Interviews

Click on the links to read interviews about:

ALLSPARK FORUMS
BATFRIEND
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
RETURN TO THE BATCAVE
TRANFORMERS
INVADER ZIM
RENEGADE C&C
ESCAPE FROM MONKEY ISLAND


WALLY BABBA!

Wally is the guest on Giancarlo Dittamo's "Pop Cultivation" podcast! Listen here...

http://giancarlodittamo.podomatic.com/entry/2013-02-07T22_37_15-08_00


WALLY INTERVIEWED FOR "HEFFRON AN REEP"!

Wally sat down for a lengthy interview with his neighbor and pal, comedian/actor Jon Reep. Check out episode 37 of the Heffron and Reep show here...http://heffronandreep.com/


Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Interview with Wally Wingert!

Check out this new interview with Wally here:

http://oldschoollane.blogspot.com/2012/11/old-school-lanes-nickelodeon-tribute_3245.html



Click on the following links for streaming interviews with Wally.
On 98.1 The Fan -  http://918thefan.com/2010/kanas-korner-interview-with-wally-wingert/

On LA Talk Radio host Jeff Rector's "Out There!" - http://www.latalkradio.com/Jeff.php

Allspark Forum Interview

The Allspark: Tell us how you got your start in voice acting. Has this always been an aspiration of yours?

Wally Wingert: I started as a radio DJ when I was 16 years old. I had always done voices in my room as a kid, and this was my opportunity to be able to incorporate them into my radio shows. When I moved to LA in 1987 to pursue acting, I discovered voice-over rather by accident. It almost spoke more to my aspirations than on-camera acting did. But I still enjoy doing on-camera work as well, but normally you can’t become as many characters in one day doing on-camera work, as you can doing voice-over.

AS: How do you come up with a voice for a particular role?

WW: It always helps to see a picture of what the character looks like, that way you can ascertain his age, physicality, any physical limitations or characteristics that you can work into the voice. Sometimes it’s just a matter of locking in on a particular aspect of the character (his eyes, his shoes, his teeth) that really gives you an idea that sends it over the edge.


AS: One of your original aspirations was to be a Muppet; do you still want to live out that dream? If so is there a particular Muppet you want to do, or do you want a whole new one?

WW: I no longer have any interest in being a Muppeteer. That dream was dashed when their attorneys sent me a cease and desist letter when I was a mere 18 year old kid, who was only trying to gain entry into their organization. Now that franchise is so dead and buried, the Muppets may never do anything worthwhile again. I guess it all worked out the way it was supposed to.


AS: Do you prefer voiceover work or guest starring roles such as the ones you had on Murphy Brown and Just Shoot Me? How does voiceover work and live action work compare?

WW: I really, truly love both. But like I said before, you can be many more interesting characters in the voice-over world. The on-camera world, sadly, has become all about “types” and not about acting. They want a person who resembles the character in reality, and they don’t seem to be interested in seeing good characters anymore. It’s sad. But since I want to be an actor, and not a type, I find that voice-over holds my interests more adequately.

AS: Have you ever tried for a part that you thought you'd be great at and lost the part? How do you move on from an experience like that?

WW: I learned early on not to get married to any character until I’ve gotten the job. I’ve even GOTTEN the job, and then have had the producers make a change at the last minute with a different actor. So sometimes even AFTER you get the job, you STILL can’t get married to it. I try to keep a safe distance from most of the work, otherwise the politics will drive you nuts. You do the audition, and then forget about it immediately afterwards. You have to.

AS: There have been stories about voice actors auditioning with a “cool” voice and when they go into the studio they are not able to reproduce the voice. Has this ever happened to you, and if so, how did you react?

WW: No, since I put the audition out of my mind as soon as it’s down on tape, I sometimes need a “refresher” when I go in to do the session, but I’ve always been able to reproduce what I did originally.

AS: Is there any one project you did work for that was more enjoyable than the others? If so, why?

WW: I loved a gameshow I did on Gameshow Network called “Throut and Neck.” It involved puppeteering a LIVE computer character and providing his voice. It was improvisational, a dream come true, and best of all…it was all LIVE! That was one of the greatest summers of all time for me.

AS: Where you a fan or even familiar with the “Transformers” franchise prior to your voice acting work, or since doing the work, have you become a fan?

WW: I’ve become a casual fan, but I certainly know a lot more about them than I did initially. I had heard of them, of course, back in the 80’s. But at the time they were popular, I was so poor I didn’t have a TV to watch them on. But when the audition came up for “Robots in Disguise” I told Jamie Simone (the director) that I had to be on that show at all costs. So now I’ve gotten to provide the voice for 2 Transformers, and 1 Care Bear. That’s pretty cool!


AS: How much "freedom" did you have in your roles on “Robots in Disguise”, given you were doing dubbing?

WW: Hardly any. Because the animation was already done, we were limited to the number of “lip flaps” the character had. We couldn’t go off on an improvisational tangent at all. However, if we thought of different ways to say the line that would be more in character, AND fit the amount of lip flaps, Jamie and Steve Kramer would often let us try it. Peter Spellos probably did that more than anyone else because he was so in touch with who Sky-Bite was. And his work ended up being hilarious!

AS: What was it like playing two characters that were so very different? Was it ever hard to go from goofy to brooding?

WW: No, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. They were so different. I just wish there would have been an opportunity for them to have a scene together, so I could have talked to myself.

AS: When you worked on “Robots In Disguise”, did the fact that you were playing a robot instead of a human influence your voice acting at all?

WW: No, because we were directed not to play them as robots, but to play them as people. Which I think added a sense of realism to the show.

AS: “Transformers” is a unique franchise, in that it has been around for 20 years. Did you find that the long history and dedicated fan base places extra weight on your shoulders when working on “Robots In Disguise”?

WW: We all knew the pressure was on when we went into it, but we also knew that a lot of the creative stuff had already been taken care of by the Japanese staff…the writing, animation, stories, etc. So while we were on our best behavior, we were limited to what we were being given by Japan. So if the audience didn’t care for it, we could always blame it on them. Ha ha ha. But the ratings proved to be so awesome, that in a lot of respects we were beating Nickelodeon in our time slot.

AS: Do you collect action figures or other memorabilia related to the projects you have worked on?

WW: I try to get all the toys that relate to characters I’ve done and I keep them in a case in my bedroom. It’s getting kind of full by now. But I also collect a lot of stuff that isn’t related to the stuff I’ve done. I like Mego, monster stuff, etc.

AS: How does it feel to be part of some of the most popular shows such as “Rugrats”, “Power Rangers” or to be a part of one of the most aired “Murphy Brown” clips?

WW: It’s a wonderful feeling and I thank God every day that I’m able to do what I love doing and make a living at it.

AS: What advice do you have for aspiring voice actors?

WW: Study, study, study. Absorb all the information you can from all sources. Keep a small tape recorder in your car and keep it loaded with blank tape, so if you come up with a cool character, or meet someone whose voice you like, you can keep a library for future use. And listen, listen, listen, listen. Half of voice-over is listening to the director and being able to produce for him/her what they want. The downfall of a lot of vo actors (at least according to what producers have told me in the past) is that they don’t take direction well. The best vo actors are able to “transform”, if you will, what the director is telling them into tangible voice tracks.

AS: Lastly, why the pyrotechnic license?

WW: I was Beetlejuice at Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood, and the character needed to shoot sparks from his finger at the Phantom of the Opera in the show. We all had to be licensed, so I just keep the license renewed every year in case I’m given a role where I would need to deal with minimal pyrotechnics. It can’t hurt. It’s just another weapon in the arsenal that can help you get work.

If you need any more info, please visit wallyontheweb.com

Thanks a lot!

The Allspark would like to sincerely thank Wally for his time, and wish him the best of luck in all his endeavors.

Batfriend.com Interview

Who is Wally Wingert? What is Wally Wingert? Why Wally Wingert?

Talking about Batfans of the 1966 Batman TV series and not mentioning Wally Wingert would be like talking about the Batman series and not mentioning Adam West. Wally has been a card carrying flag waving Batfan from the beginning. All the way back to 1966 when he was five years old growing up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Wally would put together a makeshift Batsuit and pretend to be his hero. Though the show went away, his fascination with it remained through the years.
Eventually, in 1980, Wally became a disc jockey for the local station KELO-AM and called (actually begged) “World of Wheels” for an interview with his hero, Adam West.

From that point on, Wally’s life took an amazing trip for any Batfan that continues to amaze him to this day. He became friends with Adam West and various members of the original cast. He got to sit and have dinner with Batman’s creator Bob Kane. And yet more was yet to come.

Since those days as a young DJ in South Dakota, Wally had moved to Los Angeles in the late 80’s and has etched out a unique and multi-faceted career as an actor, voice-over genius, performer, singer and writer. His fan book/magazine “Fifteen Years of Batastic Batfan Fun” recalls his journey through his little part in Batman history ( and luckily for us, still available through his website).


Wally as Batman with his friends, the Bat Pack, spending time with children in hospitals in 1988 Throughout the 80's, Wally kept the spirit of the original series alive, by making appearances in his own Adam West style Batsuit. Whether it was to appear at a Bat Bash covered by MTV or a cast reunion on the talk show, Vicki, Wally promoted the good will and fun of the show. With a group of do-gooder friends that were dubbed the Bat Pack , Wally would visit children at hospitals and help raise money for MDA.

When the first Burton/Keaton film was still pending to come out, Wally put out the comedy single “Adam West” which was a huge hit on the popular and widely broadcasted Dr. Demento radio show. It was a 45 single (remember those?) that became the anthem for the “Adam West is Batman Best” movement that was prevalent during the mid to late 80’s.

Wally’s suit itself evolved over time since creating the perfect replica was such a major point of fascination. After a chance meeting with the suit’s creator, Jan Kemp, Wally got together with the costumer to re-create a classic Batsuit that was built to Jan's specifications. It was the first time that this had been achieved since the series was canceled. This chain of events lead Wally to the opportunity to create the suit for his childhood idol , Adam West himself. Not only would Adam have the costume displayed on a mannequin at signings, but Adam also wore it for a 1996 photo shoot. Wally has become widely known as the Adam West Batman costume expert and his cowls are among some of the most sought after and coveted collectables for die hard fans.


When putting together this website, my wife, Vickie and I went out to Wally’s place, commonly referred to as Planet Wallywood in Studio City, for our interview. We were greeted at the door by Wally and his companion, Sassie. She’s a beautiful Collie that looks just like Lassie and even comes to Wally when he whistles the “Lassie” theme. Pretty neat stuff to witness. His place is like a museum for all of Wally’s various interests. Whether it’s the life size Spiderman standing next to a fembot from Austin Powers or the mind boggling glass cases of autographed stuff or his make-up room dedicated to the man of a thousand faces, Lon Chaney, the place he calls home would be more like a theme park for fans. I’ve been there many times since and I still keep coming across stuff I hadn’t seen before.


Wally, to put it quite simply, is a fun guy. He is probably one of the most energetic, happy, funny, trusting, generous and supporting people I have ever met. It’s like he memorized the Bat-code of good manners and fair play from the Bat-scout handbook. But one other thing hit me. This guy is very intelligent and seems to have a knack for not only knowing so many ultra talented people such as seamstresses, sculptors, writers, graphic artists, web designers and video editors but loves to be the first one to give full credit and heavily promote the work contributed by others. Lastly, all this stuff that fills his condo does not come cheap. He has been a very wise , but fair, business man through these years as well.

But enough of this. Pour yourself a glass of Ovaltine, sit back and enjoy our one on one interview with one of our biggest and well known Batfans, Wally Wingert. Continue to the interview...

Scott: What for you came first? The comic book or the TV show?

Wally: The TV show. Definitely. I actually got into the comic because of the TV show. And when the comic got away from the TV show I lost interest and quit buying them.

Scott: So what drew you to the TV show?

Wally: Probably the color and the action. (reflects) Did we have a color TV back then? Just the action, I don't even think I had a color TV back then. So probably just the action and the daring do and the heroism and all the cool villains. I was five. Because I, unlike most people who are into the show, actually remember it during its first run. You'll see in the book (Wally’s Mag-Book “Fifteen Years of Batfun”) that I actually had the little… I mean they had all kinds of T-shirts with the TV logo on it and little masks you could buy. Yeah, I had all that original stuff so I didn't have to catch it in repeats. Now that I think about it, the first time I ever saw Batman in color was the TV Guide cover and that's why I was so mesmerized by it and I just couldn't take my eyes off of it. It was so cool looking. I just locked in on the cowl and said, “ how did they do that?”
Scott: What was the fascination with the cowl?

Wally: Just to look at it. It was like a three-dimensional cartoon. The way it looked kinda cartoony but still 3-D with the black ears and the black face thing and the eyebrows were so cartoony looking. I don't know, just the sheen of it, and just how Adam looked in it. I think the angularity of it. Just how his jaw looked with how the thing curved and with the angularity of that with the ears. I'd never seen anything like it before.

