Charitable Voice Actors

02.03.2011

Celebrity charity auction site ClothesOffOurBack.org has listed a few items that some voice actor fans may be interested in bidding on: two bottles of 2008 Merlot wine autographed by Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Anastasia) and Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Robot Chicken), and a dress donated by CCH Pounder (Justice League, Batman Beyond).

Both auctions end March 1, 2011. Proceeds benefit various children’s charities.

In a bit of related news, Paul Rugg (voice actor and writer on Freakazoid and Animaniacs) has announced that he is going to be auctioning off animation cells and memorabilia from shows he has worked on to help raise funds for Angels Way Maternity Home in California. Paul has a video on his Froynlaven! blog showing many of the items he’ll be donating from his own collection. We’ll provide an update when his auction officially begins.

~ Craig Crumpton
Publisher, Voice Actors in the News

====================================

The Clothes Off Our Back Foundation is a 501c3 organization that hosts charity auctions showcasing today’s hottest celebrity attire. Items are put up for bid to the public with proceeds going to benefit children’s charities. Clothes Off Our Back was founded by actors and philanthropists Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm In The Middle,” “Raising the Bar”) and Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”) whose efforts, along with their celebrity and designer friends have helped improve the lives of children across the globe. For more information and to bid, log onto www.clothesoffourback.org.

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Shearer and Harris Compete for a Million on Jeopardy

04.26.2010

This article was originally published April 26th and has since been updated and expanded. Please scroll down for the latest updates.

Harry Shearer and Neil Patrick Harris are among the nine finalists competing on the JEOPARDY! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational May 3-7 (check your local listings for showtimes in your area).

Of the nine finalists, Shearer and Harris are by far the most prolific voiceoverists in animation.

Shearer, of Simpsons‘ fame, is the voice of many of the show’s popular characters: Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman and Principal Skinner (just to name a “few”).

And Harris has voiced lead and guest starring roles for a number of animated productions: Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Penguins of Madagascar, Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Spider-Man, and even had a cameo as himself on The Simpsons. He’s also voicing Nightwing/Dick Grayson for the upcoming direct-to-video animated feature Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Other celebrity participants in this competition have also voiced animated productions such as Michael McKean (voices on Harvey Birdman, Justice League, Family Guy), Cheech Marin (Cars, The Lion King series, Oliver & Company), Jane Curtin (Antz, Hercules, Recess, Cyberchase), Charles Shaughnessey (Stanley, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, The Tale of Despereaux, Rugrats: All Grown Up), and Jane Kaczmarek (voice of Judge Constance Harm, a recurring character on The Simpsons).

Update: 5.08 — Congratulations to Michael McKean on winning the JEOPARDY! Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational. Here’s the final results (via SonyPictures.com):

– Michael McKean: $11,200
15 correct answers / 2 incorrect

– Cheech Marin: $8,000
19 / 5

– Jane Curtin: $11,000
18 / 3

Thanks to McKean’s tournament win, his charity — the International Myeloma Foundation — earns $1,000,000. Jane Curtin’s charity — US Fund for UNICEF — gets $250,000, and Cheech Marin earned $100,000 for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Update: 5.07 — Congrats to Michael McKean on his win for the first round of the finals. Here’s the results (via SonyPictures.com):

– Michael McKean: $21,600
24 correct answers / 0 incorrect

– Cheech Marin: $11,600
13 / 1

– Jane Curtin: $15,800
21 / 3

Update: 5.05Cheech Marin wins over Neil Patrick Harris and Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle) in Round 3, which leaves Marin, McKean and Jane Curtin (3rd Rock from the Sun) as the finalists competing May 6-7.

Results from Round 3 (courtesy of SonyPictures.com):

– Neil Patrick Harris: $9,400
17 correct answers / 2 incorrect

– Jane Kaczmarek: $11,400
15 / 2

– Cheech Marin: $16,200
18 / 0

Update: 5.04 @ 11:30 PM — Michael McKean soundly beat his challengers Isaac Mizrahi and Charles Shaughnessey. Final results (courtesy of SonyPictures.com):

– Michael McKean: $18,800
25 correct / 2 incorrect

– Isaac Mizrahi: $9,600
16 / 1

– Charles Shaughnessey: $15,600
17 / 0

Update: 5.03 @ 10:00 PM (EST) — Although Shearer clearly has great knowledge of trivia, he was out-answered by Jane Curtin by 21 correct answers to Shearer’s 15. But he very nearly had a last-minute upset during Final Jeopardy, when she wagered a low amount while Shearer bet everything.

