Helloooo. I am Rikki Simons, voice actor behind GIR on the Nickelodeon animated cartoon, Invader ZIM. I'm also an author and and artist. My friends keep telling (well, actually just two friends) that I should do an AMA here. I usually tell them, "But that sounds large and scary, and I have cats to water." They then say, "No, Rikki, go to Reddit and to it." And I say, "Reddit? It's all red there? What?" And they say, "No, it's the front page of the Internet." And I say, "No it isn't. My browser always opens with one of those places where cats talk to me in Helvetica." So, I'm very confused. Just typing this, I aged 70 years in ten seconds. Help me by asking me questions about things related to GIR or me.

-Rikki My sites:

https://twitter.com/rikkisimons

http://www.tavicat.com

http://www.rhumbaghost.com

http://rikkisimons.tumblr.com

My books:

http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/Lion.html

http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/Ranklechick.html

http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/ShutterBox.html

My art:

http://www.rhumbaghost.com/rhumbaghost/Art/Art.html

http://www.rhumbaghost.com/rhumbaghost/Animation/Animation.html

UPDATE: Oh, I am pooped now. You have pooped me. It's almost 6:00 AM here in California. I'm gonna go punch my pillow with my face until I lose consciousness. I will come back around noon and try to answer more of your nice questions. Thank you for having me. See you on a while!

UPDATE 2: 3:30 PM. Okay, I am Back. Let's see if I can answer more things before I am killed to death.

UPDATE 3: 6:54 PM I've been eating peanut brittle this whole time and now I'm sick!

UPDATE 4: 6:55 PM Back in five minutes. Have to vomit and answer my Letterpress challenges.

UPDATE 5: 7:08 PM. Okay. Back. Blugh. Blooogghh.

UPDATE 6: 8:18 PM. Well, I think I'm all done now. Thank you so much for having me. You were super kind! Though I got super pooped at the end and I wasn't able to answer the last batch, I did read them, and I have absorbed a part of you into me like a nice cheese. If you get a chance, please check out my links or follow my twitter. I would especially like to know if you like my books. Thanks again! I love your brains!

Comments: 1494 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

TheGameboy804 karma

Hi. Can you sing the doom song?

RikkiSimons1442 karma

It's a six month long song.

shutz2594 karma

Your performance as GIR probably was the biggest factor in my becoming a huge Invader Zim fan (when I discovered the show, at the tender age of 22.) Edit: my favorite GIR line was in response to Zim asking "Why is there Bacon in the soap?", GIR's reply being "I made it mah-self!". That totally cracks me up just thinking about it.

Have you done any other voice work? Any other acting in general?

What are you working on these days?

RikkiSimons409 karma

I was making comics all through the 90's with my wife, Tavisha (www.tavicat.com). I was also doing background acting in movies, and I was originally hired as a background painter on Invader ZIM. Since the show, I have done GIR in video games, I have colored a few other shows, like the Jackie Chan Adventures, and I also went back to making comics with Tavisha. I also wrote two novels, one an absurdist comedy called Ranklechick and His Three-Legged Cat (http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/Ranklechick.html), the other a space opera, called Hitherto a Lion (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DEKAIU). For recent background acting, I played an embassy staff member in ARGO, but my scene was cut down to literally one frame.

PretendPhD187 karma

Hi. Reddit often does this thing where any site people who are well liked link in a comment breaks just about instantly. I'm sure we're all very sorry and you should tell your wife that we all say so.

yesiamthankyou2159 karma

Tell her we broke it with too much love.

RikkiSimons353 karma

Oh, yeah. Look at that. It 'sploded all up.

Caboose119z454 karma

Has there been a character anywhere near as amazing as Gir recently in your opinion?

RikkiSimons1248 karma

I love just about every character on Adventure Time.

SUBJECT900437 karma

Gahhhh, I wish I had a question. But I don't. Thanks for voicing my favorite character ever.

RikkiSimons458 karma

Woo!

Wasnt_me_this_time402 karma

I loved'ed you, piggy! I loved'ed youuuuuu!

