Philip Stephen "Phil" Hendrie is an American radio personality, actor, and voiceover artist.
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I saw that a clip from my podcast hit the front page last week and wanted to stop by to say "thanks" for all the love. I'm a longtime radio vet, but within the last year I moved my show online-only so I can bring it directly to the fans. Cut out the suits, you know? I'm not the fastest typist, so I've got my guy Alex next to me transcribing shit for me. He's like Victoria, except way less attractive. I've got an open bottle of Don Julio next to me, so why don't you ask me anything? Proof
EDIT: Thanks for all the questions. This was a lot of fun. We'll have to do it again sometime. I've gotta run and rehearse for the show tomorrow at the Irvine Improv. Come hang out tomorrow night. We'll have a drink and a laugh. Tickets here.
And if you're feeling particularly generous, you can check out my website where I've got over 10,000 hours of full shows dating back to the '90s, including HD videos of the shows and behind the scenes stuff. New version launching later this month!
Where can I find the show where the HOA wants a couple who adopted a black child to pay for new pad locks on all the sheds and new flood lights on all the houses?
Tuesday, May 23, 2006: Hour 1. The search engine on our site's pretty handy. Thanks!
Hey Phil! I've been listening to you since the KFI days and I'm a loyal BSP subscriber to this day. I'm in the military and travel a lot now, and thanks to your website, you've been right there the whole time.
Your show has gone through various transformations over the years. My question for you is - what do you see as the next evolution of the show? How do you see your radio show/podcast in the next few years? Is there a new medium/format that you'd like to explore?
Also - any chance that you'll be doing 1-man shows in other states, such as TX?
Thank you for all the laughs, and I look forward to your answers!
Boy, that's a great question. We're going to take advantage of periodic live shows on different stations, bringing back the phone calls in a limited manner, while maintaining the current satirical presentation of the show. I'm really eager to begin a video web project where I am joined by three or four young comics and we talk about creating comedy and satire. I'd like to take advantage of the obvious connections I have in that regard and talk about the actual structural creation of seriously funny material. You know, humor is the ultimate lie detector. You can't hide what you think is funny.
And yes, this year we want to branch out into the grand expanse of America. Texas is definitely on the list. Florida is definitely on the list. New York as well.
Hi Phil, how would you handle the Isis situation? (btw... You are the most talented entertainer in the business if you ask me. Period.)
I believe I would invite a delegation from ISIS to sit in conference with me, and I would have a large-screen TV on at the time with images of American air power repeatedly and unendingly pounding every known ISIS rat-hole into potting soil and pig-feed. And then I would look at those gentlemen and say, "so what do you think?"
What has been your favourite project that you've been a part of and who is the most fun character to voice?
The podcast I'm doing right now is the kind of show I dreamt about doing as a kid: completely in control of all the elements, taking the humor as far out as I dare-- I want the podcast that I do today to someday be the go-to "morning drive" show in America. The reason why I put that in quotes is that, of course, everything is on-demand now. I guess what I'm saying is, this is the kind of show I would have loved to have heard during my commutes to school or work.
I would say my favorite project has to be breaking away from the radio mainstream back in 1990 and taking my creative energies to the weirdest extreme I could on radio. I think I really found out, not so much what my strengths are, but what radio ultimately could handle.
My most fun character to voice right now is Dave Oliva, because he's in the one-man show, and so I'm bringing his physicality to the performance, and he's just, for me, every day a funnier and funnier guy to get to know.
Did you ever meet Frank Zappa? I can't help but think he'd be listening to your show and busting a gut over your stuff.
I met Frank Zappa in Miami in 1978 and again in Los Angeles in 1982. Both times I was a lowly disc-jockey and recording engineer, but he made me laugh each time. In Miami he simply asked me, "what do you people do for laughs in this place?" And in LA, after saying he didn't like commercialism, he comically held up three of his albums to the camera as a plug. I've loved Frank Zappa since I was 13 years-old, and one of the greatest things I ever experienced was reading his autobiography. Reading about him as a father and a husband, as a community member-- you know, it was amazing.
