Tom Kenny Refuses to ‘Shut Up’

Even with the 10th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, Tom Kenny is getting more exposure in the press over the new FOX series Sit Down, Shut Up in which Tom voices the school janitor Happy and 20 other characters on the show.

Tom says in an interview with that he’s been able be involved with different type shows simultaneously — from children’s shows to animation for adults. And ironically, Tom says it’s the kids shows that end up being more “blue” between takes: “The funny thing is all voiceover sessions for animation get blue but the bluest ones are the ones for children’s television shows. There is no room sicker than the SpongeBob booth in between takes. Hearing Clancy Brown curse a blue streak in the voice of Mr. Krabs is something else.”

But Tom says he likes “mixing it up”: “If I had to do all kidvid stuff, it would get a little dull I think.”

Continue reading: Tom Kenny on ‘Sit Down, Shut Up’.

FOX has also apparently released an interview with Tom as part of the press materials for Sit Down, Shut Up, because this interview from The Modesto Bee has appeared verbatim elsewhere around the web, and it’s an interesting read for the details it provides on Tom’s background.

Tom says he enjoys the anonymity his work offers: “I sort of like being the Lon Chaney, nobody knows what I look like. As a kid I was not the out-there class clown, but that guy was my best friend. I was the class clown’s writer. I was a performer really. I wanted to be and had the secret desire to do it, but I didn’t get the confidence to do that until high school. People would say, ‘Hey, you’re funny. You should do standup.'”

As it turns out, “that guy” was Bobcat Goldthwait, Tom’s childhood friend, who encouraged him to give stand-up a try: “When you do that and it goes well, it’s life changing. I grew up in a town where your options are somewhat limited to what that town has to offer. And what I vaguely thought I sorta, kinda wanted to do doesn’t exist in a place like Syracuse. I went to this bar (to perform) when I was 16 years old and people are laughing, and I just felt a bunch of doors opened to me. ‘Maybe because I can do this it will put me on a track to having this occupation that I think I have an aptitude for, but have no one to help me and don’t know how to go about it.'”

Continue reading: The voice of SpongeBob is Happy to branch out into new Fox animated series.

[Note: Oddly enough, this article ends abruptly on the second page and changes to completely unrelated topics, and it was the same on other media outlets where I found the identical interview. If I happen to find a website later that offers a continuation of the interview, I’ll post an update.]

And finally, Tom was also interviewed in The Fresno Bee discussing production details on Sit Down, Shut Up: Veteran voice actor will ‘Shut Up’.

And not to ignore the remainder of the Sit Down, Shut Up cast, but I’m doing an article for Toon Zone that features a comprehensive collection of interviews with the cast and crew that will be published later this week. I’ll link to it here once it’s done.

Previous news: 4.18.2009 — NPR Honors ‘SpongeBob’ 10th Anniversary


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