Denny Delk Interview

An article by Muppet, posted on July 22. 2003.

_Muppet_ talks to Denny Delk, voice of Murray.

Part 1 - A Brief Introduction

Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Denny: I'm a voice-over (VO) guy who has been doing this since before the turn of the century. I live near San Francisco and am very politically incorrect.

What are you working on at the moment?

In the game world, I'm doing some stuff for learning game for kids. And I just had lunch with a producer friend about doing some voices for a couple of new LucasArts games

How did you end up doing voice-over acting?

I wanted to be a lawyer, but they didn't like it when I talked like Sylvester the Cat.

You've done a bit of on-camera work - do you prefer voice-over work, and if so why?

Voice over is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. You can be anybody you want to be. It's like radio. You get to make up the pictures in your own mind.

Which was the first 'talkie' game that you were involved on? How challenging did you find it to provide voices for a computer game and were you pleased with the end result?

game. It was an Indiana Jones game and was really primitive compared to the stuff we put out today. The voices were pretty stodgy. I think my credit said something like "Submarine Captain" and "various Nazis".


Part 2 - Escape From Monkey Island

How did you initially get the part of Murray in CMI?

I had worked with LucasArts, and they were looking for someone who had a high SQ (silliness quotient). They let me ad lib a little, which brings a little wackiness that's hard to just sit down and write.

You've played Murray in two Monkey Island games now - Curse of Monkey Island and Escape From Monkey Island (EFMI). Which did you prefer, and why?

I'm not much of a game player myself. I do like a good twitch game now and again...Rebel Assault, X-Wing, Tie Fighter...

Were you disappointed by the reduced role Murray played in EFMI compared to CMI?

Murray has his limitations, since he can't do much more than bite your finger. I think Murray should get his own game, maybe a trivia based game; "You Don't Know Murray".

Were there any differences in the recording of voices (new technology, etc.) between CMI and EFMI?

Voice guys are on the low end of the technology ladder. There is a room, a go in and talk to yourself. I had new shoes that fastened with Velcro at the EFMI recording. Does that technology count?

Hmmm...maybe. What did the average day in the voice studios for CMI and EFMI consist of?

The Lucas people are kind of like family. We get a chance to visit, catch up. Play a little. As I said, they let me adlib a bit too. That's really just to keep Darragh (the producer) on his toes.

Apparently Murray was originally just a cameo character in CMI who developed into a main character after feedback on the demo. Were you originally contracted for just that short scene on the boat and then called back to read more lines when the demonic skull proved popular?

We did a lot of work as the character developed. And they liked that I made Murray a little more comical that was originally intended.

Did you get a chance to meet any of the other voice-over actors, or were you just recording on your own?

Not on MI, but I've met and know a lot of VO folks on other games. The technology requires that we record alone.

What chance is there for ad-libs to be put into the game? Or are you working to a strict schedule?

As I said earlier, because of the unique nature of Murray , I was encouraged to adlib. That isn't usual, especially on a game that must concatenate in a particular way. But they let me play.

Was there a particular line from the dialogue of either CMI or EFMI that stuck with you as a favourite?

I remember recording the line "I'm gonna put such a curse on you". That is the quintessential Murray.

What were the hardest things about the job? And what were the best?

Hardest? I do this for a living, so sometimes you don't know when your next job is coming.

Best. A fellow who played an Ewok with me on the Ewoks cartoon show used to say...."In our business, if you work with someone a lot, you see 'em once a week. If you like that person, you look forward to that once a week. There are new stories and jokes. There is catching up. There is the anticipation of a nice time to come. If you hate that person's guts, you only have to see 'em once a week.

Are you a fan of the Monkey style games outside of work?

As I said, I'm not much of a gamer, but I do like the games a lot. The fantasy aspect is great fun.

Have you had a chance to play CMI and EFMI fully? If so, what did you think of them?

Yes, and they are quite good. But my attention is just too short. In fact, I……………finish this later.


Part 3 - Other Work

You've done a fair amount of work voicing over for LucasArts games. Which has been your favourite role so far, and why?

They are all fun, for different reasons. I love doing aliens; to create a new sound. Murray was a rave. Day of the Tentacle was a chance to play lots of very funny characters, as was Sam And Max.

Do you keep in touch with the people you meet whilst doing the voices for the games, or is it just 'another job'?

As I said earlier, it is kind of family like. We definitely keep in touch.

Do you know if you'll be doing any more LucasArts voice-over in the future?

See earlier reference to lunch with producer.

What projects do you have lined up? Are you working on anything at the moment?

I'm writing this over President's Day Weekend. I have a Wal-Mart spot set up for Tuesday.

What's been your most memorable job so far?

They are all treasures. But cartoons are the most fun.

Finally, if you could have had any role in existence, which one would you want and why?

Murray has certainly been one of those great roles. I get email from all over the world saying thanks for making him funny. I've been advised that there are fan sites on the Web for Murray . It would be great to do more. But I'd want to create a new role. Like when Mel Blanc created Bugs Bunny.

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