Cartoon Stars Shine at ConnectiCon 2014

This past weekend was ConnectiCon in Hartford, CT. Founded in 2002 primarily as a gaming convention, it has come to encompass multiple genres and attracts attendees from all over the country.  It roots in gaming are still clearly apparent as they host a gaming room equal the size of the main vendor/artist area which hosted hundreds if not thousands of gamers playing Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, WarHammer, and many other table top games. Naturally there is also a large contingent of cosplayers dressed as their favorite characters from TV, moves, comic books and video games. The projected attendenace fo this year was 17,000 people and while there were certainly a lot of people in the Hartford Convention Center, it was laid out and organized so it never felt crowded. The autograph lines for guests moved surprisingly fast and, provided you showed up a little early, panels were easy to get into.

A big draw for this year’s ConnectiCon was the wealth of guests from the voice acting industry. A growing trend at conventions across the country, these talented performers need only a microphone to display their gift for breathing life into characters. Guests included Invader Zim’s Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons, Pinky and the Brain’s Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen, Batman: The Brave and the Bold’s Dietrich Bader, Mass Effect’s Jennifer Hale, and Legend of Korra’s Janet Varney. Speaking to the press, Horvitz and Simons said they love having meeting fans who grew up watching Zim and are now cosplaying as their characters. The also mentioned people sometime have full sleeve tattoos where they leave room to get autographed. Horvitz said, “We always ask them to please not get murdered because we’re afraid the police will think the killer signed their work.”

As an actor who had success in on-screen roles on The Drew Carey Show, Outsourced, and Office Space, Bader remarked that he is in awe at the talent of his cartoon co-stars and how unpretentious and friendly most are compared to the rest of Hollywood. When asked what his favorite character to play was, Bader immediately and unequivocally said “Batman.” Prior to being cast on Brave and the Bold Bader had not been terribly well-versed in Bat-lore but said that getting into character really moved him especially in the scene where Batman confronts his parents’ killer, during Bader said he had literal tears running down his face.

On panels with LaMarche and Paulsen it was readily evident that their their friendship and work relationship easily rolls into one another. Paulsen remarked several times that his co-stars are people with whom he would choose to be friends had they never met at work. They often finished one another’s jokes and would goad the other into saying a favorite line or catchphrase. They credited a mutual love of Monty Python and Beyond the Fringe as instantly cementing their bond when the first worked together.

LaMarche and Paulsen shared many stories from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, one being the famous “Yes, Always” sketch in which LaMarche faithfully recreates a famous outtake of Orson Welles recording a commercial for peas in which the famous director angrily tells off the staff. LaMarche had regaled his co-stars, directors, and engineers with his rendition so it was added to the script as a suprise for LaMarche. They also regaled the audience to a reading of “Green Eggs in Ham” with Paulsen reading Sam I Am (in the voice of Pinky) and LaMarche playing the main character as the Brain. The showstopper, however, was Paulsen singing “Yakko’s World” in which he rattles off every single country in the world to which the entire crowd clapped along.

Finally, Janet Varney who voices the title character of The Legend of Korra spoke about the series to a full panel room of Avatar-fans. She noted that they all had very pointed questions regarding many of Korra’s decisions on the show. Varney said while she often disagrees with Korra’s actions that is part of what makes her a well-rounded character. Twice during the Q&A Varney had to apologize for “rudely” taking a phone call. The first was from Firelord Zuko (actor Dante Basco) who called in to look for his honor and the second was Bolin (voice actor PJ Byrne), both whom were kind enough to say hello to the fans and field a question or two.

Fans were very excited to meet the people who helped bring their animated favorites to life. LaMarche said it best, “Hearing I made your childhood better makes my middle age better.” Here’s looking forward to seeing what voice talents are scheduled for next year’s show!

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Fans Gather at 12th Annual ConnectiCon This Weekend

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Press Release:

Fans of pop culture from across the Northeast and around the world will gather at the Connecticut Convention Center July 10th-13th, for the twelfth annual ConnectiCon in Hartford, CT. Founded in 2002, ConnectiCon is the largest massively multi-genre convention in New England.

