My first exposure to my newest interview subject, Sandy Helberg, came through the movie Spaceballs, where he memorably played the character of Dr. Schlotkin, the plastic surgeon who was going to give Princess Vespa (Daphne Zuniga) her old nose back if King Roland (Dick Van Patten) didn’t turn over the key to the air lock. As I grew older, I came to see that Sandy Helberg was an incredible talent as both an actor and a writer. Through the help of Kim Hopkins, my dear friend and former interview subject who also connected me to Stuart Pankin, I spoke with Sandy on Monday, August 17th, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know this great talent.
One of the first TV shows to make an impression on me was Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and my newest interview subject, George McGrath, played a large part in making it so memorable. Whether he was voicing Globey or writing episodes of the show, George McGrath helped make a big impact on me. Later on, I would be witness to his great writing on projects ranging from Tiny Toon Adventures to Tracey Takes On…
My next interview subject, Sherri Stoner, has easily been my biggest influence as a writer. I did not have a good personal life in the 90s, and because of all the troubles I had in the decade, I don’t have fond memories of a lot of the decade’s pop culture. There are some exceptions, though, and Sherri Stoner was involved with them. As the model for Belle in Beauty And The Beast, she helped create a character I found myself relating to as I made my way through a school system that didn’t understand the issues involved with Asperger’s Syndrome. As a writer for Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, and with her voice work on the latter, she created cartoons that had me in hysterics and would help to fuel my early writing endeavors. As the co-writer of 1995’s Casper, she created a movie that was a very cathartic experience for me in the wake of my father’s passing.