Bill Farmer is an American voice actor and comedian, who is known for his role of being the current voice of the Disney character Goofy since 1987. He is also the current voice of Pluto and Horace Horsecollar.
Farmer’s first job, at the age of 15, involved doing voices, especially those of Western stars like John Wayne or Walter Brennan. He and his friends would sometimes go through fast food drive-thrus and order foods in his character voices. Bill attended the University of Kansas, and is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. In college, he found work in radio and TV and then moved on to stand-up comedy as an impressionist until he moved out to Hollywood, where he began voicing Goofy in January 1987. In 1982, while he was still doing stand-up comedy, Farmer worked at a comedy club called the Comedy Corner in Dallas, Texas. He continued to work there until his move to Hollywood in 1986.
His decision to move to California came from a Dallas commercial agent who suggested that, given his talent for voices, he should try his luck in California. He was recently married, but he and his wife talked it over and came to an arrangement. She stayed back in Dallas while he commuted for a year after he got an apartment. Then four months after his moving out to Hollywood, his agent asked him if he could do any Disney characters.
In 1987, he had a small part as reporter Justin Ballard-Watkins in the film RoboCop.
Farmer’s very first voice over audition was for Goofy. When he auditioned for the voice, he studied the way the original actor Pinto Colvig performed as Goofy in the classic cartoons. He studied the hilarious laugh and the distinctive “gawrsh”. He inherited the voice of Goofy (and also Pluto) around the same time Tony Anselmo inherited Donald Duck and Wayne Allwine and Russi Taylor did likewise for Mickey and Minnie Mouse, respectively.
He originated the voice of Horace Horsecollar in Disney’s version of The Prince and the Pauper and has played him ever since as well. Farmer also performed additional voices on The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse (1987) and Astro Boy (2004).
Other significant characters he has played include Yosemite Sam, Sylvester and Foghorn Leghorn in the movie Space Jam (1996). He has also done several guest voices, both on TV, including The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and in video games, including the Destroy All Humans! series, Namco’s Tales of Symphonia, where he voiced Governor-General Dorr, in Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts series reprising the role of Goofy, Detective Date in the SEGA game Yakuza, Captain Wedgewood and Frill Lizard in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, many voices on EverQuest II, Cletus Samson, Floyd Sanders, Jeff Meyers and Ryan LaRosa in the video game Dead Rising and Sam and others in the cult classic adventure game Sam & Max Hit the Road.
Farmer has also played Secret Squirrel on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in both the animated series and its spin-off video game, Stinkie in Casper: A Spirited Beginning and Casper Meets Wendy, Willie Bear in Horton Hears a Who! and Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in Robot Chicken.
As of 2014, he played Doc, the leader of the title characters in Disney’s animated television series The 7D. He also voiced Blackhoof Boar Clan Leader in the 2008 video game Kung Fu Panda Bill Farmer still regularly performs comedy routines at the Laugh Factory.