This year’s event showcases over 7,000 hours of programming spread out over four days including; informative panels and hands-on workshops, special guest and celebrity appearances, trading card games, board games, and roleplaying games, including dozens of scheduled tournaments, console gaming and arcade machines. ConnectiCon is proud to introduce the Northeast League of Legends Tournament with over $6,000 in prizes!

ConnectiCon features main events such as, “Nerd Prom,” which is held Thursday evening at 8:30pm, tickets are available online. “ConnectiCon’s Singled Out!” Contestants, who pre-register online, will have a chance to win a date sponsored by ConnectiCon at a local participating restaurant. There’s also a ConnectiCon Masquerade Event held on Saturday, and the ConnectiCon “Cosplay Death match!” Plus many other fantastic events!

ConnectiCon will host nearly 90 special guests and celebrities including stars of stage and screen such as Noah Hathaway (The Neverending Story), Walter Jones (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers), Alan Oppenheimer (Masters of the Universe), Janet Varney (Legend of Korra), Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect), Maurice LaMarche (Futurama) and Rob Paulsen (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Richard Horvitz and Rikki Simons of the cartoon Invader Zim and Internet celebrity, Doug Walker, AKA That Guy With The Glasses. Joining them are voice actors Chris Cason, Danielle McRae, Ellen McLain, and Lauren Landa, comic creator Farel Dalrymple, and dozens of other talented guests.

Annual memberships to ConnectiCon are available online or at the door, and include access to all four days of the convention, as well as quarterly member appreciation days and other events year-round. It’s fun for the entire family! For more information please go to their website www.connecticon.org or Facebook page.

GA – An Evening with Pinky and the Brain

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Join Emmy winning voice actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche on Saturday, August 31, 2013 from 8:00 PM to 11:30 PM for An Evening with Pinky and The Brain! There will be episode screenings, Q&A, songs, impressions, and just general wackiness – all Pinky and The Brain style! After the show stay for the Meet and Greet to say hello to the actors!

General Admission tickets to the show are $25.00. Meet and Greet tickets are $40.00 and include the show as well as the actors signing one item that you supply and your taking a picture with them. All sales are non-refundable. Click here for tickets!

Plaza Theatre
1049 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

CA – Pinky & The Brain Reunion

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Rob Paulsen is joined by Maurice LaMarche on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 8:00 PM! NARF!

Love PINKY & THE BRAIN? Want to see Rob and Maurice at The Lovitz on April 12th? Don’t live in L.A.? NO PROBLEM!! Get PPV tix for the USTREAM live cast at the link!

Click here for Tickets $20

Two items minimum per person

Seating First Come First Serve
All Shows Have Adult Content

Jon Lovitz Comedy Club
1000 Universal Studios Blvd #222, Universal City, CA 91608

CA – Animaniacs Reunion

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Rob Paulsen is joined by Jess Harnell and Tress MacNeille on Friday, April 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM! The Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) reunite live on stage! *JUST ADDED* Maurice LaMarche!

Love ANIMANIACS? Wanna be at the live event with Yakko, Wakko and Dot at The Lovitz on April 12th? Don’t live in L.A.? NO PROBLEM!! Get PPV tix for the USTREAM live cast at the link!

Click here for Tickets $20

Two items minimum per person

Seating First Come First Serve
All Shows Have Adult Content

Jon Lovitz Comedy Club
1000 Universal Studios Blvd #222, Universal City, CA 91608

SF – An Afternoon with Pinky & The Brain

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Maurice LaMarche and Rob Paulsen appear at the Eureka Theatre on Sunday, January 27th at 2:00 pm!

Press Release: 

Narf! Join  beloved cartoon voice actors Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jimmy Neutron) and Maurice LaMarche (Futurama, Tiny Toon Adventures, The Real Ghostbusters) as they revisit two of their most endearing and popular characters – Pinky and The Brain! There will be script readings, conversation, Q&A (in and out of character) and much more as they do the same thing they do every day – try and take over the world!

