With the triumphant return of Animaniacs to Netflix, the youth of today are getting another chance to experience the pure genius that was Warner Brothers’ (and sister’s) brilliant cartoon series. If you know someone who has never seen an episode, then you still have the opportunity to rack up some karma points and introduce them to the show.
Animaniacs, much like the classic Loony Toons, was a half hour show filled with cartoon shorts, most of which had recurring characters. But what made the show so special was the sharp wit and fast humor that appealed to adults as well. It was a cartoon that never dumbed things down just because children were watching. Frankly, I appreciate it when a cartoon thinks I’m smart. They’re wrong about my intelligence, but I still appreciate them.
One of the fan favorites from the series was Pinky and the Brain, an anthology about two genetically altered lab mice trying to take over the world. Pinky is an idiot and Brain is a super genius. Brain would come up with a scheme for world domination, only to be inevitably thwarted. In fact, the only time their plans worked was when Brain finally agreed to Pinky’s plan to open an oyster petting zoo which snowballed him into becoming the head of the Federal Reserve Board. Also, lots of shiny pants.
Recently, some videos surfaced of Pinky and the Brain voice actors Maurice LaMarche (Brain) and Rob Paulsen (Pinky) from San Francisco Sketch Fest. In the first video, the pair read the first hit man scene from Pulp Fiction as their respective characters. Hit play, close your eyes, and imagine Brain and Pinky sitting in a car having this discussion.
If your day wasn’t already made, there pair also performed the classic Abbott & Costello bit “Who’s On First,” but LaMarche insisted that he play the dumb one just to change things up a bit.
We absolutely love it when our favorite voice actors get to play around in roles never intended for them. It’s that whole juxtaposition of so wrong meets so right that makes the concept so funny. Remember the time Winnie the Pooh voice actor Jim Cummings read the opening scene from Star Wars? Darth Vader with Pooh voice makes you frown because it’s so hilariously wrong. Turns out, voice actors really enjoy playing around with this kind of thing. So if you need some background noise for your workday, here are some treasures we dug up for your listening pleasure:
Star Wars with Jim Cummings, Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen, April Stewart, and Jess Harnell
Lord of the Rings by the Cast of Futurama and others
Back to the Future with Jim Cummings, Richard Horvitz, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell
AVENGERS: The Radio Play at Granite State Comicon 2013
Turns out that some voice actors really enjoy doing this sort of things at conventions and special events. But if you can’t make it to a convention on the other side of the world and you seriously need more dramatic readings in your life, we got you covered.
Tune in to Drama Club Heroes every Tuesday at 7pm Pacific on Geek & Sundry’s Twitch Channel to see Hector, Amy, and Whitney do live readings of scripts that span a number of different mediums and genres!
Featured image credit: Warner Bros., Miramax Films