VeggieTales is launching a new podcast, but Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber don’t quite sound like themselves. After three decades, the iconic characters have been recast by Big Idea Entertainment. Previously, Bob and Larry were voiced by VeggieTales creators Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki respectively.
In the trailer for the podcast, which is titled “Very Veggie Silly Stories,” the newly casted Bob asks, “Since when do we do podcasts, Larry?” Larry replies, “We’ve done TV shows, movies, the occasional dog show—why not a VeggieTales podcast?”
“Hosted by Bob the Tomato—that’s you, Bob—and Larry the Cucumber. That’s me, Bob,” Larry goes on to say in what seems like a meta commentary on the characters’ new voices.
Vischer tweeted a link to a trailer for the podcast on Tuesday, saying, “Ack! We’ve been REPLACED by IMPOSTERS!! The horror…the horror…”
“How did we get replaced after 32 yrs? Like this,” Vischer went on to say, summarizing his and Nawrocki’s conversation with Big Idea Entertainment.
Big Idea: “We’d like you and Mike to do the voices for our new podcast.”
Phil/Mike: “Actually, we’d like a larger role in guiding VT. Since we, you know, created it.”
Big Idea: “We’ll find new voices. Bye.”
“To be clear, Big Idea offered us the job doing voices for the podcast. We asked for a larger overall role in VT, and said we were tired of being treated like freelance [voice actor] talent when we’re the creators of the ding dang show. They said, ‘nope,’” Vischer continued. “And…now there are new voices.”
Noting that he was as surprised as anyone to hear the news, Vischer added, “I actually didn’t know they were recasting until this trailer hit YouTube. I was holding out hope that they’d call back and say, ‘Ya know, you and Mike ARE really important to VT. Let’s talk about giving you a bigger role.’”
Vischer, who originally had complete ownership over VeggieTales, founded a production company called GRAFx Studios in 1989, changing its name to Big Idea Productions in 1993. Big Idea produced the various iterations of VeggieTales, as well as “3-2-1 Penguins!” and the VeggieTales spinoff “Larryboy: The Cartoon Adventures.”
Despite the popularity of VeggieTales, financial troubles and legal disputes began to plague the company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003. Classic Media purchased Big Idea in 2004, with Vischer and Nawrocki losing creative control over VeggieTales.
Though they had far less influence on the overall creative direction of VeggieTales projects moving forward, Vischer and Nawrocki had continued to voice the characters.
In 2012, Dreamworks purchased Classic Media, and Doug TenNapel of “Earthworm Jim” fame pitched the idea of a revived VeggieTales show, which would stream on Netflix. TenNapel went on to develop and produce “VeggieTales in the House,” which ran from 2014 to 2016, as well as “VeggieTales in the City,” which streamed for two seasons on Netflix in 2017.