Voice123 Phone Interview with Bob Bergen

Posted on July 28, 2011 by


Bob Bergen is a well-known voice over artist, and the voice of Warner Bros. Porky Pig, as well as several other characters He recently found out he is one of six persons nominated for a 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, nominated for his work as Porky Pig in The Looney Tunes Show episode “Jailbird And Jaibunny” on Cartoon Network. He was generous enough to take a phone call from Voice123’s Community Manager, and talk more about it. Watch the video, transcript of the interview below:

V123: Today, we are lucky enough to have conversation with Bob Bergen. He is the voice of Porky Pig, and has also been nominated recently for an Emmy, which he announced on his Facebook group, ‘All Things Bob Bergen’. You can also see this mentioned on his website. I wanted to thank him for taking the time out to do this interview with Voice123, so he could let us know a little more about it. Welcome and thank you!

BB: It is my pleasure!

V123: Getting right down to business, what exactly were you nominated for?

BB: I was nominated for Best Voice-Over Performance for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards.

V123: Was this for a particular performance or TV show?

BB:  Yep, this is for Porky Pig in the Looney Tunes Show on Cartoon Network (episode Jailbird and Jailbunny).

V123: A question that popped into our minds; we read that you had found out in an email that you were nominated. How does one go about finding out they (may be) nominated? Was there any kind of warning prior to this? 🙂

BB: Well, first of all, you have to be submitted. I, along with over one hundred performances were submitted for the Primetime Emmy Awards. The members of the Academy do a screening of all the submissions, they vote, and the top six get nominations. So, I was up early because I am always up early in my recording studio, and they were announcing the nominations; only doing the best actor and actress or best supporting actress because they only do the ones people really know. There are hundreds of awards, and they said the complete list is online. The first category was Best Voice-Over Performance, and I am looking at the third name thinking, “Wow. That guy has a name just like mine…Oh wait and he played Porky Pig…Oh my gosh! That’s me!”. That is pretty much how it happened.

V123: That is great! I can’t imagine…

BB: Me too! This is something that has never happened, and was never expected. It is all very surreal and fun.

V123: We were curious. For a show like that, you have been the voice of Porky Pig for a while, so are you directed, or do they pretty much give you the creative freedom to ‘do your thing’ for that show?

BB: No, we have a director. Her name is Collette Sunderman and I have worked with her for a long time. She was also the director on Duck Dodgers, and worked on lots of other projects with her too. But, no, these shows do not direct themselves. We have really good directors on all animation.

V123: We have had friends who have taken your classes, like your most recent one in New York City in July, and we always wondered if they let you “roll with it”, or do you work with somebody.

BB: No, there is a committee. There is a director, a voice director, and behind them are producers and writers, and network people. They are guiding you to get the performance out that everybody is happy with. I will tell you that they are very open to any creative ideas I may have, but when push comes to shove, it is their call. So, I am hired-hand and my job is to give them the performance they want.

V123: This is great. I am sure you know many people work in voice overs from home, and this topic comes up often. It is wonderful you still have that personal interaction with directors.

BB: I prefer it. Working from home in animation does not happen very often and I appreciate that. There is an energy in the studio when working with other people, and I am an actor who likes direction.

V123: I am a fan of your work on a TV show, Robot Chicken, particularly Stars Wars Episode III, and also a fan of Seth Green. What is he like to work with as a director?

BB: He is one of the best in the biz, and I think it is because he is an actor, and a good actor, but he is a dream director; knows the Star Wars Universe backwards and forwards, and I do not. I have done more than Star Wars Robot Chicken, and he is just an amazing director; very visual and great with adjectives. He knows how to get that performance out of you.

V123: Hey, I know you are a busy guy, and you mentioned you were on hold for a session. I want to thank you for doing this phone call with me, and I hope anyone who sees this learns something from it, if not just from your experience, which can be a teacher of its own. Bob, thanks!

BB: My pleasure! It was fun!

We are wishing him all the best! The 2011 Primetime Emmys will be shown live, Sunday, September 18th, on FOX networks.

Have any thoughts on this interview? Please let us know!