I was thinking about this a lot what I was talking to Jan Kemp (the original costume designer for the series). I think the fact that he went with a light reflecting material like the satin as opposed to like a matte finish material just made that thing sing. The sheen of it was so attractive to the eye and the color worked really well with the TV lights. But yet he chose points to matte, so it wouldn’t have worked if it was dull and it wouldn't have worked if it was all shiny. But the fact that he chose his places to go matte, that just gave a thing that was two-dimensional in the comic books a third or fourth dimension to where it looked just so cool looking. It’s like (as if he were staring at it), “well it’s shiny in some parts and dull and some parts….” If I had one word to some up the entire show or my love for the show it would be the “COWL.” (laughs)

I don't know if it was intended or not or just purely accidental. Maybe it was just a functional thing that just turned out to be so cool. Obviously, the fans picked up on it because then they made it kind of the staple of a couple of the episodes like the "Contaminated Cowl” where it was the focal point. It was like the first time anybody had heard the word “cowl.” Like, “what?” I mean, people who buy them from me used to say… one gal sent me (a letter), “Thank you for the beautiful COW!” (laughs) She didn't understand it was a cowllllll.

Scott: You see, that's why I asked you that question Wally.

Wally: Yeah, it's all about the cowl, baby.

Scott: So… how long have you been dressing as Batman?

Wally: I met Adam in 1980 and realized I had to make a suit and the only pictures that I had was to go off of was the Viewmaster. So I’m trying to hold this thing to the light looking at these little half inch by half inch pictures trying to figure out how I’m going to make a suit. But then I met Adam, and saw his suit, but it was not really good reference material. The boots were original, the buckle was original and the cowl’s shell was original. The cowl had been recovered and not very well.

Scott: Was this the “Legends of the Superheroes” One? (referring to the cowl) Kinda puffy around the neck?

Wally: It was. Puffy around the neck. The skirt wasn’t long enough. I have one picture of him were it was tucked in and it looked great, but as soon as he would go [turning his head and making a hand shake gesture], “Oh, hello little boy…” [he then spreads his fingers around his neck like gills] It’d puff out like a Gila monster. [laughs] I thought, “I’m not quite sure what’s wrong with that, but it doesn’t quite look like what it did on the TV show. The cowl still looks pretty cool but…” He had the arched type of eyebrows. They weren’t like cool looking, they were these pumpkin jack o lantern looking eyebrows.
Now, years later when I was working on my kid show with a costumer named Paula and we were talking out of the blue about this and she said, “Oh yeah, I was the one who recovered that and stupid me, before I took off the cover I didn’t Polaroid it. So I had no reference shots of it.” So she was going purely on memory,” Well, I know the front was black… but I think there was some sort of curved eyebrows there.” So that’s why it didn’t really look
right, because she didn’t think to Polaroid it before she ripped off the material.
But those ears were not hard ears, they were just cloth ears and Adam would just fold the ears back the opposite way and they would conform to shape of the shell and he would put it on his carry-on and off he would go. And the first time I ever met him, his luggage got lost and luckily he always carried on the cowl because it was worth a lot of money. It was March in South Dakota [chuckles] and he had his flannel shirt on and his sheepskin jacket right out of Idaho and wearing the cowl. He was contracted for a costumed appearance, so that’s all he had was the cowl. I think there’s a great shot of him there in the book (Wally’s “Fifteen Years of Batfun”) with him wearing that sheepskin jacket on but with the cowl. It was… pretty surreal.

Scott: [crossing out one of my written down questions in my notes] Well, that answers when was the first time you met Adam. How about Burt?

Wally: The first I met Burt was out here (Los Angeles) in ’87 where people knew I had a Batman costume and they said, “ Hey, we heard on KLOS that Burt Ward was going to be doing an appearance at a trade show at the LA Convention Center.” So I thought this is cool. So I took the bat costume along with me in a bag just in case he was cool enough to where I can slip it on in a bathroom and we could take a picture together. He was appearing in costume. So I show up and they won’t let me in because it was a trade show and they wouldn’t let people in off the street which they FAILED to mention on the radio show. Why would he go on a radio show and say, “Come see me at the LA Convention Center’…. His manager was obviously not on it.
Luckily I had the bat suit in a bag and I told my friend Lauren,” Let me take the bat suit. I have an idea, keep the camera handy.” So, I brought the bat suit up to the door and went, “HI, I’m with Burt Ward and have this that needs to get to him right away for his appearance.” And they went,” Oh Okay. Go on in.” So looking at the bat suit he thought I looked official. I went in and introduced myself and met his manager and we (his manager) started doing other stuff like the Batman fan club and stuff together after I met Burt. And he (Burt) had seen my Batman scrapbook which I brought along which now I have pictures of him actually looking through it. But I had met him after I met Bob Kane. So Bob Kane had already decorated the inside of it with original drawings and he was like, ‘Do you have any idea what these are worth?’ And that was when Bob was still alive.

Scott: Since we’re on “first meetings.” When was the first time you met Julie Newmar?

Wally: That was at her place called Eat a Pita, I believe. My daughter was in town and my folks were in town, and we went to Eat a Pita, the restaurant that she owned over on Fairfax. The guy who was Burt Ward’s manager was also managing her for awhile and he said,” Oh yeah, Julie is there every Friday at Eat a Pita. So it was like, “Okay cool.” So we got our family over there and we had lunch, sat down and met her and took a couple pictures. Pretty cool.

Scott: Did you ever get to meet Cesar Romero?

Wally: I did actually. And Burgess at the re-premiere of the ‘66 movie. The night the Burton film opened in ’89, the oldies station in town did a …(suddenly Wally was distracted by a Mojo Nixon video for “Elvis is Everywhere” that was showing on his big screen television. After a few laughs, recognizing the Elvis impersonator, and reciting a few remembered lyrics…) So, at the re-premiere, everybody was there except for Adam because he had another engagement. But it was great, because I was there as a guest…I was doing some…photo stuff …for… something. Not in costume. I wanted to not go in costume that night, because I wanted to not be perceived as… a geek. (We both laugh at this point) I actually put a tie on and a nice jacket. It was a monumental evening. Cesar was there and I was talking to him and I had him sign a photo. We took a picture together, but the picture didn’t turn out so well. It was B&W and the contrast was really high so it was…you could tell it was us, but it wasn’t really ideal. And then Burgess was there, but Burgess was then pretty old and I had him sign a photo and said,” I think your favorite role of mine was in ‘Magic’ with Anthony Hopkins.” And he was like “--------riiiight??” As if he didn’t have any idea at all whatsoever. All the actors who were there went up on stage to do a little talk and there was a full stage where you had to go up some stairs over to the right and walk over to the microphone. It’s a full house of people who cared very little about the Burton movie and was all about the ‘66 film. So he gets up on stage and when he walks to the mic he does the little Penguin waddle. The house went CRAZY. It was really cool. I’ll never forget that.

And that was the night I met Jan Kemp for the first time, because he was standing around and having a beverage. He was this real unassuming guy and we’re looking at all the madness and I was like, “It’s really something, huh? Just to think that this movie is this old and still people go nuts over it.”
He's saying, “Yeah, it’s great, great quite great actually.”
I say, ‘Well, you’re part of the screening ?”
He says, “Yeah, I worked on the film”
I’m like,” Do you… um.. are you the director or something?”
He says,” No, no I’m Jan Kemp. I did the costumes”
[laughing] I immediately dropped to my knees in like one of those [hands raised in the air and bowing] Aaaaaaahh …worshipping positions. I mean ,out of all the people here…

Scott: Pre- “Wayne’s World.”

Wally: Yeah. Exactly. “I’M NOT WORTHY!” I said,” I’ve been dying to meet the guy who made the costumes for years!” I said,” I made this costume nine years ago when I first met Adam and I was just not happy with it. You know…we…we gotta talk. I’ll pay you any amount to like consult on all the stuff. I need to know.”
He goes,” Yeah, yeah, that’s fine.”
So we exchange numbers and I called him and we agreed on a price to learn all his secrets. And I interviewed him on tapes and all kinds of stuff. I still have those cassettes somewhere, I should dig them out. I asked him all my questions and he showed me all of his notes of all the places that he had all the boots and the fabrics that he purchased. You know, like “Michael Levine’s” “International Silks and Woolens” (two fabric places that are still in Los Angeles). The boot maker, who I can’t remember and “Hammer Gloves” on Melrose in Hollywood, made up of a Mom and Pop, Mr. And Mrs. Hammer. All the great stuff. He told me that the cowl was actually a hard shell underneath, because you know I had that scuba head I used. I knew that looking at Adam’s that there was something under there holding it together. That it wasn’t just a piece of fabric sewn together. That there was something to hold it’s shape. I think he said something about that he tried that, but it just didn’t look any good. They had to have something hard there to make it look smooth. And he was explaining that it was noted to the prop department to cast Adam’s head and made a full shell and kind of sketched it out to what it would look like. I was like, “ oh yeah…” It’s starting to come back to me now. And I’m like, “ [scratching his chin thinking hard] Actually, I would have to have my head cast…” At that point it was too much of a thing. But it was great, just learning about all the stuff.
He said that the thing that got him the job was that he costumed some obscure movie with Mounties in it. And I guess Dozier or somebody had seen this movie and loved the red fabric and said, “ Good. That guy has a great for color and fabric. We got to call this guy” So, that’s how he got the job on Batman because of the Robin vest. They wanted it to look like the Mounty vest. He said it was a great time because he got to meet all of these legendary stars and he went out to Liberace’s house and saw his closets and closets and closets of costumes. {doing his best Liberace voice] “If you see anything in here you want to use, just take it.” He [Jan] said that out of all the cool costumes that Liberace had the thing that tickled him [Liberace] the most was using the idea of putting him in a low-life sharkskin suit. He thought that was just the coolest. Here’s this guy in diamond studded costumes and furs but he loved the sharkskin, that he thought that was really cool. And he was, ‘First of all, call me ‘Lee.’”

Scott: I guess a question that probably should comes up is, “Was there anybody from cast members that you didn’t get to meet or regret that you didn’t get to meet.”

Wally: [thinking really hard] Umm…?

Scott: Like Neil Hamilton or Stafford Repp?

Wally: Yeah, those two [he never met] and they were cool, but unlike Star Trek where I met everybody from the main cast except for McCoy…which that sucks. But for Batman, I think I pretty much met everybody. I mean Neil Hamilton and Stafford Repp were okay, but I was more into the costumed characters. I mean pretty much the four main villains: Riddler, Joker, Penguin and Catwoman. And I met all the Catwomen, ‘cause I met Eartha Kitt at the Roosevelt Hotel singing for one of her cabaret shows. And even Alan Napier, during the Fox Late Night thing, I got a great shot with him. He was in his wheelchair. Actually, it’s in the book.

Scott: So nobody was missed?

Wally: Maybe Vincent Price, not really because he’s Egghead, but because he was such a horror icon as well. Never met him. But Cesar was so great and so polite. Yeah, I think I got to cover all the bases on almost all the Batman people, so I was really lucky.


Scott: What would you say is the most fun thing about being in costume?
Wally: Umm…there’s so many fun things. I guess the look on a kid’s face. Because when we were in Austin [ for a 2004 1966 Batman convention where he appeared with the Gotham Gang] it was cool because the parents came to meet Adam, Burt and Frank. But they said, “Oh Timmy…Batman, Robin and the Riddler are going to be there.” Thinking that the kid is going to think Adam West, Burt Ward and Frank Gorshin, but as a kid, he’s thinking of the TV show that he just saw last night which was over thirty-five years ago and that they are going to be there in costume. So they mean different things to
different people. So the parents were there to meet Batman, Robin and the Riddler meaning Adam, Burt and Frank. But the kids were there to see the costumed guys, because to him that was Batman, Robin and the Riddler. So it was really funny, because the kid would say, “Can I get your picture or could I get your autograph Batman?” And I’m like,” Well, don’t you want the real Batman and Robin? Because they’re right over there.” And they look at you like,” Whatta you mean? That’s just a guy. You’re Batman.” [laughs] So I’m there,” Okay then, I’m Batman.” Because the folks are going to know, you know
But that is probably the coolest thing, to watch the kids study the suit. Because I can put myself in their place when I first met Adam. Maybe he thought I was checking him out, but I think he was probably use to be people just looking at the suit going,” Wow.” But yeah, that’s just so cool to look at that little face. And they look at the boots because they never seen boots like that before. And they get up to the cape and look at the points on the cape, and then they go to the belt and they just stop and look at the belt because they’re looking at the snaps, and if you have your cell phone or whatever on there then they’re looking at that and they look at the buckle and it just catches their eye. And they just look at the gloves. It’s funny to watch them try to check the whole out and drink it in wishing that I could climb into their little skulls and wonder what they were thinking about.

Scott: What’s the worst thing about being costume? Adam complained about the cowl and the tights being itchy…

Wally: Um...yeah… [thinking] All the stuff he hated about it we made improvements on. A comfortable fabric. Supplex is more smooth finish than the original tights that were kind of a Nylon and scratchy. The boots are extremely comfortable. The belt’s fine. The cape is fine, though you kinda develop a thing for moving it around. The cowl once I got it to a point where it was looser and I got the foam in it . It sat there really nice. I guess the lack of peripheral vision is the only thing I can think of.

Scott: Now, from being around you and even looking around Wallywood, you have a lot of other interests other than Batman.

Wally: Yeah, but very few interests that have hung around as long. I kinda come and go on stuff. I’m into Kiss and out of Kiss, into Austin Powers out of Austin Powers. But, Andy Kaufman and Batman are the only to…well Batman is the longest thing that I’ve had and I’ve had that since I was five.

Scott: Well, the other part of the question was that out of all these other interests, was there a point where you drifted away from Batman and then came back?

Wally: When the TV series took a real low profile and it was the new Burton stuff I really got out of the whole Burton-rubber-black-Batman-thing, I was like, “I’m not much into it anymore.” But once the series started showing up again and there were internet sites and showing up on TV again, I was like, “Oh, well this is kinda cool.” But the whole violent Batman thing really…eh, I got out of it. I’m not into that.

