J. Michael Straczynski on Frank Welker

This page features a compilation of posts on GEnie by J. Michael Straczynski in the
Babylon 5 topic. The posts are copyright by JMS (and compilation copyright is by GEnie).

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Category 18, Topic 22
Message 231 Fri Jun 12, 1992
STRACZYNSKI [Joe] at 03:04 EDT

About Frank Welker ... I've actually enjoyed working with him over the years on TRGBs*. Extraordinarily funny. By himself, he could get things so funny that we'd have to stop down, nobody could stop laughing.

*The animated series, "The Real Ghostbusters."

The absolute 'worst' such incident -- and thus the best -- came on the last episode of mine. See, we had to always keep Maurice [LaMarche], Frank and Dave** apart, because if they sat together, this weird comedy loop would start, and they'd get funnier, and funnier, and soon all hell would break out.

**Dave Coulier was Uncle Joey on the sitcom "Full House" and replaced Lorenzo Music as Peter Venkman on the series.  LaMarche was the voice of Egon Spengler, while Frank Welker voiced Ray Stantz, Slimer and a wide array of ghosts and incidental characters.

Once, when Lorenzo Music was still doing the show, Frank learned to mimic his voice. So one day, in taping, when Lorenzo missed his cue, Frank supplied his line ... in his voice. Lorenzo looked around with a "What the hell was THAT?" look on his face.

Anyway... on this one day ... all three of them were seated together, Frank, Maurice and Dave. And they started improvising. And they went into 'Celebrity Farts.' What would the farts of various celebrities sound like? (We're talking in the middle of a taping, for chrissakes.) Soon, Frank took the lead ... Cher's fart, Twiggy's fart, Raymond Massie's fart, the Pope's fart ... and then ... he let fly with ... William Conrad's fart.

And flattened the entire place.

People were *literally* on the floor. No one could talk. Laughter and shrieking and carrying on for 20 minutes. Someone would try to get out a line ... and just dissolve. And every time we 'thought' we had it in control again ... out would come another William Conrad Special.

I thought I would die.

Wonderful thing is, I have that on videotape, I think.

I think I'll go find it ...



Category 18, Topic 22
Message 237 Fri Jun 12, 1992
STRACZYNSKI [Joe] at 20:31 EDT

Took a look at the videotape, and remembered one other thing. It took nearly 20 minutes to get things calmed down after Welker let fly. We had to take a break so everyone could get their heads screwed back on again. Everyone went back into the recording studio. Sat. A moment of silence as they get ready ...

And there comes Frank Welker's voice, "Y'know ... you ever wonder what Charlton Heston's fart would sound like...?" The director lunged for the studio mike, "DON'T ... YOU ... *DARE*"

He just smiled.