Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Sad Day









I just heard very sad news. My friend and hero, Mike Pataki has died. Mike, of course was the voice of George Liquor - as well as your favorite Klingon and many other TV and Movie characters.

Mike was a one of a kind, a totally unique character and actor. He could act, sing, punch and do just about anything you could imagine. The guy had true star quality. Whenever we did recordings together we'd all be in stitches just listening to him ad lib his lines. That's how Mike would get into the role. He would play on our reactions. The more we laughed, the more energy he seemed to get. And he always wanted to do it one more time.

The guy never quit. As the sessions went on, he would sweat more and more, and gradually remove his clothes until he was practically naked-which would only make us laugh more. His constantly inventive portrayals of George made me rethink how I wrote for him.

I don't really know what else to say. I'm still in shock and not very good at putting words together at the moment. I just know he was the best and I'll miss the heck out of him and his zany phone calls.

My love and sympathy go out to his wife, T and his friends and family. If you are a fan of Mike too, please comment and let his loved ones know you loved him too.

Here are some of his truly memorable scenes.

http://johnkpitch.blogspot.com/2007/10/who-is-george-liquor.html

108 comments:

R.A. MacNeil said...

That's terrible news. I loved Mike's as George Liquor. He was an amazing talent.
My condolences go out to his family.

kurtwil said...

Am sorry to hear, JK, that one of your key voice talents, and a very versatile and talented actor, has passed on.

Stephen Worth said...

Mike was a great friend to me and Li'l Pal. We spent some wonderful Saturday afternoons on the patio at Starbucks trading stories and jokes. He had a huge heart and I'm going to miss him a lot. Tough day.

ardy said...

For as long as I live, I'll never forget that voice of his, it's embedded in my subconscious. Normal people would have to scream at the top of their lungs to convey all the energy and madness he practically whispered in the line "Do you REALLY like it?" That one in particular echoes in the back of my head all the time.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

I had no idea he was sick. Really terrible news. This was a guy who made any movie or TV show he was in more entertaining, no matter what it was. Truly one of a kind, irreplaceable.

Calvin said...

My sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Mike. Although I did not know him personally, I'm sure he was, and will continue to be, loved by many.

A good friend of mine told me that a man is not truly gone until he is forgotten. And I'm sure, with the way Mike was in life, he will never be forgotten. And he'll be in everyone's hearts and minds forever. Take care.

pumml said...

John, very sorry to hear about Mike. Animation has lost a shining star and good friend.

mike f. said...

He was funny as hell. Profoundly sad news.

Peggy said...

Holy shit, sorry to hear that, man.

Jay said...

Wow. Sad and terrible news. He gave George such a perfect and memorable voice, and of course his Korax was just the best. Condolences to his family, but at least we have great work to remember him by. He won't be forgotten.

Shawn Dickinson said...

I'm very sad about this news. Mike Pataki was great. He will be missed :(

JoJo said...

I only had the privilege of meeting him once, but it was riot and totally unforgettable. He was a real talent. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

yawn said...

Mike Pataki had a one of a kind voice. He voiced two of the best cartoon characters, George Liquor and The Cow. His talent and personality, will be missed.

ted said...

Mr. Pataki was truly one of the highlights of Ren and Stimpy. George Liquor will stand in the pantheon of great cartoon characters, and his voice was a large part of the reason for it. My sincere condolences to his family.

Matthew Long said...

I didn't know Mike personally but I had the great opportunity of assisting in a recording Mike did at Cartoon Network for a guest spot he had on Out of Jimmy's Head. It was instantly obvious that he was a professional of the highest calibre, giving us take after take of amazing lines as well as being able to adapt to direction with nary a moment to think about it. I even got to show him where the restrooms are located. It was amazing to watch him work.

Nicolas Martinez said...

Rest in Peace, Michael. You were one of the great ones. *snaps a salute*

AtomicTiki said...

The world is a smaller place today.

RIP

Chad M said...

This is a truly sad day.

I was a huge fan of Mike and his various works, especially on the R&S show.

His voice work is some of my all-time favorite ever done in any cartoon production. The energy, enthusiasm, and downright insanity he brought with him were unparalleled.

