REAL NAME: Garry Chalk
OCCUPATION: Trukk AND Munky
PERCURSOR: This discussion with Garry was more like a conversation than a direct Q&A interview, so efforts have been made to present it as such. You may get annoyed by the (laughter) tags we've placed, but this is really because we were all laughing along with Garry throughout the whole thing. We decided not to post the audio due to the length and the task of editing, but the transcription is as close as possible to the actual conversation, so there is some run-on sentences and such, but I wanted to capture the feel of the verbal exchange, so there you have it. Garry is absolutely AWESOME and was very cool about some of his candid observations. I hope everyone in the fandumb gets a chance to rub shoulders with this guy at some point. Also, thanks to OOP for setting this up with us and thanks to Cheetara for contributing hot face and questions. Everlasting thanks to Nightshadow, as always, for keeping us in check on the tech end. And lastly, thanks to Garry and his wife for just being hilarious and completely kick ass. It really was like just having a sit-down conversation over a brewski.
Hello, everyone! Our guest
today is someone known for his voice portrayals of Optimus Prime and Optimus
Primal in various depictions of the Transformers media. You’ve also heard his talents in fan favourite
shows such as Reboot and Masters of the Universe. You’ve seen him in Stargate: SG1, The Fly II and Watchmen
most recently. Let’s give a round
of applause for Garry Chalk, everybody!
Would you care to say hello to your fans, Garry?
Hi everybody, nice to be here!
I’m a little bit late, I’m sorry, but I got stuck in traffic. But now I’m here and I’d like to say,
‘Welcome, welcome!’ and I hope we have a good chat!
I’m sure it’ll be great!
Also with us, helping us out with the interview today, we have Cheetara
and OOP. Say hello!
OOP: What up?
And we have Nightshadow, who’s helming the technical side of things
today. Would you like to say hello
to your fans, Nightshadow?
Uhhh… hi, guys?
Looks like you actually have a fan, Nightshadow! Garry’s your fan!
(laughing) I am a big fan, Nightshadow, just so as you know. I’m a huge fan. Anybody who could put this thing
together has got to be a genius.
He’s familiar with your body of work.
Oh, yes. It’s quite
All right, Garry! I think
it’s safe to say that everyone here knows who you are, but for everyone else
out there, maybe you could give us a quick background about how you got into
Ok, sure! When I was very
young (chuckles); when I was born…
I said a quick
OK, here we go. I did my
first cartoon in 1981 or ’82 and it was for Kenner Classics, it was called
‘Hiawatha’ and it was for Nickelodeon network and I had never tried out for a
cartoon before; went in and ended up getting several roles on it, so I thought
‘wow, this is probably something I should pursue’ and I always got a kick out
of mimicking voices and accents and so on, so I tried that and went off to do
Alien Starlost and uh… excuse me,
I’m trying to talk, but my wife keeps telling me to shut up.
So, I don’t know what’s going on, I’m trying to talk, but she keeps
going, “Stop it! Be quiet! Don’t yell! Talk quietly!”
I’m interrupting her radio program, so there you go. (laughs) Anyway, so, I did Alien Starlost and a couple other of
things here, and Tech Force and Barbie and the Rockers, those were some of my
first cartoons. My first series,
actual series, was a cartoon called…
G.I. Joe! No, was it G.I.
Joe? I can’t remember. No, I think it… yes, it was. It was
G.I. Joe. And I just kept going,
one after the other one after the other one, to Kissyfur and Captain Nintendo
the Gamemaster and He-Man and Lulu’s Pet Shop, and King Arthur and the Knights
of Justice and Beanie and Cecil…
I’ll just go on ad infinitum, but at any rate, how I got into that was…
what I’d get kicked out of school for, I mean, it was just, you know, making
fun of people and making up funny voices and imitating the principal on the
tannoy in school which was quite fun…
And so, I guess I’ve done about 1500 or so cartoons so far as well as,
you know, a lot of movies and TV shows, so… and countless commercials! If you’re out there on the east coast
in the Tri-State, I think it’s Maryland, Jersey and New York State, you can
hear me doing all the commercials for (changes voice) “M and T Bank!” and “The
Baltimore Ravens and the Buffalo Bills…”
Is this a plug?
No. (laughs) But if you happen to be listening in
that area, I do all those commercials for those guys. So there you go.
And that’s about it!
Well, anyways, see ya!
Given that this interview will appear on a relatively
… with what’s more or less
considered a ‘children’s’ franchise, a lot of the creators and contributors to
the various media tend to consider the work involved more of ‘a job’ if not
much else. Do you ever take a
personal stake in the roles of the characters you portray, or is it ‘just a
job’ to you?
GARRY: To me, I always try to live up to the ideals that my character (in particular, Optimus) was all about and all the things like honesty and loyalty and… semi-smart and… doing all the things that he did, that’s what I like to do… try and live as best as I can. Doesn’t seem to work out sometimes, but… I think that you have a responsibility. And these days what I see is a lot of our idols are kind of fallen idols. I was just thinking about Tiger Woods the other day, fallen by the wayside… and different people that we look up to who let us down, and one thing I would never want to do is let my fans down.
CARCASS: With Beast
Wars and Beast Machines (this is actually something that people talk about a
lot and you’ve probably been asked this question before especially at
conventions and whatnot), those series have long been revered for their
dialogue and character interaction.
With those particular series, given the technology of the show you were
working with at the time, was there a level of improvisation with the other
voice actors that lent itself to the final take or was it more a case of
following what was in the script?
Well, with Beast Wars and Beast Machines, we followed the script pretty
well ‘bang-on.’ The only time that
we’d ever alter the script was if it was a story point or if the grammar was
awry and we’d change the sentences around to make them more effective or more
punchy, but as far as improvising the script? No, we would never do that. However, on another show (an iconic show I thought for being
the first CGI series: ‘Reboot’),
Scott McNeil and I, who played Hack and Slash, improvised everything!
(laughs) They cut the best bits
and put it together on the script in the show.
That actually brings up something I want to talk to you about later (the
‘Reboot’ thing), but as far as working on a CGI series, such as it was back
then, how does that differ from working on an animated series such as,
say… like Armada?
Well, I guess the fundamental difference is that Armada was ADR, so it’s
already been recorded in Japanese.
And we would dub it over into English. With Transformers: Beast Machines and Beast Wars, we did the
voice before the animation was done.
And so the difference fundamentally is that in Beast Wars and Beast
Machines we had way more input and way more at stake emotionally and
intellectually with the characters than we did in the prelay simply because we
had such narrow parameters to work with in the ADR. Like with Armada, we had to fit our dialogue and imbue that
dialogue with certain emotion that in a lot of cases we didn’t create, we just
had to mimic it in English and follow the same phonetic tempo and so on that
the Japanese had, which is quite different from English, so sometimes it would
sound a little weird.
I think that comes out in the nature of those shows (Beast Wars and
Beast Machines) when you hear the dialogue and given the fact that the
animation came after the dialogue was recorded, it definitely comes off as a
bit more believable and lifelike and I think a lot of people always picked up
on that and that’s why those series are considered more popular and more
beloved because of that.
Well, I would say so, I mean, in every show that I’ve done that’s been
prelay, and that’s probably about 40 series I would say, we always invest a
large part of ourselves, (as characters, not as just like the royal lead, but
cartoon actors in general) we invest a lot of our own personalities and selves
into those characters and bring them to life because what we want more than
anything is to tell a story and tell it well and hopefully the audience will
care about us whether we’re bad guys or good guys. That’s what the most important thing is, that people care
about what you do or don’t do. The
worst thing is to have someone going, “yeah, so what?”
Given that you take a personal stake in the character, like you brought
up, how did you feel about the progression of the characters from Beast Wars to
Beast Machines, specifically the change in the disposition for Optimus Primal
between those two series?