Congrats on your career so far! In the past, were your parents worried about your career choice?
Also did you just stumble upon voice acting or was it something you aspired to do for a while?
laughs Oddly enough, my mother was always saying, "that's very nice, dear, but when are you going to be someone like Paul Moyer?" (Paul Moyer was a nightly news anchor here in Los Angeles).
I think my mother felt that was the height of success, being a news anchor in LA. I think my father, truth be told, was a bit envious of me, because I achieved a level of success at a stage of my life where he had not yet, but in all fairness, he was in Italy fighting Germans at a similar age.
From the time I can remember, all I ever wanted to do was be a writer or a disc-jockey, and today I have melded the two into this strange creature known as a radio personality or just voice actor or actor.
Hey Fill, excited to find out you have a podcast and i will be enjoying it from now on!
What do you feel, Phil, is the future of entertainment?
laughs I predicted this ten years ago. Entertainment is slowly going to recede into a far more modestly rewarding career financially, since there appears to be a broader base of material. But that doesn't mean the material's getting better. It means the talent is disorganized and the people that make the money decisions-- in radio, at least-- don't like talent. Umm... though, I believe once the cream again rises to the top it will be lucrative for a few artists, but as a career choice, it'll fall way down the board. I think this is a century of technology, science, medicine, and uh-- strangely enough, a new kind of religion, not reliant on the church, but on the person.
Use to love listening to you on KFI in the late 90's and then you randomly disappeared! What made you leave / transition out of KFI? Also, do you have a most memorable caller that called in?
PS) Super glad to find out only recently that you're still doing great work.
Oh! I was moved to the sports station in 2005: Xtra Sports 570, is it? Where there was a large, young male audience that was more inclined to listen to the kind of weirdness I was pumping out.
I don't know if you were to ask me that question tomorrow I would answer the same, but as of today, the most memorable caller for me is the greenskeeper from the late 90s, who was reacting to a character named Dean Wheeler. The guy was the starter at, I think it was Ranch Park-- oh no, it was Cheviot Hills, and was irate that Dean was racist against Tiger Woods. He almost had a stroke.
What would General James Jamison do about ISIS?
My father wants to know...
My father had lung cancer and I played your clip about the space elevator... while we were camping...
.... he laughed so hard I thought he was going to die. We had to stop the CD....
Well he beat lung cancer! They say there is no more in his body. (second time too! Not supposed to happen very often)
I'm SURE you helped!
General Johnson Jamison? He's a character who lives in a bunker under the Saskatchewan crust, experimenting with goblin juice and human waste chili makers. I don't know that he'd be of much use battling ISIS, unless he can make them disappear with his goblin juice, but then we'd be double fucked.
Great AMA as always, Phil!
My question pertains to you bringing back live callers. You've mentioned in the past this would be in a 'limited manner.' Can you elaborate on what you mean by this?
Long time fan, thanks Phil!!
I've said before that I believe the caller-base to be very limited now, due to social media and on-demand listening. So that's why I mentioned taking the odd live local opportunity to drop the phone call format in, but in conjunction with, and not dominant to what I'm currently doing, because the phone calls tended to drive the show and I believe that was a weakness of the show. If calls weren't there or they weren't strong, then the show wasn't strong, and that's a cardinal sin.
Mr. Hendrie, I know you used to work in New Orleans. Do you have any crazy stories or characters from your time there?
Craziest cat that I worked with in New Orleans was Scott Seagrave, who was a marvelously entertaining afternoon drive album-rock jock (we were at WNOE-FM). The station was in the French Quarter two floors up from the street. We had old fashioned wood sliding windows, and Scott would occasionally wander over to the window, open it, and take a piss into the alley two floors down, because it was easier than going to the can down the hall. He also, the song "Changes in Latitudes" by Jimmy Buffet was popular, and one of the lyrics goes, "and I hope Anita Bryant never, ever does one of my songs," and Scott would always finish it by saying, "cause I know she sucked about three Oklahoma governors' dongs."