Scott: Which leads to the last question.

Wally: Uh oh, the pay off question.

Scott: What would you like to see in Batman’s future?

Wally: Well, the sixties thing is done. There’s just no way they can recreate that. The sensibility of popular culture is completely different and it was a show for its day. And while it sure looks cool in re-runs and it sure is funny, they could never do that again. First of all they could never find the correct cast members who could do those characters like that. I mean it’s a formula that is lost. Forever lost.
Future of Batman? I don’t really care. [laughs] I’m not into the character anywhere beyond the TV show. I use to be kind of. But in ’66 you see the TV show and the comics kind of reflect that and then in the late sixties and then TV show goes off the air. And then in the early seventies, and Batman is looking a little pointier and a little meaner. By ’73, I was like,” Um…Batman’s not really speaking to me anymore.” The heroism is gone, it’s just all about the darkness now, and it then it really got bad in the eighties and then I was ,”Man, I’m out.” I used to be interested in the animated series, but now…beyond the ’66 show I have no interest in Batman. If I see a guy in the new Batman costume, either the rubber suit or one of the official DC ones like at the comic conventions, I don’t go rushing over to get my picture taken. I’m like, “ Nah, that’s not Batman.” Batman to me was a cool TV show first and a cool character second. It’s really all about the TV show.
I think it’s cool if people the whole TV show and they like other movies and they like the animated series and if they are Batman fans all the way. I started to realize later in the eighties when it started to change so much, “Wait a minute, this really isn’t Batman too me. Maybe I’m really more into the TV show than I am the Batman character.” I think that’s probably it. So in retrospect, I realized it was really all about the show for me and not about the character and the other stuff at all. But a lot of people are different. A lot of people on the boards, you know, they like anything Batman. Which is fine. But only the TV show spoke to me.


The future of Batman? I don’t know. God bless them and whatever they want to do with him. Just release those damn episodes on DVD. That’s all I want. I think that probably will be the big final swan song. It’s finally out. There’s’ nothing else to want after that. The actors have appeared all over the world. Everybody who has pretty much wanted to meet them has found some way to meet them. Everybody who has wanted an autograph has found a way to get an autograph. Everybody has their stories. They’ve pretty much flooded the market. The only component missing in the completion in the full circle of Batdom is the release of those episodes DVD. Once that’s complete, then we’ll all be complete and happy Batfans. [laughs]

Scott: Thanks Wally.

Battlestar Galactica

Interview was conducted on March 23, 2004 by Ted Gorospe

Battlestar Galactica 2003: I would like to thank you Mr. Wally Wingert for giving Battlestar Galactica 2003 this opportunity to interview you about your experience playing the voice of Adama’s squadron commander Captain Paulus on the new Video Game “Battlestar Galactica” for the Sony Playstation 2 and the Microsoft XBOX.

Wally, can you tell us about what it is like to be a voice actor?

Wally Wingert: It's a lot of fun! You get to be a whole myriad of different people in any given day! There's no other career like it, and I'm extremely blessed to be in this business doing the types of shows I'm doing, and working with the terrific people I get to work with.

BG2003: How did you end up playing many roles as a voice actor for TV and for video games?

WW: I've always been fortunate to have talented agents who know how to get my stuff before the right producers and casting directors. Now that a lot of those professionals are familiar with my work and abilities, it's certainly a lot easier.

BG2003: What kind of advice can you give an individual looking to get into acting based on your personal experience?

WW: Get some quality training, have a killer demo CD, get yourself an awesome agent, and show up on time to your jobs with a smile! Keep a tape recorder with you at all times to record interesting voices that may pop into your head! My motto is..."I used to have voices in my head, but then I got 'em all jobs!"

BG2003: How does voice acting differ from screen acting?

WW: In voice acting, you have to convey a character completely through your voice; inflections, cadence and pitch. You don't have any visual element to help you whatsoever. That's why a lot of famous screen actors fail at voice-over when given the chance. They're just not used to making the adjustment.

BG2003: So what do you do personally to overcome the lack of a visual element and get into character?

WW: There's never a lack of a visual element as far as I'm concerned, because I have a very vivid imagination. I can always see it in my head fairly easily.

BG2003: Which type of acting do you prefer? Voice acting or screen acting.

WW: That's kind of like asking “Which of my children is my favorite?”...Ha ha ha... Each offers its own unique appeal to me. While voice acting is intensely challenging, screen acting offers its own challenges as well. But as far as screen acting goes, I'm really only interested in crafting interesting characters using make-up, wigs, teeth, etc., and completely becoming absorbed in and by a character. I'm not interested at playing a "type" at all, and since a lot of on-camera casting people lack vision and imagination, that's what I get called for most of the time.

BG2003: How did you end up working on the Battlestar Galactica Video Game and end up as Captain Paulus?

WW: Audition copy came to me through my agent's office. I did my audition in my agent's office and it was submitted. Then I was notified some time later that I would be playing Captain Paulus.

BG2003: Were you a fan of the original Battlestar Galactica series? If so can you give us your thoughts on the original show?

WW: I was so poor when the original show was on, I didn't own a television. As a result, I never got a chance to bond with it.

BG2003: Did you get a chance to see the reimagined miniseries on the Sci Fi Channel?

WW: I'm sorry, but I didn't catch it.

BG2003: What was your impression of the script James Swallow put together of the “Battlestar Galactica” Video Game?

WW: I wasn't able to look at the entire script, just the parts I was in, so I never got a sense of the overall story.

BG2003: If you had to describe your character Captain Paulus what would it be?

WW: He's a little cocky, and he seemed to enjoy being in charge quite a bit. I think he enjoyed having the younger cadets look up to him and seek his wisdom. But he also could become threatened by any up and coming hotshots. But at the same time, I believe he recognized their abilities and appreciated them.

BG2003: When going into a recording session as Captain Paulus, did you base your performance on a character you have seen before like Tom Cruise’s Maverick from Top Gun?

WW: No, not at all. In fact, I've never even seen Top Gun. I just took direction from Tom Keegan the director as far as voice range, pitch, and attitude. A good director like Tom will be able to steer your into a vein in which he's interested. That's why listening to your director, and acting on his direction is of paramount importance.

BG2003: During the production of the video game, did you get a chance to meet any of the other voice actors or voice actresses? If so, what were your impressions of them?

WW: We recorded all of our voice tracks separately, so I never got the chance to meet any of the others, though I would have liked to. It was an awesome cast!

BG2003: Have you had a chance to play "Battlestar Galactica" video game? If so, what are your impressions of the game?

WW: I haven't had a chance to play it yet. But the responses I get from gamers have been very favorable.

BG2003: What are your expectations for the new "Battlestar Galactica" TV series based on the reimagined miniseries?

WW: I'm not sure, I guess I'll just sit back, wait and be surprised.

BG2003: Would you be interested in a role in the new “Battlestar Galactica” TV series?

WW: But of course. Sci-Fi is my favorite genre and I would revel in a role of that nature.

BG2003: Out of curiosity, what science fiction movie or series are among your favorite?

WW: I'm a big Star Wars and Star Trek (Original series only) fan. It's amazing how much insight the writers of Star Trek had into the future. It's almost a bit scary when you think about it!

BG2003: Who is your favorite science fiction character of all time and why?

WW: That's really a tough one. I've always liked Captain Kirk because he was so heroic and ready for action, but then again I've always loved Darth Vader because he was so wicked. How's that for contradictory?

BG2003: Being a science fiction fan, would you watch the new “Battlestar Galactica” TV series on the Sci Fi Channel?

WW: Perhaps, but sometimes I don't even have time to watch the stuff I'm on. Plus, I'm really addicted to talk radio, so that's what's on most of the time in my house.

BG2003: If the video game spawns a sequel, would you reprise your role as Captain Paulus?

WW: Anything is possible. I'd love to work with Tom Keegan and the staff again.

BG2003: Can you tell us something about some of the current projects you are working on?

WW: In the animation world, I'm been doing a lot of work on the new "Astro Boy" series on Cartoon Network. I've also been involved in some new games including "Zoo Vet" and others. I'm the narrator on the Discovery Health series "Impact; Stories of Survival," and I'm also narrating "Outdoor Outtakes" on the Outdoor Life Network.

BG2003: “Astro Boy”? I remember the original show way back when as a kid on re-runs on the Armed Forces Network. What character do you play on “Astro Boy”?

WW: I play the gentleman with the rather large nose called Dr. O'Shay. I also play Harley, Skunk, Blue Knight, Wally Kisagari, and others. It's a great show, in case you haven't seen it yet.

BG2003: So what is the new “Astro Boy” like? Is it just like the original show or more contemporary?

WW: They've stayed fairly close to the origins of Astro Boy, but this version is unique in that it has both really cool computer graphics, combined with more traditional animation. The show really looks great!

BG2003: What are some of your future goals for your career?

WW: I'd like to see the two TV series' I've created, "Livin' On A Prayer" and "Uncle Davver's Really Scary Movie Show." They're shows based around characters I've created. You can find out more about them on my website at wallyontheweb.com.

BG2003: What is your message to the fans of "Battlestar Galactica" fans?

WW: It's great to support your favorite franchise like "BG," but it's also wonderful to use your interest in shows like that to inspire your own creativity, be it writing, artwork, acting or producing.

BG2003: Once I would like to thank you on behalf of the Battlestar Galactica 2003 Staff and on behalf of the fans. We wish you well on your career and your future endeavors.

WW: Thank you very much, and it was my pleasure!

Wally Wingert on Back to the Batcave
Friday, August 9, 2002

Greetings Hypesters! Chris 'Excelsior' Mason reporting...

Being a life-long BATMAN fan from the early days of the 1960's series, I couldn't resist tracking down WALLY WINGERT when I heard he was going to work on the upcoming Back to the Batcave TV movie. Below is a short interview conducted via email... Enjoy!

SHH: How long have you been a Batman fan?

WW: Since I was 5 years old in 1966. It was the Batman TV series that infected me with the Bat-Bug!

SHH: How were you contacted for the job to make the replica costumes for the "Back to the Batcave" TV movie?

WW: Via email. Greg LaVoie, the head of wardrobe, said he was mandated to contact me after one of the producers saw my website. On it is a page where I tell the tale about making a replica Bat-costume for Adam West in 1995. After seeing my page they said, "GET THAT GUY!"

SHH: How many bat-cowls did you produce for the film?

WW: I didn't just do the cowls, my company (4-i's Productions made 3 complete Bat costumes (1 hero and 2 stunt), 4 Robin costumes (2 hero and 2 stunt), and 2 Riddler costumes. Of course, they've all been slightly altered to conform to the guidelines of trademark restrictions. But since I don't sew, my responsibility lies with coordinating the artisans who work for my company, making sure our deadlines are met, doing quality control, and dealing with the production staff, organizing patterns and the like. Since the Bat fans have become accustomed to my style of paint-jobs on the cowls, I still do that myself, each one by hand.

SHH: How long did it take to make the cowl(s)?

WW: It takes my business partner/seamstress Kathy a full day and a half to do the stitching work. It takes Richard my prop guy a half day to make the hard plastic shells underneath. Then it takes me about two days to paint them up. I let each coat dry overnight before adding the eyebrows and nose markings.

SHH: What differs between the 2002 version that you made and the 1966-68 versions of the cowls used on the original 60's show? (materials used, how they were made etc..)

WW: When we first sat down with Adam in 1995 to make him the new versions, he had mentioned that the fiberglass shells used in the 1966 series was very uncomfortable. I told him about styrene, a space age type of plastic that holds it's rigidity but still maintains a certain modicum of flexibility. He said he much preferred the latter because, in addition to the aforementioned benefits, it's also a lot lighter weight to wear. The early cowls in 1966 had ears that were nothing more than little fiberglass discs in bat-ear-shaped fabric that was stapled to the side of the cowl. They looked pretty strange. Finally they started stuffing the fabric with an ear-form made of rigid material. It looked much better. I've found that Bat-fans much prefer the sleeker, more formed looking ear. So we used those as well. Other than that, we tried to stay as close to the original look as possible. There were several different styles of markings on the cowl's fronts. (the eyebrows & nose outline) This lack of consistency was done purely accidentally. Jan Kemp, the costume designer genius who created the costumes for the show, said that they were so busy filming from dawn to dusk, that when the new cowls were made, they were hurried on to the set with little regard for artistic consistency.

SHH: How much screen time do you think the costumes you made for the Batman "flashbacks" sequences will get?

WW: I think a fair amount, though I haven't seen a script yet.

SHH: You are obviously a huge fan of the original 60's show, this must be a dream come true?

WW: It's right up there with costuming the "king" himself back in 1995! When Adam appeared in one of my costumes in the Famous Monsters "Adam West Remembers Batman" magazine, that was the pinnacle for me. When I first met Adam in 1980, he was wearing a tattered old costume that had suffered a great deal of neglect. I made it a goal right then and there to someday clothe the "king" in much more fitting threads. And I got my chance!

SHH: When will the movie air?

WW: They're talking about November to capitalize on the ratings sweeps.

SHH: How did you meet Adam West?

WW: I was a radio DJ in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when he came to town for a World Of Wheels car show in March of 1980. We met for an interview and immediately hit it off. We've been friends ever since.

SHH: You have also appeared on camera, where you have transformed yourself into different celebrities, done guest shots on TV shows and done voice over work... which are you most proud of and which was the toughest to pull off?

