Buck Denver is a character created by Bill and Phil, who have a series of videos on YouTube called Buck Denver Asks Why? The videos are meant to teach kids Christian theology. In each episode, Buck goes on a journey to learn about a particular topic and share it with his friends.
Buck Denver Asks…What’s In the Bible?
Newscaster Buck Denver and his friends go on a wacky, wonderful, educational and musical journey through the whole Bible – from Genesis to Revelation! Learn how all the stories of the Bible fit together to tell God’s great rescue plan.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.|
Find sources: “Phil Vischer” – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (August 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Born||Philip Roger Vischer|
June 16, 1966 (age 56)
Muscatine, Iowa, U.S.
|Alma mater||St. Paul Bible College|
|Known for||VeggieTalesJellyTelly (renamed Minno in 2018)321 PenguinsLarryboy: The Cartoon AdventuresVeggieTales in the HouseVeggieTales in the CityThe VeggieTales ShowWhat’s in the Bible|
|Spouse(s)||Lisa Vischer (m. 1990)|
Phillip Roger Vischer (born June 16, 1966) is an American filmmaker, author, speaker, podcast host, animator, musician, puppeteer, and voice actor who created the computer-animated video series VeggieTales alongside Mike Nawrocki. He provided the voice of Bob the Tomato and about half of the other characters in the series. Currently, he owns a small film business, Jellyfish Labs, based in Wheaton, Illinois.
- 1Early life and education
- 3Personal life
- 5Published works
Early life and education
Phil Vischer was born June 16, 1966 in Muscatine, Iowa, United States, and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. For three semesters, Vischer attended St. Paul Bible College (currently known as Crown College); around that time, he also worked at a small Christian video production company.
According to Vischer’s 2005 autobiography, Me Myself and Bob, Vischer and his longtime friend Mike Nawrocki founded Big Idea Productions in the late 1980s as GRAFx Studios. It started out as a small business that used computer animation to make its films. Eventually, Phil Vischer and Nawrocki created VeggieTales and renamed the company to Big Idea Productions. The “Big Idea” for Vischer, was to teach children about right-from-wrong using God’s messages from the Bible. The characters they came up with were Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber. They chose vegetables to serve as the characters because they were easier to animate than human characters. A normal segment of VeggieTales would begin with both talking vegetables on a countertop receiving a letter from someone asking about a particular Christian topic (selfishness, fear, lying, sharing, etcetera) followed by two short stories about the topic. In the middle of the segment would be a silly song. Not only would Vischer and Nawrocki serve as the producers and directors of the show, but they would also voice most of the characters in the franchise (the most by Vischer).
The studio’s first big creation was 1993 direct-to-video VeggieTales episode “Where’s God When I’m S-Scared?” which was released on home video in late 1993. The video was a tremendous success and soon demand was high for sequels to the show. Big Idea’s next video was “God Wants Me To Forgive Them?!?” which was released in 1994 and included the help of their first professional voice actor Jeff Morrow. In 1995, the series’ third video, “Are You My Neighbor?”, was released and VeggieTales continued releasing at least one video per year and even released their own newsletter called “What’s the Big Idea?”. The series was an enormous hit and, by the late-1990s, had earned the company millions of dollars every year.
By 1999, Vischer slowly found himself running a company that was losing money due to a variety of circumstances. Their series continued being a hit in the market, but Vischer’s decision to take out a loan and produce their first full-length film, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, caused the company to slowly fall apart financially. To make things worse, Big Idea’s termination of their association with their long-time distributor Lyrick Studios (the company behind Barney & Friends and Wishbone), caused Lyrick’s parent company, HiT Entertainment to file a lawsuit against the company for “breach-of-contract”. Vischer offered to settle with HiT for $500,000 but, HiT declined and the case went to trial after the judge denied Big Idea’s motion for summary judgement. A jury ultimately ruled against Big Idea in 2003, awarding Hit & Lyrick $11M. Although the verdict was later overturned on appeal, the damage was done and Big Idea filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in summer of 2003. After Big Idea was purchased by Classic Media in 2004, Vischer further worked on VeggieTales under contract as a writer until 2009 (and continued to provide the voice of Bob and others until 2017, when his contract ended). Soon after Vischer’s departure, VeggieTales was cancelled.
After selling Big Idea, Phil Vischer took two years off to recuperate. He then started a brand-new production studio called Jellyfish Labs in order to launch his new business vision; JellyTelly, which he intended to be “a Nickelodeon for Christians.” Phil Vischer said in his book that he believed that his heart had turned from God while being CEO of Big Idea and that the company’s fall was a “wake-up call” and, because of this, Vischer limits his own power at Jellyfish Labs and allows God to “guide the company.”
