Kevin Conroy is playing a narcissistic superhero character called “The Stinger” on Netflix’s all-new season of DreamWorks Turbo FAST, which debuts on the subscription network today. The episode title is “Stinger of Injustice”, which plays on the irony of the kind of superhero “The Stinger” really is. As ToonBarn Head Writer Marc Morrell found out, when he interviewed Kevin Conroy over the phone, “The Stinger” isn’t necessarily trying to serve real justice, but his own self-serving heroism.
We won’t give away the whole plot of the episode, because you can go on Netflix right now and see 13 new episodes of Turbo FAST, spoiler-free! But, you won’t want to miss this exclusive interview with Kevin Conroy, who’s guest appearance as “The Stinger” will make you laugh out loud, as you see references from a more well-known superhero show from the 1960’s.
Marc: Hi Kevin!
Kevin: Hi Marc!
Marc: The last time we spoke was at San Diego Comic-Con for Batman: Assault on Arkham.
Kevin: Yes… boy, those Arkham games have been just great, haven’t they?
Marc: Yes, they have. And I wish I had more time to play them (laughing).
Kevin: (laughing) Yeah, Arkham Knight is pretty amazing. Do you know there are 36,000 lines of dialogue in Arkham Knight?
Marc: No, I had no idea.
Kevin: Isn’t that amazing?
Marc: Yes. How long did that take to record?
Kevin: 2 years!
Kevin: It took 2 years to build and I wasn’t allowed to say anything about it during the whole process. So, you know, it’s hard to sit on that for that long. But, it’s worth it in the end when you see it. But, the process of building those games is so intense. It’s really hard.
Marc: You were just in New York, and got to see your character up in lights on Broadway, right?
Kevin: Ha, ha, ha! That’s right! I posted a picture of me in front of that poster on my Twitter site. People liked that. Taking over Broadway… it’s great.
Marc: It’s awesome! You are doing the character, The Stinger, in Turbo FAST on Netflix. I was able to see the episode, and here’s what I observed. 37 times, the name of your character, “The Stinger”, is spoken by the characters in the show. 19 of those 37 were spoken by The Stinger himself.
Kevin: (laughing) Well… that basically gives you the difference between him and Batman. Batman is humble. He wants no attention. He lives in the shadows. People don’t even know he’s there. He just wants to do the good deed and disappear. Stinger is this total narcissist on an ego trip, announcing that he’s arriving. It’s so much fun to just blow out all the stops and do the exact opposite of what I am supposed to do as Batman. The Stinger was a lot of fun. He’s a total narcissist. It was so much fun to play him.
Marc: I can imagine what it was like for Andrea (Romano, Voice Director for Turbo FAST) to approach you and say, “I have this role that is right in your wheelhouse, and you’ll get to have a lot of fun with it.
Kevin: Oh, yeah. And she was right, too! She said, “You are going to have so much fun!” And, I did. The fun part, too, is when the kids on Turbo FAST, the other characters, who wish to work with Stinger and be like Stinger, have their fantasy come true, and then he turns into this horrible nightmare for them. Ha, ha, ha! I think that’s so funny, the concept is so funny.
Marc: Yeah, the idea that Stinger and Shell Boy (Turbo as the sidekick) get to run around like Batman and Robin, and you get to see some of those references from the ’60’s Batman series.
Kevin: I know, I know. It’s so much fun to play everything you’re not supposed to play. It’s fun for an actor to shake things up, especially after I have been doing a role for 23 years. It was a lot of fun to poke a little fun at it. It’s like on the Venture Bros. Did you ever see that character? (Captain Sunshine)
Marc: Yes! Yes, I have.
Kevin: It was like that character, which was sort of a weird take on the Superhero. It was just so much fun to do.
Marc: That’s the thing I wondered about. He approaches Turbo to be his sidekick, because he feels like he needs a sidekick. Why do you think he felt like he needed one in the first place?
Kevin: That’s a good question. Since, he’s such a narcissist.
Marc: Right! Exactly.
Kevin: I think he likes the fact that Turbo is like having someone around that reflects his glory. I don’t think that he necessarily needs a sidekick. He likes the fact that Turbo worships him. (laughs) Know what I mean?
Kevin: That’s a big difference.
Marc: The other thing is, apparently, he can’t go anywhere without crashing through a window. (laughing)
Kevin: I know. I know. I hope they bring this character back, because he’s so funny.
Marc: They kind of left it open-ended. He certainly could come back. Would you want to play him again?
Kevin: Oh yeah. Yeah. First of all, I love working with Phil LaMarr. He’s a wonderful actor. And I hadn’t worked with him since Justice League. I hadn’t worked with him for a long time.
Marc: Speaking of Justice League, you’re coming together for a Justice League reunion at New York Comic Con in October.
Kevin: Exactly! It will be all of us, together. It’s great. I’m pretty sure Phil’s going to be there. Susan Eisenberg’s going to be there. I think George Newberg is going to be there. I’m not sure if they got EVERYBODY. I do know a few that they have coming.
Marc: There will be a panel and everything, right?
Kevin: Right! Yeah.
Marc: Are you there for anything besides Justice League?
