One of the great pleasures when watching movies is being able to say "Hey! It's that guy!" Recognizing actors from a kid's show playing, say, a horrible murderer in an R-rated movie adds an extra level of fun. Luckily, there are only so many voice actors, and we did the research to find the nine strangest different roles actors have taken.
Source: Sunbow Productions/Hanna-Barbera Productions
By Dan Seitz
9. Marcus Fenix and Bender
Source: Epic Games/20th Century Fox Television
Marcus, the manliest man's man in video games, has his gruff, rough voice supplied by John DiMaggio. DiMaggio also happens to be responsible for everybody's favorite drunken robot. Although, sadly, Marcus Fenix has yet to invite the Locusts to bite his shiny metal ass, but we can always pray for a cross-over. "Good news, everyone! I've discovered an alternate dimension that mixes chainsaws and machine guns!"
8. Starscream and Mr. Burns
Source: Sunbow Productions/20th Century Fox Television
Chris Latta is the voice of that brilliant Iago of late-'80s cartoons, Starscream. We're pretty sure that pretty much all of the butt-kissing, two-faced, back-stabbing flunkies in pop culture post-Transformers have Starscream as their grand-daddy, especially Dwight Schrute. In addition, Chris held up Kramer on Seinfeld, was in the manliest movie ever (Road House), and he even had a successful stand-up career. He was also such a wild guy that to record Starscream's voice he had to get bailed out of jail on a few occasions.
And just to put the cherry on the top of this sundae of minor cultural influence, he was the voice of none other than Mr. Burns from The Simpsons in the first season. We know, you'd think he'd be Smithers, but we guess he got a promotion.
7. Stimpy and Half the Cast of Futurama
Source: Nickelodeon/20th Century Fox Television
Billy West is, not unreasonably, considered the second hardest working voice actor in show business. His career includes everybody from Elmer Fudd to Bi-Polar Bear from something called Queer Duck: The Movie. You probably know him best, though, as Stimpson J. Cat of the brilliant, ahead-of-its-time cartoon/pure nightmare fuel Ren and Stimpy. But if you're a fan of Futurama, then you actually probably know him better as the voice of Professors Zoidberg and Farnsworth, Leo Wong, and about half of the cast beyond that. Yes, now you have a shellfish singing the Log jingle in your head. That happened to us when we realized this. You get used to it.
6. Megatron and Fred from Scooby-Doo
Source: Sunbow Productions/Hanna-Barbera Productions
Frank Welker has more credits than a hacked arcade machine, and for a reason. Frank Welker is such a good voice actor, Hollywood studios bring him in to voice animals because he can do a better performance. Yes, this man can not only bark just like a dog, he can actually bark better than real live dogs. And he gets paid incredibly well to do it, no less.
He also gets paid to voice cartoon characters, and as a result, he created the voice we know and love for the eminently hissable bad guy, Megatron.
But before that, he voiced Fred from Scooby-Doo. No, we're not kidding. That loser in the ascot and the inexplicably-defeated badass who turns into a gun? Same guy. He's also the voice of Charizard from Pokemon, just in case that hadn't scrambled your brain enough. Oh, and just in case you thought we weren't going to tie this to Futurama, he's also the voice of Leela's adorable pet Nibbler.
5. Daphne and Mrs. Cartman
Source: Hanna-Barbera Productions/South Park Studios
If you wanted a female voice in cartoons, for a pretty long time you went straight to Mary Kay Bergman. So, among other voices, she voiced the cartoon girl pretty much every boy felt the first stirrings of puberty over, Daphne.
And now we're going to ruin that for you by telling you she was also the voice of Mrs. Cartman, the hermaphroditic crack whore mother of America's most beloved 10-year-old cartoon anti-Semite. That smell is your childhood burning!
4. Lex Luthor and Duke
Source: Ruby-Spears Enterprises/Sunbow Productions
Quick, finish this sentence: "Now I know!" If you said "And knowing is half the battle," congratulations, you had a pulse during the '80s. And if you didn't, you really missed out.
Duke, that square-jawed superhero of some vague paramilitary organization whose legality the show never quite got into, was voiced by Michael Bell. And while he was voicing the hero of the '80s, he was also voicing the bad guy to end all bad guys, Lex Luthor. Oh, and if you played the Ninja Gaiden games, he also played Muramasa, the old blacksmith. Yep, that old guy is, in fact, Duke (at least in the American version).
3. Mr. Krabs and Hades from God of War III
Source: Nickelodeon/Sony Computer Entertainment
Clancy Brown is the very epitome of "Hey! It's that guy!" Best know to you as that d-bag Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption, or maybe that creepy preacher from Carnivale, he's best known to little kids as the beloved Mr. Krabs, the cantankerous employer of Spongebob Squarepants. Then, when they get a little older, they can see another touching and sensitive side of him: namely as the voice of Hades in God of War III. Which means Mr. Krabs, if he ever gets in a fight, will have hooks that can pull out your soul and also a really long, boring, exposition-laden rant before he gets to the actual fisticuffs. Either that or Kratos will pay a visit to Bikini Bottom on the Spongebob series finale.
2. Homer Simpson and Earthworm Jim
Source: 20th Century Fox Television/Universal Animation Studios
Dan Castellaneta is, of course, the voice of the most important animated fat guy of the last two decades, Homer Simpson (Peter Griffin can suck it). And though it's a role he's played for nearly twenty years, he's also kept busy doing guest spots on TV shows, making personal appearances...and voicing beloved video game character Earthworm Jim in his cartoon and TV show. We're still waiting for Peter Puppy to make an appearance on The Simpsons.
1. Eeyore and Optimus Prime
Source: Walt Disney Company/Sunbow Productions
Peter Cullen is lucky enough to be the voice of two profoundly important and famous cartoon characters. The first is Optimus Prime, which was such good voice casting the Transformers movies have actually kept him on as the voice actor for the character.
The other is Eeyore.
Yeah, the donkey who really needs Prozac. That Eeyore. And these are his two main roles, really, so we find ourselves wondering if Cullen, in a moment of exhaustion, ever confused the two. We like to imagine Prime's commanding voice booming out of a stuffed donkey, because then the Hundred-Acre Wood might snap to and really get some stuff done.
Pooh-Bear, roll out!