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Preview Trailer: Transformers Prime: Episode 6 Season 1

The Hub released a couple previews to episode 6 from there upcoming new animated series, Transformers Prime. The preview is described as, “With Megatron gone, Starscream seizes control and tells the Decepticons he’s their new leader. But the troops are not so sure.” Transformers Prime premiers on the Hub February 15th, 2011 at 4pm Eastern. …

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The Green Lantern Movie Has “The Touch!”

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Check out the fan made tribute to the upcoming Green Lantern Movie featuring Stan Bush’s “The Touch!”

“The Touch” debuted in 1986’s animated Transformers: The Movie and to this day is still sung by fans of the Autobots and Decepticons.

You can find – and play- this iconic song on Rock Band and Rock Band 3! “The Touch” is available to download through the Rock Band Network.

A Rock Band contest has also been announced which you can find details about at StanBush.com and AuthorityMusic.com. Create a video with “The Touch” and Rockband – and you can be a winner!

Here’s the fan vid from Darth Andrea and be sure to check out her “Wheel of Time” column at InvestComics.com!

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Interview With Larry Kenney: Part Two: Thundercats Has His Tongue

For the better part of two decades, voice over actor Larry Kenney has been associated with Lion-O, the leader of the Thundercats.

For the better part of two decades, voice over actor Larry Kenney has been associated with Lion-O, the leader of the Thundercats.

In Part One Kenney spoke with us about his career and the fun they had in the recording booth in the first part of the interview.

In Part Two, Kenney continues to talk about the show and the possibilities of a future movie.

CosmicBookNews: Well, considering the Thundercats were part of the 1980s, so was The Cosby Show

LARRY KENNEY: [DOING A BILL COSBY IMPRESSION] Yes, it was very huge on the television and the children thought it was marvelous and the adults didn’t quite understand it.

CosmicBookNews: [LAUGHS] That’s beautiful!

LARRY KENNEY: [DOING A BILL COSBY IMPRESSION] Well, thank you very much!

CosmicBookNews: The gentleman who did the voice of Panthro…

LARRY KENNEY: Earl Hyman.

We had two Earl H’s. We had Earl Hammond who was Mumm-Ra and many other characters and Earl Hyman who is still with us was Panthro and he was Bill Cosby’s father on The Cosby Show.

CosmicBookNews: Did he ever share what it was like working on The Cosby Show?

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah, he often mentioned what a great guy Bill Cosby was and he loved doing his show.

But we really didn’t have that much time to swap stories because when we recorded The Thundercats we worked two days a month, we did two episodes each day, we would record four episodes a month.

People would often ask us, “Why would it take so long?”

Well, what the creators begin to do is write 13 scripts, because 13 that’s the standard minimum. You don’t know four or five weeks in, if it is a hit or if they are going to buy another 13 weeks. So unless you have lots of money in advance you can’t pay writers to write 13 more episodes and pay the animators to animate 13 more episodes.

It took almost two and half years to record 130 episodes because we would do it twice — usually on Thursday or Friday once a month, and we had two episodes each of those days and we would break for lunch.

CosmicBookNews: How did you get involved with the Thundercats?

LARRY KENNEY: There was a process involved in it.

My agent would call and say, for instance, “On Wednesday at 2 p.m. you are to go to 909 Third Avenue and up to the third floor, but stop by our office and pick some scripts the day before.”

My agent would normally say, “We would like for you read for this character this character or this character.”

The creators I would read for would show me pictures or give a brief description of what the show was about and vaguely what they would like for the character to sound like.

And you give them your idea what you think the voice should sound like and sometimes the producers or director would ask, “Can you do the character’s voice a little younger or a little older?”

So I read for the people from Rankin Bass, the people who were in charge of casting the show which included Mr. Rankin himself, and I had to read for him and Lee Donniker, who ended up directing all the shows.

They asked me to read for Lion-O, and I think I read for Tigra.