He was certainly one of my heroes. Rest in peace, Mike. We'll all miss you dearly.

Geneva said...

This is terrible news. His voice work was always very funny and distinct. I'm also very sorry you've lost such a good friend, John.

Jeff Overturf said...

My condolences.

Especially to all who knew him well.

Inkskin said...

Upon first hearing about this I could not believe that he is gone from this world.

Rest in peace Michael Pataki you've truly earned the title "Legend".

Trevor Thompson said...

That's a real shame. RIP Mr. Pataki. Even though we never met, his presence was felt in the amazing work he did and now he's gone.

What a great actor. My condolensces to the Pataki family.

skillz said...

I am sad that he is gone. But I am happy that he lived an amazing life!

We will miss you Mike :(.......

Mitch K said...

Very sad. He's left a legend and he will be missed.

Dave_the_Turnip said...

This is terrible news. Sometimes to crack myself up, i'll start talking like George Liquor. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

Kali Fontecchio said...

He will be missed by many. He was a very sweet, very funny man.

Joseph said...

This story caught me of guard, its sad how great talent like Mike goes just like that. My condolences to his family.

Arielle P. said...

What terrible and tragic news :(
I'm so sorry to hear that, John.
Mike was my absolute favorite voice actor and was especially at his best as George Liquor. Just like you and the Spumco crew, he had me in stitches. He will be greatly missed.


RIP Mike Pataki.

RAKninja said...

what a terrible birthday present for me. the man was one of my favourite voice actors. you can hear how much he got into his work, and that means a lot to me. condolences to those who had the privilege of knowing him.

gracesix said...

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope his family will remember that we are grateful for the laughs he has brought us over the years.

Mattieshoe said...

The world has lost one of it's greats.

Thanks for leaving us with so much, Mike

Scrawnypumpkinseed said...

No! Not Mike! That's awful sad to here, John. My sympathy and thoughts go to his friends and family.

Alex said...

The world is a little less funny without him. The greatest compliment I think I can give though is that many years from now, he'll still be making me laugh like few others can do.

Luis María Benítez said...

My condolences to friends, collegues and family.

skillz said...

I am so so so sad right now...

Trevour said...

Out of the hundreds of iconic cartoon characters out there, George Liquor has always been one of my favorites. R.I.P. Mike - your voice was definitely one of a kind.

lastangelman said...

I like think that George Liquor, AMERICAN, has gone on his last and final fishing trip with God.

Bitter Animator said...

He truly was my favourite Klingon. And so, so funny as George Liquor. A terribly sad loss. Being a friend and so tied to one of your best creations, it must feel like you've lost two friends but then I guess that's a testament to his talent.

My condolences to his family and everyone who knows him.

John Atkinson said...

'Man's Best Friend' is my cheer-up cartoon. Mike's reading of the line 'What did I tell you about sitting on MY couch?' always makes me laugh!

Thank you, Mike. Rest in peace.

MattyD said...

I will miss him dearly...

You did good, Johnny.

Oisin O'Sullivan said...

aw. thats sad news. He was a great voice actor. I loved George Liquor and The Cow.
RIP Mike Pataki

Jay said...

I didn't know who he was when I was a porky little kid with a backyard haircut watching your cartoons... but that voice is recalled clear as anything.

I'm sorry to hear about this, as heroes are in short supply.

ArtF said...

Very sad news. I never met Mike, but from what I hear he was an awesome human being and friend. My heartfelt condolences go out to the Pataki family.

Bob said...

I heard this news this morning and was shocked as well. He had an amazing voice that made me laugh.

My condolences to the family

Pedro Vargas said...

Mike was an amazing voice actor. I mean he was George Liquor! He was great!! I remember listening to him as himself on the Ren and Stimpy commentaries. He was hilarious!! I'd play the commentaries with Mike in them to my friends and we would laugh so much at the crazy things he'd say. He was awesome! I'll miss you Mike and George. God bless and RIP.

Peter Bernard said...

That's terribly sad news. I was a fan of his acting in movies and in your cartoons. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Roberto González said...

