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PODCAST: Jan Rabson – A voice with character and character voices

TODAY IN B.C.: Actor has worked with Johnny Carson, Robin Williams, voiced ‘Minions’ and more

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On this edition of Today in BC, host Peter McCully chats with longtime actor and voice actor Jan Rabson, who has worked on thousands of commercials, films, TV shows, animated films, series and video games and who now makes his home on Salt Spring Island.

Rabson was a cast member of ‘The Carson Mighty Players’, part of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and was a working actor, appearing in television commercials and creating and mimicking voices for animation and film.

Mel Blanc, the man of a thousand voices who created more than 400 cartoon characters alone, helped Rabson when he was starting out in Los Angeles by connecting him with an agent.

“I loved everything about his voice. I loved just even talking to him,” said Rabson.”When you talked to him, you heard a little bit of Bugs Bunny. He was like a second father to me, frankly. I used to speak to him easily once or twice a month. I loved him and he was a great guy.”

As a working actor, Rabson appeared in episodic television shows like Knight Rider with David Hasslehoff.

“We had this scene where I come at him and he’s supposed to grab me by my shirt, he grabs me by my chest hairs, and he’s swinging me around - the pain on my face is so beyond real,” said Rabson.

When asked about working on Fatal Attraction Rabson tells the story of a Canadian version and a U.S. version of the movie, both of which he supplied voiceovers for.

In his early days of working in Los Angeles Rabson worked in improv.

“I got to work with Robin (Williams) before Robin became a big star,” said Rabson. “He was doing standup with a group called Off the Wall in Los Angeles. And asked us all to come down to the comedy store on Sunset Boulevard because he needed audience there. He was auditioning for a show called Mork and Mindy, so we all went down to watch him and help him out. And he was fantastic as usual. And obviously the rest is history. But I used to work with him, do some improv with him and doing the improv with Robin was, you were basically a prop.”

Rabson shares characters he has created including Mulia Mild, the female chef created for My Little Pony.

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Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
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