Nancy Cartwright has obviously been doing these voices for a long, LONG time. It shows in just how smoothly she can switch from one to another, but if you listen very closely you can hear in her voice the same resonance that serves as the background for each character. That sort of whiny, almost to puberty kind of quality that so many boys has is something of a specialty for her and allows her to drop into a great deal of different tones that allow these characters to come to life. How many of you knew that she voiced this many characters?
Honestly I knew about Bart and that’s it. I’ve watched the Simpsons for years and somehow ignored the majority of the credits but now that I find out I’m a bit amazed. To think that she does all these voices on her own and can transition on a dime from one to the next is awesome.
It’s still kind of hard to believe that the Simpsons started out so simply on the Tracy Ullman show 30 years ago. Who would have thought that the show would have taken off like this? The characters were somehow just funny and engaging enough that people somehow related to them and thought that they were the best thing to come along in a long time. For all that the family is horrible to each other and does some really wacky things they’re still a close knit family and in many ways need each other no matter what.
In some ways I really believe that they helped to form the current sitcoms of today and were a great influence on the greatest and the worst shows that we have now. The elements of the Simpsons can be seen in many shows that are currently on cable and streaming. Don’t jump down my throat for this but I even happen to think that elements of one of my new favorite shows, Shameless, pulls almost directly from the Simpsons. The characters would be diffused throughout the show, but in a lot of ways I see the Simpsons in Shameless in many different facets.
Fiona would be almost like a mixture of Marge, Lisa, and even Bart, with a dash of Homer since she’s the provider for the family. The boys, except Ian, would be almost all Bart, though Lip would have a good amount of Lisa in him as well. Liam obviously would be a Maggie, as would Carl in a way. Frank would be like Homer’s friend Barney, without the fun-loving attitude. Who’s Ian? A Smithers, definitely.
I’m not knocking any of them, I happen to like the Simpsons and I like Shameless, but the correlation is there whether people want to see it or not. I kind of wonder if Nancy ever gets asked what her contributions to TV have done for other shows. It’d be an odd question to field really but perhaps she’d have a take on it one way or another.