Voice actor Billy West was on NPR's Fresh Air yesterday. I always love hearing actors do roles on radio, especially someone like West who is known for such original roles as Fry, Professor Farnsworth, and Dr. Zoidberg on Futurama. But what really wow-ed me was his description of how he learned to emulate the unforgettably unique voice of Popeye, as originally done by Jack Mercer:
I loved Jack Mercer, and I got him. I understood him. And what helped me understand that Popeye voice -- it's a high voice and a low voice at the same time -- cause when I was a kid, we all used to try to do that and we all stunk. It didn't sound right. So one day, I see this film -- it was an independent film called Genghis Blues. And it was about this blind singer in San Francisco who wrote a hit for Steve Miller. ... And he was listening to a world-band radio one night, and he heard this strange noise. And it was a program about Tuvan singers. And Tuvans had a way of singing where they could do one and two voices. And I realized, 'Oh man, that's how this guy did it. Jack Mercer.' [He imitates both voices.] There'd be two voices, an octave apart. And he'd put them together."
It's worth listening to the whole segment (it's 28 minutes long), but the Popeye bit starts at about 17:05.
Billy West: The Many (Cartoon) Voices In His Head [Fresh Air]
Watch this new trailer for that upcoming Martin Scorsese Netflix feature on Bob Dylan.
Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO in the US on Friday, May 31. Can’t wait for Swearingen’s swears. “Thirteen years after it was abruptly cancelled, David Milch’s grimy, glorious western finally gets the ending it deserves.” From James Donaghy’s tease in The Guardian: Set in the historic lawless mining camp in the Black Hills gold […]
#Batwoman is coming Sundays this Fall to The CW.
Whether you’re an artist, designer or just organizing a photo album, photo editing software is a must. And software designers know it: Platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom have a ton of helpful features, but you’ll pay for them in spades. Luckily, there’s some competition in the photo editing arena. Right now, Skylum’s Luminar software is […]
Who needs a holiday sale? Sometimes there’s no better time than the thick of summer to find deals. We should know – we’ve found ten deep discounts on some must-have items. Whether you’re searching for CBD edibles, exercise gear, chargers or other tech, take a look. But don’t look long – these prices aren’t likely […]
Heading abroad? Even if it’s just a short trip, there’s a lot to prepare for. Travel can be incredibly rewarding, but it can tricky to navigate different cultures and lodging arrangements – and even trickier to do it cheaply. Before you go shopping for suitcases, here’s our pick for a good first investment: The Ultimate […]