Kevin: Yeah, I am going to do signings for about 4 days, so I have my own booth set up there.
Marc: Great, great! I am looking forward to seeing you there.
Marc: And maybe looking forward to seeing you next year at San Diego Comic-Con. Would we be able to see you for “The Killing Joke?”
Kevin: If Warner Bros. wants to do it, I hope so.
Marc: So, you haven’t been notified from them about it yet, have you?
Kevin: No. I wasn’t even sure if they were actually going to do it, but someone told me that they announce they were doing it. But, I haven’t gotten any kind of word from anybody. So, I’m not even sure if they’ve really decided to do it. I know the internet says they’ve decided to do it. (Marc laughs) You know what I mean? But, I haven’t heard from anybody yet.
Marc: Yeah… the internet is ALL ABOUT THIS (getting Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy to play The Joker and Batman in The Killing Joke, Produced by Bruce Timm)
Kevin: Oh, I know.
Marc: And wouldn’t it be great to get “KC and the Sunshine Band” back together again? (he said, tongue-in-cheek)
Kevin: Exactly! Exactly, if wishes came true. I know. It would be great to do it, and it would be great if they could get Mark (Hamill) to do it. But, I don’t know. He’s pretty busy with Star Wars stuff right now.
Marc: (Sarcastically) Yeah, I can’t imagine that would keep him away from The Joker, though. (laughing)
Kevin: I would hope not.
Marc: Ok, coming back to Turbo FAST on Netflix. Are you a Netflix subscriber?
Kevin: I am now. Ha, ha, ha!
Marc: So, have you watched any of these episodes?
Kevin: I had to, to sort of come up to speed. They’re great. It’s a great show. But, to be honest, I hadn’t been a subscriber before this. But, I’m a troglodyte (old-fashioned). I still read books that are not on computers. I’m very 20th Century.
Marc: That’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with that. How do you prefer to watch TV or movies?
Kevin: Well, I’m still a cable guy. But, I’m starting to get more into computers. I’m getting better and better about being on a computer. It took me so long to just get a Twitter site. It took me forever. And the only reason I did it was because I found out someone was doing a fake me. Did you know that?
Marc: No, I didn’t. But, I guess from your twitter handle “@RealKevinConroy”, it must be where someone had the name before you.
Kevin: That’s why! Because someone had created a bogus Kevin Conroy Batman site, who pretended to be me, put up a cartoon of my face, and was answering questions as if he was the actor doing Batman. It wasn’t like he was another Kevin Conroy. I only found out about it because Tara Strong, the voice actress, you know who I am talking about?
Marc: Yes, I have interviewed her and know her work really well.
Kevin: Yeah, she called me. She said, “Kevin, I hope you don’t mind me calling you at home, but why did you stop negotiating with so-and-so? It was about an appearance that she was doing, and some producers thought they were negotiating with me to make an appearance. And she said, “Why did you stop negotiating?” I said, “What are you talking about, Tara? I haven’t heard anything about doing an appearance with you.” She said, “You’ve been talking to so-and-so for a few days, and suddenly, you stopped answering them.” I said, “I haven’t talked to anybody.” She said, “Aren’t you @KevinConroy on Twitter?” I said, “No, I don’t have a Twitter account.” She said, “Oh my God, there’s some guy who’s actually negotiating your contracts.”
Kevin: Can you believe that?!
Marc: Wow! That’s amazing.
Kevin: But then, I had to go to Twitter and I had to PROVE who I was. I had to show them documents. I had to get a notarized version of my passport and everything. I said, “Did this other guy have to do this?” (laughs) Obviously, NOT! Because you put him up.
Marc: All that, so you could get a ‘Certified’ Check Mark.
Kevin: Exactly. To get him off. So, that’s why I did @RealKevinConroy. Even when I started doing it, a lot of people still didn’t believe it was me, because they had heard about this faker. So, you learn the hard way.
Marc: Wow, sorry about all that. I know a lot of people are anxiously watching your Twitter posts to see if there will be confirmation about your participation in “The Killing Joke.”
Kevin: Oh, man. That would be such a great project.
Marc: I want to wish you luck with your appearance at New York Comic Con, and we hope to see you there.
Kevin: Thank you. So, you’ll be there?
Marc: Yes, I will be there. ToonBarn will be there for the 4th year in a row. We’ve already had our badges and hotel reservations months ago.
Kevin: Great! Then, I will see you there, then.
Marc: Thank you for joining us on ToonBarn. We really appreciate the time for the interview.
Kevin: Happy to, thanks! Take care!
We have a clip to show you from Kevin’s episode, “Stinger of Injustice”; Turbo FAST on Netflix:
On July 31st, Turbo and his crew take Turbotown by storm in the all-new season of DREAMWORKS TURBO FAST, premiering exclusively on Netflix July 31st. The world’s coolest snails take a turn off the track and set off on a wild ride filled with hilarious hijinks at every turn. You’ll laugh out loud when they launch into outer space, battle an apocalyptic robot, clash with a ninja stinkbug and escape a booby-trapped treasure hunt.
You are now free to watch all 13 new episodes from Turbo FAST on Netflix. Binge Responsibly.