It is with great exuberance and honor, I scribe words endorsing the supremely talented human being named Jan Rabson. I’ve had the pleasure working with Jan on a bunch of animated projects. He made me laugh, he made me cry, he made me realize, he was one funny n talented guy. You’d be lucky to have this man named Jan for your next project. Click HERE to book Jan now.
Matt Hill, Voice-over actor
Jan Rabson is one of the actors I’ve worked with!
Al Lowe, Creator of Leisure Suit Larry
Jan is not only a talented character actor for both on camera and voice over, he is one of the funniest guys I know. His comedy writing is outstanding. Best of all, he makes the best gin martini I've ever had. A man of so many talents.
Sandie Schnarr, AVO Talent, Los Angeles Voice Over Agent for my Canadian Celebrity Jan Rabson
I can't think of a better recommendation than 'I've hired him' and then 're-hired him'. Jan is enormously talented and I look forward to 'hiring him' again.
Ken Levine writer/producer MASH, Cheers, Frasier, Simpsons
Jan is that priceless combo of being a great actor and great fun to work with. Nothing beats that.
Teresa Ganzel, Actress, Comedienne, and Voice Over Artist
No one, not even Newt Gingrich, makes me laugh like Jan Rabson.
David Isaacs, Writer/Producer MASH, Cheers, Frasier
Jan Rabson is a very gifted actor with an extremely impressive range, however, it is his attention to the writer’s intentions that make his characters fully dimensional, which is the ultimate goal on an animated project! He’s the only voice-over actor I’ll sleep with.
Cindy Akers, Animation Voice Casting and Direction.
Years ago Jan took a chance and hired me at his recording studio, despite my appearance and it worked out quite well, and I would urge people to give Jan the same courtesy. However, you won't be sorry.
Andrew Feliciano Owner, Voicetrax West Recording Studio, Los Angeles
Once fought off an enraged grizzly bear by reciting Carole Stone's 'Networking The Art of Making More Friends', chapter 9: 'Ladies Who Do Lunch'. The grizzly bear gave him half a salmon. Jan's voice is that epic.
Jen Johnston, Professional Rumour Mill, agent @ Red Management
In a room full of funny, talented, creative people, he's the one you want to sit down with.
Becky Bonar, actress, producer, bon vivant
Jan is one of the most versatile and talented actors I know. His range is only surpassed by his ability to find the humour and/or pathos in any script. He's a pleasure to work with and I only wish I had more opportunities to do so ... unless I'm mixing him up with this other actor that looks like him.
Tanya K. Taylor, Owner, Vida Spark Productions Inc.
Jan Rabson is a talent that I can always count on to make my clients happy...he's fun, smart, quick and crazy creative! I love him because he makes any casting I do better and my client's love him because he makes their jobs come to life!
Mary Lynn Wissner - Owner of Voices Voicecasting, Los Angeles!
jan rabson is a truly outstanding voice actor - and the ONLY voice actor who ever offered to let me come hang out with him on his island!
Jess Harnell, voice actor anaimaniacs, transformers , america's funniest home videos
Jan is simply THE BEST. How nice to work with someone who is not only so talented, but is also a pleasure to work with. That's a rare and wonderful combination.
Andy Mayer, Co-Founder, Becker & Mayer
Jan has a voice that can make you laugh or cry, depending on what dress he’s wearing.
Tony DeSena, Emmy-winning head writer, Sesame Street
Jan Rabson is a true veteran of the animation voice -over industry. Always a pleasure to work with, his talent and expertise provides a wide variety of performance bringing us the wacky and funny cartoon characters, as well as the warm and loveable all the way through to the chilling villain. We are especially delighted with his excellent performance as the wise, mystical sage, Zhu Fu, in the Zhu Zhu movies.
Liz Young - Owner/Producer- Mike Young Productions
Jan Rabson Rocks!!Great multiple voiced talent and an asset to any project....he delivers!
Susan Silo, VO Actor/Coach LA
This guy makes me laugh! he also makes me spit, and pay for lunch but I love him and you'd be a sucker not just listen to his shtick!!!
Bob Doucette - Director - The Quest for Zhu
Jan is one of our go-to actors. He consistently brings great humor, energy, and ideas to our sessions... and hilarity ensues!
Kim Adams - Producer, CarsToons / Toy Story Toons, Pixar Animation Studios
How can you really enjoy a perfect, happy, picturesque, working environment up there???!!! Come back to L.A.!!!! Misery loves company!
Ginny McSwain, 4 time Emmy award winning animation director, "Transformers", "Fanboy", "Gravity Falls".
Over the years Jan Rabson has written and performed for us on many occasions. It is always a pleasure to have him in our studios – getting him out is the problem.
Dick Orkin - owner/producer - The Radio Ranch
I remember walking in the studio one day hearing a killer BORIS BADENOV - it was Rabson. I hated him for it. But seriously folks, I've worked with Jan on many cartoons and it's always a pleasure. Great characters, acting chops and comedic timing.