Final results (via SonyPictures.com):

– Pat Sajak: $4,800
12 correct answers, 5 incorrect

– Jane Curtin: $14,600
21 / 2

– Harry Shearer: $12,600
15 / 2

Ah, well…so much for my high hopes for a Spinal Tap cast face-off in the finals with Shearer against Michael McKean.

And courtesy of CBS’s official Jeopardy! YouTube Channel, following are highlights from the quarterfinals and interviews about the celebrities’ respective charities:

Source: Celebwall.com


Want to Audition for Family Guy or The Simpsons?

02.08.2010

This article was originally published 2.08.2010. Please scroll down to read the most recent updates and additions.

On Feb. 1st, Backstage.com published a list of TV Pilot Production Listings. Now, I’ll grant that unless you’re a working actor, that might not be of any interest to you. And for animation fans, the list is worth noting for details on upcoming animated productions.

But both beginning and professional voice actors should find this HUGELY interesting as it includes contact info for the casting directors of such popular animated shows as Family Guy, American Dad and The Simpsons.

But before I share that info, please note Backstage’s preface to their article:

The following listings are not casting notices but instead reflect the best general information available about current casting assignments. Do your homework and use them wisely. Do not phone or visit casting directors’ offices. Unless otherwise instructed, all contact with casting directors should be through the mail. Blind mass mailings are not recommended.

And I must also emphasize that this is not a notice for an “open call” or even an audition, frankly. However, you could *submit* for an audition by sending a demo through the mailing addresses Backstage.com provides. Chances are very small that such a demo would even be heard, but there’s no harm in submitting anyway.

American Dad – Linda Lamontagne, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 325, L.A., CA 90035.

Family Guy – Linda Lamontagne, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 325, L.A., CA 90036.

King of the Hill – Mossberg/Anthony Casting, 4024 Radford Ave., Trailer 800, Studio City, CA 91604

The Simpsons – Bonita Pietila, c/o 20th Century Fox Studios, 10201 W. Pico Blvd., Trailer 730, L.A., CA 90035

You’re likely as surprised as I am to see King of the Hill mentioned, especially since FOX announced August 2009 that the one-hour season finale would effectively end the series. I don’t think fans should take this as any kind of sign — or even a glimmer of hope — that further production for the series is planned. There have been no official announcements to date otherwise.

As an addendum to Backstage’s article, I have a related list for which I have opted to not disclose the source out of professional courtesy since it was from an agency.

Update: 2.11.2010 — I have tracked down what I believe to be the original source of the casting information which I received via an agency in mid-January.

The source is NowCasting.com — a reputable casting site widely used throughout the TV/film industry. Some TV/film productions I’ve worked on personally as background, stand-in and in a featured role have posted casting notices through this site. (Just to name one: Tyler Perry Studios.)

Note that the names of casting directors ARE included, but no direct contact information is given. If you want that info, you’ll have to track it down on your own or “upgrade” to a paid membership with NowCasting as it mentions on the linked pdf file.

The following list (which according to the document was originally published Jan. 7th, 2010) is worth noting not only for the “currently casting” info but also for the current and upcoming animated series and TV specials (aka “MOW” or “movie-of-the-week”) included in the list which are related to productions which air (or will air) on FOX, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. (I did not include any Nick or Disney shows because all the Nick and Disney shows on NowCasting.com’s list are live-action.)

American Dad (FOX): currently casting
Eagleheart – 1/2 hour pilot (CN): currently casting
Family Guy – 1/2 hour (FOX): currently casting
Firebreather – MOW (CN): wrapped
Kamen Rider – 1/2 hour (CN): on hiatus
Robot Chicken – 1/2 hour (CN): on hiatus
The Tiger’s Apprentice – MOW (CN): wrapped
Titan Maximum – 1/2 hour (CN): currently casting
Delocated – 1/2 hour (CN): currently casting
Futurama – 1/2 hour (FOX): currently casting
The Simpsons – 1/2 hour (FOX): currently casting
The Cleveland Show – 1/2 hour (FOX): currently casting
Untitled Green/Root/Senerich Project (FOX) – 1/2 hour pilot: currently casting

Update: 2.09.2010 — Following the feedback on sites which have also carried this news, it seems I must point out they are neither “recasting” nor “replacing” any of the cast members for the recurring series listed. Backstage.com merely provided the contact address for the casting directors. And NowCasting.com’s list which mentions that shows like Family Guy and American Dad are “currently casting” means that they are possibly casting for incidental characters, guest stars, etc. — *not* the main or supporting cast.

Update: 2.11.2010 — According to one of Futurama’s writers, the show “isn’t casting voice actors.”

Update: 4.08.2010 — NowCasting.com published an updated list on 3.09.2010. And my apologies that I am just now updating this article following this new information, but I was in Japan for two weeks when this notice was released and am just now catching up on backlogged messages.

Here’s the updated list:

American Dad (FOX): currently casting
Family Guy – 1/2 hour (FOX): currently casting
Firebreather – MOW (CN): wrapped
Kamen Rider – 1/2 hour (CN): wrapped
Robot Chicken – 1/2 hour (CN): currently casting
The Tiger’s Apprentice – MOW (CN): wrapped
Horrorbots – 1/2 hour (CN): wrapped
Children’s Hospital – 1/2 hour (CN): currently casting
Scooby Doo – MOW (CN): currently casting [This has been confirmed as a live-action TV movie following a March 12th press release.]
Titan Maximum – 1/2 hour (CN): currently casting
Delocated – 1/2 hour (CN): wrapped
Futurama – 1/2 hour (FOX): still listed as “currently casting” [see earlier note from February above]
The Simpsons – 1/2 hour (FOX): currently casting
The Cleveland Show – 1/2 hour (FOX): currently casting
Untitled Green/Root/Senerich Project (FOX) – 1/2 hour pilot: wrapped [This project has now been confirmed — and this is no April Fools — as a Star Wars animated sitcom.]

Note that no animated Disney or Nickelodeon projects are included in NowCasting’s list. If you’d like to see the new and continuing animated productions for each of these networks, toonzone has coverage of Nickelodeon’s Upfront 2010 and Disney Channel/Disney XD’s 2010-2011 Programming Announcements. Cartoon Network’s Upfront 2010 is scheduled for April 21st.

Backstage.com also has a comprehensive list of Animation Production Companies (last updated 6.09.2009), some of which are seeking voiceover demos (as noted). But make sure you not only follow Backstage’s advice for submissions, but also note the note individual studios’ guidelines for submitting demos. And bear in mind that in most cases “demo” refers to a reel of animation samples, not voiceovers.


Event: Nancy Cartwright Talks Trash

02.02.2010

According to a Marketwire press release, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson) will be one of the celebrity guests participating in Trash Talk Champion of the World, a charity poker tournament at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, February 6th.

To participate in the tournament, tickets are a measly $1,070.00 each, and there are only 66 tickets left as of this posting.

Related post: 1.11.2010 — The Faces Behind The Simpsons


Voice Cast Cavalcade: The Simpsons

01.11.2010

Originally a news brief, this post has since been expanded into a feature article to commemorate 20 years of “The Simpsons” by spotlighting the show’s voice cast and guest stars. Please scroll down for the most recent updates.

© Image courtesy Fox Broadcasting

Originally posted 1.11.2010:

NYDailyNews.com has a pictorial showcasing “The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: the faces behind the iconic cartoon” which includes 56 photos of the principal cast and many of the show’s celebrity guest stars over the last two decades and the characters they voiced.

Of note are some of the lesser-recognized members of the supporting cast: Frank Welker, Pamela Hayden, Maggie Roswell, Marcia Wallace, Tress MacNeille and Russi Taylor.

Update: 1.12.2010, 2:30 PM (EST)Time.com has a pictorial on “The Simpsons Greatest Guest Voice Appearances” featuring “a gallery of 20 of the world’s most illustrious personalities as skewered by Matt Groening.”

(Thanks to VoiceChasers for the heads-up via Twitter.)

Elsewhere, Macleans.ca blogger Jaime Weinman illustrates how The Simpsons’ cast has helped simple one-shot, castaway characters become recurring fan favorites.

Update: 7:30 PM (EST) — If you missed seeing “The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!” when it premiered on FOX Sunday, Jan. 10th, as of Monday, Jan. 11th the entire episode is available on Hulu.com. (Sorry, I am unable to embed Hulu videos via WordPress.)

I believe fans can also expect an extended “director’s cut” to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2010.

[I’ve deleted the original YouTube link to the documentary for legal reasons.]

The documentary (which has a run-time of around 42 minutes) features the following voice talents:

Mike Judge (Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill, The Goode Family)
Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show)
Julie Kavner, voice of Marge Simpson
Yeardley Smith, voice of Maggie
Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart
Hank Azaria, voice of Moe, Apu, Chief Wiggum
Dan Castellaneta, voice of Homer, Grandpa Simpson, Krusty, Mayor Quimby
Dana Gould (The Simpsons, Clerks: The Cartoon, Gex video game series)
David Cross (Kung Fu Panda, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Freak Show)
Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park)
– …and several of the shows guest stars such as Sting, Jerry Springer, Conan O’Brien and Hugh Hefner.

[Simpsons’ cast member Harry Shearer is noticeably absent from the documentary. Shearer performs the voices of Ned Flanders, Kent Brockman, Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns, Smithers, Rev. Lovejoy, Lenny, Scratchy and many others.]

Additionally, TVSquad blogger Jason Hughes has a thorough review of the special. Here’s an excerpt:

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me, 30 Days) quite literally traveled the globe speaking to fans of all walks of life. He found the largest single collection of Simpsons merchandise and it was a frightening and beautiful thing to see. It spotlighted just how important this show is to some people, and how much these characters have resonated with generations of fans now.

It was also great seeing the interviews with the voice actors, as we so rarely get to see the faces that go with so many of the voices on the show. There are so many great characters on The Simpsons, it’s hard to imagine that so few actors voice all of them. Personally, I would have gotten a huge kick out of seeing them all do their big characters, but maybe that’s just me. The work that goes on behind each episode fascinates me.

Elsewhere, National Post columnist Robert Cushman has an opinionated review of Spurlock’s documentary.

Update: 8:00 PM (EST)OnTheBox.com has a review of The Simpsons: Access All Areas, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the show. It aired only in the UK on SKY1 on Monday, Jan. 11th.

[Update: 1.13.2010 — According to the UK’s Press and Journal, this was the first of a series of three special featurettes airing on SKY1 during the week.]

Narrated by Ricky Gervais (BBC’s The Office), it featured interviews with the show’s cast and crew, including creator Matt Groening, producer Al Jean, composer Alf Clausen, voice actors Dan Castellaneta and Nancy Cartwright, other of the show’s writers and artists and token celebrities Christina Ricci, Tony Hawk and Simon Cowell (who all voiced cameos in the series).

Update: 8:15 PM (EST) — Video interview with Yeardley Smith on FOX’s Good Day LA.

Hank Azaria posts 1.11.2010 via Twitter:

It was actually 22 years ago that the simpsons began for me, so next year when I turn 46, I’ll have been doing it for half my life. Sheesh.

– The Niles Daily Star has a retrospective on 20 years of The Simpsons, including commentary on the show’s voice cast. It also quotes Harry Shearer (via The Associated Press):

“I wish I could say that we inspired an awful lot of funny, smart, irreverent, acerbic shows that took a lacerating view of the insitutions of society. But I don’t think we have,” SNL alum Harry Shearer, 66, who voices Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, Ned Flanders, the Rev. Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert and Principal Skinner, told The Associated Press.

Shearer, who also pummeled the pretensions of rock music as bassist Derek Smalls in 1984’s magnificent mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap,” said satire doesn’t change anything with its scorn.

“For instance,” he said, “after 20 years and 450 episodes, I don’t really think ‘The Simpsons’ has increased the country’s skepticism about nuclear power,” which employs the bumbling Homer as a safety inspector.

Update: 8:45 PM (EST)TheImproper.com has some behind-the-scenes “secrets” on the show’s celebrity guest voices from Hank Azaria and writer/producer Al Jean.

Azaria recalls meeting Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger at the door just before a Simpsons recording session:

“I said, ‘Hey, Mick, we’re thrilled to have you here.’ And he kind of blew right by me like I was the greeter, and went, all dismissively, ‘Yeah, we’ll get it.’

“It made me a little bit annoyed. I knew it was going to get awkward, because I was about to walk upstairs and record with him,” Azaria said.

Al Jean discusses having to turn down celebrity requests to be on the show, such as David Beckham who didn’t make the cut because the show’s producers “didn’t think he was famous enough.” Jean says they ended up getting “a lot of grief” over it, saying it made some people “really angry.” Jean adds, “We get a lot of requests from celebrities, and it’s always a shame when we have to turn people down.”

The Altoona Mirror has a very insightful interview with The Simpsons’ associate producer Brian Kaufman discussing the recording process and directing sessions with the series’ cast and guest stars.

Kaufman, who’s been part of The Simpsons‘ production staff for 12 years, says that it takes about “nine months to produce a show, between all of the components of production,” and reveals that there are “enough new episodes to air through the spring, but even the staff isn’t sure if or when the series will end.”

“It’s kind of renewed in chunks, because of the the contracts – there are deals with the studio, with the actors,” he said. “There are a lot of contractual obligations, and every time one of them comes up, it’s like, ‘Oh, this is it.’ But then they’ll renew for another season.”

On the recording process, Kaufman says, “It’s great to work with the actors, to be on the stage with them, directing them. On the recording stage, it’s usually myself, a writer and the actors. All the actors are there when we do the original recording, but once all the changes – the re-writes – are done, we call them in separately.”

Kaufman says he limits recording lines to “[no] more than 10 takes.” After that, he explains, “the words lose meaning.”

On working with the cast, Kaufman says:

“You have to trust the actors’ instincts. A lot of times, they gave you the best option on the first take. It’s my job to say, ‘OK, we got it.'”

At this point, the cast is “pretty tame,” Kaufman said, because they’ve been working together for so long. He said Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer, is the “funniest” actor to work with, and he’s amazed by the talent of Harry Shearer, who can hold conversations between the many different characters he voices.

Update: 11:30 PM (EST) — Collection of video interviews released to the media by FOX, featuring Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Hank Azaria, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Marcia Wallace and Pamela Hayden:

– On the show’s beginning:

– On casting:

– On performing the characters and being recognized in public:

– On the guest stars:

– On the show’s relevance to society and how it mirrors real life:

– On the show’s success and how proud the cast is to have been a part of it:

Update: 1.13.2010, 1:00 AM (EST) — Best-selling author Mitch Albom (Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven) details his experience — via The Detroit Free Press — recording dialog for his cameo in The Simpsons’ episode “Thursdays With Abie.”

Update: 3:15 AM (EST) — Voices.com co-founder Stephanie Ciccarelli blogs via Vox Daily about the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons, explaining the influence the series has had on the voiceover industry and community.

Update: 2:30 PM (EST)iF Magazine reports 1.11.2010 on the future of “The Simpsons”:

[We] approached Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly about how long he sees THE SIMPSONS staying on Fox, now that it’s reached its 20-year milestone.

“We have it for two more seasons and then we’ll sit down and see where we are,” says Reilly. “The show is extraordinary. We just celebrated twenty years. I’m certainly not gunning for it. It’s still creatively vibrant. The show is up again this season. It’s just just mind-blowing the breadth of creativity that’s still coming out of that camp.”

And in a closely-related interview (via TVGuide.com) with Simpsons executive producer Al Jean, he says he doesn’t feel the end of the show is “imminent.”

“There have been a lot of great endings but we’ve done them all,” says Jean. “Like the ‘Behind the Laughter’ episode. ‘Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind’ would have been a good one. ‘Lisa’ First Word,’ when Maggie spoke, would have been a good one. One thing I learned in television is don’t save it; if you got something good, air it. I have an idea for the last episode but I don’t want to say it.”

In the same interview, Jean says that his “favorite guest star might be Kelsey Grammer [Sideshow Bob] and it’s a really tough contest because there are so many great ones. His voice gives you so much.”