As for a question, how much input did you have on the batshit crazy that was GIR?

RikkiSimons510 karma

Well, I got to act him - and what that involved was reading the script like I was told to, but also in any way I wanted. So we would to several takes, first me trying to get it close to what Jhonen wanted, and then me just slipping into madness. Jhonen would then pick what he liked the most. Some of it my madness. All of it scripted though.

Ryphs209 karma

Did GIR have a lasting impact on your life after the show, or do you think you put more of your personality into him when recording?

Thanks for doing an AMA!

RikkiSimons407 karma

He definitely changed my life.

2th378 karma

Where is the piggy today? I MUST KNOW!

RikkiSimons961 karma

I think he's why there was bacon in the soap.

streeter5000326 karma

How did you get to be such a good dancer.

RikkiSimons435 karma

VERY good animators. And maybe some beans.

MexicanGuyHere304 karma

Do you ever speak in character when you see someone wearing any article of clothing or having an accessory with GIR on it? Also you are awesome.

RikkiSimons685 karma

Nooo, that would be too weird. This 42 year old guy standing on a street corner shouting at children. Wait, no, not weird: HORRIBLE. But thank you.

Steinheart291 karma

So you worked with Jhonen Vasquez, how is he like in real life? Reading the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac graphic novels, I always pictured him as some crazy, abnormally skinny guy with awesome hair. Just nothing about his personality. Is he crazy? Does he have a pocket full of hamsters?

RikkiSimons655 karma

Well, he's sort of like a cross between Zaphod Beeblebrox and Leto II from Dune. Yep.

BlueJoshi256 karma

Oh Rikki you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind hey Rikki!

Hey Rikki!

RikkiSimons335 karma

It's true.

Diolex204 karma

Do you know if the whole Bloody Gir image thing was real or just a big hoax? I've always wanted to know

(For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about - http://zim.wikia.com/wiki/Bloody_GIR)

RikkiSimons318 karma

I was also a background painter on the show and I colored Bloody GIR. It was placed into two episodes, I think. I have a print of it here: http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/donate.html

All_Witty_Taken79 karma

Did the bloody GIRs cause issues with anyone or were they a joke?

RikkiSimons144 karma

Nickelodeon seemed okay with it.

sarah252184 karma

How does it feel to know your charactor is tattooed on a bunch of people?(my best friend being one of them:p)

RikkiSimons385 karma

Well, I don't have any tattoos myself. I would get too bored looking at the same picture every day. BUT, I think it's nice people get so enthusiastic that they want to carve the creature that carries my voice like challis into their flesh.

nathwhal160 karma

Hi Rikki, thanks for doing this! My wife is a huge fan. She introduced me to Invader Zim shortly after we met, and spent much of our first happy weeks enjoying the show. I got her a GIR tattoo a few months before our wedding, and she still quotes GIR to me almost daily :). So, on her behalf, what's YOUR favorite GIR quote?

RikkiSimons418 karma

Hello to you and your nice wife. My favorite quote was removed from the show. When ZIM tells GIR to self destruct in one episode, GIR says, "Finally!" and then explodes. But the original line was 'Sweet release!"

DirichletIndicator32 karma

Is there a recording of this available? Or if not, could you attempt to describe the intonation? I'm really curious how that would sound

RikkiSimons76 karma

It's said in a dreamy sort of way.

strawberryfield4ever155 karma

If you are able to answer Why did the series stop and another one is how did you come up with that awesome voice?

RikkiSimons301 karma

There are all sorts of conspiracies as to why the show was cancelled, but the real reason is rather boring. It was just too expensive and the ratings weren't high enough at the time. It was something like $500K per episode, and the show was sold to advertisers for a very young audience (like 7 years old). When it didn't connect to that audience, it ran into trouble justifying such a huge expense. At least that was how it was explained to me.

The voice happened during the audition session I did for Jhonen back in 1998. I just kept thinking of the Muppets.

argent47147 karma

Something that was never explained on the series. SIR=Standard-issue Information Retrieval. What exactly was GIR?

