Daniel Kingsley “Dan” Povenmire is an American television director, writer, singer, producer, storyboard artist, creator, voice actor, and comedian. He is best known for co-creating the animated series Phineas and Ferb and Milo Murphy's Law. In voice acting, he is best known for providing the voice of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb. He also voices Vinnie Dakota in Milo Murphy's Law. In addition, Povenmire has been one of the main songwriters since the beginning of both series, along with co-creator Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and fellow writer Martin Olson.
Working on the Phineas and Ferb/Milo Murphy's Law Universe
Dan and Marsh began to develop an idea for a show of their own in 1993 called Phineas and Ferb. Phineas and Ferb grew a plot that was based on Povenmire’s childhood. At a Wild Thyme restaurant, Dan drew the first drawing of titular character Phineas on the butcher paper laid out on the table. This began a domino effect of different characters, and they both began pitching the show around. Though every network they went to turned it down due to its complexity, the two’s stubbornness caused them to not give up on it.
Not giving up on Phineas and Ferb, Dan continued to pitch the show around throughout his work on Family Guy. However, he was still being bested by each network’s worry of the awkward complexity they saw in the plot.
Dan’s persistence finally paid off. Marsh had recently returned from England, now going by the nickname “Swampy,” and the two proceeded in pitching the show to Disney. At first, Disney was uninterested, though they asked to keep Povenmire’s packet of the show. Povenmire considered it over, as that usually, as he stated, “means they throw it in the trash later.”
But Disney, however, thought otherwise, and actually considered the show. They asked them to “see if they could do it for 11 minutes,” which they did, and then officially decided to pick up the show. Now 16 years after the initial creation of Phineas and Ferb, it was officially greenlit.
Povenmire wrote a total of 11 episodes for the first season, directing nearly everyone. The show became a smash hit on the Disney Channel lineup, outranking shows like Hannah Montana and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Povenmire as well began voicing the show's main antagonist Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
Like on Family Guy, whenever Dan goes to work on Phineas and Ferb, he enjoys it, pretty much working “just to entertain themselves.” He draws 300 to 400 pages of work to keep the show going, presenting each storyboard to the Disney executives to get each episode produced. The songs he, Swampy, and writer Martin Olson write every Friday are, as he says, “their jab at immortality.”
After Phineas and Ferb aired their last episode, Dan and Swampy went to working on new series ideas to pitch to Disney Channel. The two came up with two spin-off shows to Phineas and Ferb. Those shoes were to be called "Doof 101" (a series focused on Doofenshmirtz trying to learn how to be good by teaching his daughters science class) and "The O.W.C.A. Files" (a series focused on Perry the Platypus teaching a new group of agents, including a reformed Doofenshmirtz). While Disney Channel didn't greenlight either series, they allowed Dan and Swampy to make both of the series planned pilots into Phineas and Ferb specials.
After Disney Channel rejecting their first two spin-off series', Dan began to think of a new show. While the two began creating the looks of the new characters, he fixated on a specific recurring character and decided to focus on that character. That character later became Milo Murphy.
As of 2009, Dan is married with two children. He has a young daughter named Isabella, for whom the character Isabella Garcia-Shapiro is named. He has a cat named Sprocket, who lives a “double life” with his neighbor, in order to get two helpings of food. This appears to be the inspiration for character Perry the Platypus. In early to mid-2010, he added his young daughter Melissa to the show as a young Fireside Girl about the age of 5-7. She made her first appearance in “We Call it Maze” and was later seen in a clip in “Phineas’ Birthday Clip-O-Rama!”, as well as a crowd scene from "Happy Birthday, Isabella". He also had the inspiration of Melissa added into for Melissa Chase from Milo Murphy's Law.
- Dan has been in the music business as well since he started a band in USC that performed in bars and concerts.
- Dan voices the character Heinz Doofenshmirtz. During production for the Season 2 episode “Elementary My Dear Stacy”, he developed a cold and wasn’t able to voice him until after animation when his cold cleared.
- He has been an extra voice in episodes like “The Fast and the Phineas”; “Let’s Bounce” et ali. and provided the voice of Candace Flynn in the episode “Jerk De Soleil.” (Candace’s voice was low and gravely due to an allergic reaction to wild parsnips.)
- Dan is left handed.
- Dan is the best at ping pong among the crew members.
- There are several references to Dan throughout both of his shows:
- The city of Danville is named after him.
- The character Danny named and designed after him.
- Isabella Garcia-Shapiro is named after his daughter.
- His likeness is used in one of the announcers in “The Fast and the Phineas”
- Also in “The Fast and the Phineas,” a sign that one of the race cars crashes into is labeled Poven-Lube Motor Oil, undoubtedly a play off of his last name.
- A doctor in the surgical theater shown during Technology vs. Nature resembles Dan ("Perry Lays an Egg").
- The camera operator for Let’s All Dance Until We’re Sick in “Nerdy Dancin’” bears a resemblance to Dan, and appears to be the same as the doctor in the surgical theater.
- He appears with other staff in the episode “The Mom Attractor.”
- He appears as a member of Scott the Undergrounder's band in the episode "Battle of the Bands".
- He can be seen holding a clipboard smiling at Milo running the race (possibly showing that he is proud of the show) in the episode "The Race".
- He appears several times in "Pace Makes Waste" as a citizen watching the race in the bleachers.
- A younger version of himself is seen accidentally programing the "Screech Owls" to kill all the humans in the episode "The Goulash Legacy".
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