The Wildly Adult Credits of Four Famous Cartoon Voice Actors
Voice acting is an art — an art one can practice while wearing unlaundered sweatpants, but still an art nonetheless. For those of us who grew up loving animation, some of the great pop-culture vocal performances made a huge impact on our young, stupid brains. As a result, it’s become tough to separate these performers from their iconic cartoon roles, making it extra weird that a number of iconic voice actors from beloved children’s shows have also appeared in some pretty wild live-action movies and TV shows, such as…
Tom Kenny, SpongeBob Himself, Played a Psychotic Coke Fiend in ‘Shakes the Clown’
It’s hard to say if SpongeBob SquarePants would have been such an immediate hit with small children/stoned early 2000s college students had the main character’s voice sounded like, say, Tom Waits or Morgan Freeman or the Moviefone guy. SpongeBob’s iconic squeaky speech was, of course, provided by Tom Kenny.
A lot of comedy fans are no doubt familiar with Kenny’s early appearances in shows like Mr. Show with Bob and David, and The Edge, the forgotten, aggressively looking 1990s sketch comedy series also featuring Wayne Knight and Jennifer Aniston.
But perhaps the oddest Kenny performance in retrospect, given his family-friendly credentials, is in his friend Bobcat Goldthwait’s cult comedy Shakes the Clown. Kenny plays a psychotic dirtbag clown (back in the days before this was a pathway to winning an Academy Award) named Binky.
And while it is a tad strange to see the guy behind everybody’s favorite cartoon sea sponge beating a man to death with a juggling pin in a cocaine-fueled rage, we won’t deny that he excels in the role.
E.G. Daily, aka Tommy Pickles, Was in the Dumbest Slasher Movie Ever Made
Since hiring actual babies to do animated voice work is A) illegal, and B) wildly impractical, the role of Tommy Pickles in Nickelodeon’s Rugrats was played by actress and musician E.G. Daily.
Movie fans will also know Daily for her role in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, in which she played Dottie, the super adorable bicycle mechanic who is inexplicably attracted to the berserk manchild who dresses like a ventriloquist dummy and treats her like total garbage.
Daily appeared in a lot of great movies over the years, but one of the oddest, not-so-great titles on her filmography is 1982’s Wacko, an early, critically reviled slasher movie parody. Daily plays Bambi, one of the teenage girls who gets bumped off by a lawnmower-wielding serial killer.
And keep in mind that the grisly deaths are probably the most tasteful aspects of Wacko.
The Original Donatello, Barry Gordon, Played Larry David’s Rabbi on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
Since the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles perfectly encapsulate the only four types of human personalities (leader, nerd, cranky hothead and pizza-loving party guy armed with nunchucks), naturally, the cartoon called for an appropriately distinctive voice cast.
Well, the voice of one of those lovable deformed reptile warriors, Donatello, has appeared in numerous projects. And while we’re guessing that you may not have seen Barry Gordon’s starring role in the 1969 indie sex comedy Out of It…
And introduced Larry to a survivor… of the show Survivor.
Yup, that same rabbi was the voice of Donatello — and presumably, Larry was a far more challenging foe than Shredder or Krang, who, as far as we know, never once lifted a golf club from a corpse or stole a pair of shoes from a memorial inside a Holocaust museum.
Bill Farmer, the Voice of Goofy, Was in ‘RoboCop’
When you think of Disney’s iconic Goofy character, you probably think of slapstick comedy, clumsy hijinks and the wife he secretly killed prior to the events of Goof Troop (seriously). Since way back in 1987, the voice of Goofy has been performed by Disney legend Bill Farmer, in classic motion pictures like A Goofy Movie and short films like that one where Goofy’s reanimated festering corpse terrorizes Mickey Mouse.
The very same year Farmer landed the Goofy gig, he appeared in a decidedly non-Disney classic: RoboCop. Yup, the voice of Goofy is in RoboCop. Farmer briefly shows up as a character named Justin Ballard-Watkins, a TV news reporter interviewing residents of the dystopian hellscape that is Detroit.
According to Farmer, the early role and director Paul Verhoeven’s last-minute revisions on set “terrified” him, inspiring him to pursue voice acting instead, stating, “After that, I decided I wanted to be inside in a studio with a microphone.” In light of this revelation, you might want to check and make sure that the guy RoboCop shoots in the nuts isn’t, say, the voice of Huckleberry Hound.
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