On Friday, July 29, 2011, during the first day of VidCon 2011, the guys once again did a live microwave performance. Unfortunately, unlike Justine's performance at VidCon 2010, there was no available live stream put up. This performance was set in the VidCon Laboratory 1.0. As in previous live performances, the guys chose a relatively safe and exciting past experiment for their VidCon 2011 performance. For this occasion, the main attraction was flash paper. But before that, while the guys were introducing themselves and warming up, they microwaved some popcorn and proceeded in passing it around the room for all to share and enjoy. Then, the flash paper was microwaved along with some tin foil, a la Samantha and episode #166. The flash paper quickly caught fire and gave quite a good show. A black microwave named Gretchen was used for the experiment, and she undoubtedly was retired shortly after the performance and left in LA. The verdict for the experiment was a "good idea," as chosen by the VidCon audience's thunderous applause for that option.
- Gretchen is Helga and Olga's sister. She was mentioned long ago (as was Olga) in episode #73. Hypercoaster desperately wanted Austrian-born Gretchen to be on the show, as Helga is her favorite microwave and she donated Olga for season 9. (Olga's light turned out to be broken, which is why she wasn't officially used. Check out Olga's page for the full story.) Interestingly, though, unlike in Olga's brief deleted footage introduction, Gretchen is not ever mentioned to be Helga's long-lost sister. Jon originally was going to have Gretchen be one of the finale microwaves, but the guys decided to use Heather and Shelley for the finale since they both still worked; it would have been wasteful to not properly destroy them. Jon told Hypercoaster that they might use Gretchen at VidCon 2011, which ended up happening. Hypercoaster is extremely grateful and thankful of Jon's decision.
- Gretchen was a MicroFridge, a very obscure brand indeed. During the performance, Jon commented that 37 microwaves have been used on the show, and he had never even HEARD of the MicroFridge brand before Gretchen! Jon's comment about 37 microwave may have been an error, depending on what Jon meant. Gretchen was the 38th microwave, not the 37th. But perhaps Jon meant that 37 microwaves had been used before Gretchen came along.
- Gretchen was a very old model- she had a dial instead of a clock. She is only the second microwave girl to have a dial, the first being Beth/Miss Havisham.
- Jon said that they got Gretchen from Hank Green.
- Gretchen definitely was smaller than either Helga or Olga. And Olga was slightly smaller than Helga. Gretchen came with an outdated dial. Olga came with a broken light and a display which had messed-up numbers (like Sandra's). This is substantial evidence that Jory was indeed right- out of all the sisters, Helga WAS the biggest AND the best!
- In the VidCon interview, Jon said that Hank Green came out at the end to tell them they had to stop the performance. Apparently, the fire marshal was not happy and wanted to avert any danger.
- Shockingly, her performance with the ideo gang was NOT Gretchen's first performance at VidCon. Shortly before the IIAGITMT? skit, she was forced to microwave some sort of wretched-looking carrot and oregano concoction for some YouTube group named Sorted Foods.
- Jory wrapped a big sheet of tin foil around his waist for nut protection, much like in the series finale. Afterwards, Jory gave the tin foil to Janet LaCava as a souvenir keepsake.
- At the end, Riley called himself the "retired sidekick."
- Jon: But I don't really know that anyone knows what flash paper IS. Riley, can you explain?
(Riley starts lifting up his shirt)
Jon: No, no! It's not that kind of flash! Jory, do you know what it is?
(Jory turns around and starts lifting up his shirt from behind)
Jon: It's not THAT kind of flash, either!
- Jon: Introduce us to your new microwave here, Jory!
Jory: Oh! THIS is Gretchen right here!
Riley: (in old crone voice) Gretchen!
Jon: She's a MicroFridge!
- Jon: (referring to popcorn microwaving) And just think- you PAID to see this!
- Jon: Are you the fire marshal?
Hank Green: No, but I just got a message!
Jon: Alrighty, then!
--- And let's not forget THIS gem about Gretchen from episode #73:
Jory: [Helga] has two sisters. You may be thinking they're Sandra and Diane. No, they aren't related. Her sisters are Olga and Gretchen. They come from the long line of Austrian-born women. Helga's the biggest, Helga's the best!
Sadly, Jon has mentioned a few timies already that he might not even upload the whole performance. Jon says the reason is because he feels they didn't really prepare an act for the performance, even though watching the performance feels just like any other live microwaving event. Not getting put on the JPizzle channel would be an injustice to Gretchen and her hard work. But the good news is that YouTubers who attended VidCon 2011 and actually filmed the performance finally have uploaded the footage on YouTube! We owe them great thanks. Go show your appreciation.
To see almost the entire performance, click here:
To see close-ups of Gretchen and the flaming flash paper, click here:
And to see the only known footage of the experiment's verdict, click here:
And, of course, a big thanks to Janet LaCava, who was the first person to tell Hypercoaster Gretchen's name.