Click the link for tickets ($20)

Presented by SF Sketchfest and the Cartoon Art Museum

Eureka Theatre
215 Jackson Street San Francisco, CA 94111
415-788-SHOW (7469)

 

SF – Futurama LIVE

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Good news! The cast and crew of Futurama will be live on-stage, performing scenes and screening freshly smuggled, world-premiere footage from the upcoming all-new 2013 season on Comedy Central on Saturday, January 26th at 1:00 pm. But wait, there’s more! Have a burning question that only a qualified professional Futurama cast member can answer? Try your luck at the cast Q&A, moderated by series Producer Lee Supercinski. Scheduled to appear are cast members Billy West (Fry, Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan), John DiMaggio (Bender), Maurice LaMarche (Kif, Morbo, Lrrr), Lauren Tom (Amy Wong), and Phil LaMarr (Hermes Conrad).

Presented as part of SF Sketchfest

Cobb’s Comedy Club
915 Columbus Avenue San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 928-4320

CA – Legends of Voice Acting LIVE

Rob Paulsen, Tara Strong, Cree Summer, and Maurice Lamarche appear on a live edition of the Pop My Culture podcast with hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland on Sunday, September 23rd at 5:00p.m. at Five Stars Bar in Los Angeles.

Buy tickets ($5.00) at the link.

Press Release:

Prepare to have your culture popped! Named the #2 Best Comedy Podcast of the Moment by Rolling Stone and to Top 10 lists by IFC.com and Mashable.com, Pop My Culture is a weekly-ish podcast hosted by comedic actors and improvisers Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland. Join these two entertainment nerds and their special guests as they discuss movies, music, television, celebrity gossip, etc. without all those pesky “serious” topics like politics, religion and the environment. I mean, you can tune into Fresh Air for that. We’ll just tackle the trivial watercooler stuff, ok? Oh, and check out their past episodes on iTunes, popmyculturepodcast.com and on nerdist.com.

For this special live edition at RIOT, Cole and Vanessa are thrilled to welcome some legendary guests that have voiced tons of your favorite cartoon characters, including Rob Paulsen (Animaniacs, Pinky & The Brain, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Tara Strong (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Teen Titans, Rugrats, The Fairly OddParents), Cree Summer (Inspector Gadget, Tiny Toons, Batman Beyond), Maurice LaMarche (Futurama, Pinky & The Brain) and more to be announced soon!

Five Stars Bar
267 S. Main Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

CA – Talkin’ Toons Live

Voice-over actors Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche appear at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club on Friday June 8, 2012 at 8:00pm! See Pinky & The Brain record a live podcast!!

Click here for Tickets $20

18 & over

Two items minimum per person
Seating First Come First Serve
All Shows Have Adult Content
Door Time: 07:15 PM

Jon Lovitz Comedy Club
1000 Universal Studios Blvd #222, Universal City, CA 91608

20th Century Fox TV Schedule for SDCC 2011 Announced

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Via Deadline:

THURSDAY, JULY 21:

Napoleon Dynamite: Original cast members from the hit indie film, Jon Heder,Tina MajorinoEfren RamirezJon GriesSandy MartinDiedrich Bader and Executive Producer Mike Scully (The Simpsons) present a new series following your favorite awkward teenager like you’ve never seen him before – animated!  Join us for a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage of the newest member of FOX’s Animation Domination lineup and a “sweet” Q&A session.

Awake: Since the trailer was unveiled at NBC’s upfront presentation in New York, this spellbinding sci-fi drama about the power of the mind from the brilliant creators Howard Gordon(24) and Kyle Killen (The Beaver) has been one of the most eagerly anticipated series of the 2011-12 season. While most viewers will have to wait months to sample this series about a detective Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter) desperately straddling two realities as he copes with immeasurable grief, Comic-con fans will get an exclusive first look at the entire first episode of the series, and an audience with Gordon, Killen and star Isaacs.

