DAILY FREEMAN ONLINE ARTICLE: http://www.dailyfreeman.com/lifestyle/20140810/meet-joe-bevilacqua-a-man-of-many-voices
NAPANOCH>> Joe Bevilacqua can’t pick a favorite Hanna-Barbera character, but he said his personality is most like Huckleberry Hound.
Imitating Huckleberry’s distinct Southern drawl, Bevilacqua said he likes that the character remains cool and calm no matter what comes his way.
“He could have a crocodile bitting his butt and he’d be relaxed about it,” he said. “Whenever I’m angry or nervous, I just try to think about how Huckleberry would handle it.”
He said this attitude helped him through hurdles in his life, including being laid off several times, lingering pain from being hit by a car years ago, and most recently being diagnosed with a minor form of prostate cancer.
“The doctors told me I’ll be all right,” he said.
It’s been running for 10 years, first on XM, until it was purchased by Sirius and the show’s channel was taken off the dial, he said.
After that the show moved to the internet as a series of podcasts, he said.
Now his work can be heard on NPR, where several stations, including an affiliate in Pawling, feature his entire lineup in a shows in a block known as the Joe Bev Hour.
Cartoons loom large in his house, called Camp Waterlogg, where he lives with his wife, Lorie Kellogg.
Situated on a back road several miles off of U.S. Route 209, the house features a long trail in the woods where he said he takes his beloved border collie, Sophie, on walks several times a day.
Retro posters, blankets and lunchboxes from Hanna-Barbera series like “Wally Gator,” “Quickdraw McDraw,” and “Yogi Bear” cover the shelves walls, and windows of the house.
Waterlogg inspired the serial podcast “Camp Waterlogg,” set at a fictional summer camp in the Catskills featuring his characters like Sgt. Lefty, and Ranger Lorie played by his wife, he said
He started his own production company, Waterlogg Productions, that produces these shows and a wide range of audio content, including re-releases of classic and obscure radio shows, some never before released.
These include an interview with Monkees member Davy Jones just weeks before he died in 2012, he said.
“I’m like a historian, I like to dig deep to find stuff,” he said.
He said he’s part of an “Abbot and Costello” stage act that’s traveled all over the New York Metro area and has played small TV parts, like an NBC radio executive in the popular HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” and British World War II General Bernard Montgomery in a History Channel special.
“I’ve made enough contacts in the industry that they call me,” he said.
He said one of his favorite projects was an NPR interview called “A Guy Name Joe Bevilacqua,” where he sought out other people with the name Joe Bevilacqua.
“There were 43 of them, I just started calling them,” he said.
Bevilacqua said he fell in love with voice acting 40 years ago, when he started using a cassette recorder to record himself acting out his favorite cartoon characters to a soundtrack of jazz music from 78 rpm records he found in his parents attic.
In 1976 when he was 15 he said he sent a letter to Hanna-Barbera’s Daws Butler, who played the voices of classic cartoon characters like Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Huckleberry Hound and Captain Crunch.
“I told him I wanted to be a voice actor, and I sent him Hanna-Barbera style drawings of my creation Willoughby and the Professor,” he said.
Soon after a discouraging letter arrived stating that the animation business was moribund, and there wasn’t any jobs available, he said.
But that didn’t stop Bevilacqua.
“I wrote him back and said, ‘No. This what I want to do and this is what I’m good at,’” he said.
Butler sent him back a letter asking him to send a tape, he said.
Bevilacqua said he went to work recording a total four 30 minute episodes of “Willoughby and the Professor” filling both sides of a cassette.
He said it featured his own homemade sound effects and a jazzy Warner Bros.-style soundtrack.
Later Butler, sent a cassette with voice acting instruction and advice, he said.
“I still have it,” he said. “I put it out as an instructional audio book called “Dawes Butler teaches you how to do Voices,” he said.
Bevilacqua said Butler started the tape by commenting how good he was while expressing doubt that the whole thing was ad-libbed.
“You couldn’t have been ad-libbing,” Butler said on the casette. “No one is capable of ad-libbing while they’re putting music and sound effects live into a cassette.”
Eventually this led to opportunities to see cartoons being made at Hanna-Barbera’s studios in the 1970s.
He said cutting voice tracks for a cartoon at that time was like recording an old radio show.
“Everyone sat around a table and just recorded the whole thing like it was live,” he said. “Many of these guys —like Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Sylvester the Cat; and Doug Young, who played characters like Doggie Daddy— came from radio after television killed radio drama and comedy.”
Voice acting proved to be the perfect opportunity for these actors to share their talent, he said. A talent that he said is increasingly being lost in today’s increasingly looks-focused entertainment industry.
More recently, Bevilacqua’s created a website and an official series of books, audiobooks, CDs and downloads that seeks to keep the legacy of Butler alive through interviews.
He said he’s not a fan of today’s cartoons, which he described as dry, boring and too cookie-cutter, adding that he only views shows on Netflix or DVD.
He said he’s pitched a retro-style cartoon to Nickelodeon, but after being flown to Los Angeles to meet with their executives, he was turned down.
“There was one scene where a character tries to catch a dancing shark to use it for an act to make money,” he said. “The characters try to use a harpoon to catch the shark.”
“The executive tore it up, and told me, ‘No way. This won’t work,’” he said.
But that’s something Bevilacqua said he’s not bitter about.
“That’s just the way the business is,” he said.
Joe Bev produces 6 podcasts per week
and an additional 9 per month:
and an additional 9 per month:
WATERLOGG RADIO NETWORK
JOE BEV HOUR SUNDAY EDITION https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/joe-bev-hour-sunday-edition/id823325885
BEAR MANOR RADIO NETWORK
Koop Kooper's Cocktail Nation: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bearmanor-radio-edition-cocktail/id907428332
The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention Celebrity Interviews: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mid-atlantic-nostalgia-convention/id905151295
VIDEO FROM HIS INTERVIEW:
JOE'S PODCASTS CAN BE HEAR HERE: http://www.waterlogg.com.
More about Waterlogg Productions at: http://www.waterlogg.com.Many of our projects are for sale on our website: http://waterlogg.com/buy-comedy