WW: Well, "tough" is a relative term. I think it's only "tough" if you're not enjoying it and struggling. Nothing I've done so far has been a struggle; it's all been pure joy. I thank God every day that I'm able to make a living doing what I truly love and enjoy. But the stuff I'm most proud of is probably the "lower profile" stuff. I was very proud of the work I did on "Throut and Neck," a live, interactive TV game show on The Gameshow Network back in 1998. I'm also very proud of the kids show I created back in 1994, which I'm sure will see the light of day someday. It's one of those things that's probably a bit ahead of its time yet.

SHH: What's next?

WW: Just got hired to do some voices on the new "Evil Dead" game for Playstation, which is great since I've always been an ED fan. I believe I'll be providing the voice of Flik on the new Disney's California Adventure ride Flik's Flyers (another dream come true...being in a theme park!), and a lot of Bat-fans have been writing and calling the production office for "Return To The Batcave" demanding that they give me a cameo. That would be a great time as well!!

SHH: What do you think of SuperheroHype.com?

WW: It's a veritable one-stop-shopping source for all super-hero related news. VERY cool!

TRANSFORMERS INTERVIEWS

The Wheeze Bucket Chat - Feb. 2002

www.thewheezebucket.com

The chat night with Wally was fun, and for those of you who couldn't be ther check out some highlights I've taken here. There's quite a bit of interesting stuff in the full log as well, but these are some of my favorite moments with Wally.


Question - Alright, Vangelus asks - Do you have any funny stories from recording sessions?

Wally Wingert - Virtually every recording sessions is funny! Steve Kramer and I have such a similar sense of humor. I'll try to think of a few along the way...little funny tidbits, but most of them fall under the category of "you had to be there."
Wally Wingert - Oh yeah...Tom Wyner the writer, wants to write a line where Sideburn says something like..."I wonder what he has, bro?" Hasbro. Get it?
Wally Wingert - Kramer and I always laugh that it looks like Sideburn has hot dogs grilling on his chest. And when he powers up and turns red, it looks like he's got bananas on his chest. So of course we're always making weiner jokes.
Wally Wingert - It's also very funny to see the TFs swear. Sometimes, if a take doesn't go well, the VAs get frustrated and peep out a little expletive.
Wally Wingert - You MUST hear Optimus Prime complain about his painful rectal itch...it's HYSTERICAL!
Wally Wingert - Koji can really swear too! Ha ha The studio engineers won't even give US a tape of it, because they know it would get released.


Wally Wingert - Whoa...bold AND blue!

Wheeze - heh

Wally Wingert - I'm still getting used to this chat program

Wheeze - I saw you in here the other night playing with it but I didn't see till after you left

Wally Wingert - Yeah...I didn't want to come in here and make a total ass of myself not knowing how to use this newfangled computer stuff. ha ha
Wally Wingert - Hey wheeze...look at what you said. I saw you in here the other night playing with it. What exactly does that mean???

Rumble2005 - LOL!!!!!!!

Wheeze - LOL, woops. I mean....

Guest - Nice Freudian. ;)

Wally Wingert - LOL Freudian!


Question - Trium_Shockwave asks - Do you think Koji has a thing for Tai, he sure seems to like hanging around her!

Wheeze - ...how would that work? Isn't she a hologram? That'd be kind of a "hollow" relationship! *rimshot*

Wally Wingert - Is Koji OLD ENOUGH to have a thing for T'AI? ha ha He'd have to wrestle Sideburn for her affections..I think he has a little something for "cutie pie."
Wally Wingert - Oops...he's not supposed to call her that.


Question - ok, Maximal Elder asks - Do you think the Side Burn toy is a pain to transform?

Wally Wingert - The Sideburn toy DID pose certain...uh..challenges, shall we say? I had to have a 20 year old do it for me!


Wally Wingert - If Sideburn met a female autobot..he'd...hey didn't you say there were young'uns on this?

Wheeze - Nice save wally!

Rumble2005 - Remember Wally, No parking means no parking!

Wally Wingert - LOL no parking!


Wally Wingert - A pregnant autobot would look like one of those old Volkswagen bugs.

Guest - Wait if a pregnant autobot looked like an old bug, was Bumblebee pregnant?

Guest - And if so, was Bumblebee in fact hitting on Spike?

Wally Wingert - Oh oh...now I let the secret out about Bumblebee!

Transformers Generation 3 Interview Feb. 2002

Hey Wally. To begin, on behalf of TFGen 3, I would like to say thank you for your time. Everyone is really excited about this and the special thing I will mention later in the interview. It really means a lot to us and more importantly the fans that you are willing to take time out of your schedule to address their questions and comments.

YOU'RE VERY WELCOME, CHRIS.


The first question is of course, what is it like working on Transformers? Of course Transformers are just as popular now if not more so than back in the 80s. What is it like being part of a dynasty such as this? Do you have any favorite parts of the series in either your role or the show itself?

WHEN MY AGENT FIRST ASKED IF I'D LIKE TO AUDITION FOR THE NEW TRANSFORMERS CARTOON, I SAID, WHEN AND WHERE?! I HADN'T BEEN EXPOSED TO MUCH OF THE EARLY TRANSFORMERS, BUT I CERTAINLY KNEW IT WOULD BE AN HONOR TO BE INVOLVED IN A NEW TRANSFORMERS FRANCHISE. I WAS BESIDE MYSELF WHEN I WAS CAST AS SIDEBURN. SOME OF MY FAVORITE PARTS IN THE SERIES USUALLY INVOLVE SKY-BITE. PETER SPELLOS DID SUCH A BANG-UP JOB WITH HIM!


Of course everyone recognizes you as the voice of the young brother Side Burn. But you play another character that's more of a team player. Can you talk a little on what you feel about his role compared to Side Burn?

WHILE IT WAS NICE TO BE A CHARACTER AS CAVALIER AS OLD SIDEY, IT WAS EQUALLY NICE TO BE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO VOICE MIRAGE. ESPECIALLY THE EPISODE CALLED "MIRAGE'S BETRAYAL." THE DIRECTOR STEVE KRAMER, WOULDN'T LET ME KNOW HOW IT ENDED SO MY REACTIONS EARLY ON IN THE EPISODE WERE MORE AUTHENTICALLY SNIPPY. ABOUT 3/4 OF THE WAY THROUGH RECORDING THE EPISODE I BEGAN TO DISCOVER THAT MIRAGE MAY HAVE BEEN PULLING A RUSE. BUT I'M GLAD HE DIDN'T TELL ME THAT EARLY ON, BECAUSE I MAY HAVE BEEN TEMPTED TO PLAY IT SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT.


I'm sure that being a Transformer voice has made you popular, at least in the community. With that, how has been a voice actor for the Transformers affected your life personally?

I GET A LOT OF GREAT E-MAIL FROM THE FANS. I NORMALLY GET SOME MAIL FROM INVADER ZIM FANS, POPEYE FANS, AND FANS FROM SOME OF THE VIDEOGAMES I DO VOICES FOR, BUT THIS IS SUCH A PRECISE PACKAGE! ALL THE TOYS AND PROMOTIONS MAKE IT EXTRA FUN!


As I'm sure you have noticed by now, the fans that make up the community of Transformers are quite vocal with their opinions, concerns, likes and dislikes. That being said, what is your greatest like as well as dislike of the Transformers community?

I LIKE HOW DEVOTED AND COMMITTED THEY ARE TO THEIR OBSESSION. I HAVE A FEW OBSESSIONS OF MY OWN, AND I'M QUITE DEDICATED, SO I APPRECIATE SUCH COMMITMENT. THE ONLY PROBLEM I CAN SEE, IS THAT THEY DON'T REALIZE THE
MINDSET OF THE TV NETWORKS AND WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH. WHILE THEY APPRECIATE EVERYONE WATCHING TRANSFORMERS, THEIR "TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC" IS CHILDREN 6-11. THEY SELL THEIR ADVERTISING TO THE SPONSORS BASED ON THOSE NUMBERS. HASBRO MAY FEEL DIFFERENTLY, BUT FROM THE NETWORK STANDPOINT, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE KIDDIES.


As many know, Robots in Disguise is ending soon, do you have any plans to do any future Transformers series and if not yet, would you if asked?

I WOULD LOVE TO BE INVOLVED IN ANOTHER INCARNATION OF TRANSFORMERS. NO PLANS AS OF YET TO DO ANOTHER TF PROJECT, BUT MY AGENT'S ALWAYS ON THE TRAIL.


When and if you bump into the fellow voice actors who work with you on Transformers: Robots in Disguise, do you ever talk about the show itself, or anything in relation to Transformers? In other words, do you find yourself wondering what's in store for the Transformers in the next series, and whether or not your characters will continue on, even if not voiced by you?

NEIL KAPLAN (OPTIMUS PRIME) AND I RUN INTO EACH OTHER QUITE OFTEN SINCE WE'RE FRIENDS, AND NEIL SEEMS TO BE MORE CURRENT ON THE LATEST TRANSFORMER NEWS THAN I. I HOSTED A PARTY LAST FRIDAY AND JERRY DECAPUA (GAS SKUNK) AND NEIL BOTH SHOWED UP. SO I SEE THEM FROM TIME TO TIME.


Working on Robots in Disguise has to be a fun experience. Do you have any funny set stories you are willing to share?

I WAS HAVING ONE OF THE VO SESSIONS VIDEOTAPED BY A FRIEND OF MINE FOR MY WEBSITE. AS HE WAS HOLDING THE CAMERA RECORDING A SCENE, HE...UH...PASSED SOME GAS. IT WAS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO KEEP FROM LAUGHING AS I DID THE NEXT LOOP. BUT WHEN I READ THAT THE FOLLOWING LINE SIDEBURN WAS SUPPOSED TO SAY WAS, "DID YOU FEEL THAT?" I ABSOLUTELY LOST IT.


You mentioned that you would like to go to Botcon this year in Fort Wayne, IN., but that you had not been invited. Have you been invited yet? And if not, would you still go regardless?

I STILL HAVE NOT BEEN INVITED, BUT I WOULD LOVE TO GO. I PROBABLY WON'T GO UNLESS INVITED, BECAUSE I WOULDN'T WANT THE GUESTS WHO ARE INVITED TO FEEL LIKE I'M TRYING TO STEAL FOCUS. IT'S A COURTESY THING.


Again, Transformers was popular back in the 80s. Did you watch the show then or have any of the toys? Was there a character from the original that you especially liked?

I DIDN'T HAVE A TELEVISION WHEN THE ORIGINAL SERIES WAS ON IN THE 80'S.


Of course you do acting work in other areas. You have done voice acting for Transformers, Invader Zim, and Family Guy. You make guest appearances on Just Shoot me in May, Murphy Brown, and E! True Hollywood Story. There are theatre production by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Grease (a personal favorite), Amadeus, and Jesus Christ Superstar that you have taken roles in. Would you talk a little about the differences in these compared to each other both within the same category and between other areas?

I LOVE THE DIVERSITY EACH VEHICLE OFFERS. STAGE IS WONDERFUL BECAUSE OF THE AUDIENCES, VO IS WONDERFUL BECAUSE OF THE AMOUNT OF WORK THAT'S AVAILABLE, AND A TV SITCOM IS A DREAM. IF I COULD HAVE ANYTHING, I'D
CHOOSE TO WORK ON A SITCOM. IT'S THE PERFECT VEHICLE FOR THE TYPES OF THINGS I WANT TO DO.


I check your website often (www.wallyontheweb.com/) to see what you work on. Recently you put up a little showcase of your house. There are some interesting collections of stuff there. Do you have a favorite piece or set from anything?

MY PRIZE POSESSION IS MY ANDY KAUFMAN COSTUME. IT WAS THE OUTFIT HER WORE ON VIRTUALLY EVERY MAJOR APPEARANCE IN HIS CAREER, FROM HIS ABC SPECIAL, PBS SPECIAL, CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT, HIS FIRST SNL APPEARANCE,ETC. I'VE BEEN AN ANDY FAN SINCE I WAS 16, AND OWE A LOT TO HIM FOR ALL THE INSPIRATION HE GAVE ME.


As an actor, do you have any advice for those trying to get into the business? Is there anything special you should do or just do what comes natural?

THE FIRST BIT OF ADVICE WOULD BE TO MOVE TO A CITY THAT HAS A GOOD ENVIRONMENT FOR ACTING (ie LA, NEW YORK, etc.) IT CAN'T BE DONE LONG DISTANCE. YOU MUST SUBMERGE YOURSELF IN THAT WORLD AND LEARN HOW TO SWIM. IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO DO WHAT COMES NATURAL, BUT THERE'S CERTAIN TRAINING THAT ONE MUST RECEIVE TO LEARN THE INS & OUTS OF THE TECHNOLOGY OF FILM, TV AND VOICE-OVER. I'VE NEVER BEEN ONE FOR TOO MUCH TRAINING, BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT OFTEN TAKES AWAY ONE'S NATURAL EDGE AND ABILITIES AND "SCHOOLS" IT OUT OF THEM.


As part of TFGen 3, we are holding a drawing for an autographed Side Burn form you. I would like to again thank you for signing this for us. Do you have anything to say to the contestants and might be winners of this wonderful piece?

JUST KNOW THAT IT'S SIGNED WITH AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF LOVE TO THOSE WHO WILL APPRECIATE IT THE MOST. I HAVE MANY AUTOGRAPHED ITEMS FROM SOME OF MY FAVORITE PERFORMERS IN MY COLLECTION, SO I'M VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE MINDSET BEHIND WANTING SUCH ITEMS.


