October 03, 2011

Voice Actor - Bill Farmer

Ever since his childhood, legendary cartoon voice-over performer Bill Farmer was enamored with cartoons. He learned he had a knack for doing voices and of all the characters he liked, the character Goofy was who he liked best.

Farmer's first job, at the age of 15, involved doing voices, especially those of Western stars like John Wayne or Walter Brennan. He and his friends would sometimes go through fast food drive-thrus and order foods in his voices. In college, he found work in radio and TV and then moved on to stand-up comedy as an impressionist until he moved out to Hollywood where he voiced Goofy since 1986.

During his stand-up years, Farmer worked at a comedy club called the Comedy Corner in Dallas. Tuesday nights were open mike nights there and he had just taken a job at an electronics store. He had just recently stopped working in show business and radio and he missed his audience. So he went to the club on Tuesday nights and he created his own five-minute routine. Starting on March 16, 1982, he started going to the Comedy Corner every week and started working on his routine and it became a career inside of six months. He worked at the Comedy Corner from 1982 until he moved to California in 1986.

Farmer's decision to move to California came from a Dallas commercial agent who suggested that, given his talent for voices, he should try his luck in California. He was recently married, but he and his wife talked it over and came to an arrangement. She stayed back in Dallas while he commuted for a year after he got an apartment. Then four months after his moving out to Hollywood, his agent asked him if he could do any Disney characters. His very first animated character audition was for Goofy. When he auditioned for the voice, he studied all the cartoons with Goofy in them, especially the ones released in the 1930s. He studied the hilarious laugh and the distinctive "gawrsh". He inherited the voice of Goofy (as well as Pluto and Horace Horsecollar), around the same time Tony Anselmo inherited Donald Duck, and Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor did likewise for Mickey and Minnie Mouse, respectively.

Bill believes that cartoon voices are not about funny voices, but rather acting. His mentor was the late Daws Butler, the voice behind many of the old Hanna-Barbera characters. Daws put it in Bill's mind that when doing cartoon voices, you're not merely doing a funny voice, you're an actor and the acting is premier and that you have to think like the character you're doing and he is also best known as the voice of Goofy in A Goofy Movie in 1995 and as the voice of Goofy in the sequel An Extremely Goofy Movie in 2000.

Awesome in-depth interview:

Credit List:

Animated American (2008, Live Action / Animated Short Film) Bogie Bear
Astro Boy (2003, Anime Series) Detective Tawashi
Baldur's Gate (1998, Video Game) Brunos
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000, Video Game) Demson
Garren Windspear
Beauty and the Beast (1991, Animated Film) (additional voices)
Bongee Bear and the Kingdom of Rhythm (2006, Animated Film) Tyler the Candlestick Maker
Brother Bear (2003, Animated Film) (additional voices)
Bug's Life, A (1997, Computer Animated Film) (additional voices)
Cars (2006, Computer Animated Film) (additional voices)
Cars Mater-National (2007, Video Game) (additional voices)
Cars Race-O-Rama (2009, Video Game) (additional voices)
Cars: The Video Game (2006, Video Game) (additional voices)
Cats Don't Dance (1997, Animated Film) (additional voices)
Crash Tag Team Racing (2005, Video Game) Old Man
Park Drones
Dead Rising (2006, Video Game) (additional voices)
Cletus Samson
Floyd Sanders
Jeff Meyers
Ryan LaRosa
Death Becomes Her (1992, Live Action Film) (loop group)
Destroy All Humans! (2005, Video Game) Narrator
Rural Male
Disney's House of Mouse (2001, Animated Series) Goofy
Horace Horsecollar
Practical Pig
Sheriff of Nottingham
Epic Mickey (2010, Video Game) Goofy
Horace Horsecollar
EverQuest II (2004, Video Game) Bartender Berrystein
Blight Sage Destroz
Commissioner Dogweed
Felderin Beddleknops
Generic Floating Skulls
Generic Ghosts
Generic Male Dwarf Enemy
Generic Male Gargoyle Enemy
Generic Water Elemental
Gren Stiles
Grozmag the Trainer
Kai Vhri Jah
Karg Icebear
Lodo Bightn
Pelle Shinkicker
Phen Dominson
Rukir Pineleaf
Sashra Thaltalis
Sir Thothur Dorarr
Tilzak N'Lim
Urban Ratonga Chef
Wiseman Oluran
Extremely Goofy Movie, An (2000, Animated Film (Direct-to-Video)) Goofy
Full Throttle (1995, Video Game) Gas Guard Pilot
News Anchorman
Goof Troop (1992, Animated Series) Aunt Goofilla
Goofy Movie, A (1995, Animated Film) Goofy
Happily N'Ever After (2007, Animated Film) (additional voices)
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (2000, Animated Series) Secret Squirrel
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law (2008, Video Game) Secret Squirrel
Higglytown Heroes (2004, Computer Animated Series) Janitor Hero
Home on the Range (2004, Animated Film) (additional voices)
Horton Hears a Who! (2008, Computer Animated Film) Willie Bear
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1996, Animated Film) (additional voices)
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006, Computer Animated Film) (additional voices)
Innoventions (Attraction) Alec Tronic
Iron Giant, The (1999, Animated Film) (additional voices)
King's Quest: Mask of Eternity (Video Game) King Gryph
Weirdling Tradesman
Kingdom Hearts (2002, Video Game) Goofy
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (2009, Video Game) Goofy
Kingdom Hearts II (2005, Video Game) Goofy
Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories (2008, Video Game) Goofy
Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (2009, Video Game) Goofy
Horace Horsecollar
Lion King 1 1/2, The (2004, Animated Film (Direct-to-Video)) Goofy
Loonatics Unleashed (2005, Animated Series) Mr. Leghorn
Looney Tunes Racing (2000, Video Game) Foghorn Leghorn
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006, Computer Animated Series) Goofy
Mickey's House of Villains (2002, Animated Film (Direct-to-Video)) Goofy
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas (2004, Computer Animated Film (Direct-to-Video)) Goofy
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers (2004, Animated Film (Direct-to-Video)) Goofy
Monsters, Inc. (2001, Computer Animated Film) (additional voices)
Over the Hedge: The Video Game (2006, Video Game) Lou
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998, Animated Film (Direct-to-Video)) (additional voices)
Porco Rosso (1992, Anime Film) (additional voices)
Prince and the Pauper, The (1990, Animated Short) Goofy
Weasel #1
Robot Chicken (2005, Stop-Motion Animated Series) Bugs Bunny
Daffy Duck
Lots of Laughs Bear
Rover Dangerfield (1991, Animated Film) Farm Voices
Shrek 2 (2004, Computer Animated Film) (ADR group)
Space Jam (1996, Live Action /Animated Film) Foghorn Leghorn
Yosemite Sam
Surf's Up (2007, Computer Animated Film) (additional voices)
Tales of Symphonia (2003, Video Game) Dorr
Toy Story (1995, Computer Animated Film) (additional voices)
Toy Story 2 (1999, Computer Animated Film) (additional voices)
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (2002, Video Game) Captain Wedgewood
Frill Lizard
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2: Bush Rescue (2004, Video Game) Captain Parrotbeard
Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald (1998, Live-Action/Animated Series (Direct-to-Video)) Knight #2
Mob Leader
What-A-Mess (1995, Animated Series) (additional voices)
Yakuza (2005, Video Game) Date

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