Becky Robinson on How ‘Middlemost Post’ Shows the Rainbow After Storm
What happens when a reformed raincloud, shipwrecked sea-postman, and magical walrus get together? No, this is not a fever dream. It’s Middlemost Post, Nickelodeon’s first original animated series in five years.
Created and co-executive produced by John Trabbic III (SpongeBob SquarePants) alongside story editor Dave Johnson, the show centers on three characters and their adventures delivering packages throughout Mt. Middlemost.
The show is a fantasy come true for Becky Robinson, a stand-up comic and voice of series character Parker C. Cloud. She is joined by John DiMaggio (Kim Possible, Futurama, Adventure Time), voice of Parker’s friend/boss Angus Roy Shackleton III; rounding out this motley crew is Parker’s pet walrus Russell, a magical marine animal whose stomach doubles as a post office storage room.
Robinson tells us how Middlemost Post delivers both heart and humor.
Did you have a favorite Nick toon growing up?
Becky Robinson: I grew up on Nickelodeon. I used to watch Hey Arnold! and SpongeBob SquarePants every day. I still watch SpongeBob.
Any particular character you gravitate toward?
I love Sandy, but I gravitated toward SpongeBob. I was a gymnast growing up and my friends used to always say I had a “SpongeBob Square” figure. The character I play on Middlemost Post is kind of like Sponge; happy and bounces around, getting into pickles with friends that help him get out of sticky situations.
It must be cool then to work with someone from that show.
I’m always doing voices, whether I’m washing dishes or showering. Then when you walk into Nickelodeon you think, “There is a place for me and this mania. I’m where I belong.” The moment I met John I found out he went [to Middlemost Post after] being a storyboard director on SpongeBob. Right before we were going to record our first episode I was so nervous. I asked if I could call my friend Carson’s dad, Bill Fagerbakke, who voices Patrick Star. He was so cool and was like, “They picked you for a reason. Your voice is your instrument. Have fun with it.” Then during the premiere, I got to meet him and gave him a big hug. It was a really cool moment. The Patrick Star Show is premiering the same night as our show. So it’s all really special.
How did you picture Parker sounding?
Throughout the audition, I got to know John and Dave. I initially auditioned for Russell, but they asked if I could audition for Parker. They said, “We don’t want a boy or girl, but somewhere in the middle.” That is what I’ve been told I sound like my entire life. I joke on stage I sound like Jonathan Taylor Thomas had a rough night out or Rugrats going through puberty. The description read, “a little nimbus that can transform whenever and however it wants.” It’s the full spectrum of emotions in Parker. I latched on to that really quickly. In [terms of humor], Parker represents the rainbow after the storm. A lot of times jokes come from really dark places and hard things you go through. Being able to laugh at them helps at least get me through. I love that Parker is not just joking all the time. In the first episode I saw, I was actually crying because you really feel for Parker. All Parker wants to do is spread joy. Parker is naive and just winds up in hairy situations.
With the pandemic, you had to record under some unique circumstances.
I was moving so much equipment. I would go into my parent’s closet. I would go back and forth from L.A. My sister is an ER nurse. I went up to Portland to help her out during the pandemic and cook her meals because things at the hospital were getting so crazy. I made so many makeshift voice studios. At one point I was doing a voiceover inside a dog kennel. I kept buying foam on Amazon, trying to figure out space. I tried it at my parent’s closest friend’s house and ultimately moving into the house I’m in now in L.A. I completely soundproofed what should have been a walk-in closet and now have my SpongeBob pictures on the wall. I have a little voiceover studio. We recorded the pilot together, we got to be in person for that.
Then when things went down and went into lockdown, we were all doing it from home. We all got to know each other so much better. They would set aside five hours and really only needed two to three. You see a lot when you’re at home. Everyone is comfortable and you get to know things. You end up meeting each other’s families and seeing pets. It helped with chemistry at that time.
How was it building chemistry with John DiMaggio?
At first, I was wildly intimidated by him. He is such an OG. I’m newer to voiceover,coming from standup. I’m used to being on stage and saying whatever I want. After a few times recording together he made me feel so comfortable. He terrified me at first. Now it’s almost like we are too friendly where the recording guys are like, “Can you stop riffing?” We have a lot of fun together. I’m in awe and learn so much from him. It’s like having a mentor, having spent so many hours with him. He is such a pro.
What else can you tell us about these 20 episodes?
Parker joins forces with basically the mailman of the sea and a magical walrus named Russell. Together they form the wackiest postal service on Mt. Middlemost t called the Middlemost Post. You see a lot of similarities with people you may cross paths with but in a Nickelodeon specialty way. It’s so colorful and has so much heart and humor. Kids haven’t seen anything like it. There are a lot of surprises and special guests.
I think parents will get a kick out of the way these three interact and see the way the jokes come across. I have a feeling parents will hear the banter and go, “ I need to watch this.” They will relate. It’s just an explosively fun rollercoaster of a ride.
Middlemost Post, July 9, 7:30/6:30c, Nickelodeon