Here at Warming Glow, I’ve made a habit of praising the brilliant voice work in “Archer,” particularly the dry, deadpan delivery of H. Jon Benjamin in the title role. Yet Benjamin is just as believable as the schlubby burger joint owner on “Bob’s Burgers” as he is an international super-spy. I realized that I don’t know jack about voice actors aside from a few names in the “Simpsons” credits, so I tapped Josh Kurp to make a list of ten names you should know. You may be surprised the way some of these people get around like HPV. They’ve got longer IMDb pages than Christopher Walken. –Ed.
The world knows him as Homer (and Grampa, and Mayor Quimby, and Groundskeeper Willie, and Barney Gumble, and Gil, and…), but Dan Castellaneta has done plenty of other voice work, including portraying another senile old man, Grandpa Phil on “Hey Arnold!” He was also Earl on “Cow and Chicken” and replaced better-known actors in animated series based on their famous films, like taking over for Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown in “Back to the Future: The Animated Series” and Robin Williams in “Aladdin.”
Not-So-Memorable Role: Partlow in My Giant
Richard Steven Horvitz
Four years after appearing in the ill-advised “The Monsters Today” (starring Jason “Not James” Marsden as Eddie Munster), Horvitz began his voice acting career as my second favorite talking TV robot: Alpha 5 from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” (note: if you combine all the various “Power Rangers” series, there have been over 700 episodes). This role largely required him to say “Aye-yi-yi-yi-yi!” a lot and sing “Deck the Halls” in Alpha’s Magical Christmas. After the show was canceled in 1995, he began a successful stint with Nickelodeon, voicing Daggett on “The Angry Beavers,” getting Beaver Fever in the process, and Zim on “Invader Zim,” as well as Billy on “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy”. (My favorite talking TV robot, by the way, is Karishma from “Karishma Kaa Karishma,” which I really should have included in my now incomplete remakes list.)
[Editor's picks for talking robots: Bender from "Futurama," the Robot from "Lost in Space," and Rosie from "The Jetsons." I won't be held responsible for Kurp's weird taste.]
Not-So-Memorable Role: Additional Voices in Mulan
I can’t be the only person who didn’t know that Spinelli from “Recess,” Bobby from “King of the Hill,” Lucky from “101 Dalmations: The Series,” and Marcy from “Californication” (as well as the woman who tells Louis C.K. that she fantasizes about hitting her son because she’s bored on “Louie”) are all the SAME PERSON. Adlon, who broke into the business playing Dolores in Grease 2, has had a crush on T.J. Detweiler as Spinelli, gotten gout as Bobby, had an episode banned because of 9/11 as Lucky, and had sex with this man as Marcy.
Not-So-Memorable Role: McNugget #3 in The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: The Visitors from Outer Space