“When I was 5 years old I told my parents when I grow up I want to be Porky Pig. My Mother told me Honey, you can’t be Porky Pig. You’re Jewish
-Opening line of the one man show, Bob Bergen: So, Here’s The Deal!
As a kid, Emmy nominated actor Bob Bergen spent endless hours watching and taping cartoons, imitating voices as well as creating characters of his own. His dream was to voice The Looney Tunes, and in particular Porky Pig. Bob’s idol was Mel Blanc, and he worked day and night trying to perfect eh-puh-peh-eh Porky’s famous voice. To his parents dismay, he spent more time working on voices than he did at his school work, though I think they’ve forgiven him by now.
At 14, Bob began investigating how to get into the world of doing voices for cartoons. He spent hours thumbing through the yellow pages, calling every animation studio in town, gathering information on how to break into the voice-over field. He figured the best person to ask for advice on how to get into the business, would be to call Mel Blanc. Bob’s Dad traveled Los Angeles gathering every white page phone book he could collect, and Bob called every M or Mel Blanc in the phone books, until he finally reached voice legend Mel Blanc.
Bob secretly taped the conversation by putting the receiver from one phone on the mic of his portable Panasonic tape recorder while talking to Mel on the extension from another room. The sound quality wasn’t great, but he was able to get the conversation on tape for posterity.
Here’s that actual recording: bobbergen.com/audio/Mel%20Blanc%20Phoner.mp3
After listening to this tape over and over, the tape broke, along with Bob’s heart!! So much for preserving history. Cut to March, 2003. Bob’s mother calls up asking if he knew anything about some old tape she found in a drawer that said “phone conversation with Mel Blanc.” Bob rushed the broken tape to a producer, who was able to splice the tape back together and digitally enhance the conversation. Sadly much of the conversation was destroyed when the tape broke, but what you hear is about 75% of it.
Within the part that is missing, Mel Blanc mentioned the name of the studio he was working at that week. He didn’t mention the date or time. Bob called the studio, pretending to be Blanc’s assistant and got the exact date and time he was working and crashed the session. When he arrived to the studio he told the receptionist he was a guest of Mel Blanc, and she showed him to where he was recording. Bob then told Blanc’s producer that he was a friend of the receptionist, and was allowed to watch his idol work.
Bob began studying voiceover with a variety of teachers in Los Angeles, including the legendary Daws Butler, who voiced Yogi Bear, Elroy Jetson, Snagglepuss, and Huckleberry Hound, to name a few.
When he was 18, a good friend of the family had Casey Kasem send Bob an autograph picture for his high school graduation.
Bob sent Casey a thank you note, stating he wanted to do voices for cartoons and included his phone number. To his shock Casey phoned Bob and offered his assistance. Casey requested Bob make a home made demo of as many voices as he could. Bob sent Casey a tape of 85 voices, which Casey, in turn, gave to his agent, who signed Bob for representation. Not long after, Bob booked his first cartoon, Spiderman, and His Amazing Friends.
His resume consists of 100s of cartoons, commercials, promos, radio imaging, live award show announcing, and interactive games. In 1990, Bob’s dream came true when he joined a handful of actors who share the job of voicing The Looney Tunes. Over the years, Bob has voiced Porky, Tweety, Marvin the Martian, Henry Hawk, Sylvester Jr., and Speedy Gonzales in a variety of feature films, albums, toys, games, and television series’, including the 2 time Emmy nominated series Duck Dodgers, in which Bob received an Annie Award nomination as best voice performer in a television series. In 1991 Bob was asked to play Sylvester Jr., for a radio program called Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, hosted by First Lady Barbara Bush. Soon after, he was thrilled to be invited to a reception at The White House in appreciation for his participation in Mrs. Bush’s literacy program.
Bob added game show host to his resume after landing the job of emcee on Jep!, the kid’s version of the classic game show Jeopardy!.
Bob created a one man show highlighting his journey as a “nice Jewish boy who wanted to be Porky Pig” called, Bob Bergen, So Here’s the Deal! The show has had two successful runs in LA, as well as NYC, Atlanta, and Chicago. A portion of the show has also been used as an opening act for Kenny Rogers.
Bob is one of the most sought after coaches in animation voice-over, teaching his weekend workshops throughout the US and Canada.
Bob’s voice has been heard in hundreds of commercials, including McDonald’s, Mitsubishi, Geico, Petsmart, Publix, Albertsons. His promo resume includes Disney Channel, NBC, FOX Kids. He’s the imaging branding voice for radio stations throughout the US. Animated features include Tangled, TinkerBell, Spirited Away, Akira, A Bug’s Life, Iron Giant, Cars, The Emperor’s New Groove, Up, Wall-E, Wreck it Ralph, to name a few.
He voices Luke Skywalker for LucasArts interactive games, as well as all 3 Robot Chicken: Star Wars specials. He’s supplied special vocal effects for dozens of films, including Gremlins, Army of Darkness, Dunsten Checks In, Fright Night 2, Honey, I Blew up the Kid, Santa Clause 2 & 3, He’s an Annie Award nominee for Porky Pig/Cadet in the Emmy nominated series Duck Dodgers. He currently stars as Porky Pig in Cartoon Network’s hit series The Looney Tunes Show, which he received an Emmy nomination for “Best Voiceover Performer” in 2011.
How to Create Characters for Cartoons
Join two-time Emmy nominated voice actor Bob Bergen, as he guides and teaches you how to create, sustain, and categorize original characters for cartoons. You will learn that it’s not just about doing funny voices! All characters have a voice, but not all voices have character! This is a great opportunity at the con as Bob’s Los Angeles animation voice-over workshop has a 2-3 year waiting list.
The Business of Animation Voice-over
Join two-time Emmy nominated voice actor, Bob Bergen, as he discusses and shares essential scoop on the business of doing voices for cartoons. From demos to agents, marketing and networking, if your goal is to do voices for cartoons, this is for you!
NOTE: Mr. Bergen can also perform his one man show at events:
Bob Bergen: So, Here’s the Deal!
(the story of a nice Jewish boy who wanted to be Porky Pig!)