if I could go back and do it all again.
There's that lustful, "Oh, man, if I knew then what I know now." And that's how I sort of look at the G4 network, for myself and for everybody involved, because I've had this conversation with some other folks, and everybody says the same thing like, "Wow, this feels a truly once in a lifetime opportunity. In fact, the kind of opportunity that people don't ever get in their lifetime." The privilege and the opportunity for us all to be on that ride the first time. And now to get a chance to suit up or strap in, whatever analogy you want to go with, and do that again with what we know now. Yeah, sign me up. I think that's what I said, and I think I got signed up. I think they bought it.
Now I know the power and the privilege that comes with a show and a platform. It's a chance to refine comedy, to discover what coverage of the same old topics, but in a new presentation and style would be today. A chance to raise a new generation of talent under the same banner that we helped grow. I get all tingly in ways that I will not describe to you. But about that privilege and opportunity, because it really is. The ability to try it again is really fantastic.prevnext
Reactions to the Reunion Special
CB: You briefly talked about the reunion special that you were part of that released last year. What did you think about the fan reaction to that with it being the biggest piece of new G4 content that has released so far?
KP: When we filmed that thing it all felt natural and great. And at the end of the day, we're like, "Well, okay. We'll see how it cuts. We'll see how it goes." We didn't have the luxury of it being an Attack of the Show episode where it's live, so when it's done, you go, "Well, all right. We live to fight another day. We'll do another one tomorrow."
So I got the chance to watch it live. We pulled over at a rest stop, because after the reunion special, we did a little live hit as well on the other side of it. So we were literally in the parking lot of an I-5 restaurant. I was coming in hot. It was at two frames a second because again, boonies with an LTE modem.
I mean, I was so genuinely cool because, from frame one you had, I could see the fans, like yourself, that had watched before that recognized the winks and the nods here and there and it still resonated. But what was really great was to see people discovering it as a new thing like, "Oh, I had heard about this. What is this about?" And even though that reunion special was pretty specific to the faces and the names and the bits that you theoretically already knew and loved, it was great to see that people still found some of the sketches and some of the little bits that were highlighted in that, just watching the real-time chat explode in laughter or start sharing in on memories.
I mean, that was great, and I feel like, it's certainly not taken for granted that G4 meant a lot to hundreds of thousands. But we feel such a huge responsibility and also refreshing the brand and making sure that it's applicable to an audience today, getting those new eyeballs. So, that was a wonderful first step that even though that reunion special wasn't intended to be the special for the new audience. The fact that they seemed to like it as well and gravitated toward it and started signing up and subscribing and joining the Reddit and the Discord. I'm thrilled with the reaction. Over the moon.prevnext
What's In Store for Attack of the Show
CB: Speaking to Attack of the Show specifically, I’m sure there isn’t a lot you can say right now about the show’s new iteration, but how much are you looking to keep it similar to what it was in the past?
KP: I know the focus is on the B4G4 content because it is a chance for us to kind of re-introduce ourselves, to bring in some new eyeballs and to test some new ways of presenting content and sort of flex in those ways. So that's where the bulk of the attention is going right now. But to specifically answer that question, it was so funny, I think it was 2005, 2006 or so, must have been 2006 because we had said, "Oh, we're going to put YouTube on television. We're going to show clips from YouTube. And we're going to have an entire wall or at least a plasma turned on its side dedicated to this thing called Twitter."
And on paper, Attack of the Show made zero sense. It was like, "Wait. You're going to do a live show. You're going to show things from the internet, which why would anybody want internet stuff on their TV? That makes no sense, right? And you're going to, wait, review gadgets, but then talk to celebrities and tastemakers. But then try to do sketch comedy and then try to go out to conventions." And then it was a weird structure and it got a little loose and a little odd. But at the time, that show made no sense and in some ways was sort of groundbreaking in the variety space. And when I look at the show on paper now I go like, "Well, that still works."
We might need to tweak the way in which we present it, the running times. The ability to be interactive with the audience. I mean, back in the day, we were doing like webcam Hangouts with our audience during commercial breaks, or we had, if you remember, Fax Bear, and you could send us a fax live during the show and a poor production assistant jammed into a god awful smelling bear costume would dig out your fax and then we would read them on air. And we even had a viewer army back then, where we would send people flip cameras, if you remember that product, and they would run around and sort of document their life. So that's how we were pushing the format and the interactivity and utilizing tech to tell our story and tell the story of our audience back then.