RikkiSimons444 karma

Broken.

bonejanglez136 karma

Ok this AMA is going great. Now self destruct...

RikkiSimons216 karma

Hooray!

iforgotmypen131 karma

Every time I've seen you at AWA or DragonCon, just walkin' around, I get all giddy. I even got a picture with you a few years ago when I was dressed as Professor Membrane and you were promoting your wife's new book.

Apart from saying how badass you are, and pelting you with questions about what it's like to work with that reclusive fuck Jhonen, MOSTLY I kind of want to know WHY WON'T YOU EVER SIGN MY TESTICLES

RikkiSimons131 karma

I haven't really explored that thought.

m65fieldjacket123 karma

This has been bugging me, what does the G stand for?

RikkiSimons335 karma

When children ask me that at conventions, it takes all of my powers not to say "gonorrhea." So I'll just go with "garbage."

idkmybffyossarian115 karma

Can you tell me about yours and Jhonen's characters in City of Heroes again, please? I like that story.

RikkiSimons329 karma

Ha! Oh, my God. I played City of Heroes with Jhonen when it first came out YEARS ago. I played a character named Saturn Outgrabe. He wore an Iron Man like power armor that was powered by Lewis Carroll poems. Jhonen played a fat old man with a beard and iron pants named Irregulorr. Irregulorr's story was that he was a man who stopped pooping and the mass inside him became a fiery super powers. He shat fire.

idkmybffyossarian80 karma

Yesss. Thank you. :)

RikkiSimons166 karma

Even though I haven't played it in years, I was sad when they shut the game down.

ThatDeznaGuy114 karma

I feel like GIR may have influenced the way I interact with people (I am prone to strange comments that are too loud sometimes). Is this safe? Or should I get checked for piggies?

RikkiSimons182 karma

Oooo, yeah. Hmmm. You're going to hurt yourself.

shneven113 karma

What was your favorite episode of the show?

RikkiSimons293 karma

I really love Back Seat Drivers from Beyond the Stars. It's so chaotic and it never stops, from the moment GIR explodes out of the turkey to the when the Massive flies through a star.

OgreHooper107 karma

Hi. I drove your wife and yourself from Nashville to Paducah for OMGcon in my car. Hope I didn't scare you too much!

RikkiSimons158 karma

You were a gentleman and a good driver. Thank you.

smokeydesperado107 karma

I love you, and I loved invader zim, my dogs nickname is piggy because of it.

What was your favorite moment from working on that show.

How much did you make per episode? Or what's the average for a voice actor.

RikkiSimons156 karma

Favorite moment was working with Richard Horvitz (ZIM) and the other actors. And then working with the rest of the crew, like Eric Trueheart (writer), Aaron Alexovich (character designer), Jhonen Vasquez (creator). Actually, I just like working with imaginative people. At the time, VO paid about $600 per 4 hour session under SAG rules.

Mr_A12 karma

Did you (guys) get and merch %?

RikkiSimons23 karma

No. I only get paid if my voice is used in something.

RikkiSimons107 karma

Okay, I'm gonna take a lil' break and then try to come back in an hour to answer some more. Thanks for all your niceness so far! You are good people. Or maybe just the same person posting over and over. In which case you are good person.

quadrapus99 karma

Is there anything more dreadful than a room with a moose?

RikkiSimons307 karma

Half a room with two moose.

TimeHobo85 karma

Favorite moment while working on the show? Oh and favorite blooper moment! Thanks for all you do!! :)

RikkiSimons230 karma

Favorite blooper would probably be when a cop was animated too big in one episode, and when his scene was sent back to reanimate, he came back even larger. I got to do his voice. We added a giant boot thud to his foot-falls.

Arthien77 karma

I loved your show as a kid and thought GIR was a great character. I have a few questions!

What lead to the creation of GIR on the character side?

Is there a chance for the show to come back?

What is your favorite GIR scene?

Do you take any requests? Voice wise. I would love it if you could record something for me!

