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Venture Bros. - Why Voicing Dr. Venture Got A Little Painful For James Urbaniak

The old cliché is that an actor suffers for their art, and James Urbaniak of "The Venture Bros." probably understands the irony of this better than others. The man who voiced Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture for several seasons has seen his character through a whole host of zany misfortunes, from being transformed into a giant caterpillar, to having both his kidneys removed, to simply being pummeled and beaten over and over again. 

It's that last part that seems to have really taken its toll on Urbaniak. Speaking with Inverse in 2016, he said that Jackson Publick, co-creator of "The Venture Bros.," is a bit of a perfectionist. This in turn means he can be a bit exacting while recording voices for the show.

"Jackson really knows what he wants, performance-wise," Urbaniak said. "He will get very specific. We do lots of alternate takes. Dr. Venture is also usually undergoing some form of physical duress — falling or getting punched. When you get punched in the stomach, Jackson really wants the realism of you getting punched in the stomach, so we often save those recordings for last." 

The pain of voice acting

James Urbaniak isn't the only voice actor who has found it painful to bring their character to life. Some voices are downright painful to do in and of themselves. Harry Shearer apparently hated voicing Dr. Marvin Monroe on "The Simpsons," as the scratchiness of the character's voice apparently shredded Shearer's throat. 

It was partly the reason why Matt Groening's decided to retire Dr. Monroe relatively early in the show's run, much to Shearer's relief. Relief was also coming Urbaniak's way too as "The Venture Bros." came to an end, and he also got an explanation for why it was so important to suffer for his art.

"After six seasons I've started asking, 'Don't you have enough? Can't we Wilhelm scream some of these?'" Urbaniak said, "and then [Jackson Publick] explains to me why I actually have to hurt myself again for his art."

While it's one thing to endure all of this before the cancelation of "The Venture Bros.," one has to wonder whether Urbaniak was bracing himself before recording Dr. Venture's voice for the cartoon's upcoming film. At least he can take solace knowing that said film is going to also serve as a series finale. "The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart" will be released by Warner Bros. some time later in 2023.