I guess you’re talking about Season 3. In Season 3, I was a bit let down by Season 3 in that
because we had become like an old marriage. You know, the characters were sniping at each other and they
were always miserable and always arguing and Optimus became less of a leader
and more of a naval-gazing mystic and I just went, “Wait a minute, I think
we’re losing sight of what we’re doing here! (chuckles)
We’re entertaining people and it’s just getting a little bit too
philosophical for my tastes and I’m becoming kind of a non-entity.” You know, on one level, he’s sort of
become very introspective, but on another level we have to think about our
audience as well. And so I had
many arguments and fights with producers and writers on that show and they
started to bring it around towards the end of the season, I think.
The character development on those two series were phenomenal, by the
way. Who were your favourite
characters from Beast Wars or Beast Machines and why?
My favourite characters were…
well, I loved Rattrap because he was the eternal optimist. (Rattrap impersonation) “We’re all
He was always looking at the brighter side of life. (Rattrap impersonation) “We can’t do
this, we’re all gonna die! They’re
gonna kill us!”
And I loved
Megatron because he was (Kaye-esque impersonation) “Sooo eeevil…”
For different reasons, I loved Cheetor… Cheetor was a great character. Blackarachnia made me laugh. And… what was
that other one, Alec Willows’ character with his (Tarantulas impersonation),
“heehee hee heh”
Tarantulas! Ah! You know, every one of them had great
qualities. Richard Newman as
Rhinox, absolutely terrific. And (chuckling)
Jimmy Burns… (Inferno
impersonation) “Yes, my queen!”
I mean, how can you back away from that? And Scotty’s… the…
the ‘hawk,’ character. Uh,
I wish I had my references here, but it’s been a while so I can’t remember. But he played that upstanding heroic
That’s the one! I knew it
would come into my head.
Did they let Alec Willows smoke in the sound booth?
Way back when, you know, I’ll tell you a funny story… way back when, we were allowed to smoke
in the booth because… Cam Lane, who is a notorious chain smoker who did
He-Man, he used to (laughing) go between the isolation doors and have a cigarette
between takes and it was terrible!
He was just awful about that.
It used to just stink up the studio. But now, you’re not even allowed to smoke 18 feet from the
door going into the studio, into the building. They have strict laws here now.
When you’re voicing a character like Optimus Prime… a lot of people (I think typically
younger kids maybe) associate your voice with the Optimus Prime character. To my generation, you’ve always been
How do you feel when being compared to somebody like Peter Cullen who
did the original Optimus Prime?
Well, to me, Peter Cullen is a brilliant voice guy. And he’s a tremendous singer, by the
way. He’s a very good singer. And…
As good as you?
Ehhh… we’re about the same,
Cuz I’ve heard a little bit about your singing!
Yeah, I do OK, you know.
(laughs) But, Peter, I’ve
always admired him. But, I always
found the original Transformers voice to be bit stiff and pedantic. He got a little better with the
movies. I mean, the movies, he was
was a lot better than the original generation to my mind. I thought he was just a bit too machine like, but hey! He was playing a truck! So, what can I say?
But I always admired Peter for all of the other things that he’s done
and all the other work that he’s done because he’s an old pro and my
characterization was, to my mind, my
characterization. It was a
different thing altogether. When
they asked me to do Armada and Cybertron, they asked me to do it like Peter
Cullen from the first generation, and I sort of but really didn’t want to
because hell, that’s not my version.
If they want me to sound like him, why don’t the just get him, you know? I mean, it makes sense. But, they asked me to toughen it up and
then make it, you know, more tougher and I tried to imbue a little bit of
warmth and humanity in the character, but it didn’t seem to work out too well
because of the parameters of ADR.
But, I mean, people liked it I guess, but I think people will always
like Primal a lot better than Optimus in those other shows. Mind you, that’s the thing limited by
ADR. If I could put my own stamper
on it, I don’t know how it would have turned out but I think it would have
turned out better than what it did.
What are some differences you consider about how to approach portraying
a character as a voice actor as opposed to depicting one in live action?
Well, I think the basics are pretty well the same. You’re always looking for a back story,
you’re looking for, you know, what their likes and dislikes are, you’re always
trying to build a character profile.
The thing with cartoons is, you can play many different characters and a
lot of times you don’t look even a little bit like the character you’re
playing. So it’s up to you to come
up with a voice that absolutely fits that and the way you do that is to… with a character on film, you’re
basically being yourself in a given situation, so you try and build as much
character and back story and portray it on screen. With cartoons, you have to not only look at the back story,
but you have to look at the physicality of the character. You have to look at, you know, are
they, you know, 20 feet tall or 2 feet tall, do they have big jaws, small jaws,
tall, skinny, wide, fat… you play
who you are on film. You can play
anything on cartoons. So, what I
would do right off, and that was something I got from Sue Blu way back when
was, figure out how the character laughs and you’ll figure out the
character. And look at the
physicality of the character and you’ll find aspects of the voice. And then the rest is your acting
Excellent! If I could
switch gears for a moment, away from the Transformers thing a little bit, I—
Wait! Hang on! (horrendous puking noise)
I’m like an ill-tuned engine here! (laughing)
You OK over there?
Oh yeah, I’m fine. I just
had a sip of tea.
Tea does that to you?
Yes, occasionally if it goes down the wrong way. (laughs) All of you guys in here are so cool…
A lot of people are huge fans of the Reboot show…
With Rainmaker, which used to be Mainframe, I believe…
With them announcing the continuation of the franchise this year, have
you been approached at all about reprising any of your roles from Reboot?
I would imagine that’s gonna happen because we’ve had discussions. I talked with Gavin about it and I’ve
talked with Mike Donovan (who directed a lot of them) about that… Mike Donovan played Mike the TV.
(Mike the TV impression) “Well, here we are, everybody!”
We’ve been talking about it, and I’ll tell ya, there’ll be some holy
hell raised if we don’t get approached for that because all of us absolutely
love that show and loved doing it.
It was just the most fun because there’s a lot of gags in it, that you
know, are in-house gags that they put in the cartoon that only the guys who
worked there would get.
I think a little bit of the problem with the current popularity with
Reboot is that there’s no real availability of the media anymore. Has there ever been any talk, I mean,
not that you would know this, just curious, has there ever been any talk about
Mainframe ever getting around to releasing those shows on DVD or anything? At least any more than they have
Well, I think there’s every bit of a possibility that will happen. I mean, I don’t think they’re gonna cut
their nose off to spite their face and just hold everything locked in because
they don’t want the public to see it or that they don’t want to get it out there. I think that it will be remarketed and
I know that there are a few movies in the works right at the moment and as far
as launching it as a series again, I think it would be great if they did
because it was very popular all over the world.
Speaking of that, is there anything you could tell us about the
direction of the new Reboot material at this time?
I have no idea. I’m as much
in the dark as you. I mean, I talk
to Gavin every once in a while, who created it. I saw him at the anime convention last August in Vancouver
and we talked about that, what’s gonna happen and nothing’s been formatted yet,
so there you go. Sorry, I wish I
could give you some news, but I just can’t.
Being one of my personal favorite voiceover actors in general, could you
give us a little insight about what it was like for you working with the late,
great Tony Jay on that series?
Tony Jay was a wonderful English actor. You might have heard him in Tailspin and some of the Disney
shows and in Reboot. I think he
was tremendous. It was a great
loss to all of us to have him go.
But here’s the funny thing, I have never actually seen him! (chuckles) I’ve only actually heard
Well, there’s pictures of him online!
Cuz I’d like to see him.
(Megabyte impression) “I want to see who this wonderful voice was. My, what a clever little sales sprite
you are.” Oh, I just loved it.
That’s pretty damn good!
Yeah? Well, you know it was
very close between him and I for Megabyte, for the character. And what’s really odd is when I was
reading for the character, I came out with that kind of a voice. (impression) “My…” you know, that thing… and then when I heard Tony’s I went,
“holy shit, he did the..” ooops,
(laughing) You really don’t
have to worry about that here.
