H. Jon Benjamin is 49 years old today, and this seems like a fine opportunity to look at some of his most famous voiceover work. Over the past two decades, Benjamin has become one of the most reliable and hilarious voice actors in animation. His distinctive just-a-bit-irritated tone can make anything funny, and he’s lent his voice to countless memorable characters. Let’s take a look at the best.
Ben – Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist
As the slacker son of the title character on Dr. Katz, Ben was incredibly awkward around his father’s receptionist, Laura, and he was a constant disappointment to his father. It’s worth noting that this was before the “Definitive H. Jon Benjamin Voice” had been perfectly honed, so Ben sounds a little different than the characters Benjamin would voice later on.
Coach McGuirk – Home Movies
Long before Archer and Bob’s Burger’s became two of the most beloved cartoons on TV, Benjamin won our hearts as Coach McGuirk, the perpetually miserable soccer coach in charge of a bunch of kids who don’t know what they’re doing out there. At times, Coach McGuirk was a bit like a grumpier version of Bob Belcher. He just wanted his to team to win out there, but they’d end up giving up 20 goals in 10 minutes before getting bailed out by the slaughter rule. It’s enough to make even the most even-keeled coach lose it.
Sterling Archer – Archer
Archer loves gummy bears and “Highway to the Danger Zone” more than just about anyone else in the world. Since his wealthy mother runs the Spy Agency Formerly Known As Isis, he’s had an entitled, coddled lifestyle, and many of his co-workers think he only got his job because of his fortunate position in life. Still, Archer is pretty good at getting the team out of jams that he put them into to begin with. Just make sure you poach his egg properly, or there will be hell to pay.
Bob – Bob’s Burgers
Bob is essentially the opposite of Archer in every possible way. He lacks his physical strength, but he also has a working-class ethic that is a stark contrast to the spoiled, entitled Archer. In spite of their differences, the two characters happen to have the exact same voice, which is something of a hallmark of Benjamin’s. It’s not the only voice can do, however, as Benjamin also plays Tina’s love interest, the ultra-nasally Jimmy Pesto, Jr.
Carl – Family Guy.
When Chris got a job working in the convenient store, he and Carl talked about every movie under the sun. He effectively took Chris under his wing (“you don’t need to see Krull,”) and that’s why it made sense that during the Star Wars episodes, he was cast as Yoda. But while his film knowledge is undeniably impressive, it comes with a dark origin story. Thanks to an unfortunate drinking problem, he has seen every movie ever made – including Meet Dave and License To Drive. Damn you, Mr. Booze!