Sporting News used a measuring system based on fan reaction and the input of its reporters and editors (including SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily), and despite the fact that Danielson's voice is pretty much just like Bob Griese's (I always confuse the two), he's considered the best because "he explains it before most of us have seen it." That's on target. He is pretty smart, just unmemorable.
When people talk about the greatest voice actors in cartoons, Mel Blanc is always at the top of the list, and for good reason: he solely provided the voice of the majority of the Looney Tunes characters, save for Elmer Fudd, who was voiced by Arthur Q. Bryan. His first real contribution was providing the voice of Porky Pig, a gig originally given to an actor named Joe Dougherty whose genuine stutter made it impossible for him to control the character's voice.
Blanc also worked in radio before and during his time at Warner Bros., working with such legends as Jack Benny, Abbot and Costello, and Burns and Allen. It was radio that helped him to create solid but unseen characters, a talent that carried over beautifully into animation.
After the jump is a clip from the Tonight Show featuring the man himself being interviewed by Johnny Carson. It's rather bittersweet to see these two great comedic minds on screen together, and to think of what the world of entertainment lost when they each passed away.
Those of you who read my Simpsons reviews know I'm somewhat of an apologist for the series, defending it against those who say it's no longer a worthwhile show. I will say, however, that I don't think newer episodes always earn the emotional resonance they strive for. Many of the episodes from the first few seasons were genuinely heart-warming, but that emotional center isn't as prevalent in later episodes, though I hasten to add it's not gone completely.
In a brief interview on Rotten Tomatoes, voice actor Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Barney, Krusty the Clown, many others) talked about how doing voices for the movie was different than doing voices for the TV series. James L. Brooks, who has helmed such blockbusters as Terms of Endearment and As Good As It Gets, and has been an executive producer on the series from the very beginning, helped direct the voice actors to get them to enhance the emotional aspects of the characters. The result, says Castellaneta, is a movie that will be not unlike the TV series, but with levels of emotion reached that don't necessarily work on the small screen.
The movie comes out July 27.
Thanks to fellow Simpsons nut Wild Bill for the link.
Like death, taxes and Web surfers with strong opinions about The View, negative campaign ads are an inevitable force. Shortly before the midterm elections, NPR's All Things Considered spoke with two of the men (Dennis Steele and Scott Sanders) who lend their dark, ominous voices to those attack ads, and you can listen to the interview here. I know what you're thinking: if I can't stand those ads, why the heck would I want to listen to the voiceover artists talk about them?
Tell you what: skip to about three minutes into the interview and you'll see why. They asked the men to read nursery rhymes using their "attack ad" voice, and the result is not only pretty damn funny, it also shows how silly these ads can be, and that slapping a spooky voice and some foreboding music over something can make just about anything seem scary. Most of us probably roll our eyes when these negative ads flash across out TV screens, but listening to someone attack the likes of Humpty Dumpty with the same venom as they would someone running for congress proves that these ads are actually much more ludicrous than we thought.
Completely unrelated, but interesting to me, nonetheless: in the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty," Humpty is never once referred to as an egg.
If you didn't get your fill of voice actor Billy West when Joel interviewed him awhile ago, you can listen to an audio interview with the voice actor on the Paul Harris Show by clicking here. West, who, as many of you know, did the voices of a bunch of the characters on Futurama, plus the voice of both Ren and Stimpy during part of that show's run, not to mention a ton of other characters both classic and new. West talks about how he comes up with voices for the characters, and tells a funny story about watching The Diary of Anne Frank because one of the actors, Lou Jacobi, was part of his inspiration for the voice of Zoidberg on Futurama. He also talks about how voice actors often get treated like second class citizens in Hollywoodland. A very funny interview, definitely worth checking out.
[via Mark Evanier]
Maurice LaMarche is a voice actor who has done more cartoons than you can shake a stick at. Just to reference a few, he played Dizzy Devil on Tiny Toons, The Brain on Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, and most recently did the voice of Kif and Calculon (among others) on Futurama. The Canadian-born LaMarche started out doing stand-up comedy and eventually moved to voice acting. Quick Stop Entertainment has a really long interview with the man, so if you're into voice acting, and every single thing Maurice has ever done in his life, you should check it out. Also, if you want to read about someone from Canada bashing the country he came from, it's good for that as well.
[via Mark Evanier]
Okay, kids, for this addition of "The Five" we're going to talk about those voices we love so much. I'm going to focus entirely on television announcers, but I'm expanding the topic to include anyone whose job in television is (or was) centered around their vocal cords. That's why you won't see Mel Blanc or Daws Butler on my list, though they most certainly would have been on it otherwise. Everyone on board? Okay, let's do it:
Simpsons executive producer Al Jean wants to get Princes William and Harry on the show. Not just as characters. He wants the actual William and Harry to lend their voices to an episode.
This article explains it. But if anyone can comment below and tell me what the hell a "tearaway" is, I'd appreciate it.
[via TV Tattle]
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