Sadly, this past Thursday, July 20th, the beloved King of The Sweaties, Jon Schnepp passed away at the age of 51. Though Jon is gone, his legacy is sure to carry on through his work, his love, and his passion for all things in the nerd world.
Before getting into this piece about Schnepp, I first want to preface this writing with the fact that it will be something different from anything I’ve written for this site previously. As a general rule, I try to keep most of my writing out of the first-person style, unless necessary. Unless I’m writing an opinion piece, I try to present my views in an objective manner. However, due to the nature of the topic at hand, this will be purely from my own heart and soul.
If you’ve been a fan of ours here at The Cinescape, you may have either heard us talk about our inspirations or read them on our site and know why we wanted to create our own show and brand. My bio will tell you that my inspirations include people like John Campea, Kristian Harloff, Mark Ellis, all of the crew at Collider Video, Schmoes Know and Screen Junkies. Watching their Youtube videos and reading their content helped push me forward in terms of wanting to try to get into the same space that my newfound idols were in, a place also inhabited by Jon Schnepp.
After getting our show going and having fun with it, we started reaching out to some of the cast of these crews and were lucky enough to have some of them on as guests like Kristian, Robert Meyer Burnett, Josh Macuga, Scott Mantz and RB3. To me, these people who I follow on a daily basis became like family to me in a strange way. Getting to hear their insights into the things I loved and also getting to meet and interview some of them solidified my own place in this fandom.
One of the biggest (literally and figuratively) people in this world was undoubtedly Jon Schnepp. I can remember him first appearing on AMC Movie Talk to discuss Guardians of the Galaxy before it premiered. Right away, you just knew that this guy was meant for more. As AMC Movie Talk became Collider Movie Talk and things evolved, Jon was one of the mainstays of Collider and was beloved for so many things. Not only was Jon the host of Collider Heroes or a panelist on Movie Talk, he was so many other things as well.
His work on shows like Metalocalypse, Black Panther or his documentary The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? as well as his own drawings and comic work show such an amazing array of the creative juices that flowed through Jon’s spirit paired with his quirkiness and passion made him such a presence. Although I haven’t had any experience meeting or knowing Jon personally, I feel like I also lost a friend.
When I first heard of his passing last week, I was at work and happened to see it on Twitter. Immediately, my heart dropped and I almost went home. I was heartbroken; not because I knew Jon personally, but because he found a way to impact my life without ever having known I existed. The beauty of Youtube channels like Collider is that it gives people like myself a place that we can call our own to be passionate and informed about things like comics, movies and TV shows. These channels also bring us great personalities and crew members that truly make us feel like we have a place to belong, and no one did it better than Jon Schnepp.
Jon’s passion for geek culture was so refreshing because of how excited and geeked out he would get. I mean to sit and really think about it, talking about comic book characters and the like doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of life. But when Jon was on-screen and filling our ears with far-out super sweat, you got to escape from everyday life and just take the ride with him. Whether you agreed or disagreed on some of his takes and opinions on different things, Jon never shot anybody down for their opinions and always found a way to respectably engage with people.
Jon promoted traits like individuality, community, culture, creativity and equality so that people of all races, backgrounds, and sexual identities could come together to talk about the same things they all enjoy. In a world like we’re living in today and dealing with so many social issues that cause heated arguments and controversy, a community like Jon and all of these personalities help to create is something really special. Jon’s genuine demeanor and personality helped to create so many more “sweaties” and further propagate this online space in which we all belong.
Jon’s passing is certainly a blow to all of his fans from all walks of life. As a husband and father, the thought of ever losing my own wife is something that keeps me up at night. I can’t imagine how his beloved Holly Payne, his fiance and partner of 16 years, is getting through each day but it has to be unbearable. To lose the person you love most in the world is one of the cruelest things that can happen to anyone. And to top it off, Holly and Schnepp’s family will be facing a mountain of hospital bills. If you’ve ever had a stay in the ER for even a night, you know how costly a hospital stay can be. There are a few fundraising platforms in which you can donate anything you can to aid the family. I donated what I could and you all can too, however many dollars you can spare would certainly go a long way.
There’s certainly no way to replace a person like Jon or anyone we’ve lost for that matter; but we can always keep Jon in our thoughts. Use his inspiration, sense of adventure, and overall passion for the things in life that he cared about the most to help inspire yourself. Take risks and pursue your dreams. And there is one last thing that needs to take place in Jon’s memory.
We all know how toxic these communities can get sometimes. But we all need to learn to be nicer to each other. Plain and simple. We can’t live in a world of cyber bullying trolls that spout such hateful comments in various spaces. We can’t have actors getting death threats because people didn’t like them in some movie. We can’t be so nasty to each other. Be respectful of each other and learn to have some more patience with people. Follow life’s Golden Rule. And most importantly, be excellent to each other.’
For everything you did for all of us, Jon: you are loved and will always be remembered. Thank you and rest in pace, ‘O King of the Sweaties. Sleep well.
Help donate to Jon’s family:
Go Fund Me: www.gofundme.com/getwelljonschneppfundraiser
View Jon’s Tribute on Collider Movie Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VZiEZDm4hA
View Jon’s Tribute on Collider Heroes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tfh5mHyR-BM