Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Stuff I've Done--5
A Generalist Saves the Specialists
A while back I praised Joe Horne's The Specialists, a forgotten gem from the early days of MTV's Liquid Television. Thanks to a tip from Mr. Bloody Mojo, I found that the entire series has been posted to YouTube. The first episode is here. Seeing the show again after all these years was a treat. It's funny how Joe Horne's designs, a radical departure in their day, look mainstream now--though still better than a lot of the stuff out there!
I'd almost forgotten that the ninth episode of The Specialists featured my one and only appearance as a cartoon voice actor! It happened this way. Joe was assembling episode 9 when he discovered missing dialogue. The actor playing Granfaloon, the millionaire with the missing poodle, never recorded his line welcoming Fifi home. It's easy to see how the line was missed, because after his introduction in episode 1 Granfaloon didn't reappear until the end of the story.
Anyway, Joe burst into the studio in a frenzy. The original Granfaloon was unavailable and Joe needed someone NOW to pick up the line. I happened to be sitting there and Joe said, "Ron! You'll do it!" He whisked me over to the recording studio and stood me in front of a microphone.
I'm not a voice actor, nor for that matter an actor of any sort. For the next half hour I stood there and sweated, repeating the line over and over while Joe pulled his hair out. Finally he got something he could use. Of course my voice didn't sound anything like the original actor. But that didn't worry Joe. He figured no one would remember what Granfaloon sounded like anyway. So in episode 9 when you hear, "Fifi! You're back!" etc., that's me. Once the artwork came back from the animators, Joe presented me with a thank-you gift: a cel of Granfaloon holding Fifi. It was a nice way to mark the end of my acting career.