Someone, later, told me they auditioned 300 actors over a two week period. But about three weeks after I auditioned, my agent called and said, “You got the part of Lion-O on this new show.”

I said, “Great.”

And at the time it was wonderful because it was another job and it is also always nice to get another job.

CosmicBookNews: But it was a job that got you an action figure!

Did you get a chance to collect any of them?

LARRY KENNEY: You know I have one Lion-O figure in my desk drawer here…hang on a sec…[DESK DRAWERS OPEN UP AND CLOSE]

Lion-O, come out of there!

[IN LION-O’S VOICE] Let me out! [LAUGHS].

I have one Lion-O and a Jackalman who I also voiced.

[IN JACKALMAN’S VOICE] We must get the Thundercats, yes?

CosmicBookNews: Oh yes!

He was annoying. [LAUGHS]

LARRY KENNEY: He was a jackal. [LAUGHS]

[IN JACKALMAN’S VOICE Let’s sneak up behind their backs and slit their throats! [JACKALMAN’S LAUGH]

CosmicBookNews: That sound like Golem from 1970s cartoon The Hobbitt.

LARRY KENNEY: Are you suggesting here, Don, that I perhaps ripped off a voice?

CosmicBookNews: [LAUGHS] No! I am suggesting I can pick your inspirations.

LARRY KENNEY: Oh that’s a good one that’s a great response! I’m gonna have to remember that.

Golem isn’t that also the name from the Lord of the Rings?

CosmicBookNews: Yeah.

In fact, Rankin Bass in the 1970s did an animated Hobbit movie, with director John Huston doing the voice of Gandalf.

LARRY KENNEY: No kidding.

CosmicBookNews: Yeah, the character of Golem, if you listen, and stay away from the recent film versions with Andy Serkis as Golem, sounds like Jackalman.

LARRY KENNEY: I didn’t see it. I will have to listen for it.

When you’re talking about animated things, it’s a cartoon and they give you the description he’s evil he’s a mutant and he’s called the Jackalman and because jackals are supposed to be sneaky they’re like coyotes.

I picture them with their backs slinking down and skulking and stalking their prey. The first thing that comes to an actor’s mind is that sound that [IN VOICE] Snidely Whiplash, “I’m going to get you my dear.”

The characters tend to sound the same.

But I will listen for it.

CosmicBookNews: Please take it as a compliment.

LARRY KENNEY: Oh, I will.

I was mostly kidding.

CosmicBookNews: Mostly kidding? [LAUGHS]

To shift gears, you said before the interview that Rankin Bass were trying to do something that was not so violent and more wholesome, but these days, wholesome has such a negative/syrupy connotation.

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah, I know.

CosmicBookNews: But you were telling me they were really trying not as violent as the other cartoons that were popular in the 1980s.

LARRY KENNEY: I don’t think that Rankin Bass ever did anything that wasn’t top notch. You go back to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer which was from my childhood with Burl Ives as the narrator and something else with Fred Astaire, and they always did top notch productions.

CosmicBookNews: Dan Gilvazan, who voiced Bumblebee for The Transformers, said that some people criticized the cartoons for being half hour cartoons for toys. But he said it was the toy companies who provided the money for excellent creators to tell stories

LARRY KENNEY: Interesting. I like that.

I certainly like that and I agree with that thought. I certainly haven’t given much thought to asking, “Were we doing a half hour commercials for toys?”

You would have to ask the producers why they decided to do it to begin with I don’t think that’s why they decided to do it.

You certainly know that at a certain point it became obvious, I don’t know if it was in the 1960s or the 1970s when started, making these action figures that sell.

I think in my memory, not from any knowledge of the business I remember G.I. Joe commercials for the toy. I don’t remember any action figures for the cartoons before when I was kid.

CosmicBookNews: Yeah.

You weren’t buying Zorro action figures with Guy Williams modeled for the toy.