“Holy moly, he did the same voice!” But his was the older, warmer, more resilent than mine. But now I’m his age at that time, so
I’m ready to do Megabyte.
Do you think that’s a possibility, that they approach you for that role?
(Megabyte impression) “It
may be, because I’m older now.”
That would be great
It could happen, it would be fun.
Actually, talking about that, being approached for roles, were you ever
approached for any roles or anything that had to do with the Michael Bay movies
No. And I’ll tell you
something, I was talking to, I don’t know if you know Benson Yee…
He’s a Transformers writer, not a show writer but a fan writer, magazine
writer out of New York. And I was
talking to him about it and he said, “you should talk to Don Murphy about it
and see if you can get a set up with Michael Bay.” So I sent off an email to Don Murphy and he didn’t reply to
me, he put it out on his blog… and I went, “You asshole…”
“That letter was privileged information between you and me, not between
you and me and the world.” You
know, I was approaching him to read for the part of Optimus Prime. And he writes in his blog, “Is this guy
for real?” And I wrote back, “yes
I’m for real, you dip! Of course
I’m real, what the hell’s the matter with you? It’s me writing you asking for a job.” You think I’d ask him for a job if I
wasn’t real? And so he did like a
survey and some people wanted me, but they liked me as Primal rather than Prime
and some people liked Peter Cullen and it was more in favor of Peter Cullen
because he was the original voice and he’s got a great voice, but there was one
person on there who just ripped into me, just tore me apart and told me what an
asshole I was and what a terrible voice I had. He said he could act better with his balls than I could and
I’m going, “Oh, it’s that guy who did Robots in Disguise.”
I thought that might have been him because apparently, you know, he
didn’t really like what I did and so…
Wait, you thought it was that guy (Neil Kaplan) from the Robots in
Disguise cartoon that hated you?
Yeah, so apologies to you whoever you are because I don’t know who you
are, but somebody just… ugh… man, they were so vitriolic and I went,
‘hey, take it easy, I was just asking.
(laughs) It’s not like I’m killing your sister or something.’ But oh, he was very angry and it had to
be a ‘he’ because girls don’t use language like that.
Uhhh… I dunno, you should
meet my girlfriend.
(laughs) So I sent a letter
off to him and he published it and then I sent him a letter and I said, ‘hey,
you like me or you don’t, I don’t give a damn, you know, if you wanna hire me
for this movie, by all means. If
not, I mean, it would be kind of funny to have us in there as cameos like
Scotty and Dave Kaye and myself’ and we never ever heard back from them, so we
Well, I think you count!
I actually try to avoid those boards because for the appreciation of a
franchise such as Transformers, the Don Murphy boards are just so hateful and
evil. Everybody there is just so
mean to each other, just spiteful, hateful people. I can’t even imagine…
I didn’t even know that had happened at the time, but I could imagine
the kind of response you got from the kind of people who go to places like
Well, all I can say to them, all those out there and I’ll say it to all
of you who listen and go to that blog site or whatever it is, just
remember: It’s only a cartoon.
Isn’t it all about a bunch of kids’ toys?
That’s right, it’s about toys and cartoons. Let’s upset all the children by giving them all kinds of
swear words and disgusting things to say about each other so that they can
learn how to be disgusting and swear.
Thank you. You have really
contributed a lot to society. Well
done, Don Murphy, we love you man!
You’re gonna let me post this, right?
(laughing) I can hear the
letters now. Don, if you don’t get
that one collectible that you just can’t find, too goddamned bad!
I have it! And I’m never
giving it to you!
I think we need to lay off the tea, Garry.
Let’s just edit that portion, shall we?
I dunno, it’s pretty good stuff.
It’s good stuff. Well, edit
out the “I have the part and I’ll never give it to you” part because he might
offer a lot of money for it.
Has anyone approached you about the possibility of a new Transformers
series coming out that they’re working on?
I thought they already worked on the new Transformers series, what
happened to that one?
The Animated one?
Yeah, David Kaye was playing Optimus.
Yes, actually since you bring it up, how did you feel about that?
Well, you know, I said to Dave, as I said to him because you know, we’ve
traveled together a few times, “Dave, you got the part of Optimus?” And he
goes, “I know. I was playing
Megatron, but they gave me Optimus.”
And I said, “Well that’s good!
Because you get all the straight lines.” I wished him all the best in the world because I have quite
honestly moved on to other things and done other things and I can’t burden
myself with that kind of misery because it’s in America. He lives in America and it’s a prelay
and came off hot on the heels of the movie and I can’t work in America. So, I guess I’m sort of stuck there and
he got the part and he’s a tremendous actor, what can I say? He’s got a tremendous voice, he’s a
great actor and a lot of fun. As
soon as… I guess the last show I
did, was it Energon for the Transformers series?
It was Cybertron.
Cybertron was the last one.
Yeah, and after that was done, I was done. Unless they come out with a new series, I’m kind of done
with the series. If they bring it
up here and they ask me to read for it, I’ll read for it. I’ll audition for it, I’ll put my two
cents in. But, one thing that can
really wreck you is if you get all bitter and bent out of shape and sort of
hold on to these things and say like, you know, “I AM Scarlett O’Hara,” or “I AM…”
well, I’m not Optimus, I’m a guy playing Optimus. And if they let me to continue to play
Optimus, I’ll play it! If they
don’t well, that’s OK too. I’m
playing other characters now.
So, the reason you got the role of Optimus Primal is because it was
close to home?
right! No, the reason I got
Optimus Primal is because the other guy couldn’t make it! (laughs) No, the reason I got Optimus Primal is because I brought
something to the character that they liked and I think that people responded to
it in a positive way and so I continued to do it for a long, long time. I did it for, I guess it was over ten
I got a couple more things and then I’ll let the girls talk to you for a
minute, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
There are girls there?
Yeah, actual girls.
Like real girls? Ooh yeah,
I know those. They’re cool. We like girls.
Come on, Garry!
OOP, we love you baby!
Garry, the times that I’ve met you, you’ve always been extremely cordial
and interested in making times for your fans. Why so nice all the time?
Why? I guess it’s because
truly, I really enjoy what I do.
And I really enjoy the people who make what I do happen. Without them, I have no job and without
them there’s no real point to doing it.
Why make a record if no one’s gonna buy it, you know? I just enjoy performing and I enjoy
being with the fans and meeting fans and it costs nothing to be kind and it
costs nothing to spend a few minutes to yak.
Is there any advice you might be able to impart to someone looking to
get their foot in the door of the voice acting industry?
Key is get acting lessons.
(laughs) Go to acting
school and learn the foundations of your craft. If you don’t learn the foundations it’s like building a
house of cards. One little puff
and you’re done. So, you know,
everybody can do twenty voices, lots of people can do Mickey Mouse and Donald
Duck and all that stuff. But can you do it in Shakespeare? Can you do it in Chekhov? It’s making the characters
believable. Acting is 80% of your
character, voice is 20%. Getting a
job, well that’s a whole different skill set. You’ve gotta make yourself a demo reel and, I’ve talked
about this a few times, but, you’ve gotta get yourself a demo reel and you’ve
gotta get it out to the people that count, a reputable voice agent, a
production house like, well, it’s hard to get your tapes out to places like
Hasbro and Mattel and Disney and so on, and Pixar and all those, so you’ve got
to find yourself a reputable agent.
But most important of all, you have to get a really good demo tape and
really, really get your acting chops down pat because without acting a voice
doesn’t really mean crap.
Who is the wackiest character you have ever played.
The wackiest character I’ve every played was Metalhead on G.I. Joe. Metalhead on G.I. Joe was probably the
craziest character I’ve ever played.
The other one I think is King Hippo on Captain N: The Gamemaster.
I haven’t seen it in years, but, I knew that was you on that cartoon!
You knew that was me?
Yeah, it was almost a Whiplash kind of voice.
Oh yeah. (impersonation)
“Excuse yourself, ya pig!