Ian James Corlett, writer/producer BEING IAN
I've had some fun tracking down these old clips, some classic shows you may remember
and some you most likely will not. Enjoy!
This spot was a very expensive shoot. It was intended to not only go national, but International. There were Apple reps from all over the world. We shot for 3 twenty-hour days with 400, yes 400 extras – and me. I’m going to try and be delicate here and not offend but they put a microcephalic in the 2nd row. For those of you who might be wondering, a microcephalic is known in the vernacular as a pinhead. Yes, 399 “regular” looking businessmen and women and 1 pinhead dressed in a suit – right in the 2nd row. It took a lot of focus to let it go. (Obviously I haven’t yet).
The spot was a huge success and I was going to make a bundle – until Apple stock dropped like an anchor and they pulled everything – c’est la vie.
I was lucky enough to do about 7 or 8 Night Courts. I did 2 on-camera and a whole bunch of v.o’s. (which I cannot find)
Harry Anderson directed this episode. It was a day in the life, 24 hours. There were a few problems with the shoot and we literally shot for 18 or 20 hours. We were all exhausted.
A month or so later I was asked to be on a game show as a contestant. (You could do that in those days). I met my “star” partner - Markie Post. She gave me a double take and then said, “Didn’t we just –“ and I said “No”. She understood and was a great partner – I was the champion for 3 days.
This was such a fun spot, Scott Larose was terrific to work with and the director was fantastic. (Can’t remember his name). The sad thing is I booked it on a Friday to film that Monday. My dad, after a long illness, died that Saturday so I flew to NY immediately. That Sunday I realized I couldn’t contact anyone, this was before everyone had a cell phone attached. I knew jobs, careers, and millions of dollars were invested so I flew back to L.A. and did this commercial. I didn’t tell anyone on the set – it was one of the toughest days of my life. “Dying is easy, comedy is hard”. Comedy and death was a tough combo.
"Who was that Mashed Man?"
What a fun show to do. Harry Anderson was great to work with. It was a little uncomfortable in the hot lights head to toe in tin foil…but maybe not as uncomfortable as having the two aging wardrobe queens apply it head to toe on my body.
I was fortunate enough to have friends who were the head writers on Johnny Carson’s tonight show. For years they tried to convince Johnny to have me on the show, to no avail. Finally he saw my Honda “Dental Tools” spot and I had my first shot. They spent five thousand dollars on a fake wall for the sketch but we never shot it. After that I did many sketches and bits on-camera and voice-over. Being a member of the “Tonight Show Not Ready For Prime Time Players” was a fantastic experience.
Unfortunately due to copyright laws I can’t post the sketches here, but e-mail me, click here and I’ll send you a link and password if you are interested.
When I was cast to play Tetsuo in Akira I had no idea it was such a huge picture. I knew they used more cels than any former Japanese animated film but that was all. It was just Wally Burr (voice director), an engineer and myself in the studio for a couple of days, doing the English overdub.
One day five Japanese businessmen showed up in suits. They sat, stone-faced, on the other side of the glass watching me. Finally we took a break and they all came out smiling with their cameras in hand. We took a whole bunch of photos with each other posing, laughing, kibitzing, and then they all went back, stone-faced, to watching me perform.
Around 2008 I learned they had done another English dubbing and that there was some controversy over which is the better dubbing. (I don’t want to know the results)
This was my second sit-com, my first real “part” with speaking lines. I got a huge, prolonged laugh and applause for my “who gets the clean glass” line. I was shocked to see the final product and my laugh cut way down. It was a rude awakening.
They're bringing Larry back ... Yikes!!!
"New York, New York"
We rehearsed this in front of cast and crew and got huge laughs. We couldn’t wait to shoot in front of the live audience… Jack Warner was the consummate actor but he hated the live audience. At the last minute they reworked everything and we taped it without an audience and without live laughter. What a shame.
- Day 1 This is my very first sit-com ever. I am nervous and excited. I know 24 people in LA and by coincidence I know the guy playing the storeowner and the main thief. I am thrilled to be surrounded by friends and my fellow thespians.
- Day 2 they replaced the storeowner and the main thief. (They don’t fool around)
- Day 3 – I learn Bonnie Franklin has to have a full time body guard because some ex-N.Y. policeman is stalking her.
- During rehearsal Valerie Bertinelli gathered us all to meet her boyfriend and announce they were getting married. Being me, I had no idea who Eddie Van Halen was - but I was hoping it would last.
- I was Thief #1, I had one line – “right boss”. Thief #2 was bugging me for a line too. I don’t think he realized that Thief #1 didn’t have a lot of pull. He finally harangued the director until he said a line: “got it”.
I was amazed how much rehearsal and time and energy was spent in getting the show perfect. While on the set it felt like we were doing something fantastic, funny, deep, moving, etc. I was thrilled … until I saw it months later on the small TV screen – it was like a different show.
