For example, the people who supply some of our favorite voices have no shortage of work, such as Russi Taylor and Tress MacNeille, who work together also on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Taylor provides the voice of one of my faves, Martin Prince, and as well as Sherri & Terri, among others. MacNeille also supplies many character voices; among my faves are Jimbo, Brandine, and Agnes Skinner (quite the range, eh?)
Yeardley Smith is best known for being the voice of Lisa Simpson, but she also starred in the ever-cherished Herman’s Head, played the only likeable character in AS GOOD AS IT GETS (1997), and was Putter in THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN (1985). And sisters, if you have not seen BILLIE JEAN, do yourself a favor and put it on your queue! It’s even more feminist, provocative, and energizing now than it was back when I was a tweener, when “Fair
He looks sweet and mild, but don’t tick him off.
Harry Shearer is the voice behind many of the funniest and/or most beloved Simpsons characters, such as Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Burns, Smithers, Otto, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, Lenny, and, of course, Scratchy (among many, many others). But with his versatile voice and terrific singing ability, Shearer has appeared in oodles of films, including his role as G. Gordon Liddy in DICK (1999) and perhaps most famously as Derek Smalls in THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984). He also shows off those pipes in A MIGHTY WIND (2003), which might be the most underrated of the Guest, et al films.
David Silverman has been with the The Simpsons since its birth on The Tracey Ullman Show as animator, producer, creative consultant (whatever that is) and director – in addition to directing many episodes of the show, Silverman brilliantly directed THE SIMPSONS MOVIE (2007). In 2005, he got in front of the camera to teach a drawing lesson (watch “Goo Goo Gai Pan” on Hulu or wherever if you don’t know what I’m talking about. You’ll thank me).
Silverman has also worked for Pixar and DreamWorks – he co-directed THE ROAD TO EL DORADO and the sassy MONSTERS,
I really liked her on Dharma and Greg, too.
Clearly, Silverman’s career of the last 20 years or so is impressive, sure, but perhaps the most intriguing thing you’ll find on Silverman’s IMDb page is the head animator credit (albeit spelled incorrectly) for the short TOM WAITS FOR NO ONE. In the 1990s, other Tom Waits fans and I spoke in hushed, revered tones of this film, not knowing whether to believe those who claimed to have seen it, but being jealous of them all the same just in case it could be true. If only we’d had YouTube, like the spoiled college kids of today:
According to Variety, Silverman is slated to direct a live-action film for MGM, an adaptation of the children’s book The Facttracker. Also on his schedule, IMDb reports Silverman will be directing a Disney film called THE PET,
Drawin’ Krusty. Just another day at the office.
If you’re not already following Silverman on Twitter*, do so now (tubatron). He’s funny, announces his groups’ appearances around LA (They are called Vaud and the Villains– hint: his handle is “tubatron” for a reason!) and likes to share the occasional photo (like the one I borrowed above). And maybe eventually he’ll share some 140-character anecdotes about his upcoming films with his followers as he sees fit (hint hint).
*If you’re not already following me on Twitter, what’s wrong with you? You can follow me (duve) and/or the awesome duo of Dr. Karma and me (Simpsonology).
Happy Father’s day, fathers!