Hey phil! Huge fan of yours from Louisville ky. I drew you a picture of you as the devil a few years back that said something about going down to the horned one. Anyways my question is... When you are out living your life do you ever find yourself thinking as or like or on behalf of the characters? Do you ever encounter a situation and react in your mind as bud or Margaret?
Oh, no. I'm pretty much Phil Hendrie out there, but I do see people around me that definitely get processed as potential characters for the show. See, all of those characters are not so much me as they are people I know, and it's my way of manipulating those personalities to a funny effect. I mean, sometimes when I was with my step-kids, I would go into character-- pretend I was somebody else. You do that when you're with kids, but when you're with adults you try not to do that.
I first heard of you on Jay Mohr's podcast about two years ago. Then I heard you get praised by Stern, Maron. I listened to Henry Rollins on your podcast while I was traveling to Europe for the first time in September 2013. Now, just yesterday I heard Henry Rollins and Jay Mohr gush about you again on Mohr Stories, and I have seen two big stories about you on reddit in the past 24 hours. Including this one, congratulations on your success.
I really enjoyed your interview on the Mental Illness Happy Hour. I could relate to both you and Paul Gilmartin's relationships with your incestuous mothers. What you said about courage and how nothing is worth doing if you're not scared of doing it (I hope I paraphrased you correctly) sticks with me now almost a year after I heard that.
I wish I had, like a question, or a bit to go on, but I would really just be honored if you could acknowledged my existence by replying?
In all honesty, and it's scary to say this and it feels lame, but honestly, you are a hero of mine.
Thank you for making my day, mentioning that Henry Rollins is a fan. I actually found out he was in the crowd at our Hollywood show last month, and then got an e-mail from him talking about how much he enjoyed the show. When you get that kind of reinforcement from an iconoclastic guy like Henry Rollins you know you're on the right path, you know? I aspire to, and this is probably not good for my career, but I aspire to be iconoclastic, so you have made my day. And I thank you for that. I'm not sure I've paid you in kind, but I'd love to send you a signed t-shirt. Send an e-mail to my customer service guys and they'll handle the rest. And thanks again. Really.
Hi Mr Hendrie, I just want to say thank you. I have great memories of listening to you on KFI with my family when I was younger and I can't wait to listen to you podcast now that I know you have it.
What was your experience working on Rick and Morty like? Did you get to interact with any of the other cast or were you alone recording your parts? Also can we expect to see more of you once season 2 comes out?
Generally I worked alone doing what we call "wild tracking," but I did have lots of contact with the show's creator and executive producer, Justin Roiland, who is a wonderful guy and immensely creative, a big supporter of the things that I do. That was always fun. Oh! You know who I met while at a Rick and Morty record? A hero of mine, the actor who does the Scottrade commericals: Chad Ridgeway. I mean that guy is genuinely funny, and for me, that was the highlight of my week.
Yeah! I believe I'm in a number of episodes in season two.
Hi Phil, great AMA as always.
I have a question about your one man show. Is there a particular reason it's always on a Thursday, and never a Friday or Saturday? I'm 100% willing to come to LA to see it, but I just can't take that much time off work. Alternitavely, would you consider doing it from my living room? I can provide snacks.
And getting to the serious stuff, what's your favorite deli meat? Would you say each of your characters has an individual favorite, or is that all dictated by you?
Thanks! :) and please provide Bud Dickman with my phone number. <3
There are scheduling issues as far as I know.
I'm eating less meat, but I'd say tri-tip or roast beef.
Phil, I'll never forget hearing your show on the radio for the first time. Long drive. At night. There was a crazy dude on the radio tracking down some escaped felons in Texas. I didn't know what was happening but it I knew that I didn't want it to end. It was amazing. So thank you for that!