This was my very first sit-com. I had never been on a set so everything was new to me. I didn’t realize the director wasn’t on the stage, during the filming, he was up in a booth watching with a microphone in hand. In front of a live audience I, Thief #1, was supposed to enter the store and pull down the window shade on the door…the gaffers didn’t secure it well so my very first piece of business in my very first TV show - the shade fell to the floor with a loud clatter. A disembodied voice, the director, shouted, “what the hell happened”. I almost fainted. - They fixed the shade and when I pulled it down, gently, it got a big laugh.
One of the few metamorphoses in my life – I grew a beard and the director liked it.
Of course most everyone has heard of M*A*S*H* right? Well, this was after M*A*S*H*.
I think the kid actor playing “Jerry” was insulted they used me as his “grown” self.
Everyone had warned me that Shirley Hemple was difficult to work with- moody, mean, etc. The truth is - I had a great time with her, she was friendly, sweet and fun.
The show was so popular that for the live taping an entire room had to be used to house the overflow of audience members. “Rerun” explained to me that the show was unstoppable and would be a hit for years to come. It folded after that season …
Serling was “in” in the 80’s. I must have done a half dozen sit-coms as him. Not to mention conventions, industrials, and one briss, okay, the briss isn’t true.
The vhs was damaged so I don’t have the whole show – if someone does, please send it to me. Thanks. (Pyro is the Fire God, not the man in black. Lots of laughing and hurling fireballs)
This was the first show of the series after the pilot. The description in the script of my character, Jerry Stahl, was “a very good looking man with an odd voice”. His character is the focus of the script from beginning to end although I don’t physically show up until the end of the show. It was the talk of the set – who is going to play Jerry Stahl? They had been rehearsing for a week and waiting for Jerry. I showed up on the noisy rehearsal set and checked in with a 2nd AD. He asked what character I was playing and I told him. He proceeded to shout to everyone “This is Jerry Stahl. Hey, this is Jerry Stahl”. All of a sudden I got more attention than a roadside accident. Saws, drills, and hammers stopped and everyone was staring at the “good looking man”… Luckily I could still do the “odd” voice.
This episode was a disaster from the beginning…
The actor who was supposed to play the main henchman got sick the night before. His replacement had cue cards in front of him the entire five day shoot.
They hired me as a cowboy!!!!
David Hasselhof, 6’5” and I have a fight. We rehearsed; he pulls me around by the shirt three times and then punches me – boom I’m down. We’re ready - Action! He grabs my shirt…and my chest hair, swings me 3 times (I’m crying from the pain) throws the punch, I fall down and there are no stunt guys to catch me like they said they would…”LUNCH”!!!
The actress on the horse was supposed to whip me hard to make me back away. She had trouble whipping me.
Did I mention they hired me as a cowboy!!!!
A young kid on his first stunt job was supposed to grab a horse and gallop off…it took him over 20 takes and then they replaced him!!!!
I AM NOT JOKING!! They cut the rape scene from the final edit.
The producer of this episode was fired. (see all of the above)
You would think I would have a great story here – I don’t.
The star of this show, Terence Knox, was a very nice guy who had a lot of luck and was riding high on this show. He explained to me how his career was skyrocketing and he could pick and choose his projects ….
Dixie Carter couldn’t have been more friendly and down to earth.
I met Hal Holbrook on the set but didn’t know he was married to Dixie Carter so I asked him, “What brings you here?” He was very gracious and explained he was married to Dixie. Luckily he couldn’t see me blushing through my make-up.
Do not blink or adjust your collar – you will miss my entire 3.7 seconds on film. This was one of my first experiences on a TV set. It was overwhelming. Daniel J. Travanti had become a big star (it was the 4TH season) but took the time to come over and welcome me to the set. I’ll always appreciate that.
This was an animated pilot with high hopes of becoming a series. Obviously it never happened. I was thrilled to be cast as Chico, he’s one of my favorites to do. I was cast as Chico in 1978 for a Broadway production but at the last minute there was a copyright issue. That’s show biz.
This is a very rough partially animated film. I’m not sure if it even makes any sense. Watch at your own risk.
A good friend of mine, David Braff, was a producer on the show. He called me out of the blue to ask if I still did on-camera and I said “sure - what the hell.”
Two things you don’t want to hear before a shoot is “5 am, Santa Monica Bay” and “wetsuit”. We had divers at our feet most of the time to protect us from the sting rays which is a little disconcerting.
I have never been diving before in my life. I had never had a wet suit on. My wardrobe, in my trailer, was one very shiny wetsuit. I put it on and try as I might I could not get it to fit. I didn’t want to bother the wardrobe people but I simply couldn’t get the thing comfortable. I went to their trailer and showed them the suit upon which they replied, “You’ve got it on backwards”.