Jack Angel is best-known for his roles in Super Friends and Transformers. He played Hawkman, The Flash and Samurai in the former while in Transformers Generation 1, he was the voice of Astrotrain, Ramjet, Cyclonus, Omega Supreme, and Ultra Magnus (animated television series only).TFW2005: Jack, If you could provide the voice for any character, in any film, who would you choose and why?
Jack Angel: If I say Brad Pitt in Oceans 12, do I get to bang Angelina?TFW2005: Of the Transformers you voiced which was your favorite and why?
Jack Angel: Ramjet. He was the first one to rip my throat to shreds. Actually it was probably Cyclonus because if the way I inherited the voice.TFW2005: After the passing of Roger Carmel how did it feel to take over the role of Cyclonus in Transformers?
Jack Angel: Before Roger, you may remember that Orson Wells did the voice in the movie. Both of them died, so I thought, “Hmmmm. Maybe I’ll be next to check in at Club Mud”.TFW2005: Of the transformers that you voiced, which one did you relate to the most?
Jack Angel: It’s pretty difficult to relate to any tin guy. But I could relate to Teddy in the movie A. I.TFW2005: Omega Supreme’s unique voice: How exactly did that come to you?
Jack Angel: I sounded the closest to Robert Stack, who did the voice in the movie and then they ran it through a synthesizer.TFW2005: What was it like working on two of the most popular cartoons of the 1980’s, Transformers and G.I. Joe?
Jack Angel: It was cool. Lots of status, too. The money was good and the casts were great guys to work with.TFW2005: Michael Bell stated his voice of Transformers G1 Prowl was basically his own voice, were any of your voices similar to your normal voice?
Jack Angel: Michael doesn’t really have a voice. But if I remember correctly, Smokescreen was closest. But it’s been a long time. Or maybe Omega Supreme.TFW2005: How did you find out about the auditions for Transformers? Was it from working on other animated shows?
Jack Angel: Yes. GI Joe.TFW2005: What G1 roles did you audition for and didn’t get?
Jack Angel: None. I came late to the show.TFW2005: How would you compare your past roles in shows like Transformers and G.I.Joe to your roles today?
Jack Angel: I play much older guys now. Probably because I am much older. And I refuse to do “throat rippers” anymore.TFW2005: Do you find it easier or more difficult to get work nowadays due to the expansion of the animation market with Anime and Video Games?
Jack Angel: Harder. There are more guys going it and they always want younger sounding guys. And lots of the work now is in video games, again with the screaming and yelling during battle scenes and I don’t do that an anymore.TFW2005: What do you remember from your work on the show “The six Million Dollar Man”?
Jack Angel: I was the voice of the tower operator. I was never on the set, just in a sound booth.TFW2005: What Animated series was the most fun to work on and why?
Jack Angel: Peter Pan and the Pirates. Tim Curry who played Hook was fun to work with and so were all the kids on the show. Transformers was fun, too, because of the talented cast.TFW2005: When you get a script for a show can you tell right away if it will be a long lasting hit like Scooby Doo, or soon-to-be-forgotten show like Prostars?
Jack Angel: There no way to tell. If someone had told me a show about a sponge that lives at the bottom of the sea and wears square pants would even get made, let alone be the most popular kids show on TV, I would have said no fucking way. And if you want to know what happened to most of those Marvel shows, it all rests on Gem. The FCC ruled that a toy company couldn’t run a commercial for a toy, like the Gem doll, in the show from which it came, because that would make the show one long commercial. So Mattel ran ads for Barbie in the Gem show. Gem was number 1 with little girls after school, and at Christmas time, Barbie dolls flew off the shelves and the Gem doll just sat there.
Hasbro decided that all they did was provide their biggest rival with a platform on which they could sell their toys. They cancelled their contract with Marvel.TFW2005: Are there any upcoming projects you’re working on that excite you?
Jack Angel: I have a recording studio and I’m teaching other actors to do voice work. That excites me now.
I’m also creating a cartoon series the may wind up in “adult swim”. I can’t tell you more until we get an episode up on “YouTube”. I co-created another show called “Catatonia” about a bunch of weird cats who lived in the brain of a crazy cartoonist who was catatonic and had to undergo shock therapy, and when ever he did, everything changed. We submitted it to a production company and they gave us a “thanks-but-no-thanks” letter and then stole the idea by changing it slightly.TFW2005: Did you really think at the time that Transformers would still be going strong after 20-odd years?
Jack Angel: No. Hell, I didn’t even think I’d be going strong after 20 years.TFW2005: And lastly, who would win in a fight – Voltron or Omega Supreme?
Jack Angel: Superman
So, many thanks to everyone (especially Lance Halberd) who contributed and big thanks to Jack Angel, one of Transformers most venerable stars!
UPDATE: Part 2 of this interview can be found here: Jack Angel Interview Part II