LARRY KENNEY: Exactly, so I don’t think anyone can think and invest all this money to begin with to create episodes of a show that may never get on the air just so they could make a lot of money to make action figures.

But that aspect is there once you got a hit show the, toy companies come to you and buy the rights to make action figures.

What are you going to say, “No?”

CosmicBookNews: Exactly.

LARRY KENNEY: It helps perpetuate and enhance the visibility of your own product. I remember taking my oldest daughter who is in her 30s, and there was like three rows of Thundercat figures at Toys R Us.

Even if you never had seen the show and you’re a kid and you go there and see these rows of toys, you will say, “I want to see that show.”

CosmicBookNews: Right!

Speaking of the show, talk to me about the infamous out takes www.cheezey.org/thundercats/sounds/outtakes

Did you have any idea they would survive so long?

LARRY KENNEY: Not really.

We were adult actors and we had people with great senses of humor and ask any actors, you’re going to show off at any chance you get.

Anyway, you’re working and are serious about doing the show, but when you mess up, you are going to say, “You dumb [f-word]!”

[LAUGHS]

You never think it is never going to be heard and this in 1983 and no internet. At least everyone in the world didn’t have a computer.

We had no idea these things were going to be everywhere.

[LAUGHS]

Every actor who did a project like this knew the engineer or recording engineer and was probably going to tape something like that, that was said on tape.

The engineers probably kept those tapes, and maybe at his Christmas party for his friends he would say, “Listen to what the guys on the Thundercats say when they think no one is going to hear it.”

Now all of a sudden 25 years later, it is on the internet for everyone in the world to hear.

It was a little bit of a shock to us at first, “Oh god. If they hear this there goes the whole nice image people had regarding the Thundercats.”

I thought everybody’s going to say, “What foul mouths they had.”

And the exact opposite has happened. Everyone is saying, “Wow that’s funny.”

We were just actors having a good time.

It is what anybody else at their job would say when the boss’s back is turned and when you’re not talking to your client, you say to your friends or co-workers, “You hear what that dumbass said?”

But I was really worried at first that small kids would hear it and say, “Mommy, you hear what Lion-O said?”

But that’s not something to worry about.

CosmicBookNews: And obviously the actors were not being prima donnas about it.

LARRY KENNEY: As evidenced by the laughter you hear in the room afterwards.

When you watch a movie and they show the out takes at the end of comedies, you know one actor will say something to another and everyone laughs because they know they’re not serious.

When you are doing this sort of work, it may sound strange when you are reading the lines and you have to record it seriously.

[IN LION-O’S VOICE] “Cheetarah. Snarf. We’ve got to save these people!”

I’m an actor you want to convey that feeling and you feel that so, but every once in a while, you need to break the tension, so that’s one of the ways actors do it.

CosmicBookNews: Have you heard anything about any future Thundercats projects?

LARRY KENNEY: Every few years there’s a rumor on the internet the people are going to call me or e-mail about and tell me there’s going to be a new “Thundercats” show or movie.

So far they have never panned out.

But I don’t want to say I know this for a fact but the latest rumors I’ve heard, is that Warner Bros. are involved, which would make sense, since they’re the ones that put out the DVDs and who are putting out the DVDs of the episodes.

I don’t know, it would seem logical to me that if sales of this went well and if they are monitoring sales and if there is a market still out there for Thundercats, they might consider a live action or animated movie.

[NOTE: A CGI-related Thundercats movie was in the works, but as of Aug. 2, Thundercatslair.org, had confirmed it was shelved.]

CosmicBookNews: Would you mind if they reinvented the Thundercats like how Battlestar Galactica was reinvented or would you like to see them pick up where the show left off?

LARRY KENNEY: Uh…that would be a tough one.

I don’t even think that way. I don’t think like a producer. My biggest hope is they keep the sensitivity of the show, the over all feel to the show – the commitment to the Code of Thundera.

Like you said, wholesome has a negative connotation, but keep it wholesome.

