I know that I’m not the only one who used to wake up early each Saturday morning and post up right in front of the television to watch cartoons, right? I mean, as a young kid, that’s what we all had to look forward to in life—getting spoiled with breakfast from our parents and laughing at the animated fun that we were watching. And while there have been a variety of TV shows over the years, there have been even more cartoons that, you might not believe, starred some of your favorite celebrities as a voice of one of the characters. One of those just so happened to be Jackie Chan Adventures, which starred the action hero as himself from 2000-05. But what are some of the other shows that you might be shocked to know had famous people as the voice? I give you a few examples below, so enjoy.
8. Kristen Wiig – Lola Bunny from The Looney Tunes Show
Many of us know actress Kristen Wiig from her time on TV shows like Saturday Night Live and from movies like Bridesmaids, but she actually provided her voice for Lola Bunny in The Looney Tunes, as well as Lucy in the movie Despicable Me. Wiig is one of the naturally funny ladies in all of showbiz, knowing exactly when to plant a perfect joke and use her wit. So it’s no wonder she knows how to bring it whether she’s in-front of the camera or lending her voice into a microphone as a cartoon character.
7. Mischa Barton – Betty Ann Bongo from Kablam!
She hasn’t been in much lately, but many of us remember actress Mischa Barton from her role as Marissa Cooper on the hit show, The OC, which was about privileged, California kids who tried to overcome the drama and heartaches of being a teenager. But prior to that? Would you have guessed that Barton actually voiced the role of Betty Ann Bongo on Kablam!? It’s a far cry from her role as Cooper, which forced her to act, well, like a teenager, with Betty Ann being the exact opposite.
6. Jaleel White – Sonic The Hedgehog
Chances are you probably don’t recognize his real name, but if I said the name Steve Urkel and mentioned the TV show Family Matters, I bet you might remember who Jaleel White is. That’s because one of the biggest goofs in the ’90s was a pop icon as Urkel, making people laugh with his one-liners and clumsiness. And while White is best known for his role on the family sitcom from back then, he was actually the voice of a bunch of Sonic The Hedgehog related things. Is anyone else shocked by this news?
5. Robert Downey Jr. – Patrick Pewterschmidt from Family Guy
After being on the air for as long as it has and enjoyed the success that it continues to have, nothing surprises me about some of the cameos that the show Family Guy is able to land, anymore. From athletes to Academy Award-winning actors, the show continues to prove that it has star power. One of the stars that loved the show enough to lend his voice to it was Robert Downey Jr., who played Lois Griffin’s long, lost brother Patrick Pewterschmidt in an episode. Many of you probably didn’t know that, did you?
4. Lacey Chabert – Eliza Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys
Many of us probably remember this one, but it’s still a funny reminder every time I think about it. Yes, Lacey Chabert was the voice of Eliza Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys, using her soft, cute voice for a character that, incredibly, was completely opposite Chabert’s real-life personality. I mean, did anyone really believe that one of the girls from Mean Girls would be a nerdy cartoon character? Probably not. In a more shocking reminder, Lacey also voiced Meg Griffin from Family Guy before Mila Kunis took over, too.
3. Michael Cera – Brother Bear from The Berenstain Bears
As someone who actually was forced to dress up as Brother Bear back in preschool—yes, there’s photo proof—I can empathize with the role that comedic actor Michael Cera once had. That’s because he, too, played the youngest fur ball back on the show The Berenstain Bears, which was a TV show about the children’s book, as he acted as the voice for the little guy. Yes, this was way before he was making us crack up in movies like Superbad.
2. Jackie Chan – Jackie Chan Adventures
Many of us know Jackie Chan as a complete master of martial arts, doing ridiculous stunts and kung-fu moves that have us dropping our jaws. But, as mentioned in my opener, Chan actually had his own animated TV show, once, which chronicled his adventures in a fictionalized version and was aptly named, Jackie Chan Adventures. Running from 2000-05, Chan, naturally, led the cast by voicing the main character, which, of course, was himself. Of all of these celebs who played a cartoon role, it looks like Chan had the easiest of them all, going out there and being himself—which has to be pretty cool.
1. James Avery – Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Much like the aforementioned Jaleel White as the character Steve Urkel on Family Matters, the late James Avery had a very popular ’90s TV role, too, playing the part of Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In addition to playing the stern judge, though, Avery used his deep voice as the main bad guy, Shredder, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, trying to take down the turtles who learned everything from their Master Splinter, who, oddly enough, learned from the Shred man.