It would be wrong of me not to ask but as a friend of TFGen 3 you are entitled to a website jersey if you would wish, on the staff of course. I suggested you get number 4 for the license plate of Side Burn. If you want one, what would you pick on the back?

4 WOULD BE A GOOD CHOICE! VERY CLEVER OF YOU!


Thank you again for your time. You are always welcome at www.tfgen3.com and may stop by whenever you wish. Keep up the good work and we hope to see you around in future projects.

THE PLEASURE WAS ALL MINE,CHRIS. LET'S ROLL!

Tranformer Exchange Interview by Torg

We are proud to present an interview with Wally Wingert. The voice behind Side Burn and Mirage on the hugely popular Robots in Diguise TV Show. Join us in a discussion with Wally about his experience as a voice actor, developing the Side Burn character and working on the RiD TV series.

Recently, Daniel Suh (Suspsy), had a chance to interview Wally Wingert for Transformers Exchange about what one of today's hottest voice and character actors has been up to. Aside from his work with the Robots in Digiuse TV series, Wally is active on many other shows and projects. From doing voice work for FOX's Family Guy and Disney to impersonating Andy Kaufman this is an up and comming actor who we are going to see a lot more of.

Wally Wingert Inverview

TFEX: Please tell us a little about yourself

WW: I was born in Des Moines, Iowa, lived the first 26 years of my life in South Dakota and moved to Los Angels to get into acting and performing. I started as a radio DJ at the age of 6, but I had always had dreams of performing, doing voices and characters since I was little.

TFEX: What made you decide to become an actor?

WW: I've always had the urge to perform. I couldn't be untrue to the way I was created; so pursuing my dreams was a mission. I had to acknowledge the desires and drives that were an inherent part of my personality.

TFEX: What kind of education did you have to pursue in order to become an actor?

WW: The school of hard knocks. Ha ha really, a lot of the stuff I learned, I learned on the way. As a matter of fact I'm still learning everyday. But I never took any special schooling or college. I figured my time was better spent diving into the fray, though that may not be the case for everybody.

TFEX: What advice would you give to any would-be voice actors?

WW: Take a good class, learn how to take direction, get a great tape. Your tape is your calling card in this industry to get attention from agents, producers, directors, etc. And always keep a small cassette recorder in your car so if you come up with a good character, you can commit it to tape to develop it later.

TFEX: Besides RID, what other voice work have you done?

WW: Invader Zim, Family Guy, various Disney projects, Fairly Oddparents, (Complete list on my website at www.wallyontheweb.com)

TFEX: Tell us a little about your character, Side Burn. What's the deal with him and red sports cars?

WW: Our weaknesses make us human and interesting. If you'll notice, some of the greatest characters in film and TV history are driven by power, but sometimes defeated by their weaknesses. Superman wasn't interesting until they developed the Kryptonite scenario...he was too invulnerable! Not many of the other Transformers are fleshed out enough to have both strengths and weaknesses. Of course, red sports cars are a metaphor in transformers for being "girl crazy," which I can totally relate to!

TFEX: Do you think you have any traits or quirks in common with him?

WW: So many I can't list them! Ha ha ha. One difference is, as much as I love the ladies, I would never let my appreciation for them affect my work or my career. There's a time for work, and there's a time for play. But I like the fact that sideburn is a little immature. After all, he's the youngest of the Autobot brothers! Oh yeah, we both say dude a lot. Ha ha

TFEX: What is it like working with the rest of the RID cast?

WW: It's a dream come true! Sometimes when you work with celebrities it's tough to get a handle on them as actors or people, because they're celebrities and everyone's catering to them. But on a show like this, it's like we're a tight ensemble cast, even though most of us never get to see each other. The majority of us are on the upper side of "up & comers" so it's good to know that we're all interested in doing good work, and aren't just coasting based on our names or celebrity status.

TFEX: Are any of you close friends?

WW: Neil Kaplan and I had worked together before, and Transformers had made us better pals. I've had a good portion of the main cast over to my house before. I share the same agent with a lot of the guys, so now when we see each other in the agency waiting room, we chat and give each other the secret "Transformers" cast signal and handshake.

TFEX: Please describe for us a regular voice acting session.

WW: You'll get a script a few days in advance so you can highlight your lines, read the entire story and get a feel for the characters and the things that are going on. It gives you reference for things your character does and says. Then you go into record, shoot the breeze with the cast and crew for about 15 minutes, go into record, have a blast, it's a wrap, then you shoot the breeze with the cast and crew again and then you're off to your next session. Transformers is a little different because, since the animation is already finished, we record separately. But we see each other coming and going so we get a chance to catch up on each other's news then.

TFEX: Did the RiD directors allow you to develop any part of your character?

WW: It was pretty much collaboration between Steve Kramer (the voice director) and myself, though we knew what Jamie Simone (the producer) had in mind as well, so we took that into consideration. One term that Steve came up with for sideburn was "breezy." He liked the way some of the lines would just kind of float out there. He would sometimes say to me, "read that line a little more breezy." I came to really like that term because it aptly described exactly what it should be.

TFEX: Have you ever seen G1 or Beast Wars? If so, what Are your Thoughts/opinions?

WW: I'm still trying to do as much research into those Properties as possible, but haven't had much time. I look forward to seeing more of those in the future with great interest!

TFEX: As things wind up for RiD, is there any talk about doing a follow Up to It?

WW: There's always a lot of talk, particularly about how well the show is doing in the ratings, etc.--and how the producers may want to continue that streak. A lot of it is up in the air right now. But the fans have a lot to do with its future. So keep those cards and letters comin' folks!

TFEX: If it was up to you, what would be your dream Transformers role Come True?

WW: I love Sky-Bite, but Peter does such a great job with him that I couldn't improve upon it. I think of all the characters in RiD, I pretty much got cast as the one who I relate the most to.

TFEX: Each year, hundreds upon hundreds of Transfans From all over the world gather together for Botcon, the (now-official) Transformers convention! Would you be willing to attend Botcon if invited?

WW: I'd be there in a cybertronic flash! I'd warm up the intergalactic space bridge and be there in a second if asked!

Thanks Wally!


Wally speaks with
Trent Troop about Transformers
(from transfandom.com)

Lets get this started. I'm Trent Troop, and I'm interviewing Mr. Wally Wingert, the actor and voice over talent who has been cast as Sideburn and Mirage in the upcoming Transformers: Robots in Disguise series.

Q. Well, to get started, why don't you tell us a bit about yourself?

A. I'm originally from South Dakota where I started as a radio DJ at the age of 16. I moved here in 1987 and began voice acting in 1991. I do a lot of things in the performing world including acting, singing, impersonations, writing, drawing, etc. I hate talking about myself so I'll just refer you to my website at www.wallyontheweb.com to fill in all the areas I didn't cover. Ha ha!

Q. How long have you been an actor and how did you get your start in the entertainment business?

A. I've been doing characters and voices almost since the age of 4 or 5. I've always loved being other people and digging in my mom's make-up kit to become monsters and creatures. When I got into high school, I became familiar with plays and talent shows and began developing my act for those venues. I got into radio as a teenager and started using character voices for my radio show.

Q. When did you first start out in voice over work, and what was your first role? Do you have a favorite role?

A. My first big thing was a short VO part on "Fresh Prince of Bel Air." I have a bunch of favorite roles, but it's not only because of the character I played. I view it as a complete package... the people I worked with, the writing, etc. Super Adventure Team on MTV, Throut and Neck on Game Show Network, Invader Zim... just a few of my favorites.

Q. How did you get the roles of Sideburn and Mirage? Did you answer an open casting call or did the studio already have you in mind for the role?

A. I had done a lot of work with Jamie Simone, the voice director at Saban, in the past on shows like Jason and the Heroes, Dinozaurs, etc. He asked my agent if I could come in to audition for the new Transformers. I read for several roles and won the part of Sideburn. The part of Mirage was just more or less given to me. Jamie knows my abilities and range very well so I guess he's comfortable with just giving me extra roles, which I'm happy to do.

Q. What sort of approach did you take to developing the voices for Sideburn and Mirage? Did the voice director have any expectations for the characters that you were expected to conform to?

A. One of the choices I made for Sideburn was a kind of young Elvis sound. While Jamie liked it, the alternate version I did was ultimately chosen. The voice is basically a young-sounding, slightly cocky hotshot who really likes the girls. (Of course this was QUITE a stretch for me... ha ha ha). Mirage is grittier and deeper. The only expectations were that they had to sound young, and like heroes.

Q. Did you know much about the series, or Transformers in general, going into the project?

A. Actually, the original height of the Transformers craze hit when I was about 23 or 24, so I wasn't really following animation then. But as we watch the new episodes to dub them I'm learning more and more.

Q. Sounds like you have Sideburn down to a T. Were you, or any of the cast, aware going into this that some of the characters in the series were up to 16 years old, and if so, did that add any pressure to the experience?

A. I can't speak for the others, but I knew that the Transformers franchise has been around quite awhile. I wasn't aware that Sideburn (or Speedbreaker) in particular was that old! WOW!

Q. Well, Sideburn's not quite that old, more like a year thanks to his Japanese counterpart, Speedbreaker (sorry for the confusion). Mirage is 16 this year though, as are Ironhide, Prime and a few others from RiD. Speaking of Mirage... Before we started up the interview, you mentioned that you'd just gotten done recording the seventh episode, which heavily features Sideburn. The second episode after that features Mirage heavily. When you went into this, did you realize you'd have one of the most prominent main characters (Sideburn) and one of the more important supporting characters (Mirage) under your belt?

A. No, I really had no idea. I guess that would explain why I'm working so long for Monday's session (July 30th, for reference - Ed.). I probably have a lot of Mirage AND Sideburn loops to do.

Q. I know I'm curious about this. Could you tell us a bit about the average recording session for the series?

A. The actors do their dubbing individually, as opposed to as a group, and each session can run anywhere from a half hour to 2 hours on average. It depends on how many lines (or loops as they're called) the actor has to do.

Q. You've mentioned before that you know Neil Kaplan, Optimus Prime's voice actor. Have you worked with any other members of the cast before?

A. I worked with Neil on "KISS: Immortals" and he's a blast! I know Wankus because we have the same agent. I worked with Sandy Fox at Universal Studios when I was Beetlejuice and she was Betty Boop, Philece Sampler worked on Dinozaurs, Steve Kramer is the voice director for all the sessions, Daniel Riordan is a bud, we used to have the same agent, Peter Lurie is another guy I share agents with, and Peter Spellos is one of the greatest improv geniuses around. Peter played King Tut on the Vicki! show when I played Batman and our good mutual friend is Daran Norris ("Fairly Oddparents"/"Dinozaurs").

Q. According to your web page, you've done a wide variety of voice-over jobs, from animation to video games to puppets. How similar (or different) are these sorts of jobs? How different is it re-dubbing a show compared to voicing for an original release?

A. Usually the original cartoons have you record the dialogue first, and then they animate to your voice. The dubbing is different because you have to fit your lines into the amount of mouth movements (or lip flaps as they're called) you're provided. Sitcom work is great because you're actually on the set with folks like Will Smith, Drew Carey, David Spade, Pamela Anderson, Candace Bergen, etc. CD Rom games require that you give every possible reaction for your character, depending on what happens to them during the course of a game. Anything from death screams, to shouts of joy, to punches, to kicks, etc.

Q. Is dubbing to the lip-flaps a difficult hurdle in the process, and does is it made any easier that some of the characters (like Mirage) lack mouths?

A. It's a LOT easier when they don't have mouths. You just have to get your line into the allotted amount of time the character is on screen, as opposed to making your line fit perfectly into the lip flaps. Luckily Steve, our director, is very astute at keeping a close eye on our synchronization, or sync, as it's called.

Q. I see on your web page that you came to this year's Comicon dressed in full costume. Not only does this show versatility with character acting and makeup but it shows you're not leery of convention goers! What do you think of the sci-fi/fantasy convention experience?

A. Thank you for the kind compliments. I've always loved creative, talented, eccentric people and there's certainly a lot of them at conventions. I absolutely adore the entire experience and revel in it! I can't wait for the SDCC to roll around every year. It's become a bit of an event for me. I like to dress up and express my creativity, and conversely I love to see all the great costumes and characterizations the other fans of the genre have to offer.

Q. Any chance we might see you at an upcoming Botcon (the annual transformers convention)?

A. I would LOVE to go. When is it? Where is it? What time do you want me to be there? ha ha

Q. If you are interested in Botcon, you or your agent should talk to the folks at 3H Enterprises. www.botcon.com. And since you're friends with so many of the other voice actors... any chance you could invite a few of them along? I have to warn you though, this fandom loves to make voice-requests during the panels.

A. I for one love doing that sort of thing, but I can't speak for the other guys. If my agent gets a request to appear we would definitely entertain it with great interest, but I don't want to contact them and "invite" myself. Ha ha ha. And doing voices for people is one of my favorite things to do so I don't mind the requests. (Hear that 3h? - Ed.)

Q. What would you say is the strangest situation from the series that you've voiced thus far and what is the strangest thing one of your characters has said?

A. The strangest thing I ever said was "BLRSEESPPRPRRFFRRRRKKKSDLKRJ!" No, just kidding. Actually, nothing on Transformers compares to some of the strange things I've done on other projects. This is pretty much straightforward action, with some humor thrown in.