Regards, Arthien

RikkiSimons168 karma

Well, Jhonen created GIR. I think he just wanted at least one character on the show whoa wasn't angry or mean all the time. Sooo, the only happy character is also completely insane. Yay!

There has been talk for years now of the show coming back. It seems every 6 months someone calls me and says they're thinking about it at Nick again. I'll be here for it if they ever go through with it.

Favorite scene would be when GIR explodes from the turkey. I mean, he had to cook that thing with himself inside. The mechanics are quite astonishing.

It's a bit difficult for me to record something from home. If you're ever at one of the conventions I attend, hunt me down and I can record something in your phone. If you follow my twitter, I usually announce appearances there: https://twitter.com/rikkisimons

Arthien66 karma

Thank you very much,

I have one last thing to ask. Could you acknowledge my existence?

RikkiSimons128 karma

Poof, you alive?

Doughnuts76 karma

I have to say that you are one of the inspirations I have for performing as a VO actor. I've had some mild success with local commercials, and was part of the team that won a bronze Local Addy for a campaign. Thank you for your hard work! With Love and Tacos!-Doughnuts

RikkiSimons80 karma

Thank you! Woo!

AlecTheGreat9468 karma

How do you like your eggs?

RikkiSimons267 karma

Out of a chicken.

YourAwesomeStalker65 karma

Why is there bacon in the soap!?!?

RikkiSimons118 karma

GIR used to hangs out with pigs, soooo...

thatg33kgirl63 karma

Hello Rikki! Love your work!

Cake or pie?

RikkiSimons242 karma

Death.

imhugeinjapantz62 karma

Got any o'them taquitos?

RikkiSimons125 karma

No, but I have a nice chocolate orange right now.

samisbond61 karma

Does GIR's voice ever naturally come out when you're normally speaking or is he just a comical voice you made up?

RikkiSimons178 karma

They pitch my voice up for GIR, but other than that, his inflections are all me. So, I talk like him most of the time — well, correction, probably mostly when I'm feeding my cat. I was also the voice of Bloaty the Pig. For him, my voice was unaltered.

CouldBeAHorse60 karma

What is better, poop or diet poop?

RikkiSimons138 karma

You don't want to go crazy with the calories, you know.

CrazyIke4752 karma

When I was a freshman in college, my old roommate and I would spend hours just shouting at each other, "Yes, MY LORD," in our best GIR voices.

So thanks for that.

RikkiSimons18 karma

Ha!

FullmetalWaffle52 karma

Why did they stop making Invader ZIM? It was a popular show, why stop?

RikkiSimons86 karma

Tooo expensive was what I was told.

DuckAhiru49 karma

Hi Rikki! I met you a long time ago at a signing at Atomic Comics in AZ! Great to see you on here!

What was your favorite cartoon when you were a kid?

RikkiSimons97 karma

I was born in 1970, so most of what I saw on TV didn't appeal to me because the Hanna Barbera colors were so dull — unless it was the original Tom and Jerry cartoons, and that was mostly for Tom's horrendous screams and their beautifully painted backgrounds. Also, anything Warner Brother at the time I ADORED. The Bugs and Daffy Duck Fire is one of the greatest animations ever. Also really liked Super Chicken because it made my dad laugh. Otherwise, I was a huge fan of the Space: 1999 live action when I was 5. Horribly obsessed with that show, mostly because of the Eagle spacecraft.

Npeo49 karma

Hi Rikki! I love your part in the show! Gir really enhanced the show's humor, but thats obvious of course.

What would you say was your most memorable time you had working with Jhonen Vasquez and Richard Horvitz?

RikkiSimons100 karma

It think it was Richard driving Jhonen insane with a Yoda impression.

SergentSerger45 karma

Thanks for doing an ama. :) How are you doing? if you could learn any new skill what would it be? And how do you feel knowing that people still dress up as gir to cons so any years after Invader Zim finished airing?

RikkiSimons90 karma

I wish I could play the clarinet, or read music. I hope to try that again before DEATH.

I think it's pretty nice they still remember the show. It reminds me I am alive sometimes.

film_aficianado40 karma

I met you at comic con and thought you were a really humble guy. You signed some stuff and took a picture for a friends little sister and it made her year I think.