So much fun! So much
fun. And Metalhead even had his
own heavy metal song that you can find on youtube or somewhere that goes,
(singing) “Metalhead! Metalhead!
He’s right out of control!
(indecipherable) your soul!
Bang!” (simulated guitar
It was like Eddie VanHalen kind of ripping metal song and it was quite
fun. I was quite flattered.
What is the greatest role you would ever like to play?
The greatest role that I would ever like to play? JESUS! No, let me see.
It’s hard to say, there’s so many.
If I had one and if it was ever remade, I would love to play the
character of Quick Draw McGraw in cartoons. (Quick Draw impression) “Cuz I just loooooove that
character, Ba-Ba Looey!”
He was great! Dawes Butler
was just my hero. I thought he was
just a tremendous, tremendous cartoon character. He did so many great cartoons!
I’d like to hear your rendition of El-Kabong.
“I am ELLLL-KABONG!
Ooops. Sorry, Ba-Ba
Looey!” I just loved that show.
Are there any roles that you would absolutely refuse to play?
Yes, I don’t play the part of gratuitously violent characters, child
molesters… I am virulently against
what I call ‘pain porn.’ For
example, ‘The Hills Have Eyes,’ the ‘Saw’ franchise, the Jason franchise, any
of the slasher, you know… ‘Four
campers in the woods encounter a crazed killer.’ ‘Four campers on vacation from college in a mountain cabin
encounter a crazed killer.’ ‘Four
guys on a beach encounter a crazed killer.’ I just go, ‘shut up with the crazed killer!’ There’s a gazillion of these films out
there and they’re just like pornography, they’re all the same plot and they all
rely on… the more gory and the
more suffering that the characters have the better people like it. To me, that’s ‘pain porn,’ pornography
and I just don’t go for it. I wish
it would just disappear from the planet.
I have very strong opinions about this.
I remember that one, what was that show called..
Freddy vs. Jason?
Not that… well yeah, of course, but you were still a good guy in that
That was comedy.
CARCASS: It was pretty funny actually…
It was funny.
I think the only reason I have that movie on DVD is just because you’re
Awww, so sweet, thanks.
So true, so true. But there
was that show you did, ‘Haunted’ I think it was called. You were in the pilot episode.
Oh, like a ghost cop?
Yeah, yeah! That was fun!
That was kind of creepy.
You were kind of creepy in that.
I was a creepy bad guy. I
didn’t mind that character because he got killed in the end. No, he got the crap beat out of
him. And you never actually saw
him do anything, he was just this creepy guy and then you found out he was a
creepy guy. But that was in
‘Haunted.’ I actually liked
that. And besides, I got to work
with Matthew Fox who just rocks in my world! Very nice guy.
I really like him, he’s a nice fellow, you know the guy on ‘Lost?’ Isn’t he great? And I got to write all the commercials
in that show. I think that’s the
one, Haunted or Ghost Cop, one of the two. I wrote all those, “And here are my assistants, Faith, Hope
and Charity. Need a hand?” and I
take my hand off. “Let’s talk
turkey! (gobble gobble noise)”
It was a very bizarre TV show.
It’s by the same guys who wrote…
umm, what’s that sci-fi show on Sci-Fi called? About the town…
Eureka! The same guys who wrote Eureka wrote this other show called
Ghost Cop. It was very funny and
very dark and I played a used car salesman and I got to write all my own
commercials and it was very funny.
This fan writes, I see Garry as being able to act in a wide range and I
would love to see him be someone like the Marvel Kingpin of crime. Would he be interested in that sort of
role? Why or why not?
Yes, I would, because I’ve always wanted to play a Caesar character,
like a Caesar, a leader. And I
played one in a show called Viper.
Remember that TV show called Viper?
I remember that show!
I played in an episode as a crime kingpin. It was great, he gets his comeuppance at the end. Like remember John Colicos in the
original Battlestar Galactica?
Yes. I’m probably the only
one here who does.
I’d love to play that character, John Colicos’ character. He was great. I don’t mind playing evil characters. I like playing bad guys. I don’t like things like, you know,
hostile and those kinds of shows.
Gross. But yes, I would! Give me that part!
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
You’re gonna laugh! You’re
gonna laugh. I wish I could speak
every single language living or dead.
That’s pretty cool! I like
Is that a superpower or does that just mean you’re really well-schooled?
No, it would be a great superpower to be able to speak every single
language living or dead or extraterrestrial, can you imagine? You could be the ultimate interpreter.
You’d be like C-3PO.
Yeah! You could communicate
with the universe. I mean, that
would be so cool!
Does that include sign language?
Sign language as well. And
the famous drum language of Africa.
The drum languages and the whistling language of the Pyrenees or the
bird-song language of the Mayans, oh it would be very, very cool. Can you imagine? You’d be the ultimate
communicator. You’d be a stand-up
comic in every single language!
I work in customer service and I think I’m glad that I don’t speak every
Why is that? (chuckles) “Oh
sorry, no speakie English!”
There you go!
“I don’t speak Japanese.
Sorry, I don’t speak German.”
Yeah, so then you flob them off onto somebody else.
But can you imagine? You
could go to the rain forest and do a stand-up show and everybody would
understand you. You’d be out in
New Guinea or somewhere like that and you could stand there and crack jokes
about the enemy next door and they’d all know! I mean, it’d be great and you could find out so much
stuff. That’s my ultimate
superpower is to be able to speak every language. AND see through walls.
No, I take that back! To
speak every language and… remember
that movie, ‘Jumper?’ I’d love to
be able to teleport. That would be
so cool because I really hate flying.
Not because I’m afraid of flying, I love being in an airplane if it’s
like, you know, for an hour. But
when you’re on a plane, like I just flew back from London a day before
yesterday and it was a nine hour flight, and I’ll tell ya… sitting in those
little chairs, even the business class chairs are big, but they’re not that comfortable and sitting there for nine
hours, eeeeehhh, I’ll wake up in the morning, my neck is cricked, my hip is
cricked, I’m going, “God, people pay money to get tortured!” And the standing in line and having
people go through all your stuff and look at everything, it’s just like,
ugh! So you gotta sit there for
three hours before you get on the airplane. I’d much rather take the train or transport. Because, you know it’s funny, coming
back to that movie ‘Jumper,’ I recall (I don’t know if there’s any sci-fi buffs
out there), but I recall reading a book, a sci-fi novel when I was a teenager,
called ‘The Konvs.’ And these characters could teleport anywhere, anytime. They were always being chased, they
were being pursued by another race who couldn’t teleport and they always thought
that these guys were a threat to them because they could teleport anywhere in
the universe. They were called
Konvs. Now, this could be an
interesting exercise because it was a novel or a short story I think, and I
cannot remember who wrote it, but when I watched ‘Jumper’ I went, “oh, I read
this back in the 60’s!” So there
Wow! I got a Stargate
I think most of us here know you were Colonel Chekov, which is awesome
because I loved your Russian accent…
If you were to play a Goa’uld, what would your personality or traits or
backstory be like? What would your
bad guy influence be if you were a Goa’uld?
My bad guy influence if I was a Goa’uld would be… hmmm… mmmm… hmmmm….
You’d probably have your own Stargate, your own ship…
I would think… I would love
to be the character of Captain Bligh on Mutiny on the Bounty, remember that?
I have not seen that.
Well, Captain Bligh would be my villain. He wasn’t actually a villain, but he was a very cruel, harsh
taskmaster to his crew. He was
played by Charles Laughton, you know, (Charles Laughton impression) “Mr.
Christian! He had that kind of a
voice! Charles Laughton! Mr. Christian, you will take that man
for punishment now!” And I
thought, oh my god! I love that
character and that’s who I would have for my Goa’uld.
Or uhhh… hmmm… OOP.
She’s quite the character, I mean, I gotta tell ya, I mean some of the
things she comes up with. And then
she goes, “Oh, just kidding!”
Do you know where I get that sense of humor from?