Q. What other characters did you read for in the initial auditions?

A. I know I read for Rapid Run, but I can't remember the other ones.

Q. If you could have gotten any other character you read for who would it be?

A. I think I got the one I'm going to end up liking best. Sideburn's so much like me! (But Sky-Byte's really cool too!)

Q. Overall, what do you enjoy most about the line of work you're in?

A. The fame, the chicks, the money. No, really, doing crazy voices is something I've been doing ever since I was a little kid. Only instead of my folks yelling at me to keep it down, now people are throwing money at me to keep it up! ha ha

Q. Do you ever watch completed episodes of series that you're in?

A. All the time. I tape everything I can and critique it. That's a good way for me to learn how to improve for future projects. I'm addicted to Family Guy and Invader Zim anyway, just because they're terrific projects. I'll probably be addicted to T:RID as well.

By the way, I just realized how many blue characters I've done voices for... Throut, Flik, Psycho Ranger, Buck Murdock (blue costume), Sideburn, very weird! Blue must be my lucky color!

Q. Well, that's about all I've got. Before we go, do you have anything else you'd like to say to the Transformers fanbase?

A. You're gonna love this series! It's got action, but yet enough humor to keep things fresh and moving!

Wally chats with Matrix Prime about Transformers
(from tfrollout.com "Transform and Rollout)

Wally voices Side Burn and Mirage in Robots In Disguise.


Question1: Wally, can you first tell us a little about yourself? Where you grew up, how you got into this business, what your first voice acting job was etc.
Wally: I GREW UP IN SOUTH DAKOTA, MOVED TO LA IN 1987 (A LOT OF OTHER INFO CAN BE FOUND ON MY WEBSITE AT WWW.WALLYONTHEWEB.COM). I STARTED AS A RADIO DJ AT THE AGE OF 16, AND STARTED DOING A LOT OF VOICES FOR MY RADIO SHOWS. I HAD ALWAYS PERFORMED AROUND THE HOUSE AS DIFFERENT CHARACTERS, WITH MAKE-UP AND COSTUMES (WITH A PARTICULAR AFFINITY FOR MONSTERS AND GHOULS), SO VOICE ACTING WAS A NATURAL. MY FIRST BIG JOB WAS AS A LOTTO ANNOUNCER ON 'FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR'.


Question 2: What other voice over jobs have you had?
Wally: THE VOICES OF CUBBY AND FLIK FOR DISNEY, NICKELODEON CARTOONS, SERIES ON MTV, GAMESHOW NETWORK, LOTS OF STUFF IN FILMS. AGAIN, MY WEBSITE HAS MORE COMPLETE INFO.


Question 3: How did you get the role of Side Burn in Robots In Disguise? Did you read for any other roles?
Wally: I HAD DONE A LOT OF WORK FOR JAMIE SIMONE AT SABAN (KIDS OF ROOM 402, SINGING PROJECTS, JASON AND THE HEROES OF MT. OLYMPUS, DINOZAURS, ETC.) AND HE RECOMMENDED THAT I COME AND READ FOR ROLES ON THE NEW TRANSFORMERS. I READ FOR RAPID RUN, SIDEBURN AND SKYBYTE. I LOVED SKY-BYTE, BUT PETER SPELLOS IS SO PERFECT FOR IT, I CAN'T BE SAID I DIDN'T GET IT. PLUS, SIDEBURN IS SOOOOO COOL.


Question 4: How do you approach your role as Side Burn? How did you come up with his voice?

Wally: ONE OF THE VERSION OF SIDEBURN I AUDITIONED WITH WAS A YOUNG ELVIS VOICE. BUT THEY SAID THAT ONE OF THE OTHER CHARACTERS WAS GOING TO BE SOUTHERN SOUNDING, SO I JUST DID A STRAIGHT-AHEAD, HORMONE-DRIVEN YOUTHFUL, FUN-LOVING GUY. (DID I GET ENOUGH HYPHENATES IN HERE?) HE'S PROBABLY MORE LIKE ME THAN ANY OTHER CHARACTER I'VE DONE.


Question 5: The early episodes, from what I have seen so far, feature alot of your character Side Burn. In fact, there is an upcoming episode with his name in the title. Does Side Burn play an important role in later episode of Robots In Disguise?
Wally: YES...BEING ONE OF THE AUTOBOT BROTHERS, HE ALWAYS SEEMS TO HAVE A LOT TO DO. WHEN HE'S NOT IN AN EPISODE, CHANCES ARE MY OTHER CHARACTER MIRAGE WILL BE FEATURED.


Question 6: : Now that Robots In Disguise has aired on T.V., the initial reactions from fans have hit the Internet. Overall, people seem to like it. How do you feel about the final product? Was it better/worse that what you expected?
Wally: I WAS NEVER REALLY A FAN OF THE ORIGINAL SERIES, AND DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT IT. I KIND OF LEARNED ALONG THE WAY. BUT NOW THAT I'VE SEEN THE SHOW FULLY MIXED AND PRODUCED, I MUST SAY IT'S VERY ENJOYABLE TO WATCH! AND THE TOYS ARE AWESOME!


Question 7: Before being cast for this role, were you aware of Transformers and the many thousands of fans out there?

Wally: I KNEW TRANSFORMERS HAD A HUGE FANBASE WHEN IT WAS ACTIVELY BEING SHOWN ON THE AIR, BUT I HAD NO IDEA THE NUMBER OF FANS THAT CONTINUED TO BE INTERESTED IN THE SHOW WITH NO CURRENT SERIES. IT'S REALLY AMAZING!


Question 8: Do you visit any Transformer websites on the Internet? If so, are you surprised that there are so many of them?
Wally: I LOVE THE INTERNET AND THINK THE FANSITES ARE GREAT. I ALSO VISIT THE INVADER ZIM SITES (THE NICKELODEON SHOW THAT I'M ON) AND DROP IN AND LEAVE MESSAGES ON THE MESSAGE BOARDS FROM TIME TO TIME. I DROPPED INTO ONE OF THE TRANSFORMER CHAT SITES RECENTLY AND JUST FOUND A LOT OF FOUL LANGUAGE AND BITTERNESS, SO I DIDN'T STAY AROUND LONG.


Question 9: I got one last question. Have you seen the Side Burn toy? If so, how does it feel to have a toy modeled after your character?
Wally: I HAVE SEVERAL OF THEM. I BUY THEM WHENEVER I FIND THEM IN THE STORES (WHICH IS VERY RARE SINCE I THINK THE CAR IS A VERY POPULAR TOY) TO GIVE AWAY AS PROMO ITEMS AND GIFTS. I'VE HAD SEVERAL TOYS COME OUT OF DIFFERENT CHARACTERS I'VE DONE, AND IT'S GREAT TO COLLECT AS MANY AS I CAN. I LOVE TO COLLECT TOYS ANYWAY (VISIT THE 'INSIDE THE CHANEY ROOM' PAGE ON MY WEBSITE) SO THIS IS A NATURAL HOBBY FOR ME.


Wally talks about Transformerts with Richard "Wheezebucket" Toler
(from wheezebucket.com)

I would like to thank Wally for taking the time to allow me to conduct this e-mail interview. I, along with many of the fans out there, wish you the best in your role as Side Burn and Mirage.

1) How long have you been in voice acting?
Does being a fetus count? Ha ha. I started as a radio DJ when I was 16, and I've been doing character voices for my radio show since then. I've been doing it out here in Hollywood since about 1990 when I got my first job (as a lottery announcer) on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

2) What inspired you to enter the business?
The need for acceptance and admiration. Ha ha. I've always loved doing wacky voices and making noises and dressing up as characters. I've been that way since I was a little kid. I've also always loved cartoons and do a lot of cartooning myself, but don't have the patience for animation.

4) When voicing a new character, are you ever required to partake in extensive research for the role?
Yes, but usually by the time I'm done with my research somebody else has gotten the role. Ha ha. Seriously though, it would depend. Sometimes I'm called to audition as a "sound-alike," where you need to replicate a pre-existing character (I've done Flik for Disney, Popeye, Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley from Kiss, etc.) so you have to research the voice you're doing to be able to come as close as possible. Characters that require an original voice are different. Sometimes I'll use a voice I've already developed and is just looking for the perfect character, other times I'll look at the drawing of the character and craft the voice from ground up.

5) What type of characters do you prefer playing?
Villains...Loooooove the villains! And the crazy eccentrics. And little lost three legged puppies with gastrointestinal problems.

6) Is there anything you particularly like about the voice acting profession?
The money, the fame, the chicks, and the interviews with cool websites like yours! Seriously though, I love everything about it. The fact that I can do something I so completely adore and make a living makes me feel extremely blessed!

7) You've recently been cast as Sideburn in the new Transformers cartoon "Robots in Disquise".
I have? Cool! Now I can buy that new car I've been eyeing!! Ha ha.

7a) How does it feel to be part of a cartoon that's been around for so long?
I'm happy to be a part of the long lineage of the Transformers family. I was originally cast as Sideburn, and then when sessions started I also was given the role of Mirage. The fact that I've been given two major characters on a show as popular as Transformers gives me chills. This is really what it's all about. That and meeting the fans!

8) What are some of the differences between doing a voice on a cartoon and a voice in a a videogame?
About $100 a session. Really, a cartoon will have a script that's pretty much engraved in stone. A videogame has action that features a lot of different paths of action. So you have to voice every conceivable action your character would encounter...Getting hit, getting killed, celebrating, fighting, etc. It's very time consuming.

9) Can you give us an example of what a typical work day is like in voice acting?
Well, I'm the voice of the Pax-TV network. Which means I begin my day at the Los Angeles Pax Studios doing promos for shows like "Touched by an Angel," "It's a Miracle," "Diagnosis Murder," etc. etc. That will take two hours. Then I'll go to my agent's office because he usually has some copy for commericals, promos and animation projects he wants me to audition for. He'll record me in the studio there and it will be sent out to the producers. Then I'll go do a few more auditions at other studios. Then I'll go do a two hour Transformers session. By then the day is pretty much gone.

10) Is there anyone specific you'd like to work with in the future?
I recently got to work with Jess Harnell, which was a dream come true (Jess is directly responsible for helping boost by career a few years back). I would love to work with Billy West, Melvin Finordnerski and Jim Cummings. Even though we've auditioned together, we've never worked together.

11) What are some of your favorite cartoons personally?
Spaaaaaace Ghost, Wally Gator (of course) Popeye, The Impossibles and Frankenstein Jr., Groovie Goolies, The archies, Beavis & Butt-head, Batman. I grew up on 60'S Hanna-Barbera TV stuff and to this day it makes me nostalgic to see that stuff on boomerang!

12) Are there any tips you have for those attempting to break into the business of voice acting?
Start by getting a good coach and taking some classes. There's so much more to know than anyone could believe. There's a whole political system amongst the casting directors and you have to know how to play it exactly right. You have to know what your demo should sound like, how you craft characters, the different types of voice-overs (narration ie E! True Hollywood Storied, promo ie Pax TV promos, animation ie Invader Zim, Spongebob etc., commercial ie Microsoft, McDonald's, etc., looping ie dubbing voices for films and TV, and so much more!) It's a very large world, but only a small group of people can actually do it well!

Thank you again for your time.
Thank you, and keep up the good work!

INVADER ZIM INTERVIEWS

Wally talks to DIGIT.DAIRYLAND.COM

Me: Since I utterly worship the man, what is it like working with Richard Horvitz (voice of Zim)?

Wally: Richard is a dear friend and I enjoy working with him immensely. We've worked on several projects together including Popeye; the internet cartoons (he was Sea Hag, I was Popeye and Wimpy) also Angry Beavers when I did a few guest shots on the show, and now Zim. He makes me laugh until I wet myself!!

Me: How did you first find out that you were being casted as Red for the show?

Wally: I auditioned for a bunch of different characters on Zim, but found out late in the game that I was cast as one of the Tallest. I didn't know what they were talking about. So I got the script for the pilot and realized that it was the RULER OF THE PLANET! I was SO jazzed. I just wish they were in more episodes!

Me: Does everyone usually get together all at once to record, or does it vary on times and schedules and whatnot?

Wally: We do an ensemble read (a group recording session) for the most part, but since Kevin (Purple Taller) and I have very little to do usually, it's routinely just Kevin, Richard and I. Then Andy (Dib) and Melissa (Gaz) come in later to do their stuff. It depends on what's going on in the script.

Me: Who is the weirdest character you've had to "play" (per se)?

Wally: The weirdest character I've had to play?? Well, my threshold for weird is pretty high, so I would say I haven't quite hit that one yet. ha ha ha

Me: Okay, last one...overall, what are the other artists on Invader Zim like?

Wally: The entire Zim crew is amazing. Jhonen (creator of Zim) is really something; a true talent. Kevin McDonald (Purple Taller) is outrageously funny and gifted, Andy Berman (Dib) is a swell guy with lots of talent, and all in all Zim is one GREAT experience.

Wally talks to Katie from The Planet of Broken Glass

I was lucky enough to pester Wally Wingert, the voice of Tallest Red, enough to let me ask him some questions! Thanks very much to Wally!

Is voice-acting fun? Is it hard?
Voice acting is a blast!! Especially with the likes of Kevin [the voice of Tallest Purple], and Richard [the voice of Zim]! Jhonen's great, too! He's doing a panel at the San Diego Comic Con Friday afternoon, and Richard and I are going to try to go!


Do the Tallest make big appearances in future episodes? How often?

