John DiMaggio Talks Disenchantment's King ZogReported by Foxwolf on Thursday, August 30th 2018
Flickering Myth got a chance to sit down with John DiMaggio to talk about his iconic characters and also his new series Disenchantment, where he plays King Zog, the father of the lead character. DiMaggio talks about his inspiration for creating the voice of the ruler of Dreamland.
Flickering Myth: Now you’ve worked on one very famous Matt Groening series Futurama as Bender which we discussed a bit and now you’re part of another Groening series on Netflix called Disenchantment. What’s it like to be working on another Matt Groening series, re-teaming with him and where do you find the inspiration for King Zog?
DiMaggio: First of all, being on Futurama was a big deal for me and getting to work with Matt was an even bigger deal. When you work with somebody that long, I’ll go to bat for him any day of the week. Honestly, being able to make the boss laugh just makes me feel I’m in the right place as far as what I’m doing in my life. He’s really one of the most brilliant people. Great guy to work for, great guy to perform their stuff for and also to collaborate with. He’s really something and when you work with somebody for that long you kind of develop a shorthand and the inspiration for King Zog came from what me and Billy West [Fry from Futurama] used to do, we used to do the tube bar takes. I don’t know if you want what tube bars are, Google them, tube bar. There was a tube bar in New Jersey in the 70s and it was this old guy, an ex-boxer that ran this bar, and this band that played there which he banned. So the band, in retaliation, prank called the bar for about a year and they would make Red, the owner, answer the phone and go – [puts on different voices]
Band: Hi, can I speak to a guy named Sal?
Band: Yeah, Sal Lami
Red: Salami, eh? Salami, phone here! Salami!
It was just unbelievable and then when he figures out they’re screwing with him, he loses his mind and goes on just the filthiest of diatribes.
Flickering Myth: Kind of like Moe in The Simpsons too!
DiMaggio: Yeah, that was exactly the inspiration for Moe and Bart! That whole exchange. So basically, at the auditions for it I did a kingly sort of voice with an English sort of flair and I got the job and went to the table read and Matt pulled me aside and said “Just do Red”. And I said “Okay, got it” and went from there. It was a wrap. It was just something and that’s been the way since. It’s been really amazing. And it’s all Matt. Everything, the whole thing, like sure, I do the character and contribute, sure, absolutely, but Matt was the guy that went “Do that voice because I know you can do that voice because I’ve worked with you before”. It was something that just fell into place and it’s been really beautiful. I’m glad people are enjoying Disenchantment. It’s a really wonderful show.
For more from DiMaggio, including how he tries to differentiate his characters and voices from one another, and chatting about Bender, Jake the Dog, Marcus Fenix and the Joker, check out the full interview at the source link below.