As Dan Povenmire walked on stage in front of the nearly-full Hall Auditorium, hundreds of students clapped, hooted and hollered. The ovation lasted more than a minute.
Students were excited to see the co-creator of the hit show, “Phineas and Ferb,” an animated Disney show that touched the lives of many from Generation Z, which includes most college students. Povenmire also voiced Dr. Doofenshmirtz, a fan-favorite character on the show.
Povenmire was the first guest of this school year’s lecture series at Miami University. The kickoff sold out days before the lecture.
“[‘Phineas and Ferb’] is so beloved by your generation for so long,” said Povenmire to the crowd of students. “I get misty thinking about it. It’s really great, but I try to stay in that grateful space.”
Fans emphasized how much they loved the show with the enthusiasm they brought to the event. Some even dressed up as their favorite characters for the event, like Noah Hieber, who dressed as Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
“He’s basically raised me, Dan Povenmire,” said the third-year theatre major. “‘Phineas and Ferb’ was a very big part of my childhood, and it was a massive inspiration.”
Most of the lecture focused on Povenmire’s life and how he got to “Phineas and Ferb.” He started drawing at a young age. In college, he had a comic, “Life Is a Fish,” in the school newspaper.
After college, Povenmire began to work on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and got a steady paycheck with “The Simpsons.”
He also worked on the Nickelodeon show “Rocko’s Modern Life” where he met his future “Phineas and Ferb” co-creator Jeff “Swampy” Marsh. Later, after that show ended, he made his way to “Family Guy,” where he storyboarded the show’s famous “Shipoopi” sequence.
All these were just stepping stones on Povenmire’s journey to pitching “Phineas and Ferb,” helping to shape the show.
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It was at the point in Povenmire’s timeline where the show had aired that he started to cry during the lecture. He explained what he had been hearing from executives and others who watched the show.
“I just want to tell you how much ‘Phineas and Ferb’ means to my family. It’s the one show we can watch together is what they said,” Povenmire said.
The show meant a lot to the students, too. Caleb Grammel, a sophomore integrated science education major, said he would not be where he is today without Povenmire’s influence.
“I watched ‘Phineas and Ferb’ as a kid, and I specifically watched the rollercoaster episode, and I thought it was cool, and that’s why I’m in physics,” Grammel said.
Povenmire paid students back for their enthusiasm throughout the lecture, doing his Doofenshmirtz voice, answering as many as he could of the 20-plus questions and even filming the crowd shouting, “Perry the platypus.” He also left students with this piece of advice:
“When your dreams come true working at any level, make sure you’re enjoying it at the same time.”
To see The Miami Student's interview with Povenmire, follow this link.