Mike Nawrocki, AKA Larry the Cucumber, Is Back!
By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor
VEGGIETALES captured children’s attention in the mid-1990s and early 2000s by dazzling viewers with wide-eyed singing, talking vegetables. The half-hour program shared Bible stories in unique, child-appropriate ways where morality always won in the end.
Through all the laughs, slushies and silly songs, serious Bob the Tomato and comical Larry the Cucumber hosted the program, instructing children in biblical virtues. Now, VEGGIETALES is back with new episodes to leave a mark on Christian and secular homes alike.
“What we’ve always tried to do with VEGGIETALES, is let the lesson emerge from the story naturally and not just add a layer of text over it,” Mike Nawrocki, who voices Larry, said.
“What the character is experiencing, they’re going through a journey where those values are coming out of the story,” he continued. “You feel like you’re watching a story and not being not being preached to. I think that’s the power of story because you can connect with people on an emotional level, and it’s meaningful for them, rather than just experiencing the story with a character. I think if you can do that effectively, that’s interesting to anyone.”
Nawrocki has been with VEGGIETALES creator and voice of Bob the Tomato, Phil Vischer since the series’ conception.
Initially, Nawrocki said he’d planned to become a missionary doctor, but his career path changed as he started a job with Vischer in a post-production video house.
“We decided to take what we had done with puppeting and writing and performing and infuse that into the brand-new art form of computer animation, which at that time was just in its infancy,” Nawrocki.
Here the wide-eyed hopping vegetables were born.
“We could use those characters to tell stories that can help the parents pass on biblical values to their kids,” Nawrocki said.
Nawrocki now has more than 70 VEGGIETALES credits to his name over the course of over two decades. In addition to voicing Larry and other miscellaneous vegetables, Nawrocki also wrote multiple “Silly Songs,” including “The Hairbush Song,” which are sung beyond Christian circles.
His latest credit is VEGGIETALES’ THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT, comes after a few years’ hiatus. Nawrocki is happy to lend his voice to the most famous cucumber once more.
“I’m just so excited to be making VEGGIETALES again,” Nawrocki said. “The last DVD we did was in 2016, when we put out the story of Noah, so to be working with the TBN team now, to be creating 26 new episodes has just been really exciting. I’m back in writing with Phil, and Kurt Heinecke, he’s doing the music. We’re just really, really excited. It’s been a great partnership and just love seeing VEGGIETALES back on the screen.”