If there’s one person who is just as beloved and memorable for a game show than the host, it’s their counterpart. Vanna White fromÂ Wheel of Fortune,Â Robin Marella and John Harvey fromÂ Double Dare,Â Dee Baker as Olmec fromÂ Legends of the Hidden Temple.Â Today’s interview is with one of these counterparts. From 1992 to 1996, Moira Quirk was the referee inÂ Nickelodeon GUTSÂ alongside Mike O’Malley discussing the rules of the sports and the Aggro Crag. Her sweet, down to earth, loving personality and her wonderful British accent made fantastic chemistry alongside Mike’s lovingly goofy personality.
Today she does voice acting for animated shows and video games such asÂ My Life as a Teenage Robot, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Stroker and Hoop, Xenogears, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Star Wars: The Old Republic,Â andÂ Infamous 2.Â She’s also done TV roles such asÂ Pretty the SeriesÂ andÂ Dirty Work.Â Not to mention being a stand up comedian, lending her voice in audio books, doing various amounts of podcasts, and being a loving wife and mother. Due to her extremely busy schedule, I was able to receive her interview two days after I posted myÂ Nickelodeon GUTSÂ review, so thank you Moira for taking the time to answer these questions.
I hope everyone enjoys this very special interview with Moira Quirk.
Patricia- First of all, I really like your British accent. Where in the U.K. are you originally from?
Moira- I grew up inÂ Rutland, the smallest county in England.
Patricia- What was your childhood like?
Moira- I was a happy kid. I was the mischievous kid, but all my friends parents thought I was really good. It was a handy combo!
Patricia- What were your favorite cartoons/shows growing up?
Moira- I loved a lot of Hanna Barbera stuff:Â Hong Kong Phooey, The Hair Bear Bunch, Scooby Doo.Â My first animation job was at the old Hanna Barbera Studios on Cahuenga. Magical! And when I got to play the villainess inÂ Scooby DooÂ and utter the immortal “And I would have got away with it if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!” I was overjoyed. Made my lifetime!
Patricia- At what age did you realize that you wanted to be an actress?
Moira- Pretty young. I was in primary school. I did the Christmas play, and that was that.
Patricia- When did you move to America? What was it like living there at first adapting to a new way of living and culture?
Moira- I moved from London to Orlando. It was a huge adjustment, and sometimes I was very homesick, but obviously I liked it enough to stay. Not Orlando- sorry Orlando- but America. And then, of course, I met my husband to be.
Kevin- How did you hear about the Nickelodeon game showÂ GUTS?
Moira- My agent just sent me to audition. I was there amongst a bevy of sporty, blonde goddesses, but they kept calling me back.
Kevin- What was it like working side by side with Mike O’Malley?
Moira- Mike was, and continues to be, the biggest source of energy ever. He could be the answer to global warming.
Patricia- What would be the process of getting a typical episode done?
Moira- Oh goodness, as I remember we’d shoot three episodes a day. I really can’t remember if we’d have each set of competitors go one after the other, but that seems the most sensible set up. Doesn’t it?
Patricia- How were the kids chosen to be part of NickelodeonÂ GUTS?
Moira- There were talent scouts. At first they just looked locally, then after the first season they went further afield.
Patricia- Where there any major changes that came from transitioning fromÂ GUTSÂ toÂ Global GUTS?
Moira- Yep. It was shot quite differently because each country needed their own feed with their own hosts. I got more time off!
Patricia- For the contestants forÂ Global GUTSÂ who didn’t speak any English, where there any translators for them so they could understand the rules or interact with the other kids?
Moira- Yes, there were translators.
Kevin- What fond memories can you tell us when you were doingÂ GUTS?
Moira- Many. I still have friends from my days onÂ GUTS, and Mike and I keep in touch.
Kevin- Have you ever tried to do any of the obstacles whenever they were setting it up?
Moira- Of course!
Kevin- What was your reaction when you saw Mike onÂ Yes, Dear, Parenthood, andÂ Glee?
Moira- It’s so funny, my elder daughter lovesÂ Yes, Dear. So I see of much of Mike now as I did then, although not in person of course. I thought Mike’s work onÂ GleeÂ was extraordinary. It was a very well deserved Emmy nomination.
