Warp Drive

Saturday, August 22, 2009

From the Graveyard: The E! False Hollywood Story - Part 1

Just who is Conrad Sheldon? Tonight, we investigate the man, the myth, and the mispellings misspellings.

Mr. Cromer's Wonder Emporium

Hey guys! In order to make any sense out of the Conrad Sheldon story, we must journey back to the night of March 23rd, 2003. The night was hot, wait no, the night, the night was humid. As usual, meelWORM and I were chatting online about a wide range of topics. At some point, we discussed Chris Cromer's AGI Web Site, and the fact that it had been rather absent of activity as of late.

The birthplace of Conrad Sheldon.

In typical mind melding fashion, meelWORM and I concocted a brilliant scheme. It was really quite simple in nature. A new member would register at Chris Cromer's AGI Web Site, and bring out the best (and worst) in the existing members, but we were not content with simply developing an average personality. We had to make things more interesting than that. After all, nobody wants to see an average circus freak.

This new personality was going to be an illiterate buffoon, with a 3rd grade education, and absolutely no previous Internet experience. Truly, a sight to behold. Moments before the first post, meelWORM coined the name, Conrad Sheldon. He said that he made it up off the top of his head.

As time went by, Conrad Sheldon evolved into a Sierra Online nutcase, and even opened his own Sierra Web Site, which remains online to this day. If the music does not leave you in stitches, nothing will. With the launch of said web site, news of Conrad Sheldon spread quickly, and topics began to appear on other community forums, such as The Subspace Channel, Tierra Entertainment (now known as AGD Interactive), and many others.

Conrad Sheldon, as he appeared on an episode of South Park*.

It was not long before things began to spiral out of control. As ridiculous as it may sound, there was a Conrad Sheldon impersonator (who was later identified as KingPin), and he began to flood Mega-Tokyo with hateful comments. Then, there were the conspiracy theories. The most obvious one being that the whole Conrad Sheldon thing was one big publicity stunt for Chris Cromer's AGI Web Site. Patrick Schiess (Smartguy) had his own theory, though. Conrad Sheldon must be a hacker named Curt.

A portrait of Conrad Sheldon drawn by Akril Starr. Notice the lack of a keyboard?

Meanwhile, Martin Kool discovered the web site of yet another Conrad Sheldon, and the plot once again thickened. At this point, meelWORM and I felt that things had dragged on long enough, and decided that it was time to pull the plug. I even drew a tombstone in preparation for the announcement.

However, when Chris Cromer was let in on the secret, he decided to have a little fun at Patrick Schiess' expense. He made it appear as though Conrad Sheldon had hacked Chris Cromer's AGI Web Site, and this is when things went three steps too far. Patrick Schiess' web site was also hacked, but in meelWORM's defense, Patrick Schiess should have chosen a better password. Smartguy/Smartguy is far from secure.

A Wal-Mart was later built over this grave site.

Finally, the Internet exploded. Well, a small portion of it, anyway. There were dozens of responses on the community forums which had Conrad Sheldon topics previously established. It was only a matter of time before the truth finally came out. On April 25th, 2003, Patrick Schiess, and everyone else that was still in the dark, learned the true story. The tombstone that I mentioned earlier was then posted, and Conrad Sheldon was officially declared dead... or was he?

Up next, we explore the previously unseen AGI computer game starring Conrad Sheldon, The Big Con.

"Ferthere" Reading: Part 2: Night of the Dead Living

* There never was any such episode of South Park.

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