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March 09, 1995 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - Thursday, March 9,.1995

Gregg Berger: Not a pig, but plays one on TV

By Ted Watts
Daily Weekend Editor
"What the Hell are you starin' at?"
So goes the catch phrase of Satur-
day night's finest scumball with an
office. No, not Lorne Michaels. It's
Duckman, the private animated dick
who's hip with all the chicks and has
his own eponymously titled show, as
well as several comic books.

Created by artist Everett Peck,
Duckman is an innovatively drawn
duck whose eyes only exist on his
glasses, whose hair might be red from
the blood of some kid he's run over
and whose concept of taste hovers
somewhere around that of a dung
A brilliant bit of comment of a
wonderfully anti-PC sort in cartoon

r w..I

form, "Duckman" isn't afraid to take
unpopular stances. For instance, upon
taking a female client's case, our fowl
detective may be heard to say "Of
course we'll take your body, er, fondle
your case, uh, case your kasbahs. I
mean take, take your case..." Or in
Asia he may be heard to say, with his
renowned sensitivity, "Hey! Rick-
shaw! C'mon, let's 'spring roll' into
action, my egg foo youngin's 'n me
need a ride, chop chop, what is this,
the year of the snail?!" Nonetheless,
the show has garnered lotsa critical
praise in the form of nominations for
Emmys and Cable ACE Awards as
well as various other honors.
Duckman, a widower, is sur-
rounded by his dysfunctional family:
his shrewish sister-in-law Bernice,
his moron son Ajax, his two-headed
one-bodied intelligent sons Charles
and Mambo and his brain-dead flatu-
lent mother-in-law.
Fortunately, there is a strong pres-
ence that balances out all these crazies:
Duckman's sidekick Cornfed. He's a
pig in a brown suit and hat with a
black tie who's the consummate in-
vestigator. He's intelligent, calm,
popular and has an eye for detail. In
other words, the very opposite of
Voiced by Gregg Berger, a sea-
soned voice actor who's been the voice
of Orson the pig on "Garfield and
Friends" as well as voices on "G.I.
Joe" and "Transformers" among other
shows, Cornfed is an anomaly. While
intelligent, he stands by Duckman.
"No one is more overqualified for
their job than Cornfed," said Berger
"He's fiercely loyal and knows to a
fault how much he's needed... Corny

and Duckman are very dependent
upon each other, for whatever rea-
Cornfed is a very classic detec-
tive. "I modeled Cornfed's voice on
storyboards and drawings I was given
and an implication that he had cer-
tainly watched a few "Dragnets"
growing up. I think he goes off in his
own direction but he really is a just
the facts kind of pig. They've added
more history to the character week by
week, so they have him in the com-
pany of leggy models, Olympic su-
perstars and army chiefs of staff so he
seems to have an economy of lan-
guage, but when necessary can be an
expert on every subject underthe sun,"
explained Berger. And Corny's char-
acter will be experiencing revelations
in the coming season: "We have an
episode in the second season where a
Vietnamese potbellied pig walks into
the office calling him "Dad" and
Cornfed has to go through his Viet-
nam war hero journal looking for an
unaccounted for evening that he spent
The atmosphere around the pro-
duction of the show is one where
"being creative is not only allowed,
it's encouraged." Berger continues:
"Klasky-Csupo, where the show is
recorded, is set up in such a way that
on the way to and from anywhere in
the studio you walk past almost every
animator in the place. I think that's
not an accident. It's a very, very col-
laborative atmosphere. All the voice
people know all of the artists and all
the editors know all of the color cor-
rectors It's a very eclectic work-
Berger's very first experience with


This Is Gregg Berger, the voice of Cornfed. He is wearing a shirt.

Here is the wonderful private detective known as Comfed.

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the show wasn't particularly collabo-
rative, however. "During the first sea-
son I was on location in Russia for
two months doing a film and was
being directed by phone, putting down
tracks on a digital audio tape portable
machine, sending them back for the
animators to get started working on. I
was doing "Police Academy: Mis-
sion to Moscow," which is currently
in release, and had the rare distinction
of actually being in two places at one
"I'm fiercely proud of the show,"
said Berger. "From a sound perspec-
tive as well as an animation perspec-
tive, this is an amazingly densely lay-
ered show. The writer/producers are
Jeff Reno and Ron Osborn, who were
the story editors of "Moonlighting."
From where I sit it seems like we put

45 minutes of dialogue into each 30
minute show, then the animators pro-
ceed to layer the art so that it is en-
tirely distinctive and its own entity.
Side by side with other animation, it
really shines."
The second season premiere, this
Saturday at 10:30 on the USA Net-
work (cable channel 50) includes a
live action segment. "It's a film noir*
kind of parody The live action is
Duckman's fantasy Cornfed, who I
am portraying on camera, is portrayed
in -a very un-Cornfed manner.
Duckman paints himself as extremely
dapper and Cornfed as extremely un-
"Duckman" is loads better than go-
ing out and catching a deadly venereal
disease, and almost as fun as the sex that,
gets you there. So watch it already.

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Artistry & Community
At Mannes they go together. The skills, understanding and originality of
artistry are fostered by a superb faculty in a caring and supportive
conimunity. That's why Mannes graduates succeed.

Major Studies in ali orchestral instruments,
piano, organ, voice and opera, guitar,
historical performance, composition, theory
and conducting.
Programs of study: Master of Music, Post-
Graduate Diploma, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of
Science, Diploma, Artist's Diploma.
Scholarships awarded in all majors.
Dormitory rooms are available.
For additional information about the
College, Application and Audition
appointment: Write or call Marilyn Groves,
Director of Admissions, The Mannes College
of Music, 150 West 85th Street, New York,
NY 10024, 800-292-3040 or 212-580-0210
New School for Social Research

New York City Auditions:
January 4, 1995;
February 27 - March 3, 1995;
May 23 - May 26, 1995;
August 1995 dates to be announced.
Chicago Auditions:
January 31, 1995 at Fine Arts
Los Angeles Auditions:
February 1, 1995 at The Music
Center of Los Angeles County
San Francisco Auditions:
February 2, 1995 at War
Memorial Opera House



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