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Voice actors are a huge and important part of the story, but unless you're a superfan (or we're talking about a big-budget Disney-Pixar joint), you've probably never heard of the actors behind your favorite animated characters. Maybe you're picturing some forgettable-looking folks in a sound booth lined with egg cartons somewhere in the valley -- and that's mostly accurate. But sometimes that iconic character you thought you knew was actually voiced by someone you definitely know, even though you didn't know it. And if you don't know, now you know that ...

Captain Planet's Villains Were Voiced Almost Exclusively By A-List Celebrities

Marvel Comics

In what must have been a quick and easy way to make DUIs disappear through "community service" back in the '90s, a gaggle of superstars surreptitiously appeared on Captain Planet as its various villains. There are just too many to list, but some notable appearances: Martin Sheen was the first actor to voice Sly Sludge. His character was a khaki-clad polluter who owned a waste-disposal business that really just dumped trash into a volcano, as opposed to Martin, who dumped his on CBS.

Why, exactly, melting trash using geothermal energy and storing it safely in the Earth's mantle
is a bad idea is never addressed.

Meg Ryan voiced the mad scientist Dr. Blight, while Tim Curry played her sentient computer sidekick, MAL. Captain Planet had so much talent they shuffled Tim friggin' Curry off to be a damn sidekick to a bad guy! This wasn't a one-time thing he did after being kidnapped by the producers in his driveway, either. Tim Curry has 26 episodes of Captain Planet under his belt.

No amount of voice modulation can hide that much Tim Curryness.

Jeff Goldblum voiced a giant rat-man mutant drug-peddler named Verminous Skumm, and we know we should be totally surprised by that, but it actually strangely fits with Goldblum's other role choices.

Hell, even Sting had a stint on the show, voicing a bondage-geared space alien named Zarm and -- wait, what? Holy crap, how badly does everybody want to go back and watch Captain Planet now? That show was apparently way crazier than our childhood brains could process.

Turner Program Services
That's all for today, Planeteers, but tune in next time for Malcolm McDowell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ed Asner,
Phil Hartman, Phyllis Diller, Danny Glover, Neil Patrick Harris, and Elizabeth fucking Taylor. Seriously.

J.K. Simmons Is The Yellow M&M

Sony Pictures Classics

J.K. Simmons is so great at yelling at people that just looking at a photo of him can make your ears ring. Simmons first won the hearts of America as neo-Nazi prison leader Vern Schillinger in HBO's Oz. He's been playing tough, sarcastic characters ever since -- like Peter Parker's boss in the Spider-Man movies and the world's most intense music teacher in Whiplash. His top-notch hollering even earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor for Whiplash, but we're sure he'd agree that the greatest honor he's ever received was being named Cracked.com's 12th best "That Guy" actor of all time back in 2007. And yet the man whose voice we can't even imagine if it's not screaming is also ...

The most chill candy in history.

Simmons has been the official voice of the yellow M&M -- the Lennie Small to the red M&M's George Milton -- since the mid-'90s, when he took over the role from John Goodman. Simmons auditioned for the ads back when he was a semi-unknown TV actor, and he initially wanted the role of the red M&M. We can't blame him: That sexy beast is probably drowning in Skittles pussy. When the casting director insisted he read for the "dumb and sweet" yellow M&M instead, Simmons didn't put up much of a fight, because who the hell cares -- it was just a stupid candy ad that would probably run twice and be forgotten.

Mars, Incorporated
"It's not like 'Yellow M&M Toy' will ever light up Google like a goddamn roman candle."

Almost 20 years later, he's still doing it and has no plans to stop. So, when you see that damn M&M commercial every Christmas, keep in mind that that's the same voice as a character who raped and branded a man on Oz. If that red M&M keeps talkin' shit, he knows what he's gonna git.

A yellow sphere that melts in more than your mouth, because how could we not
play this clip when talking about J.K. Simmons?!

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Ernest Borgnine Was Mermaid Man In SpongeBob SquarePants

Warner Bros.

Whether you knew Ernest Borgnine as Quinton McHale from the 1960s sitcom McHale's Navy, as an aging outlaw in The Wild Bunch, or as the Molotov-throwing cabbie in Escape From New York, one thing's for certain: The guy looked good in a hat. He's been a persistent presence in film for decades, so if you don't know Borgnine, you're probably like 10 years old.

Which is so unfair, it's downright ... well, you know.

