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A young, struggling Walt Disney originally performed the voice of Mickey Mouse himself to save money on production costs. Bill Scott, cocreator of Rocky and Bullwinkle, likewise did the voices of Mr. Peabody and Bullwinkle.

Dan Castellaneta’s contract with Fox forbids him from doing Homer Simpson’s voice in public.

The first voice ever recorded was Thomas Edison in 1877, when he was messing around with his new invention, the phonograph. The historic first recording? “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Australia’s crested bellbird has an odd defense mechanism: It can throw its voice like a ventriloquist. Your vocal cords vibrate to create the sound of your voice. If you’re an average adult, they vibrate 100 (usually male) to 200 (usually female) times a second. A child’s, 250 to 400. And a screaming baby, 500.

The vocal cords of a soprano, singing two octaves above middle C, vibrate 1,024 times a second.

To do Smokey Bear’s deep voice in commercials, voice man Jack Weaver put his head in a trash can.

Lloyd’s of London once insured Bruce Springsteen’s voice for £ 3.5 million.

Like most of his audience, even author E. B. White became teary-eyed by the death of his fictional spider Charlotte. When he recorded the audiobook, it took 19 takes before he could read that part without his voice cracking.

Hank Azaria has voiced more than 160 characters on The Simpsons.

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dopey makes just a handful of sounds during the entire movie: hiccups and snoring, rendered flawlessly by Disney sound man Jimmy MacDonald.


The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids. Weighing in at over 400 pages, it's a fact-a-palooza of obscure information.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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"Bill Scott, cocreator of Rocky and Bullwinkle, likewise did the voices of Mr. Peabody and Bullwinkle. "
AND Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle, Superchicken and Tom Swift (do you see a pattern here?) He also took over as the voice of Fillmore Bear on the less-remembered Hoppity Hooper, because the guy they originally hired for the voice, Alan Reed, got a better offer to do Fred Flintstone. Bill Scott co-produced, did a ton of writing and a ton of voices for the cartoons known as Jay Ward Productions, which not enough people know because he didn't want his name to pop up several times on the end credits. As a "cartoon aficionado", I consider Bill Scott my 'humble hero'.
My other cartoon voice idol is June Foray, who got her big break before she was 30 doing the voice of Granny in the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons (and never got a screen credit because Mel Blanc's contract guaranteed him the ONLY voice credit), and is still occasionally working at the age of 98, including the 'little boy' voice of Rocky (of 'and Bullwinkle'). Granny in her 20s and Rocky in her 90s. Wow.
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