I get that because I work with three guys all day at work and that’s all
And they torture you like that?
And it has grown on me.
What a horrible bunch.
Yeah, play them that, Garry saying ‘what a horrible bunch.”
What a horrible bunch!
Leave my OOP alone! She’s
the only girl and she’s your BOSS.
You know what? I was just
looking at wikipedia? I was going
through wikipedia and they finally got my birthday correct!
You can edit that yourself, you know.
Really? I didn’t know
that! They had me as the 14th
of November, 1951 and I’m going, ‘Wait a minute, I’m not that old!.’
I can’t find ‘Konvs’ anywhere.
K-O-N-V-S. Konvs. No?
I’m gonna find it!
Cuz, I am telling you, if you find the story, I cannot remember the
story but as soon as I saw the movie ‘Jumper’ I went, “holy moly, that’s that
short story!” It’s just like when
I watched Blade Runner, you know…
‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’…
and the other one was the one that uhh… oh god, my mind is such a sieve. About the time cops that go back in time and prevent…
Nope, not Time Cop, it was the one with…
No, not Sliders. You know,
the one with Tom Cruise. It was a
science fiction movie where they would go back in time and prevent a crime
before it happened, temporal police…
That one. That was based on
another Philip K. Dick short story from the 60’s, and I went, ‘huh! I read that.’ There’s a lot of sci-fi movies that are based on really old
pulp, that are very, very cool.
There’s some great stories out there. I mean, we’re living in a science fiction story right now
even as we speak. Have you ever
read the book, ‘The Feeling of Power,’ an Isaac Asimov short stoy?
Where people never left their homes, they lived on the internet and they
ordered everything in on computers…
… they never saw people
face to face and they couldn’t do anything like math or physics cuz they all
did it on calculators. They
couldn’t add and subtract in their head and this guy was arrested because he
was the only one who could calculate sums without using a calculator. It’s a great story, but look at how
much of a parallel there is when that story was written in the early 60’s to
now. It’s quite incredible.
I’m still waiting for those moving sidewalks from ‘Caves of Steel.’
The moving sidewalks are out there, but they’re only at the airport.
Well, I’ve just read the latest sci-fi novel that I’m absolutely mad for
that I think is just the best science fiction story that I’ve read so far. It’s called ‘Altered Carbon.’
Here I go looking it up.
‘Altered Carbon,’ if you get a chance to read it, is absolutely
great. It’s almost like ‘Avatar.’
Yeah! It’s super! It’s SOOOPA!
OK, let’s move on a little bit, OOP. We don’t want to waste all of Garry’s time, just a little
bit of it.
You’re not wasting my time! (laughs) Next question, please!
I’m getting there! You keep
talking and I don’t know what you’re saying!
I’m just saying, ‘next question, please,’ darling’!
If Beast Wars ever had a reboot or live action adaptation, would you
return to the role of Optimus Primal.
Of course you would.
Because we love you!
See, that’s a quick question.
It’s a prompt question that I can only answer yes or no to.
Some of Optimus Primal’s character bios describe him as a veteran of the
last Great War. In season 1 of the
series, he seemed to be portrayed as a ‘n00b’ in command for the first time,
particularly in how some of the crew treated him. Which way did you see Optimus when you first started playing
Wow, that’s a very clever question! I really like that question! But my approach to the character, was I saw myself as an old
veteran, I’d been around the block.
I tolerated this new crew that I have who weren’t all that new, but they
were quite young, so I tolerated them because they were young and full of
get-up-and-go. So, I always saw
myself as a veteran. I never
saw myself as a ‘n00b.’
What was your overall opinion of Optimus Primal?
My overall opinion of Primal?
What an idiot!
God, he was such… I mean, the guy was such a wuss! Sat around in his chair, telling
everybody else what to do… him and
Rhinox would sit and get drunk and he’d come home in the morning, see Cheetor
and Rattrap screwing around the ship…
“Get your hands off the controls, go out and play on the planet! Get out of my hair, you guys are just
driving me nuts, I can’t stand it, my head is pounding…”
Of course I loved that character. I
always saw him as a warm, tough but fair father figure character. And I quite liked him. There’s not much about him I didn’t
like. Except for the fact that he
drank to excess. (laughs)
Well, that could be like a father figure for some people.
Yes, oh yes… but that’s a
whole other show. (laughs)
How much input did you get to give in developing your character of
Optimus Primal? If you could
change anything about Optimus, what would it be?
All the input into developing the character of Optimus Primal, aside
from basic bio information that was given to me, was supplied by me. What changes I would make? I wouldn’t make any. I was very, very
happy with the character that I created.
The only time that I was unhappy was the way the scripts were going in
season 3. That’s the only thing
that sort of took away from it, but for everything else, that’s my input. My baby.
I heard once that you get cast as a cop and leader a lot, but what kind
of roles do you actually prefer to play?
Well, I like to play cops and police captains, they’re great fun and I
play a lot of them. But I like
playing grandpas and I like… I
like playing characters that have a lot of emotional depth that have something
going on and something to say. I
hate being moveable scenery. I
hate cliché characters, I try not to make them cliché. I’m just sort of going through my imdb
and I’m still scrolling through it as I’m talking to you, I have some pretty
cool characters. I quite liked my
character in ‘Outer Limits’ where I was taken over by the alien, that was
really fun. I really, really
enjoyed Chekhov in ‘Stargate’ because he was sort of an antagonist to Richard
Dean Anderson, but he was funny, he had a sense of humor and he was great. I liked that.
I agree. I also liked your
characters like Slash on ‘Reboot’…
and Grounder on ‘Sonic’
(Grounder impression) “Heeey…
I just lost my head for a moment!
Scratch, Dr. Robotnik is gonna kill us if he finds out.” (Dr. Robotnik impression) “I hate that hedgehog!”
It was wild because in the first go around of that show I played
Grounder, and in the second go around I played Dr. Robotnik! Which was a bit odd. But I so admired Long John Baldry who
played the character of Dr. Robotnik, he passed away several years ago. So they asked me to play the part and I
thought, ‘Yes, I could do that,’ because I used to mock him good-naturedly all
the time because I loved the way he talked. (Dr. Robotnik impression) “Only the finest lubricants!” He used to make me laugh. Yeah, so I loved those.
This question kind of goes back to Carcass’ question about who your
favorite characters were in Beast Wars.
If you could choose a character from Beast Wars to have played other
than Primal, who would you have wanted to be?
Silverbolt! I loved
Silverbolt. And I loved… if I
could play it I would love Megatron.
(Megatron impression) “Yessss.
Auto-sideguns!” I loved
that character, he was great. That
was his key phrase, you know. When
he wanted to get into character, Dave Kaye? “Sideguns!” I
loved that. I could do that. “Sideguns!” Yeah, no problem!
I’ll do that no worries!
Yes, I’d love to play Megatron.
I’ve love to… “Yessss.”
What inspired you to become an actor, voice and live?
I’ve always liked to perform, I’ve loved to sing, but I was very shy in
school when I was younger. Even
though I did plays, I wasn’t much of a ‘mixer.’ And there was a fellow when I was in grade 11 I think in
high school… there was a fellow
named Keith Tavernor who was an actor-type of guy. I was a football, rugby player. And he says, “you know, Chalk, you can sing. I know you can sing, you should come
and be part of our play!” And I
said, “What play?” They were doing
the show that was called, ‘The Boyfriend’ and it was a musical. And I said, “I’m not doing a musical,
man, that’s kind of gay!”
“My buddies will kill me!” And he said, “No, it’s a lot of fun and
you’ll get the chicks!” And I said, “OK, I’m in!” So he convinced me that if I went in and became a part of
this musical then I would get the chicks.
