INTERVIEW: John DiMaggio

Published on, Nov 2016


“Finale” Doesn’t Always Mean “Farewell”

After taking an emotional beating with the cancellation of FuturamaJohn DiMaggio tells Daniel Cribb why the Adventure Time finale isn’t a farewell.

Watching the credits roll on the finale of your favourite TV show can be a surprisingly emotional experience, as you say goodbye to characters you’ve come to love and a storyline that makes your day better. But what about the actors and crew involved with the show? For them it’s even more “gut-wrenching” and something voice actor John DiMaggio is all too familiar with after his role as Bender on Futurama came to a close in 2013. “Futurama put a callous on my cancel bone. I know how to take bad news,” DiMaggio laughs. “I’ve seen it come and I’ve seen it go.”

Since then he’s been busy juggling numerous other projects, including a constant run as Jake the Dog on animated hit Adventure Time, which wraps production in February for a curtain call in 2018. “When a show ends it’s always weird, there’s a lot of feelings that you go through,” DiMaggio tells. “Nobody likes to see a great job end, but in show business, that’s what happens… but that’s the nature of the biz, man.

“There’s all that talk about the Adventure Time movie, so that’s really cool. It’s a really incredible thing; this little tiny short that turned into this goliath of entertainment for the world. It still blows my mind how big a hit Adventure Time is – it really is something.”

Fan conventions such as Supanova – which DiMaggio hits this month – keep those characters alive and well. It’s somewhat hard to keep Bender Rodriguez at bay when DiMaggio’s natural laugh isn’t too far from what fans adored on Futurama. “I do the voice live for people and it’s a treat for them and me because I love doing it, so that’s totally cool – the thing lives on. It’s not like it completely dies; it’s out there in the atmosphere, it has legs. I mean, sure those legs will get weak after a while, but it’s all good.”

Sometimes a fan will go above and beyond to keep a show alive, like Futurama live-action fan film Fan-O-Rama, lead by Dan Lanigan. “The funny thing is, [Lanigan] rented my house from me for a year and a half and then he goes and does this thing, which is pretty weird, but it’s pretty funny. He’s a good guy and there are a lot of people from Futurama that have gone down to his set, which is pretty cool.”

DiMaggio is working on some pretty cool stuff himself, but unfortunately, as is the biz, NDAs can make it difficult for him to talk about, “which is always great,” he laughs. “Just know that I’m doing alright. I can’t say – a non-disclosure agreement means I can’t talk about it. Just know that I’m working on some pretty cool stuff.”