RikkiSimons49 karma

Yaaaay!

eyeofdelphi40 karma

I love Invader Zim. I was so sad when it ended. That being said, do you have any new projects coming out? Any new books, shows, etc. that we might not know about? Or just anything you find interesting that you'd like to give a shout out to?

RikkiSimons92 karma

My newest thing is the space opera I wrote called, Hitherto a lion http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/Lion.html. It's a novel about a biomechanical lion and a human spirit who are on a quest to destroy theory-eating demons at the end of the universe. I wrote it while my mother-in-law began dying of dementia and my father was dying of heart disease a few years ago. At the time, I wanted to channel my feelings somewhere, but instead of writing some sad autobiography, I decided to write about a lion in space. It seemed a natural choice.

The cover to the book is painted by my younger brother, Robert Simons, who is 19 years younger than me. Robert is a concept designer and recently spent 6 months designing a great many of the space station hallways on the Ender's Game movie. Next year, Robert and I will do an illustrated version of the novel, and we'll probably put together a kickstart to fund that.

Recently, I did a video for Robert where I played a scientist obsessed with chicken: http://youtu.be/G6TAr5FvR6A

Nuthing14135 karma

I feel you should have had posted this tomorrow at around later noonish or something, not much people are probably going to see your AMA perfect time to eat a sammich.

But anyways, do you have anything big coming out in the near future? Like any new work, comics or possibly a show you'll be working on that you would like to promote?

And if not, is there anything you would like to do?

RikkiSimons68 karma

I never plan anything well. I just sort of do them. And then find myself going, "WHAT IS HAPPENING! IIIIEEEE!!!"

I really like my new novel, Hitherto a Lion: http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/Lion.html

Also, the graphic novel series I make with my wife, Tavisha: http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/ShutterBox.html

Or my other novel, Ranklechick and His Three-Legged Cat: http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/Ranklechick.html

I am also writing a series of sketch comedies for a lil' podcast that I'm gonna do with Richard Horvitz (ZIM) and Eric Trueheart (ZIM writer). It's called The Algonquin Taco Truck. Follow my twitter https://twitter.com/rikkisimons or Richard's https://twitter.com/RichardHorvitz and we'll announce it sometimes soonish.

Frugal_Optimist33 karma

Thank you for doing this! and along with everyone else here, I loved your performance as GIR.

My question is:

Your sitting in the airport next to a kid/teenager/adult watching an episode of Invader Zim, what do you do if anything?

RikkiSimons71 karma

Smile to myself, run to plane.

emlgsh31 karma

Thank you for doing this - Gir was one of my favorite characters in the show, and I believe that by cancelling Invader Zim instead of elevating it into some sort of terrible new religion by which all of mankind would be forced to live their lives, Nickelodeon doomed the world to a thousand years of darkness and ignorance.

But on to the interrogation!

  • How difficult was it for you to voice Gir? It sounded like the vocal equivalent of being forced to army-crawl across a field of broken glass and salt.

  • How did you get into doing what you do? Was it a clear path, or just something that happened along the way?

  • What is the work (or works) of media that inspired/impressed you the most, that you'd recommend to others?

  • What's the media work of yours that you're most proud of, as an artist? Which has garnered the most praise?

I am so, so sorry, but tradition demands I ask:

  • Would you rather fight a hundred duck-sized horses or a single horse-sized duck?

RikkiSimons52 karma

I once had an agent who said I sound like an old gay southern gentleman. So, I just talk mostly. They did pitch up my voice, otherwise, it wasn't too hard. Except for the screams. So many screams.

I was originally a background painter on the show. I also did background acting and I wrote and colored comics. I just sort of flop from one place to the next, depending on who needs me. I got very lucky when I flopped towards GIR.

I love reading Science Fiction. I recently read Among Others by Jo Walton and can't recommend it enough. So good. Also, really loved Richard Ayoade's movie, Submarine. Both those stories take place in Wales in the 1970's.

