Dana Snyder is known by millions as the voice of the character Master Shake
on the cult hit Adult Swim
television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force
. Well, let me clarify. His character Master Shake
is known by millions on Aqua Teen Hunger Force
. Yet, nobody really seems to know very much about the guy behind the voice of the cup, much less know his name.
Even if most ATHF fans bought the two DVD releases of the show which feature commentary tracks with Dana and photographs and footage of Dana in the studio, they've heard little about the actual man that is Dana Snyder besides the fact that he is an improvisation nut during "Aqua Teen" recording sessions and that he "mostly does theatre."
While place and date of birth and many other biographical factors are missing, I've managed to dig up quite a bit on the superb talent behind that purple straw, white cup and those yellow gloves.
Dana Snyder studied at the St. Louis Conservatory of Theatre Arts and attended college at nearby Webster University. Dana's first documented professional acting credit was in summer 1996 at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's production of The Caine Mutiny.
In 1998, he joined the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre that held numerous shows every summer in the large town of Holland, Michigan right on the shore of Lake Michigan. While he had and still maintains a permanent residence in New York City, Snyder would perform and continues to perform every summer with the Hope company out west. In that first summer alone, Snyder appeared in The Odd Couple, Johnny Pye and turned in a brilliant performance in The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged). In the following years, he would go on to appear in two to three full length productions every summer. Such as The Mystery of Irma Vepp, The Game of Love and Chance, Guys and Dolls, Rumors, Sylvia and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Yet while Snyder does most of his true passion work on a theatre in Michigan, he spends the other three seasons as a working (or work seeking) New York actor. His New York highlights include directing the quirk-filled Halloween special Hell in a Handbasket in 2001 and 2002 and the variety show Idiots Tonight. And while he has acted in only one major New York City production, a production of Happy End at the Horace Mann Theatre, Snyder enjoyed his biggest New York success last December. An Enola Gay Christmas, a one-hour show which Dana directed, was called "The most bizarre holiday-themed show this season in New York" by Playbill Magazine.
And while Michigan and New York City are Snyder’s most frequented placed when performing, he directed, produced and performed in The Burleycue! A Burlesque Spectacular in Las Vegas in 2000.
He is currently appearing in three shows this summer with the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre: Art, Bye Bye Birdie and Rounding Third. He is a member of the Actor's Equity Association.
In 2000, Dana met Dave Willis through a girl that Dana met at the St. Louis Conservatory of Theatre Arts who attended high school with Dave. Willis told Synder about a show that he had in the works called Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He went to Williams Street in Atlanta, headquarters for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming and read the mall scene from the first episode Rabbot. Dave was impressed with Synder because he had the whiny aspect that the other talent they evaluated didn't have.
Snyder has played Master Shake on Aqua Teen Hunger Force since its 2000 premiere. And yes, he does use what is practically his own voice for the character. His character of Master Shake has also guested on an episode of The Brak Show ("New Year's Eve Party at Brak's House") and Sealab 2021 ("Murphy Murph and the Feng Shui Bunch"). He is also slated to voice Granny Squid on the new Adult Swim original Squidbillies. Not to mention Dana could be seeing his film debut as ATHF co-creator Matt Maiellaro has been shopping an Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The Movie script around Hollywood.
Numerous articles from The Holland Sentinel www.thehollandsentinel.net
Talkin’ Broadway http://www.talkinbroadway.com
November 18th, 2003 Playbill Magazine article “An Enola Gay Christmas Sends Up TV Christmas Shows, Mixing Fact and Fission, Dec. 4-28” by Kenneth Jones
Cincinnati City Beat article “Handling the Truth Playhouse offers a solid, taut take on a classic courtroom drama” by Dale Doerman (unknown 1996)
Interview with Matt Maiellaro and Dana Synder at the San Diego Comic Con on UGO.com