Voice Actor John DiMaggio Returns as Niblet for 'Pound Puppies'

The Hub Network series highlights benefits of pet adoption.

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'Pound Puppies' on The Hub
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He may not be a purebred or stand out in a crowd, but make no mistake -- Lucky is the leader of the Pound …

Inspired by the popular line of adoptable toys, "Pound Puppies" recently returned to The Hub Network for another season. The series focuses on dedicated dogs who live by the motto "A pup for every person and a person for every pup." They spend their days matching homeless puppies with loving owners.

When reached via telephone, John DiMaggio, the voice of the gentle sheepdog named Niblet, talked about the show and his career as a voice actor. DiMaggio's fans will know him from "Futurama" and his other Hub Network series, "Kaijudo."

Because most people know you as the amoral Bender from "Futurama," playing a good-hearted sheepdog seems like a 180-degree career shift.

That's the joy of doing voiceovers for cartoons and animated projects: Your range gets tested, and you really are allowed to play all different kinds of characters. I love that part of my job. To be able to play a character like Bender and then play a character like Niblet is such a joy for me.

Niblet is funny, too. Niblet delivers some comic relief all the time, and so does Bender, but in completely different ways and completely different styles. Niblet is such an adorable character. When I saw the drawing, I said, "Oh, I just love this."

Was Niblet one of the toys that were popular back in the 1980s?

That's a good question. I really don't even know if Niblet was a Pound Puppy from back in the 1980s. You've got me by the you-know-what's -- and I'm fixed.

That makes it sound like animal activist Bob Barker -- an advocate of spaying and neutering -- may have owned/rescued Niblet at one time.

We did some press the last time around, and we did some pictures with everybody and their dogs or their cats or whatever they have at home. A lot of the cast has rescued animals. I have two beautiful rescues, and I love them very much.

That's the other thing that's great about "Pound Puppies." It encourages people to go to the local shelter, go to the local pound, and see if they can pick up a pet for their family. They are a welcome addition. I know they are a welcome addition to [my family].

The Hub Network taps into the love for toys like "Pound Puppies" from the 1980s. They even hosted a "bridle shower" last year for "My Little Pony."

I actually did a convention last year at Canterlot Gardens in Ohio. It's a convention for "My Little Pony." Those folks are die-hard! Don't mess with the Bronies, man. They will screw up your credit.

It's a fun job. I say over and over again how much I love to do animation. And to have two shows on a network that I am working on, that's really, really cool.

You mentioned that you are working on a documentary called "I Know That Voice" that features yourself and other notable voice actors from The Hub Network. At panel discussions at conventions, the topic always turns to getting started in voiceover work.

"I Know That Voice" answers [that question]. It's a long journey, and everyone's foray into this genre of acting is different. It's really something. There are people who have done all kinds of jobs. There are lots of actors who have somehow found their way here. There are radio guys, there are people who were class clowns who found themselves here.

There are so many ways to get to this job. There is no right or wrong way to get it, but keeping it is the whole thing. That's the hardest part: keeping the work, keeping it going. A lot of those things are answered in the film.

"Pound Puppies" airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 AM on The Hub Network.

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