'Looney Tunes' Voice Actor Praises Internet: "More Work Today than Ever Before"

Courtesy Everett Collection/AP Images
Bob Bergen

"For under 100 bucks, your computer or phone can become your portable studio."

Bob Bergen, the current voice behind Porky Pig ("The-the-the-that's all folks!") isn't stuttering about the future of the voice acting industry. 

"It's changed in very good ways," Bergen tells The Hollywood Reporter. "There's more work today than ever before. There's more people doing it than ever before since the Internet opened it up to anyone with a mouse. It doesn't mean they're good, but there are more people."

"For very little money you can audition from home now," he adds. "For under 100 bucks, your computer or phone can become your portable studio."

Bergen cites a growing trend of voice actors recording from their own homes, but says that it comes with its own set of challenges. "You'll be sent a script with a picture and you have to come up with the voice for that character on your own. It's not cold reading. It's frozen reading. This is the reason why God created take two."

Bergen, who succeeded the legendary voice actor Mel Blanc as the Looney Tunes character Porky Pig in 1990, will be performing a tribute to Blanc at the Hollywood Bowl Friday and Saturday as part of the Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny at the Symphony - 25th Anniversary Celebration. Since replacing Blanc, Bergen has done Porky Pig for The Looney Tunes Show, Tiny Tune Adventures and Space Jam.

Apart from the Internet, Bergen is very excited about the state of animation in general these days. "Now every studio has a thriving animation department," Bergen says, "and there is an animation feature being released almost weekly ... if you look at the credits, you won't see us unknown faces playing leads, but we'll be the additional voices. Would my ego like to play the lead? Yes, but I'm thrilled to play number 25."

As for Blanc, Bergen says he is honored to commemorate the American cartoon voice icon. 

"Bless his heart. He created characters that gave me employment, but the man is a legend in entertainment."

 
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