Patricia- What made you decide to go into voice acting?
Moira- I’d always been interested in it.
Patricia- What was the audition process like forÂ My Life as a Teenage Robot?
Moira- I went in and met with Rob Renzetti. He had me read a few portions of the script. I felt it went well. I didn’t hear for a while, but I was super excited to get the role. It was a great role to play and I totally loved the look of the cartoon.
Patricia- What was it like working with Rob Renzetti?
Moira- He’s a really cool, really talented guy and very low key. It was the best.
Patricia- What was the experience like with working with talented voice actors like Candi Milo, Janice Kawaye, Cree Summer, Eartha Kitt, and Quinton Flynn?
Moira- Didn’t get to meet Eartha Kitt, but all the above are awash in awesomeness.
Patricia- What would a typical recording session be like?
Patricia- What was your favorite episode?
Moira- Am I allowed to say all of them? It was a really fun show.
Patricia- What was it like voicing the character Jane forÂ The Wild Thornberrys Movie?
Moira- That was another great time. Charlie Adler directed me, who has been such a wonderful friend and mentor. His was one of the first voice-over classes I took, so we both enjoyed the fact that now I was his employee really.
Patricia- You had voiced other characters in video games such asÂ Xenogears, The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimÂ andÂ Star Wars: The Old Republic. Do you play video games? If not, is voicing a character in a video game the same as voicing a character in a cartoon?
Moira- I can’t play anything too gorey or intense because, well I could say I’m sensitive, but I think a better adjective would be wussy. I’m wussy. More often than not for games, I find myself alone in a recording booth being directed by Skype. Animation you still have a chance of recording as a cast. I like having a cast, but I also love me, an engineer and a director just getting the job done and having a great time doing it. Because it is a job, although one that I love.
Patricia- When looking at your website, I had no idea that you also do comedy sketches. What made you interested to go into comedy?
Moira- I suppose it was a fait accompli. Making people laugh and being made to laugh were and are important things to me.
Patricia- Who are your comedic heroes?
Moira- I used to see Zach Galiafinankis (sp?) at this little coffee shop in LA, and I’m thrilled at his success. I liked a lot of comedic actors: Judy Holliday, Dick Shawn, Alan Arkin (obviously I watched a lot of old stuff). This is all of the top of my head. As a kid I loved Julie Walters and Victoria Wood and Jasper Carrott. If I were to choose to watch a comedy special of listen to a comedian it might be Eddie Izzard, Mitch Hedburg, Eddie Pepitone and Frank Conniff. It’s quite a long list… I like Marc Maron’s podcast and listening to all the comedian’s stories.
Patricia- I read in Summer Sanders’ blog recently that she had introduced her children toÂ Figure it OutÂ during the years that she hosted. The results were that 5 minutes into it, they wanted to watchÂ SpongeBob. They were 3 and 5, so they were too young. Did you show your children when you were co-hostingÂ GUTS? If so, what do they think of it?
Moira- They might have seen a bit. They know I did it, but they are always perpIexed if someone is excited to recognise me. I mean if your mother did it, it can’t be cool can it?
Patricia- Finally, what are your upcoming projects?
Moira- I’ll let you know when I find out! I do have a couple of web series.Â Dirty WorkÂ just got an Emmy nomination! If you want to watch it, please do here dirtywork.com, but, be warned, I play someone with a really, really filthy mouth! Filthy! I’m working on a couple of games, too. It could be a while until they are released and I’ve signed those pesky non-disclosure forms! I also do plays for radio for the BBC and with L.A. Theatre Works for syndication on NPR and to be sold as audiobooks/plays. You can find them online too. I just didÂ Look Back in Anger, so you might still be able to stream that at latw.org.
Patricia- Thank you so much for answering this, Moira. I know that I said too many questions and I apologize, but I was really excited to have the opportunity to interview you. I grew up watching you onÂ GUTSÂ and I always loved watching you on TV. I love Mike as well, of course. Haha! Hope that everything goes well for you and your family. Thanks.
Moira- Thanks, Patricia. Please forgive my lollygagging.
You can find out more information about Moira and her amazing work at moiraquirk.com. Also you can find her at Twitter @moiraquirkable.
That’s all for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Take care and thanks for reading.
-Patricia and Kevin