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Venture Bros. - James Urbaniak Originally Made Dr. Venture Sound Like Billy West

James Urbaniak's voice for Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture on "The Venture Bros." is rather perfect for the character. The character is smart, but not as smart as he wishes, insecure for that reason, and arrogant in an attempt to cover it up. Would you believe it wasn't how Dr. Venture originally sounded? Speaking with the AV Club in 2013, Urbaniak recounted his experience of recording the pilot of "The Venture Bros." 

"I went in the day of the pilot, a decade ago, and thought, 'Okay! Dr. Venture! So I'm going to do a old-professor voice!'" According to the transcript, Urbaniak said this in a voice reminiscent of Professor Hubert Farnsworth, voiced by "Futurama" voice-smith Billy West. "I started doing a thing that I think was influenced by Billy West — this bilious, rubber-voiced character, Larry Fine-esque... You know, he does this — there's a cartoony, rubbery quality to the voice."

But apparently, this was not what Jackson Publick (real name Christopher McCulloch), creator of "The Venture Bros.," had in mind. Publick kept asking Urbaniak to simply pull it back. Urbaniak did so, after which Publick asked him to rein it in even more, and so on and so on. Pretty soon, Urbaniak was simply doing his own voice. 

Dr. Venture vs. Professor Farnsworth

"Every time I said a line," James Urbaniak told AV Club. "Chris [McCulloch] would remove more of that thing until basically, it was just my voice. Then he was like, 'Perfect!'" And the finished product is certainly a long way from the voice of Hubert Farnsworth. 

But that's probably for the best. This is especially the case now, with both the "Futurama" revival on Hulu and the "The Venture Bros." series finale movie imminent. Viewers could get confused, mixing up the two hilariously incompetent scientists. And while one can't blame Urbaniak for taking something of a cue from Billy West — a man who has voiced not just the Professor, but Fry, Zapp Brannigan, and many other characters on "Futurama" — it's difficult to imagine Dr. Venture without the snark, exhaustion, resentment, or barely-veiled sense that he is constantly surrounded by idiots and others beneath him. 

Urbaniak may be a bit surprised that the specific timbre of his voice fits these qualifications. Luckily, he tends to be a bit more laid-back when speaking outside of the recording booth. "Now and then, I'll hear myself interviewed and go, 'S—, I really do sound like Dr. Venture,'" he said. "But Dr. Venture is much more stressed-out than I am. I think my vocals in real life are much more relaxed."