Kenny in 2010
|Born||Thomas James Kenny
July 13, 1962
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, voice actor, singer|
|Spouse(s)||Jill Talley (1993-present)|
|Children||Mack Kenny, (b. 1998)
Nora Kenny, (b. 1995)
Thomas James "Tom" Kenny (born July 13, 1962) is an American actor, voice actor, singer, and comedian. He is best known for his long-running-role as SpongeBob SquarePants in the television series of the same name, as well as the live-action character Patchy the Pirate, Gary the Snail and the French narrator portrayed as Jacques Cousteau. He is Heffer Wolfe and various other characters in Rocko's Modern Life, the Mayor and narrator of Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls, Eduardo in Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, Rabbit in Winnie-the-Pooh, Carl in Johnny Bravo, and Scoutmaster Lumpus and Slinkman from Camp Lazlo. Aside from voice acting, Kenny starred in the short-lived Fox sketch show The Edge and was a cast member of the HBO sketch comedy program Mr. Show. He is also known for being one of the longest-working voice actors to voice Spyro in the Spyro the Dragon series. He voiced Spyro for three games (Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage, Spyro: Year of the Dragon, and Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly).
He currently voices the Ice King and Magic Man in the Cartoon Network animated series Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, and voices additional characters on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. He also voices Quantum Ray in Cosmic Quantum Ray, Woody Johnson and Dr. Kuzniak on Brickleberry and Plastic Man in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Kenny was born and raised in East Syracuse, New York,. He went to Bishop Grimes High School, which is also located in Syracuse. He was friends with comedian Bobcat Goldthwait when they were in school after Bobcat got in trouble with one of the teachers in the school, who dragged him into Kenny's class. The two were friends through school and after college and appeared in films that Bobcat directed and starred in such as Shakes the Clown and World's Greatest Dad. Kenny is of English, Dutch, German and Irish Ancestry.
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.
Kenny also sung in Teen Titans. the song was called "Master Of Your Fate" the episode was "Bunny Raven or How To Make a Titan animal disappear.
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, and appeared on R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour on the season four episode, "Uncle Howee" as Uncle Howee, a high-energy kids' show host with a dark side.
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. It was revealed by Kenny that his favorite character to voice for was Slinkman in Camp Lazlo. Kenny said that he voices "a lot of sweet yellow characters for some reason." He described his perspective on SpongeBob's voice in an interview: "He’s not quite an adult, he’s not quite a kid. Think a Stan Laurel, Jerry Lewis kind of child-man. Kind of like a Munchkin but not quite, kind of like a kid, but not in a Charlie Brown child’s voice on the TV shows."
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. He also voices Cupid for the Nick show Fairly Odd Parents.
Joe Murray chose Kenny for a voice acting position in Camp Lazlo as Lumpus and Slinkman, 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 the voice of Dog in CatDog, as well as the voice of Cliff. He also had a few roles in The Powerpuff Girls TV show. He was the Mayor, the Narrator, Mitch Mitchelson, Snake and Little Arturo from the Gangrene Gang, Rainbow the Clown, etc. He voices Eduardo, and various other characters in Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends. He played Dr. Two-Brains in the PBS Kids show, WordGirl 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 and Waspinator. Kenny also voiced several characters on the animated show Xiaolin Showdown, as well as the Autobots Skids and Wheelie in the live-action Transformers film series. He has voiced The Penguin on The Batman, as well as Mumbo Jumbo on Teen Titans. 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 is also Yancy Fry and various minor characters on Futurama. He is the voice of The Ice King and Magic Man on Adventure Time.
In 2009, Kenny became a regular cast voice in the Fox comedy series Sit Down, Shut Up. He voices Muhammad Sabeeh "Happy" Fa-ach Nuabar, the secretive custodian who is plotting a terrorist attack, as well as Happy's interpreter. The series premiered on April 19, 2009. Kenan Thompson, Kristin Chenoweth, Jason Bateman, Nick Kroll, Cheri Oteri, Henry Winkler, Will Arnett and Will Forte are the other main cast members.
Since 2012, Kenny has been voicing Woody Johnson on Comedy Central's Brickleberry.
Awards and Nominations
|2001||Annie Award||Best Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production||SpongeBob SquarePants||Nominated|
|2008||Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production||Nominated|
|2010||Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Screen Couple (shared with Shia LaBeouf and either Megan Fox or any "Transformer")||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||Nominated|
|Annie Award||Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production||SpongeBob SquarePants||Won|
|2011||Golden Raspberry Awards||Worst Screen Ensemble (shared with the entire cast)||Transformers: Dark of the Moon||Nominated|
- "Tom Kenny: Biography". T.V Guide. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Tom Kenny at the Internet Movie Database
- Miller, Emily; Macchione, Elizabeth (June 14, 2003). "A discussion with Tom Kenny of 'SpongeBob Squarepants'". St. Augustine Record.
- "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants," Hogan's Alley #17, 2010
- "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
- "Sit Down, Shut Up". Fox. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
- Silver, Stephen. "Best Buy Elf Debuts in Christmas Support Ad". Dealerscope. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tom Kenny.|
- Tom Kenny at the Internet Movie Database
- Tom Kenny at the Notable Names Database
- Tom Kenny on SpongeBuddy Mania
- Interview with Tom Kenny on Fresh Air
- Tom Kenny on Behind The Voice Actors
|Voice of Spyro the Dragon
|Voice of Starscream
|Voice of Wheelie