phil lamarr

According to Phil LaMarr, who played Marvin in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, the scene where his character is accidentally shot by John Travolta’s Vincent Vega was supposed to go a little bit differently. Originally, it was written that his character would be shot two times. Once in the throat by accident - in the film, Vince claims that Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules, who is driving the car, hit a bump, causing Vince’s gun to go off. And the second time, Vince shoots him in the head as an act of euthanasia, to put Marvin out of his misery. LaMarr recalls that during rehearsal of the scene, Travolta lamented having to kill Marvin, saying “The audience is gonna hate me.” He and Tarantino later decided that if Vincent had to actively kill Marvin, it would negatively affect the audience’s relationship with the character; that killing Marvin intentionally was crossing a line (x).

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“The dialogue exhibited a level of literacy that might startle those who think that all Saturday-morning cartoonery is brainless; there weren’t many other programs in which one would hear a middle-schooler [Tish] congratulate her comrades by proclaming "Kudos to us!” Nor was there an abundance of animated series wherein a nervous preteen drama queen [again, Tish] was shepherded through her first appearance by the ghost of William Shakespeare. Particularly pleasing was the series’ depiction of its adult characters - not the anal-retentive, rule-imposing tyrants we’d seen in so many other cartoon weeklies, but instead as recognizable human beings with affectionately detailed personality quirks.
This was precisely what was so unique about the program. The Weekenders was a conscious, symbolic break with the traditions of television animation aimed at “tweens”. It did not attempt to portray any of its characters as stereotypes; instead, it celebrated the uniqueness and intelligence of all its characters, without sacrificing humor in the process. Thanks to the clever writing and directing, and the skilled voice acting behind its four leads (the four performers were never better, particularly Marsden and Soucie), it was an approach that really paid off.“

- Excerpt from America Toons in: A History of Television Animation by David Perlmutter

You know what I find hard to believe?

the fact that Static (Static Shock), John Stewart (Justice League), Aquaman (Young Justice, Injustice: Gods Among Us), Samurai Jack, Osmosis Jones (Ozzy & Drix), Bolbi (Jimmy Neutron), Wilt (Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends), Maxie Zeus (The Batman), Earth King Keui (Avatar: The Last Airbender), J.A.R.V.I.S. (Ultimate Spider-Man)

are ALL voice by the same dude.

Phil LaMarr, you MAGNIFICENT bastard!

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Today’s black history month profile is Phil Lamarr.

The statement “Phil Lamarr has been in everything” is almost an understatement. Phil’s acting resume is packed full of roles big and small (though mostly big) and is one of the most prolific performers in voice acting. At only 48 years old, he’s performed in cartoons from all sorts of genres and all sorts of creators. 

Phil is a graduate of Yale University, an ivy league school, where he helped to found improv comedy group The Groundlings. The performers in the troupe are well-known for going onto bigger things in the comedy world, and Lamarr himself went on to be a performer on sketch comedy show MADtv. He impersonated celebrities ranging from Billy Crystal to Kanye West. He left the show in 2000.

Phil has been in television in film roles, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Pulp Fiction (as Marvin), Cold Case, and Barbershop: The Series. He has also worked in theater, having had roles in plays such as The Tempest and Guys and Dolls. 

However, Phil is probably most well-known for his skill and experience in voice acting. Some of his more notable roles include Static Shock and the Green Lantern (John Stewart), Samurai Jack, Wilt in Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Vamp in the Metal Gear Franchise, Carver DesCartes in The Weekenders, Hermes Conrad in Futurama, Philly Phil on Class of 3000, and many, many more. 

Phil is currently playing Doctor Spectrum in Avengers Assemble, and plays Smoove Moove in the Netflix series Turbo FAST, based on the Dreamworks film. 

He does a good amount of video game voiceover work, playing Mr. Sunshine in the Saint’s Row franchise, Vulgrim in Darksiders, and Reddas in Final Fantasy franchise games.

You can follow Phil on twitter here.

