The Mystery of William Kasten

I ADORE William Kasten's voicing for Max. I have heard all of the renditions of Max's voice and this is the voice I fell in love with. I even much prefer it over Dave Boats voice (though theories state they are one and the same VA, I find it somewhat doubtful after reading the interview)

My question is, who is William Kasten.. and More importantly, does he even exist? He has no voice acting history, no photo, no interview, nothing. Unlike all the other voice actors in the Sam and Max games, there is absolutely NOTHING on William Kasten. He has been my favourite voice of Max and now that Sam and Max is at a (hopefully) temporary halt, I was hoping to find out more about the man who brought Max to life for me.
He also did great work in voicing Jurgen

Comments

  • I suspect it's a pseudonym, but if you want to hear more of William Kasten (allegedly), have a listen down at the bottom of this list:

    http://www.voicebank.net/cabinet/agencyfolder.do?path=/1648/cabinet/publicaudio/Characters

  • I really appreciate your help!
    After listening to that, he's quite the talent. Pity we know so little.

    WarpSpeed posted: »

    I suspect it's a pseudonym, but if you want to hear more of William Kasten (allegedly), have a listen down at the bottom of this list: http://www.voicebank.net/cabinet/agencyfolder.do?path=/1648/cabinet/publicaudio/Characters

  • Also there was something I wanted to ask you about! I pmed you :)

    http://www.telltalegames.com/community/messages/2718

    WarpSpeed posted: »

    I suspect it's a pseudonym, but if you want to hear more of William Kasten (allegedly), have a listen down at the bottom of this list: http://www.voicebank.net/cabinet/agencyfolder.do?path=/1648/cabinet/publicaudio/Characters

  • It's been 11 years.

  • Blind SniperBlind Sniper Moderator
    edited September 2017

    (and it's also been a few years since this thread was last posted in :p )

    JLrosen posted: »

    It's been 11 years.

  • I have theories, but I'm very unsure of these.
    My biggest guess is that William Kasten may be a pen name for someone else working at Telltale, but I don't have enough research or supplementary material to back that up.

    Because sound editor Jory Prum is no longer with us, we may never find out. What if he was William? This sounds dumb, but it's something I thought I should mention. He did receive an Aggie Award for "Best Voice Acting" for Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse., and recorded for every Sam and Max game. He also did the sound recording for Poker Night at the Inventory, which was Williams' last known performance as Max. Yet, this is very unlikely, but I'm still posting this.

    (and it's also been a few years since this thread was last posted in )

  • I looked everywhere. Are there any sources for the voice clips from the link WarpSpeed provided us with? Does this discussion really deserve to be opened up again? I just discovered Sam and Max a few months back.

  • edited November 2017

    I miss these series. It's been 10 years now and there doesn't seem to be any hope. =(

  • For those curious of the lines from the demo reel for William Kasten, here they are in a text format . Parentheses will be used to indicate the voice he uses for the characters, and ???? si for words I cannot interpret quite well:

    (raspy NJ-like accent) "Aw, get him outta here, will ya? I'm trying to eat my dinner here and he's bleeding all over. ah, now that's gonna leave a stain on the new carpet!"

    (character from a family-friendly piece; first-person) "I was raised by a family of ducks. We lived a simple life, north for the Summers, south for the Winters. My father, was a mallard."

    (Young kid) "My mother's gonna kill me when she finds out about these 976 calls. Oh, foul temptress, why do you curse me so?"

    (Southern Drawl) "Well paint my butt yeller and call me a caution, that's Big Mike alright and he's gone ????-loco"

    (Peter Lorre-eqsue impression) "You'll have to pardon my friend, he doesn't like it when people move too quickly"

    (Angry gruff-sounding man) "Apparently my ???? has a complete system failure, and it has released it's contents to my, uh, pocket."

    (Elderly-sounding) "When I was a boy, we never had your fancy "novocaine" and such, ???? and a pair of pliers, that's what we call dentistry."

    (Low British sounding) "Jones, would you throw another orphan on the fire, would you please? My ???? just doubled and I'm feeling rather saucy."

    (Nervous-sounding, rather deranged, apparently separate clips)
    1. "I suppose you're gonna tell me now I can't get a refund"
    2. "Oh, go ahead, go ahead, pile it on every day, the same thing"
    3. Ding-ding-ding, all aboard the misery train, oh, is this seat taken?"

    (Different groggy deranged voice) "Is it any wonder I'm losing my hair?"

    (Hillbilly like voice) "Alright, see now, You're Cousin Skeeter, he says to lighten one of these here, 'Blockbuster skyrockets,' right, and it says on the side, right, 'light, count to 5, and run away'."

    (Narrator for a children's story) "Once upon a time, there lived a little cloud named Puffy. Puffy would float around in the sky with all the other clouds. Sometimes, he would blow east, and sometimes, west, north, or south, depending upon which way the wind would push him.

    (Unsure how to describe the tone) "Hey, Marty, do ya smell somethin'?"

    These were from the different sources that Kasten voiced for. I am wanting to know where these come from, because if I can find out, I could determine:

    a. "William Kasten" is a pen name to a different actor
    b. at least gather more information
    c. solve a mystery that has went on for 11 years.

    Hopefully, I can find someone willing to track down the sources to these pieces of dialogue, and We can find out more of William Kasten. As I've said before, I just got into Sam and Max, and I wasn't planning on making this topic relevant again. All I want is to uncover this mystery.