Question: Who (other than yourself) are your favorite broadcasters? Anyone that I might not expect or know on your list?
Radio guys? Well, I just mentioned Tollie Strode from KKGO in LA. By the way, you may recognize the name Woodie Strode, an actor who appeared in a lot of movies. That was Tollie's cousin. I loved CHuck Niles from KKGO, Emperor Bob Hudson from KRLA. The Real Don Steele from KHJ is still, along with Neil Rodgers in Miami, the guy with some of the best timing in the biz. Obviously, Neil Rodgers from WIOD, who is hands-down the greatest radio talent in history. More contemporary people, I would say, I think Jim Rome is an absolute original. Nobody touches him on the sports dial. I think, umm-- you know, I don't know man. I want to mention the play-by-play guys too. I like in sports Mike Emrick, Mike Lange, Mike Joy-- anybody named Mike.
Phil, love your show (as always). How many more years do you expect to perform your comedy either online or elsewhere? Thinking of retiring anytime soon?
Til the day I drop. laughs
What are your thoughts on the Neutron bomb? was it a mistake that George H.W. Bush got rid of it?
Finding better ways to kill people seems superfluous. We have done that, even though we unnecessarily continue to. The real weapon of the future is an educated people, especially an educated people in a democracy. The world-changing, epic events that would transpire if the American people were actually educated to history and contemporaneous events, would elevate this country to an even more historic level. Worse than ISIS or any enemy is our continual blathering about contemporary events without any real historical knowledge. That's what's the real threat here. We don't need a Neutron bomb.
Hi! I am in love with Futurama and want to say hello! But, my question is do you like walking down the street and people only knowing your voice?
Anytime people know anything about me, as I'm walking down the street, I'm grateful. To parphrase George Lopez, "you wait twenty or thirty years sometimes for people to recognize you or ask for an autograph-- why wouldn't I like that?"
Phil, do you have any advice for Howard Stern? I don't know how often you listen to his show these days, but I know you have a clearer vision than most of us on modern media formats like satellite or digital distribution. Can SiriusXM survive without Howard and should he drop them like a flaming bag of shit?
Also, when you're broadcasting, do you place little effigies or idols of the characters on your console to keep track of who's "in the room"? How do you keep track of everyone?
If I were Howard, I'd simply own the distribution platform that I was on however he's able to do that and get free of the corporate model in radio. It is a destructive entity. It is why radio is on life support. Howard doesn't need any advice from me, and God knows he's probably already thought of that. I'm sure it's just a matter of a contractual obligation keeping him where he is, but owning your material and at least controlling some part of how it's distributed is the beginning steps for any broadcaster.
As for the effigies, I don't do that in the studio, but I do have them wherever I masturbate.
I've always wondered why you don't sell "I'M TED BELL!" Bumper stickers? TBell is perhaps, the funniest character in the history of comedy. Love ya Phil, you are my hero. Keep it coming.
Not a bad idea. Another money-making opportunity, and of course, a welcome one.
Phil- along the lines of it's a small world, did you know a Terry Mayhew or George Hill from your Arcadia High days? Think they may have been 'round your era.
I'm afraid I don't recall those names. My apologies.
Do you feel that something important is lost by podcasting as opposed to doing a live show? How do you get that 'live' feeling back when doing a pre-recorded show?
I think we need to get over the "live" thing in audio entertainment and radio, because it hasn't hurt television, literature, music, etc. at all, and while radio was great live as an informational tool, there are far more sources for news and information now, so radio has become crippled by an unnecessary function that it can easily lose and become three or four times the medium it once was. There's nothing that radio does live that podcasting can't do as well.
Phil, Phil, Phil! Thanks for being here! I'm the host of a podcast myself and we'd love to have you on. This is my official attempt: Would you like to be a guest on our show? On Movie Buzzed, we watch movies, provide commentary/trivia, interview a guest pertaining to the movie, and get buzzed. It'd be an honor and privilege to have you on with some Don Julio. Thanks for taking time to read my question, and I look forward to talking some more.