Lower Your Voice
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For some strange reason I just remembered something that Phil LaMarr said when asked about radically changing his voice for the role of Vamp in the Metal Gear series. 
He described moving his voice so far into his throat it stopped being alive.  To me that sounded like acting advice, so I gave it a shot.  I learned the trick years ago, and it’s a lesson I’ve never forgotten.

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It was such a good show. Doug Langdale wrote and created it, and it was just these four kids, and the stuff was funny. To me, that’s one that people who make things should watch. You don’t have to curse to be funny. You can make something about four kids that’s not fantasy and have it just be cool and fun and resonate for people. And Carver was a cool character because—well, he was the first of my young characters with little dreadlocks. [Laughs.] And he was really into his shoes. He was metrosexual before the term was coined.

- Phil LaMarr on The Weekenders

Dead Meat is entering The End Times!  48 hours to go.  That’s not a long time.  People make movies about that amount of time.  Let’s take a look back on this month’s journey and see what Dead Meat’s got to offer.  

First, here’s the cast so far.  Lots of great actors and all people I love to work with!  And there’s more to come!  What about Heck?  Suzuki?  Big Daddy?  Heck’s “buddy” MacMurray?  Roger the Drunk?  The Missionaries?

Dead Meat’s world is pretty big.  If you’d like to see more of it, back Dead Meat now!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/745014573/dead-meat

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So I met Phil LaMarr at Colossalcon this year and let me tell you, meeting him was one of the most amazing things to ever happen to me.

He instantly recognized me as Raiden and got super excited. ;_; (Hardly anyone realizes I’m Raiden so to have someone involved in the series like he is know was the greatest feeling ever.) I had him sign my artbook and asked for a pic, which he was more than happy to oblige. He asked me “I hope Raiden’s okay with being touched.” and I said “I’ll make an exception.”

Then he told his handler to take a pic on his tablet and asked me what pose we shoud do. I suggested “the really gay Vamp versus Raiden pose where he’s stabbing the sword through himself to get to Vamp.” So he gets in nice and close and says “This is certainly suggestive. Don’t show my wife. But you can show Quinton.” and i just. gfshgjfdsh.

I just wish my grimace didn’t look like a god damn grin in the second pic. I mean, I totally enjoyed that moment but I was trying to look like I was in pain.

Second best con experience ever. (The first being when my then friend/Ocelot, now-husband unintentionally wooed me off my feet after I broke up with my ex.)

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This week’s “minorities in cartoons” entry is “The Weekenders.” The series, about a group of friends’ weekend adventures (hence the show’s name), aired during the late 90s/early 2000s on ABC Saturday mornings, as well as Disney’s syndicated weekend lineup “One Too.”

As noted above, the show centered around the weekend adventures of four junior high school students: Tino, the default lead character of the group (since he’s the one who usually gets to break the fourth wall and speak to the audience about what’s going on); Lor, a girl who’s into sports and is the most assertive of the group; Carver, an African-American boy who wants others to view him as the “cool guy”; and Tish, an intellectual girl. The quartet all live in a fictional beachside California town.

One recurring gag of the series was the gang’s hideout, a pizza parlor, constantly remodeling and changing its theme in every episode, not keeping the same name/gimmick/etc. twice.

One episode, “The Worst Holiday Ever,” shows the gang dealing with each of them celebrating different holidays. While Lor celebrates Christmas, Carver instead celebrates Kwanzaa. Tish, meanwhile, celebrates Hanukkah. Unusually for a TV show not set in the ancient past or in a fantasy setting, the holiday Tino and his mother celebrate is revealed to be the winter solstice.

“The Weekenders” was created by Doug Langdale, who also created Disney’s amusing “Dave the Barbarian.” Tino, Lor, Tish, and Carver were voiced respectively by voice actors Jason Marsden, Grey DeLisle, Kath Soucie, and Phil LaMarr. On top of that lineup, the theme song’s sung by comedian Wayne Brady.

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Happy 45th birthday to one of our favorite heroes, Phil LaMarr, who has played many of our favorite heroes, like Static, John Stewart, Steel, Black Vulcan, Black Panther, Colossus, Aquaman, Gambit, and the samurai the locals called “Jack.”