GIR gets me the most recognition, but of the things I've done recently, my novel, Hitherto a Lion is my favorite.

BlueCthulhu29 karma

Hi Rikki, Your voice work as GIR and Bloaty are great and never fail to make me laugh! Have you done any voiceovers on other shows? Thanks for doing an AMA!

Also, is Jhonen Vasquez really a puppet? I must know!!

RikkiSimons96 karma

I've mostly voiced for Invader ZIM characters. I've done lots of auditions for other studios all over the place. Everyone always asks me to do something like GIR, which I do, and then they tell me it sounds too much like GIR.

If Jhonen were a hand puppet, he would be more like a head crab in Half-Life and would be controlling the puppeteer.

WorseThanHitlerAIDS28 karma

Do you miss working on the show? Would you be up for doing GIR again if they made a movie?

Also, I love you!

RikkiSimons70 karma

I love that show. That's not even quoting GIR. I just really, really loved it. So, yes.

isntfunanymore28 karma

Hi Rikki,

Just wanted to say I loved that show and your work in it was amazing. Do you think if there was enough adult interest in the show again, that Jhonen would be willing to pen more episodes? Just wondering if Adult Swim would pick it up or something. I have no idea if what I'm writing even makes sense, but 6-7 banana ham.

RikkiSimons76 karma

Jhonen has talked enthusiastically about wanting to do more episodes. But Nickelodeon has to want to do them too. Nickelodeon owns the show completely, so it's their call. Cartoon Network would have to buy the show from Nick. It would probably be very expensive. At least two hundred candy bars.

22YearOldBoobs28 karma

... your head smells like a puppy.

RikkiSimons46 karma

It's true.

FBI_Monitoring_Van26 karma

So, where did the Gir's voice come from? Were you just asked to do something high pitched and ridiculous or was this more of a personal creation?

Also: I also want to say as somebody whose voice acting career took him to the unbelievably ritzy heights of doing two commercials for a technical college, and reading bad fanfiction out loud when I'm bored or drunk I have to say I'm incredibly jealous.

RikkiSimons66 karma

Definitely a personal creation — Jhonen's person creation. I was very privileged that he picked me for it. Whenever I think about it, I still can't believe how much I lucked out. Then I eat a lot of ice-cream.

Thors_lil_Cuz26 karma

Have you had any run-ins with uber-fans that recognize you? Any fun and/or creepy fan stories?

RikkiSimons107 karma

While signing in Florida, I was once bitten on the wrist my a 14 year old fangirl. I don't like to sound like a Negative Nelly, but that young lady overstepped her boundaries.

Jrindner25 karma

Whats your favorite color?

RikkiSimons69 karma

Red. No green. No orange and yellow. Purple.

Gingerdressing23 karma

Did you get to meet Jhonen Vasquez at all? What was he like?

RikkiSimons71 karma

I lived with him for almost a month when I colored his I Feel Sick comics. He is a man like no other. Like a xenomorph actually.

Gingerdressing17 karma

Did you do any work on JtHM?

RikkiSimons46 karma

No, that was all 100% Jhonen beef.

kullakure16 karma

Oh shit! Your that Ricky! In the little after comics bit?

RikkiSimons21 karma

Yes.

Jatman22 karma

I don't really have a question I just want to say you're awesome :D

RikkiSimons36 karma

Yay!

Isakill22 karma

Gir has to be one of my all time favorite character in all of cartoondom. This includes what I grew up on (Bugs, Daffy, Taz, and the like) My Favorite part has to be with the cloaking robot. That whole scene of Zim asking you the importance of the weapon and Gir's Outburst then Calmly saying "I have no idea" in a hick voice. and "Gir! What happened?" "THE PLUG THING... IT'S NOT PLUGGED!!!!"

How fun was doing the voice of such a randomly spastic yet completely lovable character?

RikkiSimons37 karma

It was very fun because I got to just explode vocally. That's very rare in VO.

Alexander_Lestrange20 karma

Rikki, Ive loved your work with Jhonen since I was young, but I have to ask a question about you. Whats your muse? What gets the creative juices flowing while writing or illustrating your personal works?

