Jeff "Swampy" Marsh

born on 9/12/1960 in Santa Monica, CA, United States

Jeff "Swampy" Marsh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Jeff "Swampy" Marsh

Marsh at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con International
Born Jeffrey Marsh
December 9 1960
Santa Monica, California
Occupation Director, writer, producer, storyboard artist, and actor
Known for Phineas and Ferb, Rocko's Modern Life, The Simpsons

Jeff "Swampy" Marsh (born December 9, 1960) is an American television director, writer, producer, storyboard artist, and actor associated with several animated television series. Marsh was born in Santa Monica, California, where he grew up with a heavily blended family dynamic. Marsh has been and continues to be a driving force behind several animation projects, working for over six seasons on the animated television series The Simpsons. Marsh continued to work on other animated television series, including King of the Hill and Rocko's Modern Life, before moving to England in 1996.

While in England, Marsh worked on several animated programs, including Postman Pat and Bounty Hamster, and worked for BKN New Media Ltd. to produce several feature films. After six years living in England, Marsh was asked by his longtime partner Dan Povenmire to help produce Phineas and Ferb in 2007, a concept the two had while working together on Rocko's Modern Life. Marsh accepted and moved back to the United States; the series has since garnered Marsh two Emmy Awards nominations for songwriting. According to an original pitch extra of Phineas and Ferb, he prefers having "Swampy" in his name, because it made his name 15 letters long and longer than most other people's names.

Early life

Jeff "Swampy" Marsh was born on December 9, 1960, in Santa Monica, California.[1][2] Marsh was raised in a large and complicated blended family, which included his stepfather Bill. Growing up, he never felt the dynamic was treated in the media coherently enough to make it seem "normal," which Marsh felt was unjustified since the majority of his friends were from either divorced or blended familial structures.[3]

Marsh spent his summer vacations being active, going outside and digging trenches and tunnels, building tree houses, and constructing forts.[4] He and his family were engrossed in several musical activities,[5] with musical background dating back to Les Brown, Marsh's grandfather.[6] His household was filled with several different musical instruments and over the years, Marsh learned to play the banjo, trombone, trumpet, and guitar. As Marsh recalls, he would "sing into fake microphones and create full rock bands with [his] friends and family."[5]

In both high school and college, Marsh took architectural drawing courses and also took part in a few theater productions, which each helped him understand the view of a set builder.[7]


Early career

As an adult, Marsh became a vice president of sales and marketing for a computer company. One day, he "freaked out" and decided to quit. A friend of his helped him put together a portfolio and go into the animation business.[6] He eventually found himself working on the animated television series The Simpsons as a background layout artist in 1990.[7] Marsh worked on the series for over six seasons and three episodes he helped produce won Emmy Awards.[2] To help him with his animation efforts on the show, Marsh utilized several books about art, architecture design, and artistic rendering which he kept in his household library.[8] His desk in the series' office placed him opposite of fellow layout artist Dan Povenmire; the two bonded over shared tastes in humor and music and quickly formed a friendship.[4]

By 1993, Marsh was working as a writer and director on Nickelodeon's animated series Rocko's Modern Life[2] the channel's first "in house" cartoon production[9][10][11] for four seasons.[2] He found himself working alongside Povenmire again, this time as a writing partner,[4] a choice Marsh claimed was made by the crew in hopes of making Povenmire's neatness offset his own sloppy storyboarding.[6] The pair developed a distinctive style, including in their stories characteristic musical numbers and chase scenes.[12] Together they won an Environmental Achievement Award for a 1996 Rocko episode they had written.[2][13]

In 1996, Povenmire and Marsh conceived the series Phineas and Ferb,[14] based on their similar experiences of childhood summers spent outdoors. Povenmire went through several unsuccessful pitches to get the series picked up.[4] In 1997, Marsh was hired as one of the first artists for the Fox Network animated series King of the Hill,[15] serving as both a storyboard artist and designer.[2]

Move to England

After working on Rocko in 1996, Marsh moved to London, England, which he considered to be "absolutely fantastic."[16] Marsh spent six years in the city,[2] working on several animated television productions which included Postman Pat and Bounty Hamster,[16] along with other projects produced by major companies BBC, ITV and Carlton TV.[2] He also served as a large contributor and producer for several British feature films, working for the company BKN New Media Ltd.[2]

Around 2005, Povenmire contacted Marsh, notifying him that a pitch for Phineas and Ferb had been somewhat successful and The Walt Disney Company had shown interest in producing the series but wanted to see an eleven-minute pilot.[12][17] Marsh immediately accepted and began packing.[16] He had already booked a vacation to Los Angeles, while Povenmire had plans to travel to France; while Povenmire set up a sidetrack to travel to England, Marsh flew down to Los Angeles for two days where he devised a plot outline for the episode "Rollercoaster." When Povenmire went to France, he drew the storyboards and plotted out how it would all come together, and then went to England where the pair touched up the dialogue and checked to make sure it came out how they had planned it.[17]

