Thomas James "Tom" Kenny (born July 13, 1962) is an American actor, voice actor and comedian. He is especially 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 based on Jacques Cousteau. He is also the narrator of Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls. 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, where he worked with his wife, Jill Talley. He currently voices the Ice King in the Cartoon Network animated series Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, and voices additional characters on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (another Cartoon Network) show. He also voices Quantum Ray in Cosmic Quantum Ray and Plastic Man in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. As of 2007, he hosted the TV show Funday Night at the Movies on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) which encourages children to watch old movies. Kenny was born and raised in Syracuse, New York.
Musical career[edit | edit source]
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.
Acting Career[edit | edit source]
Kenny has acted in many films and T.V shows since 1989. He made his first ever role in the 1989 comedy film How I got into college. Later he appeared in films such as Shakes The Clown and Comic Book: The Movie which starred Mark Hamill. He played in the live acion segments of Spongebob Squarepants as Patchy the Pirate. He appeared in sketch comedies The Edge and Mr. Show. He made many more acting roles in his career since 1989.
Voice acting career[edit | edit source]
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." Kenny 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 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 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. 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!. 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. He also voiced the Best Buy elf from the retail stores' Christmas TV commercials. He replaced Ken Sansom as the voice of Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh (2011).
Kids' Choice Awards[edit | edit source]
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 2007 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."
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