I didn't expect that. I was shocked when I first read it on cartoon brew. It's sad that people can't be eternal like cartoons, but he will live through the character of George Liquor . My condolences to the family.

Jimmy Harrigan said...

I heard about it over on CartoonBrew.com. I'm sorry to hear about it, John.

Speedy Boris said...

One of my favorite lines from Pataki as Liquor was from "Dog Show" (referring to dog tails): "What's this crap? Your dog have one of these? Yeah, I'll bet it does." Just the way he delivered that cracks me up.

Zartok-35 said...

He gave us lots of fine entertainment. We're all going to miss him!

Zoran Taylor said...

May BOTH George's Rest In Peace. (How disturbing is that? I wouldn't even mention it if it wasn't my very first thought....)

Matt said...

Sad news.. My condolences to his friends and family.

Greg Manwaring said...

I'm very saddened to learn of Mike's passing. It was an honor to work with his voice on Ren and Stimpy as well as various other pieces with George Liquor! A great actor! May he rest in peace.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Mike's George Liquor was one of the greatest voices in the history of animation. It contained so many nuances. It wasn't just the voice of a retired, salty man, it was the voice of a very specific and unique salty man. The drawing of the character and the voice fit like a glove.

It's horrible to think that Mike isn't with us anymore. I'm just glad that that he had his wife with him in his last years.

Amir Avni said...

Mike Pataki will be greatly missed, nobody could ever equal him.

Whit said...

Mike was so much more than a cartoon voice actor. He was a real actor who understood cartoon voices.

Paul B said...

I am deeply saddened by this.

Mike was one of the best cartoony voices I've ever heard.

man... it's like the death of a cartoon character, that's true magic.

georgeliquor said...

I loved Mike as George. I'll never forget the amazing contrast in his voice between when he was happy and when he was angry (as George).

...I wonder who'd voice George Liquor if John K. Presents gets picked up?

J C Roberts said...

Truly sad to hear this. I've always enjoyed his work, going all the way back to his guest role on "All In The Family" where he addressed Archie as "Mr. Bummer" to his very distinctive voice work for Mighty Mouse and Spumco. A truly unique voice and a great performer.

My condolences to his family and friends. He must have had many.

Taber said...

Really sorry to hear about this. He'll be greatly missed!

Cameron said...

George had one of the best voices in the business. I'm saddened to know my ears won't be graced by his voice again, except when I go back to watch Man's Best Friend. My condolences to all who were close to him.

CheezNapkin said...

What terrible news. He was a very funny man.

Trevor G. said...

My love and condolences to you, his friend, and of course to his family. He had a GREAT voice!

ChristopherC said...

John, sorry about the loss of your friend, my condolences for his family...

Ryan G. said...

Ah, that is just awful. Mike will be immortalized by the incredible work he has left behind. My condolences.

Michelle Klein-Hass said...

George Liquor is in the big barroom in Two-Fisted Heaven drinking the best goddamn beer he's ever drunk with all the legendary tough guys who have ever kicked ass in the name of goodness.

Chloe Cumming said...

I'm really sorry to hear this John. I want to give you a hug. x

Roberto Severino said...

I'm very sorry that this happened John. Michael sure had a diverse career in both animation and live-action. My condolences to his family and friends.

RooniMan said...

Hearing these news of Mike Pataki's passing made my heart hit rock bottom. He was a true professional and worthy of the title "Legendry."

My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

The Swill Man said...

One of the greatest talents who ever lived. Rest in peace.

GoldDarkShadow said...

I am really sorry to hear that Mr. K. I hope He is in a better place. Rest In Peace

SandraRivas said...

Mike Pataki was an amazing, talented voice actor. He is the reason why I will always remember George Liquor. I remember when he would appear in the Ren and Stimpy episodes. He was absolutely brilliant. Ren and Stimpy in Man's Best Friend was one of his best work in my opinion.

I wish I could have met him. He seemed like such an amazing man. He will never be forgetten.

Elana Pritchard said...

I am very sorry for you, his family, us, and cartoons in general.

Chris said...

