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Interview with Jason Jensen - Transformers Generation 1 Season 5's Tommy Kennedy

Posted on 01-05-2013 at 06:51 AM by Sol Fury under Generation 1
Puppetpmprime
One of the great mysteries of the Transformers fandom, up until now, was what happened to Jason Jansen, the child actor who played Tommy Kennedy in the little-known fifth season of Transformers Generation 1 - the rerun season which introduced each episode with bridge segments featuring Jason Jansen as Tommy Kennedy interacting with an animatronic Powermaster Optimus Prime.

That mystery has finally been opened up, as Jason Jansen - or rather, Jason Jankowski, as Jason Jansen was his stage name - has got in touch with davidaschulz of the Digest my Brain blog and given a rare interview, shedding some light on the fifth season of Transformers Generation 1 - how he got into working on Transformers, what the experience was like, and even some on-set stories.

Check out the full interview on Digest my Brain here.
Views: 4,826 / Credit: Nevermore of the 2005 Boards!
Rogzilla
Geez. I saw the Title and thought it was a Amber Alert thing or something.
Nevermore
I wouldn't post such a thing in the Transformers section.
Autobot Burnout
That's incredible.
Shockwave9227
Wow, just wow.
Rodimus Major
Now we need to find out where the animatronic Powermaster Prime is.
Billzilla
Holy smokes. It's a proud day for Transfandom.
Kevin XI
Yay
Galaxy Convoy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodimus Major View Post
Now we need to find out where the animatronic Powermaster Prime is.
Probably resting in peace in a landfill somewhere out there.
PrimusVsUnicron
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galaxy Convoy View Post
Probably resting in peace in a landfill somewhere out there.
then someone must find it
ssjkazer
That was cool
Icespark
That is an astoundingly impressive article! Congratulations and a huge thank you to all involved! I love seeing mysteries solved!

I hope Mr. Jansen is able to forward more stories about the filming; I love behind-the-scenes stuff!
Omegatron
I thought it'd be a female child actress who was now a man.
Maximo Prime
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
I wouldn't post such a thing in the Transformers section.
Granted, but someone who doesn't know you would still throw up red flags upon seeing the title. God knows people post in wrong spots all the time anyway - to someone who doesn't know Nevermore, you could be just another one of those people. Just saying, that title *could* have been worded a smidge better. Thanks for the link, though!
soundwaverulls
Oh cool, someone found him.
StayingInTheBox
No fucking way so cool!
llamatron
Awesome.

Botcon 2013 guest? Hall of Fame inductee?
LemonPrime
Very cool! That was a good read. Thanks for sharing.

25 years from now, somebody should track down that kid from the "Daaaaaaad, can I borrow the Transformer?" video Hasbro...graced...us with from a couple of years ago.
T4mercustomz
Quick someone update the tfwiki page about him!
NGW
I honestly have no clue what the fuck any of this is about...
Aernaroth
Neat! Good for him!
SPLIT LIP
Mission accomplished.

I'm just glad he's made it and not, like, down on his luck. Grats to being a self-made man, Tommy-T.
Billzilla
Quote:
Originally Posted by NGW View Post
I honestly have no clue what the fuck any of this is about...
Back in the day Hasbro produced a fifth season to the G1 cartoon that was just repackaged episodes from earlier seasons. The only new content was the bumper segments before and after every commercial which featured Powermaster Prime talking to a kid named Tommy Kennedy. Legend has long held that this material has never been rereleased (as DVD bonus material or what have you) because nobody could find the guy who played Tommy until today- Jason Janson/Janowski.