RikkiSimons50 karma

I wrote a comics series about muses: http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/ShutterBox.html

So, several, really. But if I had to pick a real life muse, I'd probably take Jim Henson, Douglas Adams, and Terry Gilliam and surgically combine them into a super muse monster. I would also be arrested.

kidrick19 karma

If you could have any super power in the world, what would it be and why

RikkiSimons72 karma

Instant teleportation to anyplace in the universe, like some kind of Man-TARDIS. And a helmet.

ipooponyourface19 karma

[deleted]

RikkiSimons35 karma

It's weird, definitely, but I'm probably saying that because everything outside my little world is strange to me. I can't say it's stranger than anyplace else though, because everyone swaps between companies. Just know that it's probably what you expect, but not. Also, free lunch on Fridays.

tehzombiekitty19 karma

Omg, I'm so excited, I think my head might explode. Gir is my one of my favorite characters! Since I read in the comments that you wrote comics and animation work, how did you get into voice acting? Also, what is your favorite Adventure Time character? And what was it like the first time you met Jhonen V? My insides are melting with glee.

RikkiSimons53 karma

I was originally hired to be a background painter on the show. While I was coloring another project for Jhonen, his comic called I feel Sick, he was having difficulty finding a voice for GIR, so I asked if I could try it. He said I couldn't screw it up any more than anyone else, so he gave me the audition. Woo!

I love Lumpy Space Princess. She's just so sexy.

I first met Jhonen in 1995 at the Alternative Press Expo in California. He just walked up and started talking. Like a person or something.

VividInsight12 karma

Couple questions!

First, was GIR your favorite character, and if not which one was?

Second, did you use any auto-tuning or is that completely your voice?

Finally, did anyone ever consider doing more episodes of the show for the older audience, especially after it gained popularity at stores like Hot Topic?

Thank you for this! GIR was why I watched this show. You may not get a ton of responses because of the time, but I bet you'll get a ton of upvotes once people wake and realize what an awesome opportunity was missed! Welcome to Reddit!

RikkiSimons51 karma

Yes, GIR was my favorite of all the characters I voiced on the show. There was no auto-tuning of my voice — they only pitched it up. All of the acting, variances in tone, and inflections were mine.

They've thought of all sorts of ways of bringing it back. But every time the heads at Nick start to think of something, I think they have a sandwich instead.

SomethingDecent11 karma

What was your favorite thing about voicing Gir? Any memorable stories from making the show? How many cats do you water per day that you didn't think you had time for an AMA?

RikkiSimons26 karma

I used to have two cats, but am sadly down to one now. If you read the webcomic that I make with my wife, Tavisha, you will see why my cat, Pippi, is especially a handful http://www.tavicat.com.

With GIR, I think my favorite thing is just that I got to be him. I'm a horribly lucky slob. But getting to scream back and forth with Richard Horvitz while Jhonen scowled or laughed from the other side of the window was definitely a plus.

sqrt-1loveyou11 karma

What is your inspiration?

Like, where does the voice of GIR come from? It' such a unique sound and so... Eccentric.

I guess a more focused question is where do you get the ability/drive to do such impressive voice acting?

Please answer, I'd be thrilled to hear what you have to say.

RikkiSimons28 karma

I used to play with hand puppets a lot when I was kid. Mostly with my dad. The screams we would fire back and forth together could kill a dog from two miles away. All through the 70's and 80's, we were huge fans of the muppets and Loony Tunes, and they definitely had an influence on projection.

Ducksaucenem10 karma

How did you get into voice acting? Was it education or training or just knowing the right people? How did you prepare to get your voice that high long enough to record a whole epp?

RikkiSimons38 karma

They pitch my voice up, so I only have to hurt myself when the screams happen. So, every episode.

I did a lot of background acting in horrible movies through the 90's (like Airheads). But GIR was my first VO role. Talent and training are so, SO important. BUT! No matter how much training or talent you have, you go no where without the right people taking a chance on you. I got very lucky and I am very grateful.