Phineas and Ferb

Main article: Phineas and Ferb

Marsh moved back to the United States where Disney accepted the pilot episode and ordered a full 26 episode season.[12][16] The pair still needed to convince overseas Disney executives to pick up the series, so instead of a conventional script, they recorded the storyboards for "Rollercoaster." Povenmire then spent time dubbing over it with his voice for each character, along with sound effects and narration. When the recording was sent to the executives, they accepted and the series was officially green lit for the company's cable network Disney Channel.[13][18] It officially began broadcast on February 1, 2008 and the cartoon name was called Phineas and Ferb.[19][20]

Marsh and Povenmire wanted to incorporate into the show the kind of humor they had developed in their work on Rocko's Modern Life. They included action sequences and, with Disney's encouragement, featured musical numbers in every episode after "Flop Starz".[12] Povenmire described the songs as his and Marsh's "jab at immortality",[14] but the pair have earned two Emmy nominations for Phineas and Ferb songs to-date.[6] A third Emmy nomination, for the episode "The Monster of Phineas-n-Ferbenstein" (2009),[21] pitted the show against SpongeBob SquarePants,[22] although neither nominee received the award due to an unspecific technicality.[23]

The distinctive style of Tex Avery influenced the show's artistic look, which includes geometric shapes in both the characters and the background. The style was determined by Povenmire's first sketch of title character Phineas Flynn, who he doodled on the butcher paper covering the table during dinner with his family in a restaurant in South Pasadena, California; he was so taken with the sketch he tore it out, kept it, and used it as the prototype for Phineas and the stylistic blueprint for the whole show.[16] Other than being an executive producer and co-founder, Marsh voices the character of Major Francis Monogram.[2][24] Marsh based his performance of the character on broadcast journalist and anchorman Walter Cronkite.[25]

After Phineas and Ferb concludes in the future, Marsh aspires to move back to England, where he has hopes of producing a new series.[15]

Personal life

Marsh currently lives in the city of Venice, California, where he frequently goes surfing. He has two children, who have borne him four grandchildren.[2] His nickname, "Swampy," was given to him while living in England after attending college in reference to his last name, "marsh."[16] He added the nickname as an intertitle in his credited and preferred name, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, as a means of making it longer than most other's names, at fifteen letters.[13]

See also


  1. Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. Zap2it. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Yoo, Jean. Producer Bios. Disney Channel Medianet. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  3. Robinson, Sherry (2009-04-18). Quick wit, funny characters drive Phineas and Ferb. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Strike, Joe (2008-02-01). From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 1.. Animation World Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-11-15.
  5. 5.0 5.1 H., Carly (2009-06-14). Summer Fun with Phineas, Ferb, Swampy, and Dan. Scholastic, Inc.. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Galas, Marjorie. Phineas and Ferb: Music, Mischief, And The Endless Summer Vacation. 411 News. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Greenspon, p. 91
  8. Greenspon, p. 92
  9. Neuwirth (2003), p. 50
  10. Neuwirth (2003), p. 252
  11. Neuwirth (2003), p. 253
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Strike, Joe. (2008-02-01). From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 2.. Animation World Magazine.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Povenmire, Dan. (2008), Original Pitch By Dan Povenmire, Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  14. 14.0 14.1 Perez, Lauren (2008-05-12). USC dropout makes it big in animation. Daily Trojan. Archived from the original on 2009-11-17. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Swampy's monster. C21 Media (2009-02-11). Archived from the original on 2011-02-05. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Strike, Joe (2008-02-01). From Swampy & Dan Emerges Phineas and Ferb", Page 3.. Animation World Magazine. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Larsen, Peter, 'Phineas and Ferb' rules kids' TV, The Orange County Register, 2009-11-07. URL accessed on 2011-02-05.
  18. Moore, Frazier (The Associated Press), 'Phineas & Ferb' adventurous, fun, Capital, 2008-01-25. URL accessed on 2011-02-05.
  19. Moore, Frazier (The Associated Press) (2008-02-01). "Disney brings retro vibe to its new cartoon series".
  20. Rogers, John (The Associated Press), 'Phineas' reshapes cartoon sitcom, The Record, 2008-02-08. URL accessed on 2011-02-05.
  21. Phineas and Ferb. Variety. Retrieved on 2009-08-06.
  22. Zahed, Ramin (2009-07-16). Phineas and Ferb Creators Talk About Emmy Nom!. Animation Magazine. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.
  23. Fujimori, Sachi. For Montvale Boy, It Was All Worth the Tux. California Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved on 2012-11-09.
  24. "Phineas and Ferb's Musical Cliptastic Countdown." Jon Barry (writer) & Dan Povenmire (director). Phineas and Ferb. 2009-10-12.
  25. Harrison, Donald H. (2009). A Phineas and Ferb kind of Comic-Con. San Diego Jewish World. Retrieved on 2011-02-05.


  • Greenspon, Jaq (2003). Careers For Film Buffs & Other Hollywood Types, McGraw-Hill.
  • Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies, Allworth Communications, Inc.

External links

  • Jeff "Swampy" Marsh at the Internet Movie Database
This page was last modified 04.12.2013 02:09:58

This article uses material from the article Jeff "Swampy" Marsh from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.