You couldn’t just put the same old show back on the air – times have changed and animation has changed.

They would probably use the language that you heard on the out takes [LAUGHS] but if they do make changes the look of the characters, the mission, I do hope they would keep the good feeling of the show.

CosmicBookNews: Like Cheetarah is now some crack addicted prostitute.

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah!

Keep it so people would recognize it as Thundercats.

CosmicBookNews: One last question, was it ever explained why explained why Lion-O grew up and Wilykit and Wilykat had stunted growth?

LARRY KENNEY: [LAUGHS] You know, I never thought about it. I couldn’t even begin to answer you.

I’d have to go back and watch it again.

I think it may have been explained they were kept young, weren’t they in some kind of chamber?

CosmicBookNews: Yeah, they were in sleeping chambers.

LARRY KENNEY: I don’t know.

CosmicBookNews: Oh well.

Do you have any current projects people can look out for you in?

LARRY KENNEY: I was the announcer on “Best Week Ever” on VH-1. I’m the guy that said, “It’s everything you love! Everything you missed! Everything you want to see again!”

[LAUGHS]

I can still be heard as Count Chockula, Sonny the Coo-Coo Bird.

I’m also the guy on the Skittles commercials that says, “Taste the rainbow” or “Feel the rainbow.”

CosmicBookNews: Would you like another cartoon series?

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah, sure.

That’s what I do for a living. I’d love to do another Thundercats type thing and contribute to its success.

CosmicBookNews: And we wish you success.

Thanks for talking with us, Larry.

LARRY KENNEY: Thank you. This was fun.

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Interview With Larry Kenney: Part One: Thundercats Has His Tongue

During the summer of 2009, movies based on two very popular 1980s properties hit the theaters. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra were based on the two Hasbro toy franchises.

During the summer of 2009, movies based on two very popular 1980s properties hit the theaters. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra were based on the two Hasbro toy franchises.

But one 1980s property is still waiting to see its big screen debut and considering the e-mail the star of the cartoon series gets, fans want to see it.

The story, of this franchise, is about a group of feline looking people who rocket to earth from a doomed planet and set up shop on Earth.

The Thundercats were a stable of just about every cartoon fan in the 1980s.

Pick up a stick, broom handle or anything that can be used as a sword, and the kid inside every comic book or science fiction fan will either make the noises of a lightsaber, write a “Z” in the air or do something “by the power of Grayskull.”

Still many children of the 1980s will shout what voiceover actor Larry Kenney made a career saying, “Thundercats, ho!”

For the better part of three decades, the New York City based, Kenney made a name for himself as the host of the local show Bowling for Dollars, a regular with radio star Don Imus and now Kenney’s voice can be heard announcing VH1’s Best Week Ever and Skittles candy, “Taste the rainbow.”

However, Kenney admits fond memories to playing Lion-O, the leader of a surviving band of were-cats from the doomed planet Thundera, stranded on Third-Earth where they defend the local inhabitants from the forces of evil.

Kenney spoke with CosmicBookNews.Com about his career and possibilities of a future Thundercats feature.

PART ONE:

CosmicBookNews: It is common knowledge that your daughter is Kerri Kenney-Silver one of the stars and creators of Reno 911! on Comedy Central. She had a son in 2005, how is it being a grandfather?

LARRY KENNEY: He’s doing great thank you! I just got new pictures of him standing on a surf board with a wet suit and a year and five months old and he already has his own surf board.

They are out in Malibu and the rule is you have to have one [a surf board].

CosmicBookNews: Are you going to get him interested in the Thundercats?

LARRY KENNEY: We’ll see how that works out. I never push it on any of my kids. In fact I remember when my youngest son, Tanner, he’s now an adult, was 8 or 9 years old and he was going through some old video tapes and he found tape labeled Bowling for Dollars.

He comes over to me, “Dad! You hosted a game show on TV?” I said, “Well, yeah.”

