ST. CHARLES – In the mid-1970s, actor Wesley Eure spent much of his time running from Sleestaks as the character Will Marshall on a Saturday morning children's show, "Land of the Lost."
Eure will be one of the guests at the Chicago Pop Culture Con happening Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 next to the DuPage Airport at the Pheasant Run Mega Center and Ballroom in St. Charles. He will be joined by co-star Kathy Coleman, who played his sister, Holly, on the show.
Admission costs $12, good for both days, and is free for children age 12 and younger accompanied by an adult. For the complete line-up of events, visit chicagopopculturecon.com.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Eure about the upcoming show. The interview has been edited for length and style.
Eric Schelkopf: Of course, you will be at the Chicago Pop Culture Con. Does it make it even more special that this year is the 45th anniversary of "Land of the Lost"?
Wesley Eure: Oh, absolutely. First of all, I can't believe it's 45 years. It's just crazy.
And we're all still friends. I've always said that Sid and Marty Krofft didn't just cast my TV family, they cast my real family. Kathy and I talk at least twice a week. We just have a great time together. And it's been a great run with friends and family.
And we have so many new fans. Kids are now watching it on MeTV or wherever it's playing, and singing the theme song and dressing like Kathy as Holly. It's been truly extraordinary.
Schelkopf: Does it surprise you that so many people connected to the show? And that they are passing their love for the show on to their kids or their grandkids?
Eure: Well, it's amazing. I know the special effects look hokey now because there was no computer-generated imagery back then.
But the writers were mostly "Star Trek" writers. David Gerrold was our head writer, who wrote the script for the "Star Trek" episode "The Trouble with Tribbles."
Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on "Star Trek," wrote the episode "The Stranger" for "Land of the Lost," which introduces Enik, a talking Sleestak-like creature.
The scripts are amazing sci-fi. And they never talk down to kids. So that's been one of the reasons the show has held up so well. We have people who come up to our table that are actually sobbing and crying and telling us amazing stories.
This one guy told us how his family was breaking up when he was a kid. His dad was leaving his mom and he didn't know how he was going to handle it.
But then he saw that in the third season of "Land of the Lost," we lost our dad and our uncle came in and our family survived. He said that gave him the hope and knowledge that he could get through this.
We have heard many stories like that. It's strange how you never know how something you do in life is going to benefit others. And I think that's true for all of us on the planet, not just actors on TV shows.
Schelkopf: You were on the NBC soap opera "Days of Our Lives" the same time you were on "Land of the Lost." Those are two totally different types of shows.
Eure: It was fun. They were both NBC shows. … They made a deal with "Days of Our Lives" that I could film all of my scenes first.
The other actors all hated me for three years because I got to leave early. So in the morning, I'm crying and sobbing that my girlfriend is leaving me and cheating on me and in the afternoon, I'm yelling, "Run, Holly, run, there's a Sleestak!"
So it was kind of schizophrenic, but it was so much fun.
If you go:
What: Chicago Pop Culture Con
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1
Where: Pheasant Run Mega Center and Ballroom, 4051 E. Main St. (Route 64), St. Charles, next to DuPage Airport
Cost: Admission is $12, good for both days, and free for children age 12 and younger with an adult
Info: Tickets will be available at the gate or online at chicagopopculturecon.com, 715-526-9769