As a kid, two-time 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 phone book, 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, which can be heard on the “cool clips” page of his website BobBergen.com
During the phone call, 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.
In 1990, his dream came true when he was cast as Porky and Tweety in Tiny Toon Adventures.
Over the years Bob has voiced hundreds of live action and animated features and series, including: The Castle of Cagliostro, Gremlins, Fraggle Rock, Akira, Total Recall, Dennis the Menace, Teknoman, Space Jam, Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 & 3, The Iron Giant, The Emperor’s New Groove, Powerpuff Girls, Spirited Away, Monsters, Inc., Johnny Bravo, The Santa Clause 2 & 3, Cars, Duck Dodgers, WALL-E, Up, Tangled, Robot Chicken, Minions, Wreck-It Ralph, The Looney Tunes Show, Clarence, TripTank, The Secret Life of Pets, Trolls, Army of Darkness, Wabbit, Mr. Pickles, and many, many more. He’s been the voice of Luke Skywalker for numerous games and projects for 20 years.
Bob is also one of the most in demand animation voice-over coaches in the country.
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