Interview: Rachel Ramras

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Every Monday at 10:30 PM on Adult Swim, you can watch the gloriously ridiculous Mike Tyson Mysteries. How else can you possibly describe a program that features a retired boxing legend solving mysteries and punching Chupacabras? It’s a show that should be watched by everyone. But it’s not just the subject matter than makes the show work so well. It’s the relationship between the characters who all come from exceptionally diverse backgrounds. The father-daughter bond between Mike Tyson and Yung Hee especially is bound to be a central focus.

We published our interview with one half of that pairing last week. Now I’m here to present the other side: Rachel Ramras. As a member of The Groundlings, a troupe where many famous comedians got their start including fellow cast member Jim Rash, Ramras is well versed in comedy. She’s spent most of her career as a writer but has done a few acting and voice acting gigs in the past as well for shows like Mad and The Looney Tunes Show.

We spoke with her at Comic Con in a round table interview where she discussed playing Tyson’s adopted Korean daughter, how she prepares for her role, and what it’s like working with a boxing superstar.

Photo Credit: Adult Swim
Photo Credit: Adult Swim

Can you tell us about your role on the show?

Rachel Ramras: I play Yung Hee Tyson, who is Mike’s adopted Korean daughter. I was left on his doorstep when I was a baby and he’s raised me ever since.

How did you feel when you found out about this role?

RR: Psyched! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Mike Tyson Mysteries?! With Jim Rash and Norm MacDonald, it’s kind of dreamy.

Do you all record together?

RR: Mike lives in Vegas so Hugh (Davidson) will usually fly there to record him. We’ve done one or two together, but Norm, Jim, and I all record in a booth together, which is very fun. We stick to the script but there is room for a little bit of improv. I mean, when you have Norm and Jim, you want to make sure they have freedom to go off script.

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Did you do any preparation for the voice or did you have an idea of what she was going to sound like from the beginning?

RR: I gargled (laughs) and then I just started talking. The beauty is, obviously, she was adopted as a baby so she’s not going to have an accent. I just try and bring realness to the character, try and do my best acting, because Mike is very real and very honest in his performance. He’s just playing a version of himself and he’s very sincere. We try and keep the performances fairly grounded since the show itself is so crazy.

Many summaries out there say the show draws influences from classic mystery shows like Scooby-Doo and
Mister T. Would you say these two programs are the main inspiration or were there a lot of other things that influenced it?

RR: That’s probably accurate. I think Yung Hee is a bit of a Velma (laughs). Mike’s a fan of those Hanna-Barbera shows so visually it certainly has that look. We swear a lot in this show and there’s nudity, animated nudity everyone’s favorite, so it’s different in that sense, but I think there obviously are parallels.

Is there a favorite episode that you shot so far?

RR: Yeah! There’s one where someone writes and says they’re afraid they might be a werewolf, and they need Mike and the team’s help. So I go on a date with him when he’s just a man and then he turns into a werewolf, and it has a fun, surprise ending. That may or may not involve murder.

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Are there any celebrity or guest appearances that we have to be on the lookout for?

RR: Maybe! I would imagine once this show starts airing, celebs will come clamoring. Mike has some celeb friends we’d be happy to incorporate into some of the scripts. I feel like I heard someone say something about Run DMC. Jimmy Kimmel I know wants to do something.

What’s your favorite personality trait or characteristic about Yung Hee?

RR: I like the antagonist relationship that she has with Pigeon. Pigeon is very disgusting, filthy, crude, and crass, and my character is kind of a good girl so I think she is horrified and disgusted by him. And he likes to say hideous things to her so I think that dynamic is fun (laughs).

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?

RR: My favorite cartoon growing up? Tom and Jerry!

What is the most surprising aspect of working on this show for you?

RR: Mike’s performance. I think no one really knew what we were going to get, but he tries really hard and he’s really honest and genuine. He’s genuinely funny. This show is not making fun of him or poking fun at him. It’s really a celebration of this great man that he is. The person I’ve been meeting and the life he’s trying to lead is really positive. It’s sort of a celebration of that. He’s really funny, really funny. I’ll watch animatics back and I’ll think, “He’s so cute!” Is that what people usually say about Mike Tyson? He’s so cute!

Mike Tyson Mysteries airs tonight at 10:30pm on Adult Swim.

all image stills credit: adult swim.
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Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television and every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.

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