FRIDAY, JULY 22:

Bones: Creator/Executive Producer Hart Hanson, Executive Producer Stephen Nathan and Stars David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel will be on hand to discuss the shocking finale of Bones season 6 as well as what’s in store for Booth and Brennan in an exciting season 7!  Hart Hanson will also introduce the audience to the stars of The Finder, his new Fox series premiering in January, followed by fan Q&A.

Bob’s Burgers: Creator/Executive Producer Loren Bouchard and Executive Producer Jim Dauterive and Bob’s Burgers cast H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal, will be on hand to entertain animation fans with hilarious never-before-seen clips from season two followed by a fan Q&A.

SATURDAY, JULY 23:

Terra Nova: Star Stephen Lang (Avatar), executive producer Rene Echevarria (Castle, Medium, The 4400, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), executive producer Brannon Braga (24, Star Trek: Enterprise) and co-executive producer Jose Molina will finally unveil this epic adventure series 85 million years in the making, set to premiere this September on Fox. This new event drama from the brilliant minds of Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, The Pacific) and Peter Chernin follows an ordinary family on an extraordinary journey back in time to prehistoric Earth as a part of a massive expedition to save the human race.

Futurama is back!  Again!!!  On stage will be Creator/Executive Producer Matt GroeningExecutive Producer David X. Cohen, and stars Billy West (Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), and Maurice LaMarche (Kif Kroker, Calculon, Morbo).  Get a sneak peek at never-before-seen footage of Futurama reincarnated as Japanese anime, along with a thrilling preview of this summer’s all-new season on Comedy Central. Plus more!  Much more!  Moderated by Bill Morrison.

The Simpsons: Now entering its record-annihilating 23rd season on Fox, and airing its landmark 500th episode on February 19, 2012, The Simpsons has won 27 Emmy awards, was the subject of an international film smash in 2007, inspired a ride you ride again at Universal Studios, and Homer Simpson was named the greatest television character of the last 20 years by Entertainment Weekly. Get an insight into the daily doings of this series from Creator Matt Groening, Showrunner Al Jean, Co-Executive Producer Rob Lazebnik, Co-Executive Producer Matt Warburton, Supervising Producer Mike Anderson and Producer/Panel Moderator Tom Gammill.

Family Guy: Join Alex BorsteinSeth GreenAdam West (Batman) and executive producers Mark HentemannSteve Callaghan and Kara Vallow for a sneak peek at the all-new episode “Stewie Goes For A Drive” featuring voice guest star Ryan Reynolds followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

American Dad: Catch a preview of the season seven premiere of American Dad, featuring guest star Cee-Lo Green as a signing hot tub, followed by a Q&A with cast members Wendy SchaalScott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane and Dee Bradley Baker and executive producers Mike BarkerMatt Weitzman and Kara Vallow.

SUNDAY, JULY 24:

GLEE: Join Creator/Executive Producer Ryan Murphy and Creator/Executive Producer Brad Falchuk and stars of the sensation Glee for a tuneful sneak peek at never-before-seen footage and behind-the-scenes secrets, followed by a Q&A session in which fans can ask everything they ever wanted to know about the Golden Globe winning musical series hot off its blockbuster international concert tour.

Allen Gregory: Join Creator/Executive Producer and star Jonah Hill (Superbad, Get Him to the Greek) Showrunner David Goodman (Family Guy), and Creators/Executive Producers Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul along with an all-star voice cast for a sneak peek at FOX’s new animated series that tells the story of the most pretentious 7-year-old of our time.  Glimpse exclusive Allen Gregoryanimation followed by a fan Q&A session.

The Cleveland Show: Join the cast and executive producers for a look at The Cleveland Show’s not-to-be-missed parody of Die Hard followed by a discussion with panelists Mike HenrySanaa LathanKevin Michael Richardson,Reagan GomezRich Appel and Kara Vallow.

 

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