The way Mike gave life to George Liquor through his one of a kind voice, it's like two beloved men have passed on. That alone speaks of his greatness.

IgnorantBliss said...

On bad days. Hearing the hilrious Mr. Pataki, along with some good old fashioned chips and salsa, seemed to make my life just a little bit better. :) he will be missed, and I will never forget what Mr. Pataki has done for me.

G'Tron said...

When Wayne Allwine, voice of Mickey Mouse, died a while back, my thoughts were "Aw, that's too bad... but I'm sure they can use some new blood in their voice cast." With Michael gone, though, one wonders, how to even go on? How many characters are there who were so sculpted by their voice, the inflections and nuances dictating new directions for the character to go, new behaviors, even particular drawings to suit a particular pronunciation?

I don't think anyone would blame you for a minute if you wanted to retire George Liquor from animation completely, John. I'm sure the thought's crossed your head already. That being said, though, I'm sure Michael would be thrilled to see further adventures of a character that he had such palpable affection for.

Sven Hoek said...

It hurt my heart to hear that news, Mike Pataki was an amazing actor and had an incredible voice and energy.

He will truly be missed. Poor George will never be the same.

Raven M. Molisee said...

Wow, that is so shitty. What a great pair of lungs the guy had. I have fond memories being unsettled by George Liquor as a child. But that's what made watching him on the show awesome.

My heart goes out to all the people who had the luck to meet him and work with him, and especially his family.

Iron maiden said...

That is really sad to hear, he will be missed dearly


will you be going to his funeral?

SoleilSmile said...

Aww, sorry to hear this, John.

Mr. Tat said...

My condolences go to Mike and his loved ones. May he rest in peace.

Anita said...

Aw, man I'm sorry to hear that:( I'm glad that he will live on through all of the characters he voiced!

Coincidentally, I just watch Tin Pan Alley Cats on the internet and was wondering if Pataki was the voice of the Fats Waller character? He certainly had an unforgettable voice full of expression:)

skillz said...

Anita,
Although Mike is one the best cartoon voices ever, he was still just a little kid when Tin Pan Alley Cats was made. But imagine how crazy that would be if he did do that voice at such a young age.

I wish I had the pleasure of meeting Mike...I'm just...ok I'll say it... I love Mike Pataki!

C said...

A rare talent, and very fun to listen to. He will be greatly missed.

Jeff Read said...

That is absolutely dreadful news. I remember Mike's distinct gravelly voice as both George Liquor and The Cow, and no one else could have done those characters as fittingly.

This is as much a loss for us cartoon lovers as when Phil Hartman died, silencing many of the funnier characters from The Simpsons...

Peter said...

I'll always remember being at work and hearing his voice coming out of the recording booth across the hall. "That's The Cow! Holy Shit!" I and and many others at Spumco that day were in awe.
I gotta say, seeing him make it through some of those George Liquor records, I figured the guy was immortal.
I'll miss hearing more of his work.

JulieK said...

Mike was wonderful! His work brought me much joy over the years, and my deepest condolences go out to all of you who knew and loved him.

James said...

My sympathy goes to you and all of Mike's friends and family. He was such a talented man, and a great entertainer.

Steve Hogan said...

That's really sad. I've been a fan of his since I heard his manic mooing as The Cow in the 80's. ("Moo! Haha! Moo!") The dude was one of a kind.

K. Nacht said...

My condolences for the loss of your friend and collaborator, John.

I just learned he was the voice of The Cow from the comments! A light has gone out! (bowed head)...

Brian O. said...

My condolences to the Pataki family, friends and associates.

His was a voice I never thought could be silenced.

I think I'm gonna chop down some trees in his character's honor.

JSmith said...

Mike will forever be George Liquor to me. I'm gonna miss him. :(

Raff said...

He died on my birthday, that's so sad!

Mike was amazing. The thing about Ren and Stimpy was that it was like an old horror film but for fun and silliness, and I think he picked up on that and ran all the way with it.

Please pass my condolences.

EM said...

Condolences to his family and friends. Mr. Pataki's work really touched my life and also my creative sense. He was an enormous talent who will be sorely missed.

