Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gary Owens- Roger Ramjet - Lance Crossfire, Ms. Lottalove -

Gary Owens made a career of being a funny straight man. His voice is straight, yet with a great natural timing and a kindly sarcasm. And an amazing tone and warmth.

It's such a unique character!
I talked to Gary the other day and he is going to do a voice on a commercial I'm animating right now. We're also going to hang out in the next couple weeks and he asked if I'd mind if he brought Jonathan Winters along! Holy crap. How cool is that?

When I was a kid, I had all of Jonathan's records and I'd memorize them and act them out for my Italian bully friends...after they finished crushing my cartilaginous bones and stomping me with their pointy shoes.

Gary is one of the greats and I think he knew everyone cool from the 60s. He's from the generation when fantastic skill and professionalism was taken for granted.

Whoever did the sfx for Ramjet was funny too. What a killer team-the Monty Python of cartoon troupes.

CRASH effects:

Funny cutting of course.
The close-ups:

Gary told me who did Lance Crossfire's voice and now I forget who the actor is (Jim Thurman?)...It's an impression of Burt Lancaster, though, and a great one!

Here's a funny animation idea.
side-of-the-mouth lips synch:

Gary was the easiest actor I ever worked with, He instantly got every joke and added some of his own. (The letter 'M'...the Three Stooges gag and more...)

Here he is as Powdered Toastman. By the way, anyone know what famous actor played the President?

Movie Clip:


Gabriel said...

aha, so that's why the italian bear wanted to kick boo boo with the pointy shoes!

amir avni said...

Jim Smith?

Jim Rockford said...

MAN,WHAT LUCK!,Gary Owens AND Johnathan Winters!
I have that and a couple other of Johnathan's albums.he's a riot!
I like the skit of the turtle dodging traffic trying to cross the road to get to he girlfriend only to have a car stop and a little kid pick him up and take him home before reaches the other side. that was heartbreaking,yet funny!
The gay sea captian he did was hilarious too.I have always thought he was vastly underrated
When I first saw the Twilight Zone episode "A game of pool" starring him and Jack Klugman I was amazed to see him handle a serious role so well.
The Henny Youngman,Shelley Berman and Lenny Bruce albums from that time are also great...OH AND Bill Dana! I love "Jose in Jollywood" and "Jose the Astronaut"
Don Adams "man on the street" album is great too.

Jim Rockford said...

There were so many great comedy record from that time.
I forgot to mention Homer and Jethro,several of their albums had incredible Jack Davis covers.
My favorite would have to be "Life can be miserable" on Rca.

Jim Rockford said...

"When I was a kid, I had all of Jonathan's records and I'd memorize them and act them out for my Italian bully friends...after they finished crushing my cartilaginous bones and stomping me with their pointy shoes"

Now I see where you got the inspiration for the italian bear with the pointy shoes in Boo Boo and the man!

Jim Rockford said...

Here he is as Powdered Toastman. By the way, anyone know what famous actor played the President?

I thought Jim Smith did that voice? am I wrong?

~Blue said...

Isn't that the guy that did Garfield's voice in the cartoons? Lorenzo Music?

Kali Fontecchio said...

Oh boy oh boy Gary Owens! And Jonathon Winters too!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Boy, I'd forgotten how funny Powdered Toastman was. Gary did a great job and I love Powdered Toastman's expressions! The drawing of the security guy holding down the president was hilarious!

Shawn said...

Who played the President?

David said...

Jonathan Winters -- you gotta ask him about THE LOVED ONE! Wotta film.

joseanderson said...

John, didn't are you taht played the president?
I think that the voice was pretty the same as boo boo, and I guess it was you that did it, isn't that right?

Great post as always.
long life to John K :)

David Germain said...