In Late 2009, Vischer began production on a new spin-off series of his puppet show from JellyTelly entitled “What’s in the Bible”. “What’s in the Bible” is a 13-DVD series that walks children through the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. According to Vischer,”What’s in the Bible” teaches “Christianity in the same way Walt Disney taught America about space travel and “Our Friend the Atom” on TV in the 50s and 60s, and the same way Carl Sagan taught America about “The Cosmos” on PBS in the 80s”. Vischer hired renowned YouTubers Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal to write, sing, and perform several songs about the books of the Bible for the series. The series was distributed by Tyndale House Publishers. The 13 episodes of “What’s in the Bible ” were released between March of 2010 to March of 2014.
Beginning in 2012, Vischer began to host The Holy Post Podcast (formerly The Phil Vischer Podcast), a weekly podcast discussing life, pop-culture, media, and theology through the use of humor in what he characterizes as a “post-Christian” American culture. The podcast, co-hosted by writer and former Christianity Today editor Skye Jethani and actress Christian Taylor, provides thorough critiques of American Christians’ engagement with politics and the public square. It regularly ranks in the top 100 podcasts.
Revival of VeggieTales
See also: The VeggieTales Show
In March of 2019, Phil Vischer announced on his Twitter that he had re-teamed with his longtime partner Mike Nawrocki at TBN to revive the VeggieTales series. Just like previously, Vischer and Nawrocki would return to voice their characters and also work as writers for the new show. It marked the first time that Vischer had any control of the franchise since selling Big Idea at the end of 2003. At first, Vischer declined involvement in the TBN reboot until he realized that TBN intended to continue the concept of the original VeggieTales direct-to-video series, before it became a Dreamworks franchise.
In 2021, Vischer announced on Twitter that he and Nawrocki had departed from the franchise after being refused greater creative control by Big Idea Entertainment and claimed that the company was looking to recast their characters.
As the co-creator of VeggieTales, alongside Mike Nawrocki, he has voiced hundreds of characters. Among them being; Bob the Tomato, Archibald Asparagus, Pa Grape, Mr. Lunt, Jimmy Gourd, Mr. Nezzer, Philippe Pea and several others.
With JellyTelly he has been the puppeteer and voice of several characters including Buck Denver, Captain Pete, Helen Rosenfiddle, Sunday School Lady, and others.
Vischer currently lives in Wheaton, Illinois, located approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of Chicago. His wife Lisa provides voices to several characters in the VeggieTales series, most notably Junior Asparagus. They have three children.
|1993–2015||VeggieTales||Bob the Tomato, Archibald Asparagus, Mr. Lunt, Pa Grape, Jimmy Gourd, Mr. Nezzer, Phillipe Pea, Scallion 1, Frankencelery, Grandpa George, Annie’s Dad, Tom Grape, Apollo Gourd, Goliath, Percy Pea, Mad Scientist, Closet Monster #1, Sheep, Dad Pea, Dad Carrot, Silly Song Announcer, Fairie Peas, Cow Peas, Young Ebenezzer, Master, Irish Crowd, Sumo Men’s Choir, French Peas, Turtle Toobies, French Pea Brothers, Midianite Guard, Boo-Boo Birds, Mall Shopkeepers, Shoppers, Townspeople, Kid Phillip, DJ. (voice)||Co-creator, director, producer, writer and composer|
|2000–2009||3-2-1 Penguins!||N/A||Co-developer, writer, executive producer|
|2002||Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie||Archibald Asparagus (as Jonah and Twippo), Bob the Tomato, Mr. Lunt, Pa Grape, Percy Pea, Phillipe Pea, Nezzer, Cockney Pea 2, King Twistomer. (voice)||Director, writer and composer|
|2002-2003||Larryboy: The Cartoon Adventures||Alfred and Bob the Tomato (voice)||Co-creator, writer, executive producer|