The Tallest return from time to time when Zim calls back to contact his home planet. They show up about every 3 episodes or so.


What are some coming episodes? Do they look good?

Don't know yet because the animation isn't finished, but the scripts are hysterical!!


Do you record together with the voice actor for Tallest Purple or any of the other cast?

I've heard recording together is unusual.
Because the timing between the Tallest and Zim (and sometimes Dib), is so critical, usually Richard, Kevin and I record together, and sometimes Andy [the voice of Dib.] It's always a total blast!!


Who's the silliest person at the studio when recording?

By far it's Richard Horvitz! He makes me laugh until I cry! We've worked on several other shows together. . . Popeye, the internet cartoons, Angry Beavers, and now Zim.


Were there any scenes edited out of some episodes that included the Tallest? If yes, what were thy like, and were they funny?

Nothing of the Tallest has been edited out. Usually all the cuts have been made before they send it to the animators, because they don't want to animate a lot of stuff that's not going to end up being used.


How old do you think the Tallest are?

I'd say they're about 32. . . But they act like they're 12.
Zim? Probably about 17.


How did you get the job as Tallest Red? (Hear about it and inquired, producers asked you, etc.)
My agent submitted me for it, and I had worked with the casting director, Donna Grillo, on other projects. I head read for it several times. I think they originally had me in mind for another character, but they guy who was originally cast as Red moved away, so they cast me as Red.


Do you change your voice at all to be Red, or is it fairly similar to your usualy voice?
Red is closer to my own voice than any other cartoon or character voice that I do, which makes it even more fun at the sessions because I don't have to wear out my voice trying to be wacky.


Are you anything like Red or the other Zim characters in real life?

I think we're all a little like Zim in our own way, and we're all a little like Gir in our own way. Not sure I'd really wanna be like Red or Purple, though.


Has anyone ever made a weird mistake when voice acting?

Yes, the funniest was when Kevin had to munch a muffin to get eating sounds (the Tallest love to eat food!), and he had it wrapped in a napkin. He was so into the scene that as he was taking bites from the muffin, he was biting off bits of napkin too, but didn't know it! He must have eaten almost the whole napkin before he realized what he was doing. I was holding my sides to try and keep from laughing and ruining the take!

Wally talks with Scott Daniells of CnCWorld about Renegade

Did you enjoy being the voice of Havoc inRenegade?
It was most enjoyable. The guys from Westwood are great and so easy to work with...we ended uphaving so much fun and laughing a lot of the time!

How did working on Renegade compare to any other projects you have been part of?
Some of the other project I've worked on involve working with the other actors. Strangely enough, I've never met any of the other actors who worked on Renegade. ha ha Can you believe it??

What will you remember most about working on Renegade and why?
How easygoing the recording sessions were. Like I said, the guys from Westwood are all really great and SOOOOOO easy to work with.

If you could have changed one thing about the Renegade storyline, what would it have been?
Whoaaaa! That's not my department. ha ha I think it was pretty well written already! Why fix what ain't broken?

Are you working on anything at the moment?
I'm the voice of the Pax TV network, so I'm always recording promos for them. I'm the voice of Flik in Disney's California Adventure on the new Flik's Flyers ride and the new "Ugly Bug Ball" show. I narrate "Cinema Secrets" on AMC, an occasional "E! True Hollywood Story," and I'm on a new ABC Family cartoon called "Tokyo Pig." I also do "Invader Zim" on
Nickelodeon as the Almighty Tallest.

If you could be any character in Renegade apart from Havoc who would it be and why?
As Havoc would say, "There AIN'T any other characters but me!"

Any comments for the C&C fans?
Enjoy the game and petition Westwood for another installment. This is a character I'd love to continue doing for a long time!

MONKEY ISLAND INTERVIEWS

Wally Wingert BSBC Interview

Wally Wingert is one of the great voices in some LucasArts Games such as Star Wars Star Fighters 1 and 2 (as Reti) and Escape from Monkey Island (as Herman Toothrot). He is also featured (as Jervis Glum and Bendix Fust) in the upcoming LucasArts game 'Bounty Hunter'. Wally is also voiced in games such as 'Command & Conquer: Renegade' (as Captain Nick 'Havoc' Parker), Maximo (as Maximo) and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. Wally was seen on TV in shows like Saved by the Bell: The New Class (episode # 4.3) and Just Shoot Me (episode # 6.22).

..::INTRODUCTION QUESTIONS::..

1. In your interview with lechuck.escapemi.com you had three kids who lived with their mom and step-dad in South Dakota.You were single and absolutely adored women! Has anything changed since then?
Nope...still a swingin' bachelor and lovin' every minute of it! ha ha

2. What's happening in your Voice-Acting life at the moment?
I'm doing more commercials now. I'm the voice of the Suzuki Aerio campaign on TV, the voice of the TV and Radio campains for Disney's California Adventure, and I'll have 6 Nike radio spots running soon. I just switched to a new agent so I'm expecting that things will get even busier soon! In the gaming front I just got hired to do some voices on Evil Dead 2, and just completed voice tracks for the new Hot Wheels game. All the while I'm still narrating the weekly show "Cinema Secrets" on AMC.

3. Similarly, what's happening in your Camera-Acting life at the moment?
It's slow now because most everybody's on hiatus. I'm providing the classic TV Batman, Robin and Riddler costumes to a CBS movie of the week called "Return To The Batcave," so ya never know. Perhaps they may decide to throw me in front of the camera too!

4. Who is your favourite Voice / Camera Actor (one from each) and why?
I've got a lot of favorites, it's so hard to choose! But mostly I love Richard Horvitz' work on Angry Beavers and Invader Zim. He's got that classic cartoon voice that's unmistakably him and NO ONE can imitate him! I'm a big fan of the work that the late Daws Butler and the late Don Messick did with Hanna-Barbera. Stating my favorite on-camera actors is considerably tougher, because I don't consider most of what I'm seeing nowadays to be acting. It's mostly just movie stars playing themselves, not really crafting completely different characters from movie to movie. I love the work of Dustin Hoffman (his early work), Lon Chaney Sr., and Billy Bob Thornton because I feel they always offered a different character from film to film.


..::MONKEY ISLAND::..

5. You mentioned in previous interviews that you and Dustin Diamond* are good friends, and you also mentioned that he is a Monkey Island Fan, was it he who encouraged you to go to the auditions for EMI?
No, not at all. I didn't find out he was a fan until he said he saw my name in the credits of the game and played some of my stuff over the phone for me. It was actually my agent that got me the audition.

6. Why did you audition for the part of Herman Toothrot? Did you audition for any other parts?
I don't really recall, since it was so long ago, but my agent is pretty good about having me audition for a lot of different characters in most every project. I guess that's the character that Daragh O'Farrell thought I fit best.

7. LucasArts gave you a copy of Escape from Monkey Island, did you ever play it and if so, what did you think?
They gave me a copy, but I never got a chance to play it. I'm not much of a gamer. I'm usually so busy that I don't have a lot of leisure time to sit around and play computer games. I sure wish I did though! ha ha

8. Out of the Voice Actors you met while doing Escape from Monkey Island who was the best to work with and why?
I don't think I met any of the other actors. The way LucasArts sets up their sessions, every actor pretty much does their own lines on their own.

9. LucasArts have said that MI5 will be made in the future sometime. Have you got a contract for MI5 and if not do you think you will be asked back to play HT Marley? If you had to audition or the part again, would you?
Well, I doubt that Darragh would make me audition for my own character again, ha ha ha. (Right, Darragh? Right?) But I would LOVE the chance to do more Herman! It was a blast! Plus, pretty much anything Darragh says to do, I do with no argument and lots of enthusiasm. (Right Darragh, right?) ha ha. As of this point I haven't been contacted about coming back for the next one.

10. If you could choose one other character from EMI to play, who would it be and why?
That's tough because I felt (from what I heard anyway) that everyone fit their parts very well! I don't know how I could have improved any of it.

11. What is the most memorable event you can remember from working on EMI?
Getting in touch with a whole bunch of fans who wouldn't ordinarily have contacted me.


..::NON-MONKEY ISLAND::..

12. You have done a lot of Star Wars games, including work on Starfighter (2001), Jedi Starfighter (2002) and the upcoming PS2 / Gamecube title, Bounty Hunter, do you like StarWars and are you a fan of the games or films?
I've loved the films since I first saw the original back in 1977. I've always been a Star Wars fan, so it was a special treat to get to work on so many of the games!

13. Sadly I am not a Star Wars fan so I don't know a lot about the games, could you give us a brief description of the work you do in Bounty Hunter?
I play a couple of different characters, mostly all seedy, slimy bad-guys (my favorites!!!).

14. Darragh O'Farrell asked if I would record phone messages for some of the LucasArts staff members' voice-mail in the voices of B&B. We laughed ourselves silly coming up with messages, in particular one for George Lucas himself" - What, do you remember, were these messages?
As I recall it was like this (remember, this was waaay before Episode 1)
Butthead: Hey Beavis, I heard that George Lucas dude is gonna make another Star Wars movie.
Beavis: Yeah, cool! Maybe we could be in it!
Butthead: Cool! I could play that Dark Fader dude.(breathing heavily) Luke, feel the force.
Beavis: ha ha...you said feel!

15. What is the game Barbarian, which is to be released soon so your website says, about?
Not really sure. I just know that I had to speak all sorts of gibberish language which was really fun. When I got my lines I sat in the lobby of the recording studio with a pencil, and wrote down what each phonetic pronunciation would be. Though the words written down were gibberish words, I put accents and divisions in them that you wouldn't have ordinarily thought would be there, being an english speaking person. I tried to, on the spot, immediately unlearn everything I had learned about speaking and reading the english language, and place such strange inflections on each word that it would have NO WAY sounded english.

16. Who's the one person you are glad you met in your career and why? Who's the most famous / important?
I'm glad I met Adam West**. He's my all-time favorite celebrity and we've been friends for over 20 years. I'm also glad I met Roy Orbison and Weird Al. I came close to meeting Andy Kaufman, but it didn't work out. I'd like to someday meet Paul McCartney.


..::USELESS QUESTIONS::..

17. If you were in Herman Toothrot's shoes and were stuck on a desert island for 20 years, who or what is the one thing you would bring with you for that time?
Pamela Anderson! ("I walked right into that one ;)" - mymipage)

18. What is your favourite colour / video game / cartoon / film / song?
Blue, an old videogame named Hogan's Alley, Wally Gator, Wizard of Oz, Live Every Moment by REO Speedwagon.

19. How much wood could a Woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could wood?
About a peck and a half.

20. If you had to completely retire in the morning and had to give a retirement speech, who would you thank most and why?
God and his Kid. They've been a mom, dad, personal manager, psychiatrist, nanny, best friend and agent all rolled up into one!

Wally talks about Monkey Island 2
(from lechuck.escapemi.com)

Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Wally: I grew up in the midwest and moved to LA in 1987 to pursue acting and performing. I have three kids who live with their mom and step-dad in South Dakota. I now make my living from acting, voice-over, singing and performing. I'm single and absolutely adore women! (Anything else you want to know you can get from my bio on my website)

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I'm working on "Invader Zim" which will premiere 3/30/01 on Nickelodeon and I'm the voice of the Pax TV network. I'm working with my manager on embellishing my on-camera career and am in pre-production on my new VO demos.

How did you end up doing voice-over acting?

I started in radio at the age of 16, and since I've always doing wacky voices, graduating into voice-over was a natural thing. I had a friend who knew an agent, and in 1991 gave her my tape, she liked it and I signed on with her.

Which do you prefer - on-camera acting, or voice-over - and why?

On-Camera and Voice-Over are two different animals. You have to convey a character with only cadence, pitch, and musicality in voice-over. You can't rely on the physical. Voice-over people are some of the best actors I know, because they don't need the physical to bring a character to life. I love both equally, but since I'm really into make-up, on-camera is a lot of fun!

Which was the first 'talkie' game that you were involved on? How challenging did you find it to provide voices for a computer game and were you pleased with the end result?

The first game I recall doing was the Lost World game for Playstation. Since I'm not much of a gamer I never saw the end result.But I bought a copy for my son and he seemed to like it. It was fun doing both human voices and dinosaur sounds. The thing about doing games such as Monkey Island, Lost World, Heretic 2, is that you have to record every possible expression the character will go through.

How did you get the part as Herman Toothrot in Escape From Monkey Island (EFMI)?

I auditioned for the role of Herman like everybody else. Darragh O'Farrell, the LucasArts voice director said the thing they really liked about my Herman was his laugh. Herman was interesting because he had several different levels of amnesia. Sometimes he was just completely gone, other times he'd go in and out, and then there's the completely "normal" Herman.

Did everything going according to schedule, or did you find yourself being called be for edits, etc.?

In any voice-over situation, the voices are recorded first with the aid of a storyboard. Once the voices are assembled in the order they need to be, the animation starts. Sometimes the animators get ideas as they're creating that they couldn't forsee in the voice sessions. So the actors will be called back months later for "pick-ups", so they can record the new direction. Pick-up sessions are fairly common.

What does the average day in the voice studios for EFMI consist of?

My average day during recording consisted...

...The other actor finishing his sesssion

...The previous actor and I bs'ing for a little while

...Bs'ing with the cool guys from LucasArts

...Me hitting the guys at LucasArts up for Star Wars secrets

...We record for a few hours

...Me hitting the LucasArts guys up again for Star Wars secrets

...signing my union paperwork and bidding everyone adieu.

