Love it or hate, there’s no doubt that many Dragon Ball Z fans growing up in the United States and other English-speaking countries got their start by watching Funimation’s English dub of the series. Once a staple of Cartoon Network’s weekday Toonami programming lineup back in the early 2000s, hearing the English voices of Goku and Vegeta, played by Sean Schemmel and Christopher Sabat respectively, is sure to induce a wave of nostalgia for many present-day “kids” now approaching their 30s.

In fact, the two veteran voice actors were recently featured in reddit’s Ask Me Anything series of video interviews. Join us after the jump to hear the duo’s candid thoughts about a variety of topics, including being asked to sign babies’ diapers, texting in Vegeta’s persona, playing pranks with kazoos, and female Super Saiyans!

In their recent Ask Me Anything video segment with Reddit, Christopher Sabat (best known for playing the English voices of Vegeta, Piccolo, and Yamcha) and Sean Schemmel (the English adult Goku and King Kai) answered a variety of questions posed by net users, sharing what it was like to dub Dragon Ball Z back in the days before the internet and their roles in the show’s various incarnations over the years.

▼ Series protagonist Goku (voiced by Schemmel) powers up.


▼ Series anti-hero and tough guy, Vegeta


When the folks at Funimation first began dubbing Dragon Ball Z using an in-house voice cast at the Texas studio in the late 1990s, the internet didn’t exist on the same grand-scale as it does today, so the voice actors couldn’t just go online to research the future fates of their characters. As a result, the seasoned duo state that they were very much experiencing the show “in real-time” while dubbing it, never knowing exactly what would happen next. Schemmel in particular shares that whenever Goku was injured in the show, he would call his dad to ask for money in case his character was killed off and he would be out of work (of course, we all know now that characters dying in DBZ isn’t a big deal at all)!

▼ Who’s poorer–Goku suffering injuries time and time again, or his English voice actor Schemmel, whose job security is in question whenever his character’s injured?


Sabat and Schemmel answer one of the interview’s opening questions, What is your least favorite part of the job?”, quite easily and succinctly:

Schemmel: “Screaming.”

Sabat: “Yeah, screaming is by far the hardest part of the job. It’s the part that we dread the most, although it’s probably the most bad-ass part of the series, so it’s something we feel like we can’t cheat on.”

However, one good thing does come from all that screaming, as Sabat concedes:

“When you’re screaming like that, for hours and hours, you don’t have a choice but to really deeply connect with a character like that.”

Schemmel: “You feel like you’re gonna vibrate apart in the booth.”


A particularly amusing question came in the form of “What’s the weirdest thing you have ever had to sign?” to which Sabat answered, “a baby’s butt” (he signed the diaper), and Schemmel answered, “a baby’s birth certificate in Australia who was named Videl!”

Similarly, when asked, “What is the best prank one of you has done to [the] other?”, Sabat told a story about how he once sent some people with a key to Schemmel’s hotel room “to wreak havoc on it” while he was recording Dragon Ball Z Kai. One of the bizarre pranks they played was leaving a kazoo in the pocket of a pair of pants that Schemmel had left on the floor–something that Schemmel wasn’t so much mystified, but excited about, when he went in to record the next day!

▼ By the way, let it be known that Schemmel happens to love the now legendary Dragon Ball Z driving filler episode.


Perhaps the most emotional moment of the interview came when they responded to a fan’s question about the decision to include Goku’s full name in Japanese, “Son Goku,” during a speech he was giving to Frieza in Dragon Ball Z Kai. This inclusion was an intentional suggestion by Schemmel who thought that the insertion fit the mood of the scene perfectly, and that it would please a lot of “purist” fans.

▼ The scene in question as portrayed in Funimation’s dub of Dragon Ball Z Kai

The duo candidly comment on a variety of other questions that long-time fans will no doubt appreciate, including Sabat’s desire to see some female Super Saiyans in the newest incarnation of Dragon Ball Super. Check out the full 15-minute video clip below, and let those nostalgic feels run wild! 

If only we’d known about the interview beforehand, we totally would’ve gone on reddit to ask the pair whether a new rendition of “Cat Loves Food,” a parody song popularized in the unrelated DBZ Abridged by the folks at Team Four Star and based on Funimation’s original dub, could somehow be snuck into the dub of Dragon Ball Super. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

▼ You’ve got to admit, those guys at Team Four Star can sure write a catchy jingle!

H/T: Kotaku US
Images: YouTube/reddit