We usually don't think much about the voices coming out of cartoon characters or how each one is developed. They're all just being made by some actor sitting in a cushy recording booth somewhere taking stabs at silly noises, right? Well, that may be true occasionally, but sometimes the stories behind how they got there are as good as the cartoons themselves. To celebrate Hulu's The Awesomes returning for another season and flaunting a star-studded cast of famous actors voices including Seth Meyers, Bill Hader, Rashida Jones and Will Forte, we dug up the most insane origin stories behind iconic voices in TV and movies.
6 Boomhauer's Voice Was Inspired By An Enraged, Incoherent Viewer
No matter how open-minded you are, sooner or later something on TV is going to offend you. Maybe a joke on South Park rubs you the wrong way, or maybe the Care Bears telling you that everyone will find love and happiness as you survey your barren apartment angers your cold heart. But while most people express their emotions by posting an irate Facebook message or throwing empty beer cans into the dark corners where the person they thought was their soulmate once stood, one offended viewer's message to Mike Judge inspired the voice of King Of The Hill's Boomhauer.
Mike Judge had previously created Beavis And Butt-head, and simply putting "Butt-head" in a show's name is going to attract complaints from a certain percentage of the population. Judge got a voicemail from what he called a "deranged hillbilly," although by hillbilly standards you can't be that deranged if you're still capable of operating a telephone. The man thought Beavis And Butt-head was called Porky's Butthole for reasons neither Judge, we, nor God can explain, although we're going to guess it had something to do with moonshine consumption.
The man left a 90-second, semi-coherent message in a country twang decrying the evils of "that dang ol' Porky's Butthole," heroically fighting an incomprehensible battle for good taste in television. You can listen to Judge's impression of him below and also see what it looks like when Zach Galifianakis reaches the verge of exploding.
Judge also cites a Dallas drinking buddy whose slurred words he could only get the gist of and a man in Oklahoma City who gave him baffling driving directions as inspirations for Boomhauer's drawl, because satire is a lot easier when the stereotypes you're poking fun at are happy to guide you.
5 Bart Was Lisa, Lisa Was Bart, Hamburgers Ate People
The Simpsons is such a universal cultural touchstone that the latest generation of parents can quote Bart and Lisa more than they can quote their own children. It's hard to imagine the show being anything other than what it is today and will be until the heat death of the universe (characters with white skin? How freakish), but it could have sounded significantly different. The actresses behind Bart (Nancy Cartwright) and Lisa (Yeardley Smith) originally tried out for each other's roles, a scenario we're surprised they haven't mined for a "Treehouse Of Horror" episode yet.
Smith, who adorably/creepily sounds exactly like Lisa in real life, got two lines into her audition before being told, "Thanks for coming!" She was given the role of Lisa instead, because even for a prepubescent cartoon boy her unique voice was too high-pitched. While it's always embarrassing to get shut down so quickly in an audition, getting paid millions of dollars to use the same voice for which you were made fun of as a kid is a pretty sweet deal.
Cartwright, meanwhile, arrived fully intending to try out for Lisa. She's a girl, the character's a girl, it was a perfect match. However, when she looked at the script she wasn't impressed with Lisa's dialogue (when the show was first created, Lisa's personality was "Bart with longer hair") and was much more enamored with Bart's school-hating, trouble-making antics.
So Cartwright did what you should never do during an audition -- announce at the last minute that you want to try out for a different part. Permission was granted and, in her words that sound horrible out of context, "I just opened my mouth and a 10-year-old boy popped out." Animated history was made, and all the cows were had.