And he said, “Why didn’t you tell me?” I said, “It never came up it was 20 years ago.” [LAUGHS].

A lot of people ask me, “When you read to your kids when you were little to do you all the voices?”

It is funny, because when I first started to read to my kids I would say, “And the big bad wolf said, [WITH A GROWL] ‘I’m going to eat you…” And the kids would say, “Dad, just read the story [LAUGH], “Don’t do the voices!”

CosmicBookNews: Yeah!

“Get to the good part!”

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah!

Everyone else in the world says, “Do one of your voices for us!” and these kids just go “Dad, you’re embarrassing me!”

CosmicBookNews: Oh that’s funny!

I imagine your kids had easier time growing up with a celebrity, like you could come walking into a classroom and say, “I am here to pick up my kids” as opposed to some celebrity like Madonna.

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah! Yeah it’s true and I’ve often thought about that celebrity is nice and everything but that’s the part of it (paparazzi and such). Especially these days…um…some people recognize me from my “Imus” days but usually that is an older crowd.

I mean teenagers don’t tend to “Imus in the Morning” [now on 770 WABC in New York City].

The people from my generation that talk to me are people on the train or in the mall.

Some 50 year-old will come up and say, “I enjoy your work” and walk away they won’t tear your clothes off.

But when I was doing Bowling for Dollars when I was in New York, everywhere I went people would say, “Hey Larry! Bowling for Dollars how are ya?”

Being a celebrity was never a drain on me and I wasn’t a movie star, I was just a guy they saw on television every night. But from that, I came to think, “Imagine you were really the idols to people who wanted to tear your clothes off day and night! You would have to live with that!”

I don’t feel sorry for them, they chose that life, but I am glad I don’t have that. I like the “kind-of-being-known” without all the bad stuff that comes with it.

CosmicBookNews: And for readers of CosmicBookNews.Com, they know you from Thundercats.

So let me ask, “Are Thundercats on the move?”

Are the Thundercats lose?”

LARRY KENNEY: They’re always on the move, hence, their charm.

CosmicBookNews: [IN A MOCK PENSIVE TONE] Larry…

…do you feel the magic?

Do you hear the roar?

LARRY KENNEY: If I thought you were being serious I would hang up the phone right now. [Laughs]

I always hear the roar I wake up hearing it. I’m afraid of a Mumm-Ra. [IN MUMM-RA’S VOICE] “Ancient spirits of evil…”

CosmicBookNews: Who did the voice of Mumm-Ra originally?

LARRY KENNEY: It was Earl Hammond, who was the best by the way, I had the great pleasure on the Thundercats DVDs which came out from Warner Bros. DVD…[ANNOUNCER VOICE]…available in stores now!

CosmicBookNews: [LAUGHS].

LARRY KENNEY: Anyway, during the DVD extras they recorded I had the pleasure of re-creating the voice of Earl’s character Mumm-Ra and Jaga for an inner active game you play on the DVD as a special feature.

When I was asked to play the role, I really thought long and hard about it because I really didn’t know if I could maintain the standard Earl had set, but once I convinced myself I could do it, and I could carry it, it came out pretty well and I was proud of how it turned out.

CosmicBookNews: You must have had a different mindset when you did the voice of Lion-O for The Family Guy in 2005.

LARRY KENNEY: It was.

But during the recording I was alone. They would put me in a studio all by myself and the producers, on the show, were in Los Angeles over the telephone line and I didn’t meet anybody.

CosmicBookNews: Were you nervous about doing the show?

It seemed like the show, while tongue and cheek, was paying respect to the Thundercats.

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah!

CosmicBookNews: I mean using the Sword of Omens to see a girl in the restroom or locker room, what 13 year-old wouldn’t want of one those?

LARRY KENNEY: What man in his 60s wouldn’t want one of those? [LAUGHS]

Seriously, I had to think long and hard about doing the voice of Lion-O for Family Guy.