I didn’t realize that he was gay at the time and he was sort of, you know, ‘hey, I kinda
like ya!’ And I’m going, ‘I had no
idea if I’m gay.’ But I did meet
some very nice girls in the theater, so I stayed in it. I can still… (laughs) I
remember my signature song in ‘The Boyfriend’ was,
It’s never too late to have a fling
For autumn is just as nice as spring
And it’s never too late to fall… in… love
I’m gonna tell ya, that was 40 years ago. I never forgot the show and I never forgot the song and
that’s what actually launched my career.
So Keith, if you’re out there, thank you man!
He came out already, right?
Oh yeah, way, way, way…
Cuz you just kind of blew the lid off that if he didn’t.
No, no, I thought he might be and it turns out that yes, it was quite
conceivable that he was. And
besides, I have not seen him in 40 years. And besides, I have no idea, I have not seen him in 40 years,
so there you go.
If Optimus Primal had a pickup line, what would it be?
Maybe he would just sing that song that he just did?
(singing) “It’s never too late to have a fling…”
Yeah! No, what would
Optimus Primal’s pickup line be…
(Optimus Primal impression) “Hey!
around? Can I show you my banana?”
(long fits of laughter)
My god, I just disgusted myself.
Sorry, it’s out!
Well, I still love ya.
Oh, thank you. OOP, you are
so sweet to me, thank you so much.
You know that OOP is a very talented artist, huh?
Well, we’ve known OOP for years, haven’t we?
Yeah, about ten.
Yes, SO we shall move on.
What iconic cartoon character have you always wanted to play if it was
ever remade or revamped?
Huckleberry Hound. I love
Huckleberry Hound. And I also love
Sylvester the Cat. (Sylvester
impression) “Hey, son! I just love that character! That’s a big mouse!” I just love it!
Are there any roles you’ve done that you look back on and they make you
cringe with regret for one reason or another?
Umm, let me see, cringe with regret roles… Nope! I’m very
happy with all of them. I’m
telling ya, I think all of the characters that I did I really enjoyed doing
them. If I had a character I’d
love to do over again, I would love to have done Boyd Paul Downs on ‘Small
Sacrifices,’ I would love to have done that character again cuz that was one I
thought when I looked at it, I thought I could have done a lot more with that
one. And the other one… nope, I think I’m very happy with all
of them. Not that I’m Mr.
Pleased-With-Myself, but I think if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, it
doesn’t matter what it… OH, I know!
One show that I sort of had misgivings about was a movie called ‘Blonde
and Blonder’ with Denise Richards and Pamela Anderson. I came out of it not too bad, but
apparently people tell me it’s not a very good movie.
Well, I’m gonna see it now!
Are ya? They’re quite fun,
the two girls. Well, Pamela was
fun. I never got to talk to Denise
Richards very much, but… there you
I’m looking on my imdb, it just goes on and on and on. Good god. Some things I forgot.
‘Journey of Natty Gann,’ you know I still get residuals on that show and
I did it in 1985? Oh yeah, here’s
‘The Legend of Hiawatha!’
1983. My first cartoon and
it actually is for sale somewhere.
The director was Sebastian Grunstra. The author, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The release date was 24th of
November, 1983. So we recorded in
1982. And uh… there I am! Barry Blake, Tim Atkinson, Garry Chalk, Aline Van Dine, and
Michael Voss. I can’t believe it,
it’s actually there! It was filmed
at Atkinson Filmworks! Fun trivia,
the musical score was comprised entirely of stock cues from the network music
library. In other words, they did
it really, really cheap.
But the video cover looks…
you can buy it on Amazon Books, my very first cartoon! Wow, I can’t believe it’s for sale, but
there you go!
Here’s an interesting question from someone…
If you had a choice between being killed by a decrepit grizzly bear or a
dying shark, which would you choose?
What kind of a question is that?
I dunno, I just… these are
If I had a choice between a disgruntled grizzly bear or a shark, I think
I’d go for the grizzly bear because grizzlies are really fast and they’d just
knock your head clean off. When
they got you, you’d be done. But
sharks, that means you’d have to swim out of the ocean and then feel something
creepy crawly rubbing against your leg before it struck. And the terror of that would drive me
crazy… and being bit and spit out
and left to die. You know, when
you ask these questions… sometimes
you just have to answer them.
Here’s one getting back to normal…
Oh, good. We like normal.
What do you find to be more challenging, voice acting or acting in front
of the camera?
Acting in front of the camera is a bit challenging because you have to
memorize all the lines and dress up and look the part, so you can’t hide. That’s the biggest challenge and the
technical aspects of film-making is a big challenge in maintaining character
even though scenes that are next to each other in a movie might be weeks apart
in the shooting script. That’s a
bit of a challenge. The main
challenges I have for voice acting is creating that movie in your head so that
when the animators draw the character they give a very faithful and accurate
vision of what you’re portraying.
That’s the biggest challenge, to make people see the movie when you’re
talking. Short, concise answer. Sorry!
How about your hobbies? You
have a lot of hobbies.
Well, I’m a golf nut. I
love golf. I paint on occasion, do
watercolours. I haven’t done any
this year because last year I injured my leg and the idea of sitting still and
painting was just too painful because my leg would seize up and I just could
not sit still for almost a year enough to concentrate on painting. That takes a lot of concentration. So I play a lot of music. I play piano and guitar and sing and
that’s a great hobby of mine. I
read a tremendous amount of books.
Those are my real hobbies. I
was making model airplanes for a bit, and model ships. I still have one, I’m still doing a PBY
model airplane, it’s about a 5-foot wingspan that I’m building downstairs. It’s one of those things that you
really have to dedicate… you can’t
be interrupted, you can’t have any noise, you have to sit down and apply
yourself. It’s very technical,
it’s very tough to do. You ever
try to make a model airplane? I
mean, not one of those little plastic things from Revell that you just stick
together, but these gigantic bombers that are made up of a gazillion little
balsa wood parts and then you put on the paper and glue it and make the wings
and…. ugh. I made a B-24 Liberator
Bomber a few years ago and it had a five and a half foot wingspan and it took
me a hundred and eighty hours to build it, but it looked great! It’s hanging up in a hobby store over
on the west side. But yeah, that’s
basically it. I love to travel, I
love to journal, I love to meet with people… I collect accents, those are fun. I’m always listening to people’s accents and what they do
and how they say it and the music of it, but mostly these days I’m just playing
a lot of music and singing a lot.
That’s really fun. That’s
my new hobby for this year.
Since you brought that up, I have personally seen you play the piano a
… and sing, which I thought
was absolutely fabulous…
Cuz you really are a good singer, Garry.
Thank you very much, m’darlin’.
You’re welcome! Why haven’t
you recorded an album yet?
I’m going to, this year, as a matter of fact! I’m getting that set up as we speak. I’m going to get that together, no problem. I’m working on it right now, I just
haven’t had the time at the moment.
I think I’m going to have some guys come up who’ve said they’ve written
songs that they’d like me to sing and I think I will do that!
You had better!
Do you think maybe you could do a duet with Jim Byrnes?
Oh, wouldn’t that be fun!
Ah, Jimmy won’t do it with me.
He won’t do it.
He’s got his gospel thing going and his band and the radio show, he’s
got very little available time on his hands. He’s doing his radio show and you can hear it on 104.3 (Jim
Byrnes impression) “The Shore, 104.3 in Vancouver. Every Friday night from 8 to 11. The Edge of Darkness with…”
what’s his face?
(Jim Byrnes impression) “… Jim Byrnes. JTB” It’s true,
I’m not kidding. It’s there.
Does he stream that online as well?
I think so, yeah. It’s a
really good show. I listen to it
on the radio and he plays a lot of songs and music that he likes. You know Jimmy Byrnes, he’s just, (Jim
Byrnes impression) “Hi, this is JTB, we’re on the Edge of Darkness tonight on
104.3, the Shore FM. We’ve got the
best of blues and rock-n-roll…”
I’m a fan. I am!
Have you had any obnoxious or bizarre encounters with fans from
conventions. Besides me.