Braindead theater said...

Still can't believe it.I was just hearing his voice on the ren and Stimpy commentary a few days ago. what a fun loving guy he was.very sorry john

Evan said...

I love Mike. We need a DVD tribute of the God Damn George Liquor Program stat. The best of wishes to his family and friends

MistahB said...

Oh No!!! That's terrible to hear... I'm so sorry!

akira said...

i had the honor of meeting the man once. what a cool, awesome inspirational person he was! he was the perfect counterpart for john k and jim smith's manly drawing skills. of course i regret that the george liquor program was not greenlit into a long running series while he still graced the earth with his PRESENCE, but i am also very thankful for the awesome body of work that he has completed and which will remain with us for perpetuity so that we may continue to enjoy his manly humanity and demonstrate to our young male offspring what it is to be a man. thank you Mr. Pataki and may you rest in peace.

Allari Ruiz said...

He will be missed!
From a fan in México.

DmRofAtoZ said...

John,
I don't know if this is the ideal thread for this, but here's the info & link for a "Pataki sample piece" I was polishing to share with the Web-World the day beFore I heard the sad news.
and Hey !, I look to be "Comment 100" here . . seems significant somehow, no ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMVtkA4AR6E

Since 1st creating this piece in 2003, which so prominently features the inspiringly unhinged performance of Mike Pataki as The Cow from "Mighty Mouse : The New Adventures", I've thought I should get it 'out there'. "Maybe Mike himself would get a series of kicks out it" I dreamed . . and if it wasn't quite his cuppa' tea, then a lot of fans might !

April 20th of 2010, I strap on the headphones for the 1st time in ages & truly enjoy several of my own pieces like I hadn't in quite some time . . with "Horny Hunting ( Get Mighty ! )" out in front for "excited to share status".
I actually got a few hours into assembling an iMovie project when a search for more Pataki images led to the sad news from John K's blog. It had only been 5 days since he'd passed. Now a different, deeper spirit took my work thru the next week.

But does the piece now take on a solemn tone ? . . Please !!
It's even more a celebration of The Cow & cohorts then ever !

Built on loops n' links from C+C Music Factory's track "Oooh Baby", the amount of samples from "Mighty Mouse" are nearly matched by samples from "The Future Is Wild" . . . the 2003 documentary about imaginary animals after humans are gone.
There's also a couple a' quick cameos from The Terminator & Catwoman.
And oh yeah !, the whole premise would seem to be "The mating dance continues as the apocalypse crashes down around us"

Not wanting a video to dominate or distract from the "audio immersion", I briefly consider a static-shot of the song-art we see thruout, but that's not what the video wanted to be and it evolved. I think it still strikes a balance, but maybe you make an audio file for the "original experience" ? . . . or perhaps you just close your eyes for a 3rd listen and enjoy the unmatched talents of Mr. Michael Pataki !

Tim said...

Pataki had an excellent voice and it's a shame to hear that he died. My heart goes out to his family - he was a talented man who soon won't be forgotten.

Nicole said...

Michael was my uncle and i will miss him so very much! I will never forget all the times he made me laugh over the phone while i was pregnant, i dont think i could of made it through it without him. I love him very much and will never forget everything he did and just how much he made me laugh! I am so very proud to call him my uncle!

Teri Szucs said...

Michael Pataki's memorial will be on May 15 @ 12:00pm (noon) at the Pierce Brother's Valhalla mortuary on Victory Blvd in Burbank. Invite all who knew him. There will be a reception to follow.

Matt DeCoster said...

Mr K.

I don't know if you know this film starring Mr. Pataki. Hope you can watch and enjoy it if you aren't.

http://tinyurl.com/Grave-Of-Vampire

Big Fan. I hope to enjoy your new film soon.

Matt D.

amyspepsi said...

What about MY FEELINGS?

amyspepsi said...

What about MY FEELINGS?

amyspepsi said...

What about MY FEELINGS?

MeowthRocket said...

R.I.P. Michael Pataki. May God bless you.

George Liquor... I'll have a beer for ya, you rotten bum!

I love ya man!