  • As this topic becomes as obscure as the actor it was intended for, Here are a few people I think may be "William Kasten":

    Daron Jennings (Best known for the voice of Dennis on the Ty the Tasmanian Tiger Games; No involvement with Telltale)

    Dominic Armato (Guybrush does sound a bit like Max at some times; Ever since Telltale got the rights to Monkey Island from LucasArts, he continued to voice Guybrush; Both actors have not done any voice acting since 2010)

    Michael X. Sommers (Has done very little voice acting; voiced George McFly and his father Arthur on Telltales' Back to the Future series)

    What we know about Kasten
    * Has a rather deep natural voice, as proven in the animated blooper reels for Sam & Max
    * Hasn't been credited for anything BUT Max
    * Is unanimously praised by the community

    I've also looked into other video games that featured obscure voice actors from Sam & Max or other Telltale titles. I will continue to update as soon as I can gather more information.

  • I know this is an old ass thread, but recently in 2020 Kasten has actually voiced a different character (at least someone using his name). That being a Lego tv show.

  • I’m incredibly surprised that this thread has been brought back to life!! And I’m still around… Still admiring the game and playing the remastered version of course. And the mystery will perhaps never be solved. Though I am remarkably impressed by JLrosens detective work.. far beyond the amount of digging I did back in the day

  • yeah, on imdb hes credited as douglas and a few other characters in lego hidden side, in this ep hes the ghost guy and i guess it kind of sounds like him?? i dont know for sure though

    I know this is an old ass thread, but recently in 2020 Kasten has actually voiced a different character (at least someone using his name). That being a Lego tv show.

  • edited November 2021

    I'm not convinced that Lego VA is the same William Kasten. They don't sound very similar to me. On the other hand, has anyone considered that he may be Nick Jameson?

    Here's my reasoning:

    1. Jameson voiced Max before in Hit the Road. Though his performance in that game is very different from Kasten, the trailer for the cancelled sequel has an uncannily similar sound to the Telltale era Max.
    2. The scant amount of surviving recordings of Kasten out of character (found in the Blooper Reel) indicate a somewhat deep speaking voice, which (considering the eight year gap) sounds quite similar to this interview with Jameson.
    3. Jameson has done other work in that general register and level of chaos. See Dr. Loboto, whose rasp has a similar timbre to Kasten's voice here.

    The only thing I can't seem to put together here is why Nick Jameson would continue to voice Max under a pseudonym rather than using his own name. To avoid typecasting, maybe? He does play a large variety of characters.

    yeah, on imdb hes credited as douglas and a few other characters in lego hidden side, in this ep hes the ghost guy and i guess it kind of sounds like him?? i dont know for sure though

  • yeah, I can hear what you mean with Dr. Loboto and the mole character William Kasten voices.

    I wanted to say that William Kasten is also credited as the radio anouncer here, I think it's one of the closest things we have to his actual voice?
    He's also credited as the AI in 204.

    NotSoCheezy posted: »

    I'm not convinced that Lego VA is the same William Kasten. They don't sound very similar to me. On the other hand, has anyone considered tha

  • Hopefully people are still interested in this because I am also still looking for answers. I have a bit more info, not much, but hopefully something that can help the search.

    The linked demo real above in this thread no longer exists, I was able to find the same demo reel on a different site called VOLA or Voiceover LA. I'm assuming this means Kasten is from California.
    Demo Reel --> https://voiceoverla.com/vola-talent/william-kasten/

    Kasten's name is still listed on the site roster, so I assume he's still active with them.
    I cannot find any information about his personal life under the name William Kasten, so most definitely assuming it's a pseudo name.

    I don't think Kasten actually uses his real name for acting, though I have a theory he might use his real name for other work. There's not much information on how Kasten came about voicing Max other than he took over for Andrew Chaikin due to health issues, but if he was cast because he was a previous employee at Telltale under his real name I do not know.

    I am also quite suspicious for his sudden hiatus with voiceover, why he does not have any credits from 2011-2019 is a bit strange, I question whether this was voluntary, such as he didn't want to do voiceover for a personal reason, or if it was involuntary, something happened and he was fired, or he himself had health issues that caused him to retire.

    And why the sudden return in 2020?
    I researched the studio that was behind the LEGO Hidden Side animated shorts- Pure Imagination Studios, which has no connection to Telltale Games, no employees there that previously worked for Telltale, which leads to a dead end.
    I can confirm it is Kasten himself in the LEGO shorts, though, for anyone suspicious it was mistakenly linked to his IMDB. The voices used in the show are typically deeper, but in one episode you can hear his voice rise to which it sounds identical to Max.

    I am curious to figure this out, but I do want to respect the man's privacy. There's probably a reason he has no internet or public presence. I will probably continue to research this, but only with what is available to me online, no gross doxxing tactics or whatnot if that makes sense.

  • Thanks for finding that demo reel, I always wondered what it sounded like. The point you bring up about his hiatus is interesting and I hadn't really thought about it. Him voicing characters for LEGO Hidden Side makes everything more confusing, and it definitely sounds like he had a strong passion for voice-acting, so yeah the hiatus makes zero sense. Maybe he just wanted to create a mysterious figure? If I'm remembering right the employees play along with the mystery and say "he's real enough."

    You found a lot of good stuff!!:o This whole topic still really intrigues me and I'm glad people are still trying to figure it out.

    koteks posted: »

    Hopefully people are still interested in this because I am also still looking for answers. I have a bit more info, not much, but hopefully s

  • Thank you all for the info and links! I agree with the Lego confirmation. You guys rock. I’ve been keeping this link handy just in case I find stuff/ to stay updated.

  • hi!! sorry if this comes off as irritating or anything, but do u remember which episode he sounds like max in?? im really interested in this thread lol

    koteks posted: »

    Hopefully people are still interested in this because I am also still looking for answers. I have a bit more info, not much, but hopefully s

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