The Great Saturday Morning Experience

Voice Artist Spotlight: Mike Road

Mike Road

Mike Road is one of the truly unsung heroes of the Saturday Morning Experience.  He began his voice over career at the beginning of the golden age of Saturday morning TV after a long string of roles in front of the camera dating back to the forties. The last decade or so of his career was spent however mostly in voice over work.

During the 1960s when his voice over career took off he also appeared in front of the camera in a number of memorable television shows such as “Wagon Train”, “Sea Hunt”, “Lassie”, “Gunsmoke”, “I Dream of Jeannie”, “Bewitched”, “The Patty Duke Show”, and “The Wild Wild West”.

Mike Road in some of his 1960s TV roles

He started off his voice acting in the 1960s working for Hanna –Barbera doing various additional voices on “The Flintstones” and of course he was the strong heroic voice of Race Bannon on “Jonny Quest” for which he also did a number of additional voices.  Race was a special agent from Intelligence One who was assigned to be the bodyguard/tutor of Jonny.  He also was pilot/chauffer/chef and all-around Mr. Everything for the crew.  Mike’s voice was perfect for this action-oriented character. Most of the other heroic voices he did sounded pretty much the same as Race but that hardly mattered to the kids growing up watching these shows.  His voice was tailor made for the rugged action star type which was just perfect for Hanna Barbera as they began creating a string of adventure series at this time.

He was the leader of the Herculoids, Zandor, in both the original 60’s version and the 1981 episodes done for NBC’s “Space Stars” program which also revived Space Ghost.  He also voiced three other regulars; Zok, the space dragon; Igoo, the rock-ape; and Tundro, the triceratops-like creature. He was also “Prince Triton”, Rama Tut” and some additional voices on the original “Fantastic Four” cartoon show from Hanna-Barbera, as well as Moray from “Birdman”. He provided the voice for the caveman Ugh who was the co-star in the Dino Boy episodes that originally ran with Space Ghost. Ugh was as rugged as they come and had a vocabulary to match. He saved the titular character and was his protector in the strange prehistoric land in which he parachuted into from our world.

Race Bannon/Zandor/Ugh/John Butler/Mr. Fantastic

In a bit of ironic casting he was John Butler in 1974’s Valley of the Dinosaurs. This time he wasn’t the caveman but a modern man whose family ended up in a prehistoric world and buddied up with a family of cave people.  Incidentally, this character had white hair, as did his most famous role. He was also busy in the 1970s with roles like  Henchman from “The Funky Phantom”, Ralph Hightower, and the R.C. Man, in the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie “Gidget Makes the Wrong Connection”. He performed  additional voices on “Godzilla”, as well as additional voices on “Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels”. He was also Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic, in the 1978 DePatie-Freleng version of The Fantastic Four. Whenever there was a need for a character with a stern, matter-of-fact style of speaking, Mike Road was the man for the job.

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