Actually, the 10-year-olds may know him best: Borgnine was the voice of Mermaid Man in SpongeBob SquarePants. In case you've managed to insulate yourself from the world's favorite porifera (oh my god, how did you do it?!) Mermaid Man was an elderly superhero who lived in a retirement home with his sidekick, Barnacle Boy -- voiced by Borgnine's McHale's Navy co-star, Tim Conway. SpongeBob annoys the pair until they come out of retirement, which must have been the same approach the show's producers took when recruiting the guest stars. But Borgnine ended up loving the character because of his effect on children and played him 15 times over the next 13 years. The character was so influential that, when Borgnine died in 2012, the Internet was filled with fan art created by people who seemed unaware that the guy ever did anything else in his life:



"Man, I'd love to be remembered as a man with shells on his nipples."
-Borgnine, while serving in WWII

Stephen Colbert And Steve Carell Were Ace And Gary From "The Ambiguously Gay Duo"

Comedy Central Studios

Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell both got their big breaks on The Daily Show, a program that mocked news programs so hard it accidentally turned into kind of a decent news program.

But that wasn't the first time they worked together very, very closely. They were the voices behind Saturday Night Live's "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" -- the recurring adventures of two massively donged heroes named Ace (Colbert) and Gary (Carell), who fought evildoers with the power of homoerotic double entendres so blatant they might actually just be single entendres.

Just get a load of this, friend of friends.

And since Colbert helped write each episode, it was his choice to turn to Carell each week and say, "So then Steve straddles my ass and we start grinding on each other while everybody stands around watching awkwardly ..."

NBC Studios
"Do you need us to do motion-capture?"

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Deputy Garcia From Reno 911! Voiced Rocko On Rocko's Modern Life

Comedy Central Studios

Carlos Alazraqui is best known for his role on Reno 911! as Deputy James Garcia. On the show, Garcia is an angry, racist, homophobe who enjoys taking out his crippling inferiority complex on unsuspecting civilians. He also once shot Patton Oswalt in the leg, which is a bit like jump-kicking a panda, as far as we're concerned.

Some crimes are beyond forgiveness.

Seeing him playing a role like that, it's kind of hard to imagine Alazraqui as anything other than an asshole-flavored bastard. And yet he voiced the cute and affable main character on Rocko's Modern Life, the old Nickelodeon series about an Australian wallaby trying to make his way in the U.S.

This wildly uncomfortable scene of Rocko getting gay-bashed for admitting he likes rainbows?

That's Alazraqui, who ended up staying with the show for four full seasons, during which time he plucked ball-berries, spent the night in the fabulously named "No Tell Motel," and talked about how his favorite hobby is "jacking." Don't tell anybody, but we think Rocko's Modern Life may have been trying to imply something ...

Paramount Domestic Television
Adult innuendo that slipped by the censors? We refuse to believe it.

Even stranger: Alazraqui then went on to voice the Taco Bell Chihuahua. Great, now we're just picturing Rocko and the Chihuahua with full, glorious mustaches.

The Older Brother From Boy Meets World Plays Multiple Awesome Superheroes

ABC Studios

You remember Will Friedle from Boy Meets World -- the ABC show about a kid played by a Savage that was totally, for-realsies not The Wonder Years. Friedle played the main character's older brother, Eric. So, what do you think he's been up to since the show went off the air? Drugs? Born again Christianity? Porn? Drugs? Local appliance commercials? Drugs?

Living every 30-year-old's teenage fantasy?


For the last 15 years, Will Friedle has been a superhero. Well, he plays one on TV. Several, actually.

Friedle voiced Terry McGinnis -- a high school student trained by an elderly Bruce Wayne to become the new Batman -- on Batman Beyond. Now, prepare for the true mind-buggery: This show about Batman passing the mantle to a young upstart also featured Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne. Kevin portrayed Batman on the classic Batman: The Animated Series, and not only played the aging Batman in the new show but helped mentor Friedle in the art of voice acting during their joint recording sessions. There are a lot of caveats there, but if we were Friedle, we would never stop telling people that Batman himself trained us to be Batman.

Which is to say, living every 30-year-old's OTHER teenage fantasy.

And that wasn't even enough for Friedle! He also went on to voice Deadpool. So Batman and Deadpool are not only the same person, they're one of the kids from Boy Meets World.

And that's not all. He has also voiced Star-Lord, Green Arrow, and the Transformer Bumblebee. You know what? Good for Will. He's living the dream, and we wish him nothing but the best. Just out of curiosity: Does anybody know if it's possible to convincingly impersonate someone by skinning and wearing them like a suit? We're asking for a friend.

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Also check out 8 Actors You Won't Believe Voiced Famous Cartoon Characters and 7 Celebrities Who Had Badass Careers You Didn't Know About.

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