Talkin Toons With Rob Paulsen
Starring Rob Paulsen and special animation (primarily cartoon, but also anime and video game) guests.
Techjives network (can stream or download for free)
Special pay episodes on Rob's Patreon site
Runtime: each episode varies, between 30 min and 90 minutes, averages 60 minutes.
The Short and Sweet
An entertaining and inspirational series of podcasts that sneaks in educational value when you least expect it.
A cartoon Emmy and Annie award winning voice over artist, Rob Paulsen is a legend amongst his peers. If you look at his imdb, one can see he has worked with almost everyone in the cartoon field, in either a co-lead (Yakko from Animaniacs, Pinky, and iterations of TMNT as Raphael and Donatello) or in supportive roles (Tiny Toons, Jimmy Neutron, Doc McStuffins, T.U.F.F. Puppy, and many many more).
The series of podcasts initially started when Mr. Paulsen had some downtime at a slight pause in his career. He felt he needed to do something with that time, and this is the result. In retrospect, this was a bit a bad time for him, but in the end a good thing for him and his future listeners of the podcast. Soon the podcast grew into a full scale celebration of cartoon and animation voice artists and their associates (producers, musicians, casting directors, agents), and Mr. Paulsen seemed very happy to host and hold court with his friends and show their greatness to the world.
Once it got its sea legs (just several episodes into the series), this series went from good to very good to great very quickly. Mr. Paulsen found that his series was best served overall as a vehicle for guests and ensembles. His strengths as a podcaster work very well as a collaborative host, and can play off the other voice actors he personally knows. Which is by the way, a lot. As a man "firmly ensconced in middle age", he serves as an excellent bridge and source of voiceover lore, often playing the role of the hilarious big brother who still has the wisdom of your father in his podcasts.
In almost every podcast, Mr. Paulsen's demeanor is one of graciousness and happiness that he does what he does. His guests always echo the sentiment in one way or another also. They seem to be happy they can be celebrities, but not all the time. As voice over artists, few know who they are by sight, or know them by voice, since they often use different voices in the roles they play. They can show up at a convention, be a superstar, and then eat a pizza down the road in peace and quiet if they wish.
The other aspect of Rob and the guests he hosts is that underneath all the friendliness and mutual admiration, they are incredibly professional and astute at their gig when called upon, even when acting flippant. Voices come out of nowhere, and advice gleaned from years of experience come out in between the voices of Yakko, Pinky and Carl Wheezer as well as his guests. Disarming and delightful at once.
The podcast itself has different flavors. The lion's share are interviews with groups of voiceover artists (the cast of Jimmy Neutron, Animaniacs, or all anime voice over artists, for example). These podcasts have the feeling of a big party of friends that can barely stop long enough from laughing to continue. It's spontaneous at times and a bit whacky, but also has the air of inclusiveness. One feels invited to the podcast, almost a participant. The message come across if one can cut the mustard, you would be invited to their reindeer games with open arms.
Another flavor of the podcasts are individual interviews. These are more intimate affairs, mostly from whenever Rob was doing his podcasts from fellow voiceover buddy's homes. They are still very amusing, but one also gets more intimate and granular stories. If you like biopics, you will like these. Many of Mr. Paulsen's listeners enjoyed them so much, he has taken to making more of these through his Patreon site in addition to his regular Talkin Toons.
The final type of Podcast is where Rob has no guests, and does general announcements of his appearances in Cons or coaching seminars. He then does Q&A with his listeners. These podcasts tend to be a bit dryer, as Mr. Paulsen is a social animal and does best playing off others. But they are full of good, direct information and are well worth listening to.
All in all, the main points that Mr. Paulsen evangelizes through his podcasts are this:
- Always keep learning from everyone around you. Teach and be taught, graciously.
- This is a hard business to get into, but if you are good enough and don't give up, you can get in.
- Rob says "a high tide raises all boats". Competition is good, as long as one takes it in the spirit of raising everyone's level of proficiency. No need to be cutthroat about it.
- Respect your peers, always. Don't cut people's legs out from under them. Give to them and they'll give back.
- Even if you work hard in the voiceover industry, stop your complaining. You'll never work as hard as a factory worker or shoveling asphalt in august.
- The people who work in the industry are like a fun loving family that love new people as
much as they love the people who they have worked with in the past.
- Be confident, but stay humble and stay gracious. Be honest but stay kind. Be truthful in your life and through your life as an artist.
- Cartoon voices are still acting. Acting comes first, voices are an extension of the acting, not the other way around.
- All cartoon voice over people are awesome in their skills, and then there is Frank Welker, who is a deity amongst voiceover deities.
I have enjoyed seeing Mr. Paulsen's growth into a podcasting and social media mavin. Listening to him grow into a new aspect of his field, to put forth the effort to grow in another direction. His initial surprise at the rapid growth of his podcast was endearing.
Listening to his understanding of his responsibility as an ambassador to people's childhood dreams was also touching.
In conclusion, Talkin Toons was my first foray into initial study into the voiceover field. Its friendly but truthful demeanor was intoxicating and kept me coming back for more.
As Mr. Paulsen says "Laughter's the best medicine: the cool thing is, you can't O.D. and the refills are free". You may not be able to O.D. on his podcast, but you sure as hell can become addicted to it.