So it's been kind of a mystery for several years. As a group, we tend to keep tabs on everyone who had even a peripheral involvement in the series, so Jason's absence was notable even for people who had no particular interest in the segments themselves.
Cyclonus79
Quote:
Originally Posted by NGW View Post
I honestly have no clue what the fuck any of this is about...
Don't feel bad. This is all a first for me too. Kinda embarrassing cause I'm pretty old lol.
guard convoy
The dude just seems like a really awesome guy

and if anyone wants to see a clip from season 5, I know this copy of "The Touch" music video has a clip of it:

http://youtu.be/GZPjrOgFpWI
Takeshi357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
Turns out his real name is Jason Jankowski, "Jansen" was just a stage name, and he quit acting and grew up to become an ABC Television exec.
And judging from the picture, he's hanging out with John Locke!
bellpeppers
Quote:
Originally Posted by NGW View Post
I honestly have no clue what the fuck any of this is about...
Here:
Transformers: Generation One Season 5 Footage - YouTube
In the 1st minute you'll see the kid in question.
encline
Soo this is cool..and I could see why I never watched season 5...well, it never aired right?
moreprimeland
Nice find....both the story and the man.
Nevermore
Quote:
Originally Posted by encline View Post
Soo this is cool..and I could see why I never watched season 5...well, it never aired right?
If it didn't air, even less people would know about it.

It aired some time in 1988.

Again, it featured no new cartoon content, just these live action segments with a Powermaster Optimus Prime animatronic and Jason Jansen as Tommy Kennedy.
Hicks_Royel
I remember this kid being at all the commercial breaks during the TF Movie when it aired on TV some time in the past. My friend had taped it and we'd watch it from time to time as kids. To say that I care what happened to him though would be to greatly exaggerate my concern.

But yes, I would like to know what happened to the only known version of a flying G1 Prime.
Josh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogzilla View Post
Geez. I saw the Title and thought it was a Amber Alert thing or something.
lol, same here

pretty nifty interview though!

thats one fandom collective grail down!
Takeshi357
Now let's see if we can track any of those big winners from the numerous Transformers contests from the 80's who won prizes bigger than toys. Like that Transformers birthday party one!
RKillian
The interviewer could've used an editor. This seems like a bigger deal than a weekly update on Beast Hunters still being out soon.
DJW107PRIME
Ah the memories.
bookwormdalek
Now if we could only find that Hot Rod Go-Cart contest prize....
destrongerlupus
Wow! I didn't think we'd ever track him down. Looking forward to reading the article, hope he's doing better than the "Fearless Fotog" kid is rumored to have turned out....
REMINATOR
I was kind of reluctant to click this thread because of the title, but glad I did. After all these years, I didn't know he live right at my backyard in the Bronx. Fordham University is only a couple of block where I live when he attended there. Well, glad one mystery is shot down
ken8kuhletz08
I never knew the Transformers Universe was so... interesting.
Dolf
That was awesome, good find.

Loved the link to the official "The Touch" video from the Animated Movie, honestly was first time seeing that!
Backscatter
This is awesome news and a great beginning to 2013. I'd welcome Mr. Jason Jansen at any convention.
Spyne98
He lived in Middletown!? I work there! lol
Shark Jumper
I think we all want a powermaster prime animatronic whose hand we can sit on.
DisThunder
Dr Wu needs to get crackin' on a Tommy Kennedy.
Starfire22
It's always nice to see some TF mystery/myth uncovered.
SilverOptimus
Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonPrime View Post
Very cool! That was a good read. Thanks for sharing.

25 years from now, somebody should track down that kid from the "Daaaaaaad, can I borrow the Transformer?" video Hasbro...graced...us with from a couple of years ago.
Actually, he's a friend of mine online. I'll let him know if you guys are searching for him one-day.
Insane Galvatron
Now we just need Shout Factory to get in touch with this guy and get permission to release the footage of him in a Season 5 DVD set.
Billzilla
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevermore View Post
If it didn't air, even less people would know about it.

It aired some time in 1988.

Again, it featured no new cartoon content, just these live action segments with a Powermaster Optimus Prime animatronic and Jason Jansen as Tommy Kennedy.
It was also rerun in various markets until at least 1991- which is when I saw it- usually in marathons surrounding airings of TF:TM on rainy weekend afternoons before we had cable.
jackgaughan
He comes off as a really nice guy in this interview, I think we will see the segments release on DVD, and get a visit from him at Botcon.
grimlock1972
Awesome find. It definitely would be awesome for him to make it to Botcon.


and now i want a Human alliance Powermaster Optimus prime with Tommy Kennedy figure

Continue: Interview with Jason Jensen - Transformers Generation 1 Season 5's Tommy Kennedy Discussion on the 2005 Boards!

 
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