Larry Murphy voices all of the main characters for Assy McGee, the animated series about a unique detective for the Exeter, N.H., police department. The show begins its
second season on Adult Swim on Sunday night (well, early Monday, 12:30 a.m.). Murphy is quite the character. In fact, if you see him live, you could say he's just as animated and funny onstage as he is doing voiceover work. You can catch him every Friday night at Rififi for the ECNY Award winning variety show, The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show. Let's learn a little more. First question, please!
Where does each voice for Assy McGee originate?
Most of them are very bad impersonations. If they were good ones you would know who I was doing. Others are based people I've known.
Do you go through the stereotypical actor's questioning of "what's my motivation" for each character?
I hope I never asked that "Acting Question" about "Motivation." Generally whoever you might be asking that of is looking to you to provide the answer. If something is written well it usually tells you what to do just fine.
How did you decide how a talking, walking ass would talk?
Before I auditioned they
specifically asked for a voice that was out of breath. I just kept
thinking about the fat, sweaty, boozy Police Captain Orson Welles
played in Touch of Evil. Not necessarily the voice but the character
Hank Quinlan. The guy was tremendously disgusting. Unfortunately that
answer comes across as extremely pretentious when you're talking about
an animated ass.
How do you keep all of the voices straight when you're in the studio?
never really think about that one although if it's been awhile I
occasionally might need to hear a voice I previously recorded again.
Also it's good to have a director listening who keeps you honest and
lets you know when you lose it.
Were you a big fan of Looney Tunes as a child?
I think I watched my share of cartoons but mostly I lived in my own little world as a child.
Then what influenced you or steered you into voiceover work?
think in a lot of ways I sort of fell into it. I certainly didn't have
any plan. I was doing sketch stuff with Brendon Small at the Comedy
Studio when he got Home Movies. I did a voice in one episode and it was
a running joke for awhile that I never did any more episodes on his
show because I didn't pony up the money to join the Union. I was still
very much working what I thought was a real job. Eventually the folks
at Soup2Nuts came back to me for something else and eventually I got
wise and joined the Union.
Were there other voice actors that you studied or looked up to growing up?
I was a kid I don't think I understood that was a thing you could
actually do. Ironically the first time I took notice of anyone's voice
in a thing was Jon Benjamin as Ben in Dr.Katz (which was also produced
by Soup2Nuts). He was so damn funny. I remember I watched the credits
thinking "Who is that guy?" He's one of the funniest people I know and
I'm extremely fortunate I get to work with him on stuff now.
Most people in New York only see you as a live performer, but even
then, you use your talents to give voice to some absurdly hilarious
characters (Sal Lupo, Marlon Brando, Puppets n Such).
Where did the idea for Puppets n Such come from?
I saw these two puppets, a fireman & a cop at a Toys-R-Us when I
was buying Christmas gifts for my nieces & nephews and told my wife
I had to buy them. She's used to that sort of thing. They sat quietly
for several months before I figured out why I needed them.
Are you a fan of ventriloquism?
Fan? Hmmmm not quite but I really liked the movie Magic starring Anthony Hopkins. Netflix that.
When will we see the autobiographical sketches from Marlon Brando again?
Soon I hope. I've always been a fan of Brando and got really inspired after rereading this biography by Peter Manso. It just became to me the most unintentionally funny biography ever written. I'd really like to make some videos of that character if anyones willing to fly me to Fiji.
Has it always been part of the plan to have a different co-star each time?
That was no plan. I think I just happened to ask several different
talented people to help me do the sketch. It's quite a bit to ask of
another performer come to a show with you so he can help you do a staged
reading of your poorly written three-act play in which he gets shit on by
Marlon Brando and Marlon Brando gets shit on by some seagulls.
See Larry Murphy live and on TV!
Tonight: The Greg Johnson & Larry Murphy Show, 8 p.m. at Rififi, with special guests Zach Galifianakis, Demetri Martin, Jesse Popp, Jon Friedman, Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Rosinsky and Kenny Zimlinghaus.
Sunday: Assy McGee viewing party, 11:30 p.m., Union Hall, Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Monday: Assy McGee season two premiere, 12:30 a.m., Adult Swim (Cartoon Network).
Here's a clip! Most likely NSFW.