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Thomas James "Tom" Kenny (born July 13, 1962) is an American actor, voice actor and comedian. He voices the squirrel that appears in the episode "Interview With a Platypus" and the scientist that was watching Mars for twenty years in the episode "Unfair Science Fair Redux (Another Story)". He is best known for voicing the titular character from SpongeBob SquarePants.
He was the lead vocalist for the Syracuse, New York-based band The Tearjerkers since the early 1980s, when he replaced the original vocalist Buddy Love. Other members of The Tearjerkers included Charlie Robbins, Dave DeCirce, and Dave Soule, who is still active in the central New York music scene. "Syracuse Summer" is the group's best-known song, and is included on The History of Syracuse Music, Volume XII and XIII. While the Tearjerkers did not become a national act, one Tearjerkers roadie would go on to achieve fame: comedian Bobcat Goldthwait. Goldthwait's film Shakes the Clown features Kenny as Shakes' bitter archrival. In 1980, Kenny was briefly a member of Syracuse-based pop punk band The Trend along with Goldthwait.
Kenny appeared regularly on NBC's music video show Friday Night Videos, in a recurring comedic Music News segment. In 1991, he took over as the show's regular host until being replaced later that year by Frankie Crocker.
In 1996, Kenny appeared along with his wife, Jill Talley, in the music video for "Tonight, Tonight" by The Smashing Pumpkins, playing a young couple taking their honeymoon on the moon. The video was very popular, winning six MTV Video Music Awards. Kenny also appeared in the music video for "Sing" by the band Travis.
In 2006, Kenny co-wrote and recorded SpongeBob SquarePants: The Best Day Ever with producer Andy Paley. Kenny's singing on the CD is done in the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants and other characters from the show. Other musical artists on the CD include: Brian Wilson, Tommy Ramone, and Flaco Jiménez. The music pays homage to The Beach Boys, The Archies, The Lovin' Spoonful, and The Troggs, among others.
Kenny has acted in many films and TV shows, debuting in How I Got Into College (1989) and later he appeared in films such as Shakes The Clown and Comic Book: The Movie. He appeared in sketch comedies The Edge and Mr. Show. He also appeared in the live-action segments of SpongeBob SquarePants as Patchy the Pirate.
Voice acting career
Although most famous for being the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants since the series premiere in 1999, in "Help Wanted", Tom Kenny has voiced many characters in over 200 productions. Kenny said that he voices "a lot of sweet, kind of dumb yellow characters for some reason."
He is known to provide the voice of the various meows of Gary the Snail in SpongeBob, but he played his first set of voice actor roles for Rocko's Modern Life, primarily as Heffer Wolfe. Joe Murray auditioned Kenny for voice acting roles for the series in a casting call in Los Angeles, California. On one occasion, the producers required Kenny to fill the role of Charlie Adler, who was absent on that occasion. In addition, Kenny had to perform one song and learn how to play another song within ten minutes due to time constraints. He said that this helped him believe that he could stand "toe to toe" with other voice actors.
Joe Murray chose Kenny for a voice acting position in Camp Lazlo because Murray, after seeing Kenny's previous work for Rocko's Modern Life, felt that Kenny "adds writing to his roles" and "brings so much".
He was in The Powerpuff Girls as the Mayor, the Narrator, Mitch Mitchelson, Snake and Little Arturo from the Gangrene Gang, Rainbow the Clown, etc. He plays a number of roles in the Transformers Animated TV show. A few of the characters he voices in this series are Starscream and his clones, Isaac Sumdac, Scrapper and Waspinator. He is also the voice of the Autobots Skids and Wheelie in the live-action Transformers film series. He has voiced the Penguin on the TV show The Batman. On Dilbert, Kenny voiced Ratbert, Asok and other one-time characters. He played Mr. Hal Gibson in the animated kids show Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force GO!.
He also voiced the Best Buy elf from the retail stores' Christmas TV commercials.
Kids' Choice Awards
Nickelodeon's annual Kids' Choice Awards is narrated by Tom Kenny. At the 2005 Kids' Choice Awards, he called himself "The World's Best Announcer". At the 2006 Kids' Choice Awards, he called himself the "Man of 1,000 Voices, all of them this one." Kenny was featured as the Voice in a Box at the 2008 Kids' Choice Awards. On the 2009 Kids' Choice Awards, he called himself, "the only announcer who does all of his own stunts." At the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards, he described himself as, "the only announcer that makes all this stuff up as he goes." At the 2011 Kids' Choice Awards he called himself as "the only announcer who was born this way."
Tom Kenny received an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement, Voice Acting in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production on February 1, 2014 for his role as the Ice King in Adventure Time.
Kenny is married to Jill Talley. They have two children, a boy and a girl, Mac and Nora. He is friends with many actors such as Adam Sandler, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Doug Lawrence, William Shatner, David Cross and many others.
- ↑ http://www.syracuse.com/blogs/listenup/index.ssf?/mtlogs/syr_listenup/archives/2006_10.html#194564
- ↑ Tom Kenny at
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Miller, Emily; Macchione, Elizabeth (June 14, 2003). "A discussion with Tom Kenny of 'SpongeBob Squarepants'". St. Augustine Record. http://www.staugustine.com/stories/061403/edu_1604752.shtml.
- ↑ "Lisa (Kiczuk) Trainor interviews Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life", The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ
- ↑ Lawson, Tim and Alisa Persons. The Magic Behind the Voices: A Who's Who of Cartoon Voice Actors. p.192.
- ↑ Q & A with Joe Murray", Cartoon Network Pressroom
- ↑ Annie Awards nominees and winners, February 1, 2014
- Tom Kenny at
- Tom Kenny at Wikipedia
- Tom Kenny at the Notable Names Database
- Interview with Tom Kenny on Fresh Air
- Talkin' Toons with Rob Paulsen (Live Ustream)
- Tom Kenny fanlisting
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