Oh, you get high and watch movies, is that it? That sounds pretty cool. Uh, it depends on where you're at, but we have a media contact e-mail on our website. Contact me there and we'll get to it right away.
Back in your radio days did you ever piss anyone off so bad they confronted you in person? If so how did you deal with it?
Oh, sure. Minnesota State Fair 1993. Some guy who had cranked my show repeatedly got right in the front row of a crowd of people that came to watch me, and I had put the microphone in front of him, not knowing who he was, 'til I heard his rather distinct voice, and I just moved the microphone away from his very quickly and onto the next person. He stayed there through the whole performance and I let security know who he was. There was no problem. I've had similar situations at a variety of live appearances, over and over. One old lady looked like she wanted to take my head off at an LA appearance back in '96. I just started at KFI. Another guy tracked me down at the West Hollywood Halloween parade-- a big dude, who shouted, "where's Phil Hendrie?" And when I said, "I'm him," he was looking at me like I knew he didn't like me, and they had to hustle his out outa there. Just bunches of episodes like that.
So mr hendrie, as a long time listener I have to ask, what woukd it take for you to do a uso tour or.just visit mil bases? I know.in Washington state you have many fans.
Would a book on the life of phil hendrie be out of the question?
I would be there in a second if USO or the offices of the US Military that handle those kinds of things were to contact me. I have tried in the past to get our CDs to troops, and I simply run up against a labyrinth of the usual bureaucratic red tape. Not blaming the military, but there is a lot of organization and obvious expense that I need their resources to overcome, but I have long wanted-- from the beginning of the troop deployment in the Iraq theatre-- I have wanted to visit or contact the troops in some way. I got a lot of e-mails from them, lots of pictures, and I value every last one of them.
What was it like working on Maron?
It was easy, it was fun, it was like taking a day off from work, man. Wonderful people all the way around.
Good Afternoon Phil,
I found your show because Jimmy Pardo said you were the only podcast he listens to. I had to check it out, and since have become a subscriber. Is there any chance you'd make an appearance on Jimmy Pardo's podcast Never Not Funny?
I hope so. I would be there in a second. I think Jimmy is one of the great men and funny as hell, and has been a terrific resource for me in my education in the live venue.
What are your feelings on the Tibet situation? Why won't we do anything to help them?
Tibet is in the geopolitical sphere of China, as is North Korea. Same reason why we won't do anything to intercede in North Korea.
Hey Phil! You have been one of my favorite dudes for probably more than 20 years. Seriously. My question is.. How did you and Neil get along? Was he kind of a grouch off the air or more of a cool bro? Also, was there a lot of bullshit and tension with the station management in those days?
Neil was a hysterically funny grouch off the air. He never stopped complaining about management, the other talent, the equipment, the lack of phone calls, and he was serious. I would tell him that as I was driving in he was killing it and I was strangling in the car from laughing, and he'd look at me and yell, "what are you talking about, killing it? There wasn't one god-damned call in that board today!" Neil had the great talent of being able to be funny as hell even when he was angry. I don't know if I've ever met anyone with an equal ability to do that.
Hey Phil, I am a huge fan and have been since the day you took over for Mr. KFI. I am a BSP member and love the new format and new characters you have introduced. Got a few quick question for you so here they go.
Do you have any plans on doing something with RC Collins anytime soon? Any chance you would periodically bring back something like the "hour with ..." segment, maybe as a BSP only Saturday show? Finally, has there been a character of yours whose popularity surprised you?
Yes, I always have RC Collins in the mix. I have to confess, the voice is a tough one to do, because there was a real youthfulness to it in the early days that is hard for me to replicate now, even though I think my voice has remained pretty flexible. My hero in that regard was Daws Butler, who well into his seventies, did the voice of Elroy Jetson.