Herman Toothrot was one of several characters from the first two Monkey Island games who had not yet been 'voiced' but made an appearance in EFMI. Have you found this more challenging to act, seeing as a lot of people already have a voice for that character in their minds?

I hadn't really thought of the fact that Herman had been seen and not heard. I just gave him the voice I heard in my head when I looked at the model sheet.

Did you get a chance to meet any of the other voice-over actors, or were you just recording on your own?

I would run into the other actors as we would come and go to the sessions, but we never recorded together, or ensemble style.

What chance is there for ad-libs to be put into the game? Or are you working to a strict schedule?

Ad-libs for the most part are ok in standard animation, but because a game is so precise, sometimes they're not usable in that situation.

Was there a particular line from the dialogue that stuck with you as a favourite?

Since dialogue is recorded so far in advance of the actual release of the game (the animation takes a long time) it's difficult for me to remember any particular dialogue bites that stand out. The entire experience is so enjoyable as a whole that one standout thing is rare.

Were there any funny mistakes or stories from the recordings?

When I was recording the voice of Jason for another LucasArts game, I was heavily into Beavis and Butt-Head at the time. Darragh O'Farrell asked if I would record phone messages for some of the LucasArts staff members' voice-mail in the voices of B&B. We laughed ourselves silly coming up with messages, in particular one for George Lucas himself. I'm not sure if he ever heard it, but it was hysterical!

What were the hardest things about the job? And what were the best?

The most difficult thing about the job is voice strain. After a few hours of doing a raspy voice like Herman's (or Reti for the upcoming Starfighter game) I need to go home and shut up for the rest of the night so I can do my sessions for the next day. But I truly love it! The best thing about the job are the LucasArts people really rock! Darragh and Haden are feasibly guys that I would want to hang out with!

Are you a fan of the Monkey Island games outside of work?

As I said earlier, I'm not much of a gamer, so I wasn't aware of Monkey Island before my involvement.

Have you had a chance to play EFMI? If so, what did you think of it?

I have EFMI installed in my new computer, but haven't played it yet. (LucasArts was kind enough to send one to all the actors) I'm waiting for coaching from my good friend Dustin Diamond (Screech from "Saved By The Bell") who has been a Monkey Island fan from the very beginning of the games. He's been through the entire game and loved it! He would get to Herman's parts and call me up and leave the sound bites on my answering machine.

You've done a fair amount of work voicing over E! channel profile programs (True Hollywood and Celebrity Profiles). Are the topics people you're genuinely interested in?

As far as the E! True Hollywood Stories/Celebrity Profiles go, I've been extremely lucky to be chosen to do narrations for subjects I really care about. I've been an Andy Kaufman fan since the age of 16, and performed his foreign man character since then as well. When the E! True Hollywood Story came up, I was initially cast to play Andy and Tony Clifton in the recreations. Then I auditioned to narrate it and was cast to do that as well! It was a dream come true. I've also known Adam West for 20 years and have always been a huge fan. So getting to narrate was another dream come true. I'm also an acquaintance of Wally George's, and I was lucky enough to do his ETHS too. Of all the stuff I do, the E! stuff is the work I get the most reaction to.

Of the advertisements you've voiced over, which was the worst experience (if there was one) and which was the best?

I hear all kinds of horror stories about actors doing vo for commercials, and being asked by the producers to do a million takes. I've been really blessed so far, because I have no personal horror stories in relation to the commercial work I've done. It's all been really pleasant. The thing that makes commercials different, is that you're usally doing it in a studio with just an engineer. For the majority of the commercial sessions I've done, the ad agency people are on a phone line listening in from Chicago, San Francisco or one of the other major cities that are home to the big ad agencies. So I never really get to meet them in person. I think my favorite commercial work is the storyteller from the upcoming VanKampen Investment spots. I got a really good feeling about the spots when we were recording, and I wasn't even seeing the picture that went along with it. I think they're going to be great spots when they hit the air.

Do you know if you'll be doing any more LucasArts voice-over in the future?

I would love to continue doing more stuff for LucasArts! I'm sure there will be some more pick-up sessions for the upcoming "Starfighter" game. I play Reti, a guy of the same species as Watto from Episode I.

What projects do you have lined up? Are you working on anything at the moment?

My current projects include semi-regular work as a utility player on Family Guy for Fox (which will be returning to the air in the spring) also the Invader Zim series, I've been doing a few episodes for a new Fox Family animated series called "Jason and The Heroes of Mount Olympus," in addition to my work on Pax TV and constantly auditioning for commercials, TV, movies, promos and animtion, my weeks stay pretty full!

I have to ask - who did you voice-over on Family Guy?

I play a myriad of different characters on Family Guy. I've been Dr. Kaplan (the dog's psychiatrist), The Pawtucket Patriot, Bert from Sesame Street, The Grinch, and a wide array of incidental characters. For the season closer, I get to play the voice of Peter Criss from Kiss, and I even got to sing! That makes 3 of the 4 Kiss members that I've provided voices for in various projects! As a Kiss fan, that's a hoot!

Do you like most of the stuff you do work on (King of the Hill, for example), or is it simply 'another job'?

I've always been a huge fan of cartoons since I was a kid, so getting to do animation work now is an extreme high. King of the Hill, Angry Beavers, Flik for Disney, Family Guy, etc...all the stuff really sends me! It's a big thrill for me to see my voice coming out of an animated character. I don't think that thrill will ever get old!

I heard you were voicing Monkeybone in the movie called - erm - Monkeybone. Can you tell us what the movie's all about?

I'm not doing the voice for Monkeybone in the upcoming film, that was played by a very famous actor who wishes to remain anonymous. But they needed a voice-match for that actor for the peripheral Monkeybone projects that he was too busy for, like the website. That's where I came in. Though I have seen all the Monkeybone scenes in the upcoming film (so I could study the voice more intensely) I'm not at liberty to describe any of the content. Rest assured it's very entertaining and wild, and Rose McGowan looks tremendous! GRRRRR!

What's been your most memorable job so far?

I've had a lot of terrific experiences in voice-over, meeting my idols Paul Stanley and Tim Curry, working beside some of the great vo actors in history, but the most memorable was the session for the Andy Kaufman E! True Hollywood Story. It was extremely emotional for me since I've been a fan for over 20 years. Andy and I used to correspond somewhat back in the late 70's. I was imitating him before anyone else and I think he was amused by that. I have a great hand-written letter and autographed picture he sent me. His girlfriend Lynne Margulies told me that Andy mentined me to her. So when the time came in the session to read the part about his cancer diagnosis I got emotional and couldn't continue. The producers understood and gave me a little break to collect my thoughts. That was an amazing night. On the other end of the spectrum, I recently did an announcer voice on the episode of "Just Shoot Me" that Pamela Anderson appeared on. I was on the set that day, and let me tell you, watching her work was no difficult task! I also enjoyed working with the casts of Drew Carey (Drew's a monumentally great guy) and Murphy Brown!

Finally, If you could have had any role in existence, which one would you want and why?

If I could have any role in existence it would probably be to play Andy Kaufman or Jesus Christ. I've played both before in various circumstances, but I'd like to play them on a bigger scale. I don't feel that either subject has been accurately portrayed in prior projects and I'd like a shot. Of course, there's always that rockstar lifestyle I've dreamed so much about. Ha ha ha.

Thanks very much to Wally Wingert for letting this interview take place!

INTERVIEW FROM "TheLegendOfMonkeyIsland.com May 2004

Wally Wingert is certainly what you could call a multi-talent. He is not only the voice-artist who is responsible for the voice of Escape From Monkey Island's Herman Toothrot, but he is also an actor, a singer, a performer and an all-around cool guy. Four years after Escape From Monkey Island has been released Wally Wingert had quite some problems remembering the time he worked for LucasArts. He did it though...but just read for yourselves and find out what he had to say - an interview by Junior.

Please tell us a little about yourself and in what way you are connected to Monkey Island.

I'm an actor/singer/performer/voice-over artist, and I gave Herman Toothrot his voice in "Monkey Island" which, incidentally, was a whole lot of fun!

Many people know you as the man of 999 faces. You got that reputation because you like to dress up as a certain character for special events. My favourite is how you were called by Rose McGowan to perform as Austin Powers at Marilyn Manson's 30th birthday at his house in the Hollywood Hills. Please tell us a little bit about this evening and which character was your personal favourite?

I was called by my look-alike agent, back when I was doing look-alike work, to do a birthday party for a mysterious rockstar. All the agent told me was that his girlfriend Rose set the whole thing up. Of course I put 2 and 2 together and realized it was probably Manson. It was a pretty low-key party all in all. Nothing like what I expected of Marilyn Manson. Everybody was nice and polite, and we had a great time.

My favorite live-action character to portray is my original character Uncle Davver, a creepy, un-living character I created for a TV pilot I recently produced. He has elements of several of my other characters all rolled into one. He's quite fun to do.

You're not only a voice-actor but an on-camera actor as well. Which job do you like better and why?

It's difficult to like one better than the other because they're so different. On-camera give you freedoms that voice-over doesn't (and vice versa) and there are certain benefits to both, but both are uniquely different.

Since there aren't many people familiar with the profession of voice-acting would you please describe what an ordinary day at work looks like for you?

Usually, I'll start the day with a few auditions around town. There are various casting companies in Hollywood that specialize in voice-over casting and that's where a lot of the auditions are held. Then I'll head over to a recording studio to record voice-tracks for a quick TV or radio commercial, then I have a little time to grab some lunch, before I'm due at another studio to record some voice tracks for a cartoon. Then I finish the day by recording some tracks for a narration of a TV program. After all that I'll come home and check my e-mail to see if my agent has e-mailed me anymore scripts for auditions that I can record at home. I'll record them that night and e-mail them to him so he can put them on CD and send them to the producers. I've had a lot of inquiries about a voice actor's average day, so I started putting a feature on my website called Wally's Week which details every thing I've done on a day-by-day basis in a weekly format. Check it out... (http://www.wallyontheweb.com)

What made you want to become a voice-actor and how did you get the job of speaking for the character of Herman Toothrot?

I was always fiddling around with voices, make-ups, sounds, etc. as a kid, so when I became a radio DJ at the age of 16 and started using some of the character voices in my radio shows. When I moved to LA in 1987 I looked into voice-over as a profession, as an extension of acting. I got the job as Herman through an audition for LucasArts.

When you work for a well-known company like LucasArts is there any way to bring yourself in or did you encounter certain expectations and strict guidelines which had to be followed?

Voice actors are hired through their agents, so we weren't confined by and of the usual corporate stuff. We're considered independent contractors by many definitions. But I had always been a fan of the Star Wars franchise, so it was a sincere honor to be working for LucasArts.

What was the best/worst bit about doing the voice-acting on Herman Toothrot?

I loved doing his laugh and making him really eccentric and nutty. There was nothing that I would qualify as "worst" in relation to doing Herman. I'd like to do him again, in fact.

During the time you worked for LucasArts did you notice any similarities between you and Herman Toothrot as far as character traits are concerned?

We both love to laugh!

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, what color is the tree?

Purplish plaid.

Are you satisfied with your work on Escape From Monkey Island's Herman Toothrot or are there a few things which bother you today when you replay certain parts of the game?

I know you'll find this hard to believe, but I don't play videogames. I'm not darn good at them.

Did you ever play non-English versions of Escape From Monkey Island? And if so, how did you like Herman's different voice-overs?

I don't even play the English versions. I guess I'm a real heel, eh?

If LucasArts wanted to hire you for Monkey Island 5 would you glady accept their offer or would consider passing on this one?

Those guys at LucasArts rock, and I would do anything they asked, anytime they asked. But they need to bring more blueberry bagels to the sessions!

Did you recieve any particular reactions from your environment for doing the voice-acting on Herman Toothrot?

Nope, just the usual voice-over job.

Which voice-acting job you did in your entire career is the one you're most ashamed/proud of today?

I'm proud of all of them, because I believe they all have a valid place in the cosmic world of voices, on some level or other. I try not to take the jobs I would be eventually be ashamed of doing. Jobs involving promotion of gambling, alcohol consumption, drug-oriented bits, or profanity are not jobs I'll accept.

If you were stuck on an island deep within the Caribbean just like Herman, what would you do in order to keep yourself entertained?

I don't think I can mention that in this "familyk-oriented" environment.

What happens if you laugh yourself half to dead two times in a row?

You spit up your dinner.

I'm sure LucasArts gave you a copy of Escape From Monkey Island once it was finished. Did you ever beat it or aren't you that much into video games?

See the answers to questions 10 & 11.

What projects are you currently involved in?

I provide many voices on Astro Boy on Cartoon Network, I'm narrating a series called "Amazing Medical Stories" on TLC, and I'm still the legal voice on the Hyundi radio commercials. You can keep an eye on my website (http://www.wallyontheweb.com) for all the latest info.

And finally: Do you ever grow sick of people asking you questions about a voice-over job you did such a long time ago?

No, but I do get aggravated that my memory isn't what it used to be, and sometimes it's hard to remember all those things. Darn old age, anyway!

Alright, thanks a lot again for answering my questions, Mr. Wingert. Is there anything left you would like to tell the members of the Monkey Island community?

You're very welcome. Yes, in the words of REO Speedwagon, "Live every moment, love every day. Before you know it your precious time slips away." Oh yeah, and say your prayers and brush your teeth.


In addition to answering my questions Wally Wingert also recorded this little MP3-file in which he greets the regular visitors of MILegend.com. Thanks Wally!