The Surprising Voices Behind Cartoon Characters
Last week we asked you to give us a few of your favorite surprising identities behind cartoon voiceovers. After checking out your terrific comments, we present a few voiceover artists you might not have suspected.
Brad Garrett as Hulk Hogan
When the then-WWF expanded into Saturday morning cartoons with Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling in 1985, it actually got the Hulkster himself to appear in the show's live-action sequences. Hogan wasn't going to be caught dead near the animated sequences, though, so a young Brad Garrett picked up his voice duties. Apparently nobody cared that Hulk Hogan and Brad Garrett don't sound anything like each other. Watch the incredible opening credits, then hear Garrett spark a little Hulkamania:
James Avery as Shredder
Here's one you might have missed when you were a kid: the voice of Shredder in the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon was none other than James Avery, better known as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Uncle Phil has actually displayed his booming voice in quite a few animated shows, including voicing the late Junkyard Dog in the aforementioned Rock 'n' Wrestling. Here's a video of Avery talking about the profound levels he found in the Shredder character. (Yes, really.)
The Entire Cast of Captain Planet and the Planeteers
This eco-friendly cartoon did more than just teach kids the hazards of pollutions; it showcased some top-flight vocal talent. Get a load of this cast: LeVar Burton as Kwame, Whoopi Goldberg as Gaia, Ed Asner as Hoggish Greedly, James Coburn as Looten Plunder, Meg Ryan as Dr. Blight, Tim Curry as MAL, Dean Stockwell as Duke Nukem, John Ratzenberger as Rigger, Martin Sheen as Sky Sludge, Sting as Zarm, and Jeff Goldblum as Verminous Skumm. Here's a clip that highlights Ryan, Stockwell, and, of course, the greatest green mullet of all time:
Jaleel White as Sonic the Hedgehog
When everyone's favorite ring-collecting hedgehog jumped from the Sega Genesis to cartoons with 1993's The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, he picked up an odd voice: Steve Urkel's. Jaleel White of Family Matters fame voiced the spiny protagonist for all 30 episodes of the show's run. He shows up at about the one-minute mark in this clip:
Carlos Alazraqi as Rocko
You might know Carlos Alazraqui from his run as Deputy James Garcia in the first five seasons of Reno 911!, but he's had quite the voiceover career. He voiced the titular wallaby on Rocko's Modern Life, Mr. Weed on The Family Guy, and the Taco Bell chihuaha. Here's Deputy Garcia voicing Rocko:
William Conrad as the narrator of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Modern audiences might remember Conrad as District Attorney J.L. "Fatman" McCabe on the CBS crime drama Jake and the Fatman. They might not know that the Fatman brought his baritone pipes to the narration of Rocky and Bullwinkle from 1959 until the show's demise in 1964.
Alan Young as Scrooge McDuck
Young's name may not be the most familiar, but he famously provided the voice of everyone's favorite talking horse, Mr. Ed. Young has another famous voice role, too; he has been voicing Scrooge McDuck since 1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol. Compare the two voices:
Fergie as Sallly Brown
Long before she became the pop star Fergie, Stacy Ferguson voiced Charlie Brown's sister Sally in the short-lived CBS cartoon The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show from 1983 until 1985. Have a listen:
Phil Hartman as Mr. Wilson and Dennis the Menace's Dad
The animated Dennis the Menace series only ran from 1986 until 1988, but it had some interesting vocal talent. Dennis' voice came from Brennan Thicke, son of Growing Pains star Alan Thicke and older brother of singer Robin Thicke. The real draw, though, was that Phil Hartman voiced grumpy neighbor Mr. Wilson for the entire first season in addition to voicing Dennis' dad.
Richard Moll and Mark Hamill as Two-Face and the Joker
The early 90s Batman series brought the heat when it came to voicing the villains. Moll (Bull from Night Court) lent his vocal talents to Harvey Dent, while Luke skywalker himself voiced the Clown Prince of Crime. Here's a quick clip of Moll as Two-Face, as well as an interview with Hamill and the producers talking about the Joker character: