Yesterday, Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria (Moe, Chief Wiggum, Lisa) survived a close encounter with inhabitants of the notorious investigation-hindering and pony-fetish forum Reddit long enough to answer some of their burning questions. Frankly, his AV Club interview from several years ago was a lot more illuminating and in-depth if you really wanna know more about the Hankster, but nevertheless, here are the highlights from his “Ask Me Anything” interview so you don’t have to navigate Reddit’s terrible comment layout.
First, he tackled the obvious question, whether or not he’s ever seen Dan Castelleneta choke Nancy Cartwright to get the Homer-strangling-Bart scenes just right:
i have never witnessed it, but there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to prove that it has happened.
In a rather shocking development, it turns out he still likes the show that pays him millions of dollars each year:
mostly i’m too close to the show and love doing it so much to have an objective opinion. i do what i’ve always done, which is show up and enjoy making what they’ve written come to life. the show still really makes me laugh. i’ve certainly seen online over the years, and elsewhere, people criticizing the show. it reminds me of the beatles anthology. there’s this section where people are talking about how the white album isn’t so good…that it was too long and that a lot of the tracks didn’t work, and you see various people saying it wasn’t up to snuff. and then, they cut to paul mccartney who says “yeah, i’ve heard people don’t like the white album, but i say it’s the bloody beatles white album. it’s fucking great.” that’s kind of how i feel about the show.
Panda rape & talking rags? Same thing as the White Album, basically.
it was a chance meeting. i very early in my career did the voice of a cartoon dog called Hollywood Dog for a Fox pilot that failed miserably but i got the audition for the simpsons based on that. and the rest is history.
Hollywood Dog was a really dopey comic strip by the late R.P. Overmyer. The show, which I can’t find video of, was supposed to be like Roger Rabbit, with “Hollywood Dog” as a cartoon character interacting with real people. In a bleak alternate universe, it was picked up instead of The Simpsons. Truly the darkest timeline.
Asked whether there are things he’d consider too extreme for Moe’s character:
it’s an interesting question because you don’t want to commit “character assassination” and do something you feel your character would never do; however, a lot of the fun of Moe and many of the simpsons characters is that over time they get more and more outrageous. i think as long as it’s funny it’s ok.
I guess the obvious comparison to make is to Harry Shearer, who was pretty vocally opposed to messing around with Principal Skinner’s background.
Also, Azaria briefly touched on when the voice actors are contractually allowed to use their voices, which I kinda wondered about during Cartwrightgate:
i can definitely use them in public on talk shows and appearances, etc. i can’t go on another show as moe or apu doing scripted stuff, getting animated, unless we get approval from 99 lawyers which we will never get.
Finally, one of the cutest celebrity couple stories I’ve ever heard:
almost every role that you lose out on, especially early in your career, you’re kind of devastated by. my ex-wife once, when i was particularly heartbroken over a role i lost, took me by hand to the video store (when they still existed) and pointed out how many roles in many many different movies she didn’t get that she was sure, at the time, would have made her a huge star. and i swear that 99% of those movies and roles were all silly, and major disappointments. after that, i really put that kind of thing in perspective and didn’t worry about it too much.
User “dogfacedboy420” pointed out the ex-wife he’s referring to Helen Hunt, which would explain why she voiced that lady Moe was dating once. Learn something new everyday.
Some other tidbits:
- He doesn’t like doing Luigi’s voice, and his young son “barely tolerates” his voices.
- He likes that he can phone it in from anywhere.
- His favorite episode is Cape Feare, and his favorite joke is when Sideshow Bob steps on rakes.
- He was heartbroken about not getting the chance to voice Dracula.
- He’s only only made out with Matt Groening once.
- He desperately wanted to be Joey on Friends. He did manage to become a recurring guest star, though.
- He blames Godzilla for nearly killng his career.
- He hates the show Herman’s Head, in which he co-starred with Yeardley Smith.
- He naively thought his red backpack would shield him from creeps recognizing him.
- Some guy mistakenly thought he was in Workaholics.
- Another guy asked him how much money he makes per episode which is rude as hell and he declined to answer.
- thunderdome13 wanted to know if Azaria ever boned on his couch. Thankfully, he did not answer.
- baolee asked about his penis and did get an answer. Good for him.
- Someone was kind enough to finally ask about the
charity thing he was there to promote.
[Reddit via No Homers Club]