When my agent called, he said, “They would like you to do some thing on the Family Guy project.”

They sent me the script and I said, “Wait a minute! I can’t do that!”

So I started talking to other actors and people who worked on the Thundercats and I started talking to my own kids and they said, “Dad, you are not going to denigrate the legend or the Thundercats.”

They also said, “And 7 year-old kids don’t watch Family Guy and it is a hip show and everyone knows it is just fun.”

And they talked me into going ahead and doing it. For a while I wasn’t going to do it and I said, “You can’t have Lion-O looking at Cheetarah with the Sword of Omens in the bathroom and he says to Snarf, ‘Let’s get wasted’.” [LAUGHS].

CosmicBookNews: Right. [LAUGHS]

LARRY KENNEY: Though, I decided if it isn’t cool, and I won’t do the show.

CosmicBookNews: I was just happy to see them making a joke about a subject I was familiar with.

People must still tell you how much the Thundercats means to them.

LARRY KENNEY: Oh, I gotta tell ya, it’s still so heart warming.

It is incredible, because when we recorded the voices all those years ago, I never thought it would be the hit that it is.

And we knew after it aired it was a hit show, but we figured the kids would grow up and forget us, but I get e-mails from all walks of life who tell me what the show has meant to them. And it is really fulfilling.

CosmicBookNews: That is cool people still remember you.

LARRY KENNEY: To be honest, I have got some e-mails from grown ups said that as kids their childhoods were not great and I can tell they were saying. You can read between the lines and know abuse was part of it.

But today when I get the letters, they are from doctors, lawyers, and carpenters and it will say, “Mr. Kenney, I was abused, neglected or whatever and what saved me was going in my room and watching the Thundercats.”

They are writing you 25 years late to say thank you. You have no idea, what that feels like.

And I am very protective of the show which is why I was concerned about doing Family Guy.

When I saw the show, the over all effect of the Family Guy episode wasn’t “The Thundercats is stupid” or “Lion-O is a dumbass!”

It was with a wink to our old show.

I also noticed the creators behind the Family Guy didn’t try to do the original animation style of the Thundercats show. I think I might have been recalcitrant if they had tried to draw him just like our show or used original footage of Lion-O. I think that might have been too much.

CosmicBookNews: Were you afraid you would be “going back to the well” as so many actors who are associated with other roles do?

LARRY KENNEY: When my agent first called me I was familiar with the show but I was not a regular viewer and I had seen it a few times and I thought it was very funny and very well done.

When my agent first called I thought, “Why would they want me?”

And from my family on and everyone I mentioned it too said, “Oh that is the show everyone is dying to be on. Actors are calling them and saying, ‘Use my character’.”

It was kind of like The Simpsons became that show. Everyone from Paul McCartney down wanted to be on The Simpsons so I felt honored.

How could you say no?

CosmicBookNews: And on Seth Green’s Comedy Central show, Robot Chicken, they did a parody of the Thundercats, it should be noticed that you did not do the voice for. However, how does this make you feel to see creators doing parodies of Lion-O? However, how does this make you feel to see people do parodies of Lion-o?

LARRY KENNEY: I think it’s great. I guess it is more of an indication of how established Thundercats and the character is, in the cultural since.

I guess it is gratifying showing how established you are, when it has reached to a second and third generation.

CosmicBookNews: Speaking of reaching generations, I heard you refer to Lynn Lipton, the voice of Cheetarah, as the original “Thundercats Ho.”

LARRY KENNEY: [LAUGHS] When we, the voice actors and myself, were recording interviews for DVD extras, I said that jokingly and I think she was in the room when I said that. I mean, that’s the style of a joking around we did when we were together.

CosmicBookNews: It shows you had a great relationship.

LARRY KENNEY: Yeah, Lynne’s great! She’s so funny!

Read Part Two of CosmicBookNews.com’s interview with Larry Kenney!

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