Pop My Culture



Hosts Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland with  Dee Bradley Baker, Richard Morvitz, Laraine Newman, Janet Varney and Maurice LaMarche

A special PMC live from the LAPodcast with a great panel of legendary voice actors! Dee Bradley Baker (“American Dad”), Richard Horvitz (“Invader Zim”), Maurice LaMarche (“Futurama”), Laraine Newman (“Saturday Night Live”) and Janet Varney (“The Legend of Korra”) join Cole and Vanessa to chat about the voice business, meeting idols, coming up with voices, unusual recording venues and even do some fun script readings as some of their iconic characters.

Leave your answer to the firsts question (the first time you ever performed, publicly or for family) on our website for a chance to win a poster from the event signed by the performers!

Freshly Popped


Hosts Vanessa Ragland and Cole Stratton with little Oliver at the LA Podfest!

Voice over legends signed poster for Pop My Culture podcast giveaway


  • Comment by Jonah — October 9, 2014 @ 7:25 am

    When I was about 5ish, I would do song and ance with an umbrella for a cane and some sort of top hat substitute. These were only for family (I hope), but I was so hammy back then it could have been for anyone. I didn’t realize that side of me again until high schoolish, though that was less vaudeville and more improv/plays.

  • Comment by corinne — October 9, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

    My brother and I did a play of the Princess and the Pea for our parents, with a bunch of towels folded up in a laundry basket for the bed. Huge hit.

    Um and I loved Fantasia? Still do…

  • Comment by Scott — October 10, 2014 @ 6:19 am

    Having listened to the show before and knowing Janet Varney is friends with Cole…I NEVER connected that she was Korra! That is SO awesome. She’s absolutely brilliant as that character, and Book 4 is already amazing. Go Janet, you are the best!

    I love the voice actor episodes, especially Podfest ones like this as you get such a rich variety of talent vibing off one another.

    Re: Firsts: We used to go over to family friends houses and the kids would always collectively spend hours crafting elaborate variety shows in which we all did something or other. My friend David and I would almost always do something like reenact scenes from BACK TO THE FUTURE or TOP GUN (our favourite movies) and call that talent. Still, our parents applauded…mostly because they had to.

  • Comment by Nick — October 16, 2014 @ 11:27 am

    Hello! Love the show! You two play off each other so well, and you keep me thoroughly entertained on long drives or when I work overnight. I found your show while randomly scrolling through the chanels on the Nerdist network, and just immediately fell in love when I saw all the people you had on past episodes. While having loved all the episodes I’ve heard so far, I especially enjoyed the ones featuring Patton Oswalt, “Weird” Al, and Danny Tamberelli, which hit an especial nostalgic twinge in my heart, as I loved Pete & Pete to death as a kid, even though I realize now watching it there was a lot of depth I didn’t catch as a kid, where I was just enjoying the fun weirdness of the show, which I think is a better review than I could ever truly write of that show. Also, how can you not love any show that has Iggy Pop and Steve Buscemi as straight-laced suburban dads, Luscious Jackson playing the prom, Syd Straw and Gordon Gano as teachers, and Michael Stipe in a cartoon ice cream head, in addition to the best line for explaining platonic friendship between guys and women (“She’s a girl, she’s my friend, but she’s not my girlfriend.”)

    I digress.

    The first time I ever performed publicly was in a school play when I was in kindergarten- one of those deals where all the kids get a line and you dress up like what you wanted to be what when you grew up. Being the classy, reach for the brass ring type of kid I was, I decided I was going to be the guy working in a cherry picker who worked on power lines.
    Anyway, I don’t remember what it was- probably something like The Simpsons or Doug- but not too long after I found out we were doing a play, I saw a show wherein all the kids did a play, but one kid forgot his line. Petrified at the thought of that, I forced myself to repeat my line over and over, as though I was a self inflicting Gunnery Sargent Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, repeating the one stupid line until it was lined in that reptilian part of your brain that controls basic muscle memory functions.
    (For the record, the line was “I’m Nick, and I’ll bringing you the power/but I’ll be quick, ‘cos I charge by the hour.” Pure poetry, I know.)
    Anyway, night of the show comes and I get to my part and say my line without any trouble- although, being 5, I ended up staring at the floor while I delivered the line. Next to me was my best friend in the class, a girl named Chelsea, who actually got hit with stage fright, forgetting her line and immediately started crying.
    I feel like such an ass thinking about this now, but all I remember thinking at the time was: “Woo! Glad that’s not me,” or whatever five year old me would have said.

  • Comment by FellHarbor — June 24, 2016 @ 7:56 am

    I feel compelled to share that my first cartoon crush was on Scooter (Frank Welker) from the GoBots when I was 5-6. I was a strange child.

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