Sam Riegel is an American voice actor widely known for his role in the 2003 series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sam’s voice acting repertoire spans film, television, anime and video games and is both impressive and extensive. In some of his many roles, Sam is occasionally credited as Jack Lingo and in his early career he was known as Sam Brent Riegel. There is, however, more to the man than his voice. His background is in theatre and comedy and he is regularly credited as a writer and a director.
From an early age, performance was a huge part of Sam Riegel’s life. As a child, he performed in a lot of smaller theatre productions before landing a role in the Les Misérables national tour when he was 11 years old. As a teenager, his theatre work continued as he dipped in and out of school. At the age of 14, he travelled to New York to join a Broadway production of The Sound of Music. Whilst he was in the city he attended a specialist performing arts high school, graduating in 1994.
Anime, of course
Like many voice actors, Sam Riegel has done more than his fair share of anime voice over. He started at nine years old, so perhaps he had a bit of a head start on some of his peers. The list of shows and movies he has worked on is very long and a lot of the earlier credits are a little obscure (to me at least), but he has worked on popular titles like Yu-Gi-Oh! (Tristan, Rex Raptor, Arkana, Para, Blaze – GX), Pokémon (Chico)and Naruto (Zaku Abumi, Shino Aburame) to name just a few. More recently, he has voiced Metal Bat in One Punch Man and Furio Tigre in the Ace Attorney series.
In 2003, Riegel became the voice of Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which continued until 2009. In that time he worked on several seasons, including “Ninja Tribunal”, “Fast Forward” and “Back to the Sewer”. Staying within the franchise, Sam also voiced Donatello and other smaller parts in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games. He even wrote all of the cutscenes in TMNT: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled.
The list of video games that Sam Riegel has contributed his voice to is a long one. It dates back to 2004, but he really picked up his pace with video game voice over in 2008. Sam has voiced characters in popular game franchises like Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Fallout, and Gears of War. He provided the voice for his Yu-Gi-Oh! characters Rex Raptor, Arkana and Para in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and even appears in court as Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney. Oh, and let’s not forget Ratchet & Clank, Transformers, Pillars of Eternity and Guild Wars. If you are even a lightly invested gamer you are likely to have heard his voice somewhere.
Sam is a lovable member of the Critical Role cast, alongside Dungeon Master Matt Mercer, Marisha Ray, Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Talesin Jaffe, Liam O’Brien, and Ashley Johnson. He is quick to bring comic relief to the show when it is needed, in and out of character. In the first campaign he played the hyper-charismatic Gnome Bard, Scanlan Shorthalt, who parted ways with the group, Vox Machina. Sam continued as a cast member with a new character, Taryon Darrington. In Campaign 2, he played the endearing drunk Goblin, Nott the Brave, who is later revealed to be his current character; a Halfling named Veth.
Sam’s background in improvised comedy features in most episodes, as he makes his way through the sponsor segment for D&D Beyond. The segment, which is often filled with tongue-in-cheek humour and double entendre, is usually met with groans of disbelief from Sam’s cast mates, but it is much loved by fans of the show and certainly something that shouldn’t be missed.
If you want to dive a little deeper into Sam’s career and personal life, you can! Check out his episode of Between the Sheets with Brian W. Foster.
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