Jean also reflects on the significance of having the late pop star Michael Jackson involved in the show:

It was one of the many amazing things that happened to me while working on the show. He had said to Jim Brooks, ‘I want to be on the show and I want to write a No. 1 song for Bart.’ And he did and he did, it was No. 1.[Jackson co-wrote — although uncredited — the song “Do the Bartman,” which reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.] He did come to the table reads and read the script [for the episode “Stark Raving Dad”] but when it came to the singing, he wanted a sound-alike to do the recording and we never really understood why. I did hear him sing and of course he was great. It was one of the coolest things I’ve been involved with.

Elsewhere, IGN.com has an exclusive video with a “special anniversary message” from the King of the Hill cast, featuring the voices of Mike Judge, Stephen Root and Johnny Hardwick.

Update: 3:00 PM (EST)

– Morgan Spurlock talks with Newsarama about the making of “The Simpsons” documentary.

Harry Shearer and Yeardley Smith reflect on 20 years of “The Simpsons” with the Boston Globe.

Nancy Cartwright says in an interview with the UK’s Press and Journal that she has a history of being mistaken for a boy.

“I was about seven when people started making comments about my voice,” Cartwright says. “And being seven and having short hair I had an androgynous quality, so people didn’t know whether I was a boy or a girl. But I just used my voice to make people laugh and, because it made people laugh, it made me happy.”

And after 20 years, when asked what she would like to happen to Bart, Nancy replies, “I’d like Bart to meet Hugh Jackman [X-Men series, The Prestige] – I don’t know if Bart would necessarily want to meet him, but Nancy Cartwright would.”

Update: 1.14.2010, 1:30 PM

TheTakeaway.org has an audio interview with Harry Shearer discussing 20 years of “The Simpsons.”

Also, NewsOK.com has a short piece celebrating Shearer’s 66th birthday on Dec. 23rd.

Media Bistro has a video interview with “The Simpsons” documentary director Morgan Spurlock.

Yahoo News has an interview with Harry Shearer (via The Associated Press).

The Sioux City Journal interviews Yeardley Smith.

Look for more articles to be added to this report in the near future, as several of The Simpsons’ cast have been interviewed recently to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the series.


New ‘Simpsons’ Game Features Show’s Voice Cast

12.22.2009

IGN has an interview with Steve Robert, producer of The Simpsons Arcade game which was released Dec. 21st as an iPhone app.

Robert says that Gracie Films was “very involved” in the development of the game, and adds that the script was drafted by Simpsons’ writer Michael Price.

An earlier press release from game publisher Electronic Arts states that the voices were all recorded “by the real, live actors” and Geek site Kotaku.com confirms that all of the following provided voices for the game: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer.

Robert also says that the game features 25 characters, “plus a rat, some scary bats, cyborgs, vicious hounds, and attack cows.”


FOX Announces Guest Voices for ‘Simpsons’ Season 21

08.27.2009

The landmark 21st Season of The Simpsons will premiere on FOX September 27 at 8:00 PM (EST) with “Homer The Whopper” (originally intended to air in Season 20).

Here’s the episode description from SimpsonsChannel.com:

Comic Book Guy casts Homer as the lead in “Everyman,” a feature film based on the new comic book superhero he created. To whip him into shape for the part, the movie studio hires celebrity fitness trainer Lyle McCarthy (guest voice Seth Rogen [who also co-wrote the episode]) but Homer has trouble sticking to his new, healthy regimen.

Furthermore, WorstPreviews.com has details on other guest celebrity voices featured in the upcoming season:

Jonah Hill guest-voices as “Andy,” a former Springfield Elementary student hailed as the best prankster ever in the upcoming episode, “Pranks and Greens.” Neve Campbell plays “Cassandra,” a Wiccan accused of blinding the town with a spell (a la “The Craft”) in “Rednecks and Broomsticks.” Jackie Mason returns as Rabbi Krustofsky, Krusty the Clown’s father, in “Once Upon a Time in Springfield,” in which Krusty ends up falling in love with the actress who plays “Princess Penelope” (guest star Anne Hathaway), a new character on his show. The late Eartha Kitt also lends her voice talents to the episode.

Additional guest stars paying Springfield a visit next season include Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Sarah Silverman, football greats Eli Manning and Peyton Manning, sportscaster Bob Costas, UFC champion Chuck Liddell and actress Angela Bassett.