Yeah, in fact we do the "hour with" segment, meaning having one of the characters guest host an hour, periodically. Probably haven't done it with the original characters in quite some time.
Well, I think Herb Sewell has to be the all-time hands-down winner in that area. The guy's a, frankly, child molester. But he's reformed and his life is pretty funny now, and the demand for that character has always been pretty strong.
Hey Phil -
Are you going to be on Playing House again? You were awesome as Chief McGrath. It was so cool to see my favorite comedian on my favorite show! And your 'stache was stunning as well.
I would love to be back on Playing House anytime they call. And that was a real mustache. Shaved off the rest of the beard to get it.
There are so many great thing's you've done.
Was there a voice you were in the running for that you thought you should have gotten but didn't? Or, is there a voice actor out there doing a voice that you think you could do better?
I don't know the answer to your first question. I think I give it my all, and if someone gets cast ahead of me, I never think it means I'm not as good. I think generally, it's because that person has a more salable name, and that's not anything I can control.
As for the second question, there are plenty of voices out there I know I can do better-- not think.
I think your show would be perfect as a cartoon on Adult Swim. Have they approached you about the idea?
They have not, and let me start off by saying you're absolutely right, but because people have not approached you necessarily, doesn't mean they wouldn't be interested. Many times you have to approach them, and we've got two or three different things we're juggling right now; however, thank you for idea number four.
Hey Phil, great AMA as always. I had a question about the development of the website - would you consider making the login expiration a bit longer? I hate logging in 3-4 times a day. Apologies if this is not the appropriate forum for this.
Also, how about some new material for R.C.? He's got to be one of the most complex characters on the show.
You make my day all the time, keep up the amazing work!
Yes, we are. It's going to be a 24-hour timeout now.
I think RC needs to be involved more, and I will. I think I gotta get him out of that military academy though. I can see him as a foreman in his dad's factory, ordering around older workers and getting his ass beat on a regular basis.
Thanks for your work on King of the Hill - I don't know about you but I miss that show. Some great voice actors , especially yourself!
Any plans on working with Mike Judge again, either voice-over or live action?
No plans to work with Mike, but Silicon Valley is a brilliant show and I would be laughs a genius casting decision. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before my Emmy is on my mantle. laughs Mike's a good man.
Hey Phil, huge fan, hopefully I'm not too late to this thing. My question is do you personally miss the verbal sparring matches your characters had with callers? Or is it something you've done for so long that you don't really miss it?
I miss it occasionally; what I don't miss is how it took over the show to the point where I believe it weakened the structure a little bit. However, I'm very proud of the fact that our show was a forerunner to the modern fad of "pranking." Pranking is also the reason why I think the show today would not fare as well. Everybody is expecting the so-called "wind up," just wondering when the shoe's gonna drop.
Been waiting to ask you this.
Did you ever get caught up in the emotions of your characters as they fought with callers?
Sure, yeah. That was always a hard one to, on the fly and in an improv situation, maintain character during a really heated and emotional exchange. And I confess, I dropped the baton, if you will, in a number of situations. If you were to ask me looking back on those shows, what were the areas I was not ultimately good in, that would be one of them. Relying too much on the phone call side of the format and not developing out other bits as I'm doing now.
Phil - I would gush, but everyone seems to have that covered. I will say that I first heard you on KFI when you used to say "It's a goof!" Do you story board your podcast, or is it ALL improv? I'll hang up on myself now (vague reference to the radio guy you replaced on KFI).
It's all improv now. It just seems to be the best approach for me, and certainly it's the happiest work environment for me. I think improv is the funniest of all approaches to being funny. How's that for a genius statement?
I tell everybody I know about you Phil, big fan.. Question... What are your thoughts on the late great Huell Howser?
He sure was loved by a lot of people. My stupidity was never being much of a public television viewer, and so my loss was not seeing enough of him. What I did see was a wonderfully enthusiastic man, obviously in love with what he did and making everything interesting. You know, I continue to celebrate anybody like that.