|2006-2009||Veggietales on TV!||Bob the Tomato, Archibald Asparagus, Mr. Lunt, Jimmy Gourd, Pa Grape, and various other characters (voice)||Developer, writer, composer, executive producer|
|2008||The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie||George (Pa Grape), Sedgewick (Mr. Lunt), Willory (Archibald Asparagus), Mr. Hibbing (Mr. Nezzer), Bob the Tomato, Sir Frederick (Jimmy Gourd), Pirate Phillipe Pea, Pirate Spy (Scallion 1). (voice)||Writer, producer, and composer|
|2010–2014||What’s in the Bible?||Himself, Buck Denver, Clive, Ian, Sunday School Lady, Cap’n Pete, Dr. Schniffenhousen, Mercy, Michael, Pastor Paul, Chuck Wagon, Brother Louie, Agnes, and Winifred. (Voice/puppeteer)||Creator, director, producer, writer, and composer|
|2012–present||The Holy Post (formerly the Phil Vischer Poscast)||Himself/Co-Host||Co-creator and co-producer|
|2014–2016||VeggieTales in the House||Bob the Tomato, Archibald Asparagus, Pa Grape, Jimmy Gourd, Mr. Lunt, Rooney the Olive Dog, Phillipe Pea, Granny Asparagus, Corn Man (1), Customer #1, Air Corgi, Kid #2 (1), C.A.S.P.E.R., Radish Soldier #1 (1), Broccoli Mom, Radish Soldier #2 (2), Singing Money, Random Carrot (1), Murphy the Agent, Broccoli Customer, News Carrot, Carrot Kid (1), Radish A (3), Snap Pea, Corn Boy (1), Broccoli Girl, Fancy Carrot (1), Fancy Broccoli, Random Kid (1), Radish A (4), Newsman, Radish A (5), Baseball Player, Kid #1 (3), Kid #2 (3), Radio DJ #2, Radish A (8), Kevin the Radish, Radish B (6), JimmyBoy, Carrot Soccer Player #2, Fancy Carrot (2), Radish B (9), Giant Corn, SuperMato, HoP Computer, Random Carrot (8), Voice Inside Building, Bob Card, Radish (5). (voice)|
|2015||Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9||Buck Denver, Clive, Ian, Sunday School Lady, Marcy, Pastor Paul, Cap’n Pete, Aliens, Old Man. (Voice/puppeteer)||Director, producer and writer|
|2017||VeggieTales in the City||Bob the Tomato, Archibald Asparagus, Pa Grape, Jimmy Gourd, Mr. Lunt, Rooney the Olive Dog, Granny Asparagus, SuperMato, JimmyBoy, Philippe Pea, Radish A (1), Customer #1 (1), Corn Man (1), Radish A (2), Carrot Kid, Radish (1), Random Carrot (1), Random Corn (1), Broccoli Man on TV Commercial, Aprilcot’s Broccoli Henchman, Superhero Stat Computer, Kid Pea, Math Enthusiast Corn, Corn Person #1, Movie Character, Corn Kid #1, Corn Kid #2, Random Corn (3), Air Corgi, Pete, Random Carrot (2), Sheriff Boo Radish, Townfolk #3, Carrot Man (2), Broccoli Sax Player, Corn (1), Auctioneer Broccoli, Olive Dogs, Tired Veggie, Random Broccoli (2), Jack Corn, Carrot Guy. (voice)|
|2018–present||The Mr. Phil Show||Sam the Turtle, Carlo the Singing Hermit Crab, Johnny Cashew, and Mac Damon. (Voice)||Creator, writer, director, producer, composer|
|2019–present||The VeggieTales Show||Bob the Tomato, Archibald Asparagus, Mr. Lunt, Pa Grape, Jimmy Gourd, Phillipe French Pea, Goliath, Mr. Nezzer (some episodes), various voices (voice)||Co-Creator, Writer, Executive Producer, and Composer|
Books by Phil Vischer include the following:
- Junior’s Colors (1997) ISBN 0-8499-1487-6
- How Many Veggies? (1997) ISBN 0-8499-1488-4
- Pa Grape’s Shapes (1997) ISBN 0-8499-1507-4
- Bob & Larry’s ABC’s (1997) ISBN 0-8499-5986-1
- The Story of Flibber-o-Loo (1997)
- Rack, Shack and Benny (1997)
- Dave and the Giant Pickle (1997)
- Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space! (1997)
- Archibald’s Opposites (1998) ISBN 0-8499-1533-3
- Time for Tom (1998) ISBN 0-8499-1534-1
- A Snoodle’s Tale (2004) ISBN 0-310-70751-X
- Sidney & Norman: A Tale of Two Pigs (2005) ISBN 1-4003-0834-8
- Me, Myself, & Bob (2005) ISBN 0-7852-2207-3
- 47 Beavers On the Big Blue Sea (2007) ISBN 1-4003-0836-4
- I Thank God for This Day (2012)
- Why Do We Call it Christmas? (2014)
- What is Easter? (2015)
- The Laugh and Learn Bible For Kids (2019)
- The Laugh and Learn Bible For Little Ones (2020)