Our guest today is Jack Angel, whose voice acting credits include cartoons like Transformers and G.I. Joe as well as animated films like Toy Story, Aladdin, and The Lorax. Jack is also the author of “How to Succeed in Voice Overs without Ever Losing” and his autobiography, “The Book of Jack.” If you are interested in the availability of these books, visit www.jackangel.com
Later version of the Super Friends, Dccomics.com
Today we talk to him about his time on the Super Friends cartoon series as well as his experience voicing Hawkman, the Flash, and Super Samurai.
CHECKPOINT: How did you get involved with the Super Friends? Was there an audition involved?
JACK ANGEL: Wally Burr, who later became the director of all the G.I. Joes and Transformer shows as well as Gem and some others for Marvel, was working at Hanna Barbera then and I auditioned for him. I was always pretty versatile so I did three roles where most of the other members of the cast did only one or two.
What inspired the voices of Hawkman, the Flash, and Super Samurai?
Hawkman was at my deeper edge and the Flash was higher and younger sounding in order to keep the voices separate. Super Samurai had to sound Japanese without actually having a Japanese accent, so the answer was to speak without using contractions. It made him sound stilted and a little foreign. There were some actual Japanese words he had to say and one of the Japanese artists always came to the recording sessions to insure I said them correctly.
What was a typical recording session like at Hanna-Barbara? Did you record as a group or individually?
Everybody arrived in the conference room for the initial read through. Then we walked down the hall to the recording studio where everyone lined up on individual mics and the fun continued.
Do you have any memorable experiences during your run on Super Friends?
I always thought the writers didn’t quite know what to do with Hawkman. There was one episode where he kept saying the same dumb thing over and over. “I’ve got to warn Wonder Woman before it’s too late.” Then, “I’ve got to tell Superman before it’s too late.” Followed by, “I’ve got to find Flash before it’s too late.” Pretty soon whenever I spoke my lines, everyone would start laughing.
Are you surprised with the longevity the show has had?
Not really. With cable TV and now the Internet and so many other ways to access old show, I’m not surprised at all. What does surprise me a little is that adults still watch the shows that were created for kids.
What are your thoughts about the voice acting industry today?
It beats the crap out of working for a living. People sometimes ask me if I’m ever going to retire and I tell them that I go into a room, stand in front of a microphone and say stupid stuff and they give me money. Why would I ever want to retire from that?
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Sure. I have two books that will hit the market soon. The first is called “How to Succeed in Voice Overs without Ever Losing”. Although it deals with the voice over industry and acting, it is really a metaphor for success doing anything.
The second book is called “The Book of Jack” and is an autobiography, dealing with my years as a terrible student in high school and the first two years of college, my years in the army rising from private to officer, Army Ranger School, more college as a great student, and the various times I re-invented myself from artist to eighteen years as a disc jockey, from stage actor to TV newscaster, to soap opera actor to voice overs including ten years as an NBC promo announcer, doing commercials and then animated shows all the way up to performing for Steven Spielberg, Disney/Pixar and other studios doing animated feature films.
I also taught for a while and have become an author and more recently a producer of a cartoon called The Don of the Flies which is still in production. You can see the pilot effort at www.blackjackanimation.com. It hasn’t been rated yet but because of language it will probably get an R rating.
Anyone interested in the books can check my website, www.jackangel.com for availability and how to get them.
Oh yeah, I also have a plan for saving the world, but you can read about that on my blog, also on my website.
Jack’s Blog: www.jackangel.com
Pilot for the Don of the Flies: www.blackjackanimation.com
For additional interviews with Jack, visit:
Focus on voice acting as well as how he entered the business.