Besides you? (laughs) Well, the funkiest one I had was with a
guy who looked like he just stepped out of Columbine. He had a long, black leather trenchcoat and wearing a
(laughing) Don’t they all look like that at conventions?
Sometimes! But a lot of
people are very nice at conventions.
But this guy was very nice, but he goes (southern drawl) “Mr. Chalk,
I’ma gon’ be yer bodyguard fer the whole show.”
And I said, “I’m sorry what?”
(southern drawl) “Now, I’ma gon’ protect ye. I’ma be yer bodyguard fer the whole show, don’choo worry
‘bout a thang, anybody come close I’ma take care of it.” And I go, “I really don’t need to be
taken care of,” and he goes (southern drawl) “Nope, nope, it’s no trouble
‘tall, I’m gon’ do it.” And this
guy, he had like a real samurai sword and I’m going, ‘this is too weird! This is way too weird!”
Then I had one guy come up to me and I was sitting at the bar in Chicago
and this guy walked up to me with his friend and they had been drinking and he
says, “How in the hell can you hang out with all these losers?” And I said, “Well, you’re here, you’re
part of this group.” And he says,
“Yeah, but I’m not a loser.” And I
said, “well, how do you say that?”
And he says, “Cuz I had sex with a woman last night. A real one.” And I went, “you had sex with a real woman?”
He said, “yeah, you see that?” and he pulled down his shirt and showed
me a little hickey on his neck and I went, “WOW! That’s amazing.
You had sex with a real woman,” and the only thing that conjured up in my mind was, what
do you have sex with normally? Does it require a
lot of breath power to blow up that doll?
It just conjured up very uncomfortable images, but it made me laugh. “I had sex last night with a
woman. A real woman.” And I went, “Yep…
you’re in the right place, buddy!”
But I don’t get any obnoxious fans. I never really met any. I mean, there’s always the guy who comes up and goes, (silly
impersonation of a fevered fan)
“Mr. Chalk, let me ask you just one question, just one more question,
please, I just want one more question…”
And I say,
“OK? What’s the question?”
episode three of the first season of Beast Machines, you said to Rattrap that he’s… could you explain what was going on in
And I go,
“Ummm. Hmmmm… Nope, I can’t.”
“Mr. Chalk, just
one more question, just one more question…”
“Uh, I really
“I know, I know,
just one more question…”
It drove me
crazy because, you know, I didn’t realize that there was something a bit odd
with him, like asperger’s or something, but… could not just ask one more question, it was like fifty questions and then I’m like, “I gotta
go, I gotta go, please leave me alone!”
The horror. The… horror…
Ahh, it happens, you know.
These things happen.
What is the oddest or most creative object you have autographed?
The most oddest thing that I’ve autographed? Ehhh… I’m
thinking, I’m thinking. Somebody’s
stuffed animal I autographed at least.
I’ve autographed a shirt, a hat, shoes… I have never autographed, I’m gonna tell ya, maybe it’s just
me, but, I have never autographed a boob.
I talk to Scotty McNeil and those guys, they’ve autographed all kinds of
boobs! I mean, they autograph
boobs, I’ve never autographed a single boob! And then women go and tattoo these things! Well, in Stargate they do! Some of these girls, they get tattoos,
they get things from Michael Shanks and those kind of guys and then they tattoo
the things on their skin! That’s
just too weird for me. I’ve never
really signed anything odd like, well…
OK, there was that one time with the cremation urn, I signed that
once. I don’t know if that was
CARCASS: You signed a cremation urn?
Yeah… trying to think of
where it was… Next question.
Do you still get involved with the theater?
I do get involved with the theater, not very often because I just don’t
have the time. Now I have the time
but there’s just not a lot of shows going on right now and I’m thinking about
going back into the improv and doing improv for a while. But no, I mean I still go to the
theater a lot. I’m going to the
theater tonight! Actually, I’m
going to my old alma matter and I’m going to watch the students perform the
show! So that should be kind of
Have you ever thought of voice directing or any other job related to the
production of a cartoon or television series?
Yes, I’d love to voice direct.
I think voice directing would be a lot of fun. I almost did it for ‘Hot Wheels Heroes’, but I couldn’t make
the commitment for the time. But
NEXT TIME, I am ready, willing and able to direct voice now. I could do it in my sleep!
Which shows do you enjoy watching?
On your time off, what do you watch on TV?
My favorite TV Shows?
OK, I got a lot of ‘em.
Here we go, ready? Now, you
might think I’m a bit nerdy, but…
Fringe, Chuck, Heroes, Dr. Who, Demons, NCIS and… I just started watching the Human
Target and it’s actually kind of fun, I don’t know, we’ll see how it
transpires. And ummm… what else? Oh… Ghost
I love that show!
I like that one!
So do I!
I liked Ghost Cop better.
Yeah, I like Ghost Cop, but Ghost Whisperer just touches a chord to me,
I think it’s that girl, she’s kinda cute.
No, I really like that show, I got hooked on it, I started watching
it. I quite like it. But I love Fringe, I love Lost, I love
Chuck, the new season of Chuck is kinda fun.
You still watching 24?
I’m wired to watching 24. I
missed this week because I was in England which was killing me, so I’ll miss
one hour. I’ll catch it next week.
One of your friends, Tyrone Martin…
Oh, Tyrone, yes. The Elvis
He had befriended me on facebook and he said something to the effect of
why aren’t you on ‘24’ because they seem to hire a lot of Canadian actors. And I was thinking the same thing
because they have a lot of the Russians involved right now and there’s always
cops running around so I thought you’re more than capable…
Well, it’s because of certain reasons. A) they shot
that series last year. B) I can’t work in the United States
without a permit. C) When they were shooting this particular
season, I was laid up in bed with a banged up leg, so I couldn’t have gone
there anyway. It’s so funny
because my friend Brad is the executive producer on there and Evan Katz is a
friend of mine and Jon Kassar (who’s not there anymore), but yeah, thing is I
was bound by shows that I’m working on up here to not go down to the states for
any length of time. I would love
to have gone down if I was aware that they were still hiring Canadians out of
Canada, which they don’t. They
only hire Canadians out of America who have American working papers. That’s why.
Have you seen any movies recently?
Yes, I saw Avatar, which I loved.
I saw The Road, which I loved.
I saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie which was kind of fun. It was really fun. That’s the only movies that I’ve seen
recently that I quite liked. I was
thinking about going to see The Book of Eli, but just… ehhh, I’ll wait until it comes on TV. The one I wanna see now is Legion. That looks like fun. I was gonna see the Daybreakers. I looked at that and I went, “nah, I’m
not gonna go see that.” It looks
kinda goofy. But Legion looks like
it’d be kinda fun. I like the
roller coaster movies. I just watched Up yesterday.
For the first time?
Yeah. Oh, what a
tear-jerker! What a great, great
movie. I really liked it, it was
quite fun. But that’s about it for
me, I haven’t seen anything that stands out in my mind except for Avatar, I
thought Avatar was amazing. And I
thought the Sherlock Holmes movie was quite fun. So there you go.
We just got a couple more questions Garry and then we’ll let you go…
(silly impersonation of a fevered fan) “Just one more question! Just one more question!”
You’ve had voice coaches for different accents, like Sasha for the
What else have you tried working on?
I’ve tried working on South African, English, Irish, Australian,
Scottish, French, German, all kinds.
Have you seen this movie, District 9?
(Australian accent/Wikus impression) “’Ere’s the office of alien
affairs. I’d like you to see all
the people workin’ there. Ah,
here’s a picture of my wife on my desk.
She’s a beautiful woman, she’s quite the looker, ah?”
I love that movie. It’s
I think Cheetara and I saw that together and I just thought it was
The people who didn’t like it, just didn’t get it. Cuz it’s like the oppression of the
aliens was exactly like the oppression of the apartheid, and the whites and the
same thing… and there’s the
aliens, they’re selling their technology which is worth billions for a couple
hundred cans of cat food and then they try to rip them off, the very people who
are being oppressed in the country are trying to rip them off the same way that
they got ripped off for their stuff.
It’s just like, there’s so many levels of the story. I thought it was just tremendous the
way they framed it. But most of
all, I liked the opening monologue.
That was a great movie, I really liked it.
What was your favourite comic book as a kid?
My favourite comic book when I was a kid was Green Lantern.
Lantern, lantern, burning bright…
I just loved that comic. I
actually saw a Green Lantern movie on the other night on the Cartoon
Network! A Green Lantern
cartoon. But I loved Flash, I used
to love Jonah Hex, Superman of course and Batman comics. See, it’s a whole different thing,
right? There’s so many these
days. When we were kids, we used
to get our comic books every Saturday from the grocery store and in the
summertime we’d sit out on the sidewalk in front of the grocery store and
sprawl on the sidewalk cuz we could do that then and eat a chocolate bar and
read comic books in the summer and look to see if our letter was in the comic. Stan Lee used to, in the editor’s
corner, there’d be letters from fans and every week we’d go there and we’d read
the letters and see if our letter was published and it never was. Because you know, there’s millions of
people, but we literally always thought we were the only ones. But comics were my joy when I was a
kid. And I remember I was going
off to do Nick Fury the movie way back when and I got to do a scene with Stan
Lee which was like, just, you know, amazing!
The Nick Fury movie with David Hasselhoff?
I didn’t know you were in that.
It was so amazing because I got to meet Stan Lee face to face and we
were gonna do a scene together and the first thing that came out of my mouth
when I met him… “Stan Lee! I wrote you letters every week and you
never answered a single one!”
(laughter and applause)
And he said, “I read all the letters. We only had enough room in the comics for two or three of
them and if I didn’t, I’ll answer them now.” So we took pictures of each other and signed each other’s
pictures so it was kinda cool.
The sound booth will pick up a lot of noise, even the subtle
things. Do you make sure that you
have a meal before you go into the sound booth?
Yes, because the worst thing…
well it can work both ways, you know, it all depends. If you eat certain things you can get
gas or you can get rumbly tummy.
The worst thing is dairy stuff when you’re in there because you get dry
mouth, or sticky mouth. So you get
this, (smacks lips sound), that kind of noise. Really annoying when you’re doing a cartoon. And belches and farts and god knows
what else will raise their ugly heads.
You try and, you know, be good about it, but sometimes it just doesn’t
happen and hilarity ensues. But
yeah, it’s always a good idea because there’s nothing worse than a take getting
ruined by a (groaning stomach noise).
Do you have any phobias?
GARRY: I am afraid of giant slides, you know the kamikaze
slide at the water park?
Terrified. Not afraid of
sitting out of a helicopter, strapped in, flying around and having a great old
time. Not afraid of that, not
afraid of airplanes, not afraid of climbing up things, but the idea of going
down that kamikaze slide at the water park? Nooooo….
That’s about the only thing that I’m afraid of. And, you know, getting blown up. That’s
So tell us a love story.
How did you meet your wife?
Awwww! She’ll have a
difference of opinion, you watch, as soon as I mention… she’ll come running right in here and
she’ll go, “That’s not the way it happened!” You watch. You
So I’m in a gym, right?
WIFE: (in the background) Ohhhh…
I don’t even have to tell you the story and she has no idea what I’m
gonna say, but she right away goes, “Oh, don’t be ridiculous!”
So anyway I’m in the gym with my buddy and I see this hot chick, she’s
working out, you know, little frilly top and shorty-shorts and she’s looking
all feminine and gorgeous… but she has no shoes on! So I say to my buddy, you know, “that’s not very good, she’s
gotta put her shoes on” because it clearly states on the wall, big sign, ‘NO SHOES.’ You can’t come in the gym without
shoes! So I walked over to her and
I said, “Umm, Miss? You gotta put
some shoes on.” And she gives me
this withering look and she goes, “…what?”
And I said, “You gotta put some shoes on, see, the sign on the wall
says, ‘shoes must be
worn in the gym at all times.’”
And she gives me this look and she goes, “uhhh… god, who is this ass.” Then she put her shoes on and I went
over to my buddy and I said, “I bet you ten bucks I’m taking her out by the end
of the week.” So, I went up to her
the next time I was at the gym a couple days later. She’s there doing her gym thing with no shoes on! And I said to her, “what the hell’s the
matter with you? Put your shoes
“I don’t want to
put them on!”
“You might break
your foot. You could get planter’s
warts, there’s all kinds of things you could catch in a gym, you know. Athlete’s foot?
Put your shoes on!”
So she put them
on and I say, “Hey, you want to go out of coffee?” and she goes, “oh god… I suppose.”
And that was 29 years ago.
WIFE: (walking in from the other room) OK, just a minute…
OK, here it comes…
WIFE: I’m going to interject a minute. Yes, he asked me out for coffee… he only had $4.95 in his wallet, so I had to pay to take him out.
(raucous laughter and applause)
I told ya…
How did you propose?
I said, “well, you couldn’t do any worse.”
and she said, “… yeah, OK,
come on. We need to break
up!” Well we never did, so there
you go. Yeah, a long, long
time. Call it a ‘wife’ sentence. (chuckles)
So your birthday is coming up, correct?
Yep! You have anything
No? Just spending time with
Nah, I’m thinking about going down to Palm Springs and playing
golf. That seems to be big on my
agenda right now. I wanna get some
sun, I haven’t had any sun for so long, it’s such a crappy summer. So there you go and that’s what I’m
gonna do, and I’m gonna grab some sun and hang out and have a good old time
and… yeah! Celebrate my non-birthday.
What’s your favourite birthday memory?
Ummmmmm… my surprise
birthday party at my 50th, that was very fun. They sucked me in completely. I had a lot of friends of mine there
and cake and it was really cool.
Well, I think that’s all we have for you, Garry. I really, really appreciate the almost
three hours you spent with us today, that’s great!
Yeah, it was great fun! It
was a good time, thanks for having me here!
It was our pleasure completely.
I’ll probably transcribe this.
I don’t know if we’ll post the audio or not. So if you want anything changed or removed, like the
‘asshole’ references or anything like that, I can take all that out.
Don’t you mean Don Murphy?
(laughs) I prefer to have
it in there, but if you don’t want it…
Nah, nah, hey… go ahead. I
got nothing invested in Don Murphy.
He’s just a fan-blogger, isn’t he?
Is he a producer? I can’t
He had something to do with the new movie, I don’t know what, though
Oh yeah. Drunk on power.
(laughs) I don’t know. Yeah, I had a good time, but now the
sun is starting to come up which is perfect timing so I can maybe get up for a
little bit and play around a little.
The Olympics are gonna start this week…
WIFE: That’s next week.
Or in two weeks. Thank god
I have my editor
February 14th the Olympics officially start. But they’re blocking off the streets
now and the Olympics teams are starting to come in. I came in on the plane the other day with the British
Olympic team and we chatted for a bit and that was kind of fun and they’re
getting ready to practice. So
yeah, all the street stuff is starting to happen now and the blockage and
everything and the tents are up, it looks like it’s going to be a very exciting
For you and for me, it’s time to part our ways. Anyways, OOP and all you fellas out
there, Nightshadow and them, it was great fun, I enjoyed being there… and Cheetara and… I don’t know these names… gocheetara… who’s Carcasshole?
That’s really a horrible name for you, Carcass.
I think OOP maybe called me that one time a long time ago and everybody
else just picked up on it.
GARRY: So you’re like the orifice of a dead animal.
OOP, you are cruel!
I don’t know what he’s talking about.
Oh, so you’re the editor too, huh?
These days it seems like only girls are editors.
Anyways… Well nice to see
you, nice to talk to you guys, and see you later on, have a wonderful day and a
great year this year. Hopefully
things are going well. I see the
economy is starting to recover down there in America, so…
Little by little.
Have a great time and we’ll see you again!
Thanks a lot, Garry!