Happy 21st Birthday, Bart!
I’m about a week late with this, but I couldn’t let the 20th Anniversary of The Simpsons go by without a mention here in our blog. Whether you’re a casual fan, an obsessive fan (like myself), or not a fan at all, there’s no denying the impact the show has had on popular culture. But where would the show be without that indelible cast of voice actors bringing the characters to life each and every week for 20 years?
First of all, what a dream job for the cast! Sure, a lot of voice over jobs are recurring ones, such as a role on an animated series or in a video game franchise, narrating a series of documentaries or training videos, or appearing in a commercial ad campaign that runs over a long period of time. But to have the same job, week in and week out, for 20 years… well, that’s pretty amazing. But if ever a cast deserved to be enshrined in the annals of Hollywood for their talent, it’s this one.
Let’s look at a few of the show and the cast’s accomplishments (did I mention they’ve been on the air for 20 years?)
- Hank Azaria has voiced over 160 separate characters on the show (including Moe the bartender, Apu the Kwik-E-Mart owner, and Police Chief Wiggum), while Dan Castallaneta (Homer Simpson) has voiced over 120 characters. Harry Shearer is right behind them, voicing over 115 characters over the show’s run.
- The cast has won 13 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice Acting. Harry Shearer is the only main cast member who has not won the award, but he was nominated in 2009.
- The Simpsons is the longest running show in the history of primetime.
- Despite Springfield having hundreds of popular characters, there are only six main voice actors in the cast: Dan Castallaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, and Harry Shearer.
- According to Hank Azaria, the voices of many of his characters are based on people he has known or met in his life. Lou is based on Sylvester Stallone, Comic Book Guy is based on Azaria’s college roommate, and Chief Wiggum is based on Edward G. Robinson.
- The Simpsons is dubbed into dozens of other languages by voice actors in other countries, including Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Quebec French, Finnish, and Arabic. In fact, Phillippe Peythieu, France’s voice of Homer, and Véronique Augereau, France’s voice of Marge, first met on the dubbing of the series and are now married, just like Homer and Marge.
Congratulations to the cast of The Simpsons for 20 years of bringing amazing voice over work to the entire world!
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