So the notion that we get to do that today, where everybody's got a super computer that shoots 4K in their pocket? I don't want to spoil any of the sauce that I've got simmering on the back burner at the moment, because, again, we're focusing on the B4G4 initiative. But I still think the core content and the way we covered it can work. Now, it's a matter of how can we explore it utilizing the best tech that we have today? How can we amplify the voice of our audience? How can we do those things with all these new platforms available to us? So again, tingling in ways that I shall not describe.prevnext
Working With Old and New Hosts
CB: So you touched on B4G4 and I know one of the main goals with that initiative has been to introduce some of the new hosts that will be involved with the network moving forward. How do you feel about getting to work with not only former talent like Adam Sessler, but also some of the new faces like Austin Creed, Ovilee May, and Froskurinn?
KP: I'm just so destroyed for them. I'm so sorry that they have to show up and see me at some point. That's not fair. No one deserves that.
Ovilee is someone who I've been playing Among Us with and have been hanging out with on Discord and there was a brief Genshin Impact moment where her and some other folks encouraged me to drop way too much money on Wishes and I unlocked a bunch of items. I still don't quite know what they were, but I know that I blew through about $250 in about 30 minutes. Everybody else was over the moon and then no one ever played the game again.
But do I have an ax to grind with Ovilee about that? Absolutely. Am I excited to work alongside her? 100%. And then getting to do the reunion special with Austin. Austin's somebody that I watched on the Up, Up, Down, Down Channel for so long and really just admire what he does and his positivity and the energy that he brings to everything. And having him on set, there was a moment where even he was like, "Wow, this feels like the weirdest timeline." And I was like, "Yeah, but you're here and you belong here and crush the hell out of this."
So, as I said earlier, I know what I can do and I'm excited to be able to again, apply the knowledge that I have today to the sort of brand from the past and see how I can do that. But I'm really most excited for the next generation, man. I'm going to be on a pickle ball court with a mint julep in a few years and that's going to be the end of days for me and I'm psyched for that. But I'm really excited to see what this next generation can do because they grew up with G4. We helped kind of usher that generation in. But since then they have excelled so much and they're so great at connecting and meme-ing and producing just the dankest content. So I'm excited to get in the mix and be inspired by them. And then if there's a tip or trick that I can pass down to them, I'm all for it.prevnext
Collaborating With the "Competition"
CB: I think what’s interesting about G4 returning at this point is that while you all were very unique and groundbreaking with what you produced back in the day, you’re coming back in a space where many other people are creating similar things compared to the old G4. Is there a different level of intimidation for you now when it comes to the competition where there once wasn’t?
KP: I would say, and I've touched on this a little bit in the past, that competition versus collaboration is like a really fine line. If you see the way Jerry XL exists in the G4 universe already is a good example. Someone like Gus is an amazing creator. I would never want to be in competition with someone like him. Ovilee's videos, her music video stuff that she does and even just for Instagram alone. I'm like, "I don't want to compete with that. No, I want to collaborate with that. I want to cooperate with that." That's where I think we can be our best.
And even internally, I'll say, back in the day, G4 was relatively siloed. It was more a traditional network where even though we shared studios and resources here and there, X-Play was their silo. And Attack of the Show was their silo. And I don't want to say compete, because we were all friends on and off-camera, but there was a little bit of a rivalry. And it was friendly and it was healthy.0comments
But I think everybody would agree that at the times at which the network was best was actually when we all Voltroned together. We all formed around an E3 or a Comic-Con or a PAX or whatever, or we all went to Japan together to do TGS coverage, but then shoot our specials. Those were the times that, for me personally and professionally, they were so fulfilling. And I know from the fans, they loved that, too. They loved us all playing together as one big band. And I can tell you from what little I have seen already, that is the attitude that permeates G4 now, like day zero on this new launch. We are all in this together. G4 is one big mega-brand. We're not siloed. So I would fully expect to see everybody playing and hanging together.
That's how I view the rest of the landscape is that, look, you can go get your game reviews in a lot of different places. So, what's going to be our unique take or our collaboration or our production that makes you want to get it from us? And whether that's tech reviews or interviews or sketch comedy or ranting, whatever it may be. You can get it in a lot of places. But we have our voice. It's going to be a unique voice because each one of us is unique as individuals. But when we Voltron together, that's when it's going to be really powerful and undeniable. So I'm so excited to collaborate and cooperate internally with G4 and externally with all the amazing creators that exist out there today.prev