It's the age of the adult animated television show and one of the best ones out there is the Harley Quinn show over on DC Universe. It was a show that no one was super excited about before it came out but once the pilot premiered it was clear we were dealing with a very unique show. The voice cast does a lot of the heavy-hitting when it comes to this show and one of those heavy hitters is comedian and voice actor Rob Funches. Funches plays the fantastic King Shark and is currently doing promo for the new Disney movie The One and Only Ivan. However, we at Bleeding Cool love Harley Quinn and we couldn't resist the opportunity to ask him about the show.
Bleeding Cool: Harley Quinn has kind of blown up in the last year or so since it premiered. What was it like coming to a role that is just so completely bonkers insane?
Ron Funches: Oh, I love it. It's one of my favorite jobs. It's one of the best shows that I've ever worked on. I worked with the people who produced it before on a show called Powerless, which was about people who didn't have superpowers in a super-powered world. And then they realized people didn't like that. They wanted to see superpowers. They reached out to me about being King Shark. And it was just very easy. They just came in and said "He's you just you. Be you". And then when you gotta murder people and just be aggressive. I love the fact that I get to work with so many of my comedic heroes like Wanda Sykes and J.B. Smoove. It's a dream come true to me. And the fact that people are now finding it more now that it's on HBO Max. Back when I was traveling and doing standup gigs on the road, people were bringing me pictures of King Shark to sign. And I was like, oh, this is different. People were really bonding with this show. And I understand it because I grew up as a big fan of Batman: The Animated Series, and kind of see this as a spiritual successor in that it's adult and funny. I personally love it. So I'm glad other people are getting into it.
BC: Now, you're covering the full spectrum as far as tone goes: you have a very wholesome Disney movie on one end and then you've got Harley Quinn on the other.
RF: Absolutely, had to be the Pharrell of comedy like when for Pharrell had that song Happy at the same time he had the song Move That Dope.
BC: Do you think having that kind of tonal variety within your work is important, especially when it comes to voice work?
RF: Yes. And in all my work, it's just applicable to who I am. I am a standup comedian, likes to talk trash and doesn't shy away from talking about harsh subjects. But I'm also the father of a son with autism, and I have a lot of heart. I'm getting married. I love kid's movies. Paddington 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time. I'm a person that has a lot of range in my life, and I like to show that.
BC: So I just have to ask, have you heard any talks at all about Harley Quinn being renewed for season three?
RF: Okay, so I ask about this, like every day I text with these people, I e-mail Patrick [Schumacker, executive producer/creator]], and he seems to be optimistic. I think the best thing that we can do to ensure it is to have people keep watching it on HBO Max. Because I want season three. I really do. And it's far from guaranteed, but it does look better than it looked a little while ago. It's doing good numbers on HBO Max so far. I'm very hopeful. And people, if they feel they're a fan of it, be vocal because people actually listen up to that.
So according to Funches if we want more Harley Quinn we need to let people know and declare our love on social media. The One and Only Ivan, directed by Thea Sharrock, stars Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, Brooklynn Prince, Chaka Khan, Ron Funches, Phillipa Soo, and Mike White, as the animals with the human characters played by Ramón Rodríguez, Ariana Greenblatt, and Bryan Cranston. It is streaming to Disney+ today. Harley Quinn seasons one and two are currently streaming on DC Universe and HBO Max.