8 Actors You Won't Believe Voiced Famous Cartoon Characters

#4. Arsenio Hall Was One of The Real Ghostbusters

You know him best as ...

Via LA Times

Arsenio Hall is best known for being Arsenio Hall. For a while there in the early 90s, it was impossible to escape Arsenio and his legion of fist pumping, "WOOT!" chanting followers. Arsenio's show was so popular back then that the 1992 episode featuring Bill Clinton playing the saxophone has been credited with boosting Clinton's popularity and helping him win the Presidential election. Who knows, if Arsenio had invited Ross Perot to play the xylophone instead, perhaps history would be very different.

But he was also ...

The voice of Winston Zeddemore in The Real Ghostbusters, the character originally played by Ernie Hudson in the movies.


In case you weren't sure which Ghostbuster we were talking about.

It's strange to think that back in that bizarro reality known as the 1980s, Ernie "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2" Hudson was apparently too big a star to be bothered to appear in a little animated show, so they had to get Arsenio freakin' Hall to do an impression of him. Of course, Arsenio was a practically unknown stand-up comedian at the time, still a few years away from his big break as Eddie Murphy's co-star in Coming to America. This might explain why they also had him doing some of the bumpers for the show:

Arsenio hasn't done a lot of voice-over work since he became famous, but we think a return to animation is inevitable. By our watch, he's about 10 years away from being cast in a cartoon as some sort of mutant martial artist, possibly with spikes coming out of his costume.

#3. Howie Mandel Was Gizmo from The Gremlins

You know him best as ...

Getty

For years, Howie Mandel was primarily known as an annoying stand-up comedian before becoming even better known as an annoying game show host. You may also remember him as that annoying guy from St. Elsewhere and the hidden camera segments in The Tonight Show. Had he died in 1989, he would have probably been remembered as that guy who blew up surgical gloves on his head.

We find him really annoying, is what we're saying here.

But he was also ...

Via ActionFlickChick.com

Gizmo, the cute hamster/monkey hybrid from the movie Gremlins. Remember those adorable sounds Gizmo used to make? That's 100 percent Howie Mandel.

That's not all: Mandel also worked in Muppet Babies for a while, providing voices for characters like Baby Animal and Skeeter (Scooter's sister) ... which, of course, was the exact same voice he'd later use for Bobby in Bobby's World, as he's happy to admit.

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So it turns we have that guy from Deal or No Deal to thank for a huge chunk of our childhoods. We ... we need to sit down for a moment.

#2. Jerry Orbach Was the Candlestick from Beauty and the Beast

You know him best as ...

Getty

Detective Lennie Briscoe was probably the most recognizable face of Law & Order, having starred in 11 seasons of the show, plus several guest spots in the interminable list of spin-offs. As Briscoe, Orbach played the classic detective with the obligatory alcohol addiction and the messed up dysfunctional family. Because of his alcoholism, his daughter grew up to be a meth addict and was murdered by a drug dealer. Of course, you could probably tell all that stuff just by looking at the permanent "Goddammit, son" expression on Orbach's face.

But he was also ...

Lumiere, the talking candlestick from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. They even look alike:

Via Disney-Clipart.com

And yes, this means that was Detective Briscoe's singing voice in some of those musical numbers (sometimes as the lead singer), like the one where the whole dining room sings "Be Our Guest" to Belle.


Which is usually a sign that you might be schizophrenic.

In fact, before he even starred in Law & Order, Orbach was already an accomplished Broadway actor. He won a Tony award for Promises, Promises and was nominated his role in the original production of Chicago. If for some reason you still can't picture it, here's Orbach singing and dancing to the music of Beauty and the Beast for the 1992 Academy Awards ceremony:

Bear in mind that this was right before he joined the cast of Law & Order. A few years of chasing down child-killing drug dealers and saying, "I'm just trying to do my job here!" could turn anyone a little dour.


The Law & Order effect.

#1. Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers Was in Nickelodeon's The Wild Thornberrys

You know him best as ...

Getty

Flea is known for being in the favorite band of at least one guy in your college dorm who didn't know how to turn his stereo down, and for never ever wearing a shirt. Or anything but tube socks, at one point in his career. Flea is the douchiest looking member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, mainly due to the fact that he appears to be the son of Dee Dee Ramone and Clint Howard.

Getty
You know, this guy.

If, like us, your instinctual reaction to seeing Flea's face is to hide your lunch money, you might be surprised by the next part.

But he was also ...

Donnie from Nickelodeon's The Wild Thornberrys.

Donnie was a feral boy raised by orangutans, and we're guessing that what attracted Flea to the part was their shared fashion sense. Also, the whole job consisted of standing in front of a microphone and letting out incoherent grunts for 20 minutes, which was probably a refreshing break from the carefully crafted poetry of the Chili Peppers. Here's Flea totally killing it as Donnie in The Wild Thornberrys:

Flea has actually been an actor since the 80s, somehow finding his way into some of our favorite movies: he was one of the nihilists in The Big Lebowski, a hippie in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the asshole who taunts Marty in Back to the Future Part II and Part III.


And he did an excellent job, we must say.

To read more from Jim Ciscell check out American Slacker.

For more surprising celebrity side jobs, check out 7 Celebrities Who Had Badass Careers You Didn't Know About and The 7 Most WTF Post-Fame Celebrity Careers.

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