Yes, Gary Owens is truly a one of a kind master. He was truly born to be a voice artist / announcer / narrator. Is there a Laugh In dvd set available? I'd love to own it.
Jonathan Winters is great too. Robin Williams got a lot of inspiration for him. The amazing this about watching those two on Mork & Mindy reruns is that Mr. Winters is the only peron on Earth can actually steal the show from Mr. Williams. How can a guy like that not be great.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. K., YOU OWE MY ROOMMATE A BEER!!!!!!!!!!!

Will Finn said...

Mr. K--
you are so right about Gary Owens. i got the RR dvds a couple years back and found them even better than i remembered. Gary Owens has a lot to do with it by setting the tone as the main character with a very laid-back, un-jokey delivery. The series was great at doing a whole lot with very little... whoever was doing Ma Ramjet's voice was obviously channeling Winters' Maude Frickert chaaracter pretty closely.

i saw Johnathan Winters on a home shopping network a couple months back selling art prints and books and he was as funny as ever, which is to say funny as hell. Can't wait to see what you cook up. cheers.

Max Ward said...

Amir beat me! Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

mike f. said...

Gary Owens and Jonathan Winters in the same room - at the same time? Wow!

It's too good for mere humans! Dangerous, too - all that concentrated Golden Age coolness might make their mortal heads explode!

To quote Wayne's World:

Bluedog said...

I remember Gary from Rowan and Martin's Laugh In as the news announcer with the hand pasted to his ear.

MARTIN, ARIEL y el mono SILVIO said...




Crumpled Up John! said...

Did Gary also improvise the 'Allyoop!' line right before he saves the pope? That kills me every time!

C. A. M. Thompson said...

I also thought it was you playing the President. Sounds like you.

Jim Rockford said...

So John whats the answer?
Is the guy caught in his own zipper Mr.Smith or Mr.K??
It does sound like you,but I read it was Jim Smith...whoever it was it sounds like it reallly hurt!

Stephen Worth said...

The Loved One is one of my all time favorite movies. Any movie with Jonathan Winters, Rod Steiger and Milton Berle and Liberace can't be bad!

Winters: "I can see it now- a panel quiz show- "Name My Disease". The contestant is wheeled out in a sort of shrouded gurney...

DJ Jr: You don't understand, baby... It's cutback time.

See ya

Ryan said...

What I remember Gary Owens from the most is hosting a tv special on dinosaurs. I never even knew he was Powdered Toast Man!

Jenny said...

Hmmm....I can't place the President's voice-seems like no one else can either. It sounds nothing like Jim, though!

Jonathan Winters! What a genius.
I had all those albums memorized, too, in my infancy-because my dad worshipped him and played them after dinner. A lot.
Since I was a 3 or 4 year old girl I didn't have the appreciation I acquired later for his routines...add to that--that exact same cover you posted scared the hell out of me back in the day--three faces, two of them "flayed"! Disturbing!
I guess you would have loved my dad, John: when Gleason wasn't on, we listened to Winters, Julie London(I loved those albums due to the pretty eye candy-she always had loads of pinup pictures inside), Crosby and Louis Armstrong. And Sinatra--lots of Sinatra. How I longed to listen to my Disney albums.

Anyway, lucky you noshing with Mr. Owens and Winters. He's a deity, a god of comedy-not just to Robin Williams, either. Tell him he is adored and worshipped by cartoonists everywhere(in addition to the regular folks). : )

Damien said...

god that powdered toast man clip made me laugh. i forgot how great that show was. and billy west rocks.

Tom A said...

Maybe there's an off-chance you were thinking of Frank Zappa playing the pope in that same episode?

glamaFez said...

There are lots of recordings around of telephone messages that Johnathan left on his friend Jim Smith's answering machine. They will leave you gasping for breath.

NineInchNachos said...

My favorite Gary Owens narration is the old school SPACE QUEST 4 - TIME RIPPERS video game from Sierra Online. Ah the 90's

Vanoni! said...

Gary Owens AND Jonathan Winters!


- Corbett

John S. said...

My Dad gave me a copy of that very Jonathan Winters album when I was a kid. Damn that's a great record.
Wish they'd re-issue it on cd.