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Henry Albert Azaria (Pronounced uh-zar-e-uh) (born April 25, 1964) is an American actor, voice actor, producer, and comedian. He voices Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Jonathan Frink, Snake Jailbird and numerous other characters on The Simpsons. He voices the most characters on the show.

The Simpsons

Azaria is most famous for his voice work on The Simpsons. He joined the show at age 22, having previously performed only one voice over as an animated dog in the Fox pilot Hollywood Dog (1990). The first voice he performed was that of the town bartender Moe, redubbing Christopher Collins who had voiced the character in the original track. Having known him from the failed pilot, casting director Bonita Pietila called Azaria and asked to audition for the voice of Moe. At the time he was doing a play, in which he performed the role of a drug dealer, basing his voice on Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon (1975). He used that voice in the audition and was told by Matt Groening and Sam Simon to make it more gravelly, with it becoming the voice of Moe. Groening and Simon thought it was perfect and took Azaria over to the Fox recording studio. Before he had even seen a script, he recorded several lines of dialogue as Moe for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening."[1][2][3] Azaria didn't expect to hear from the show again but they continued to call him back, first to perform the voice of Chief Wiggum, and then Apu, until eventually during the second season he was doing numerous voices. At that point, he was given a contract and made a permanent member of the cast and has remained ever since. He has won three Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on the show in the category "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance". He also played Phoebe's Boyfriend, David, on the show Friends, along with many other TV characters.

Azaria also voices Comic Book Guy, Lou, Dr. Nick, Snake Jailbird, Professor Frink, Sea Captain, Wiseguy, Superintendent Chalmers, Cletus, Kirk Van Houten, and others.

Many of his character's voices were loosely based on other people:

In early 2020, Azaria announced that he was stepping away from the Apu character, primarily because of the stereotypes and bias it perpetuated.[7] Later in the year he would retire from voicing Carl (as well as Bumblebee Man and Lou) for similar reasons.[8]

Other work

Azaria has had an incredibly active career outside The Simpsons during his time on the show. He has had starring or recurring guest roles on various TV shows with characters such as Jay Nichols in Herman's Head (1991-1994), Nat Ostertag in Mad About You (1995-1999), David in Friends (1994; 2001-2003), Dr. Craig "Huff" Huffstodt in Huff (2004-2006), and as Venom/Eddie Brock in Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1996), as well as winning an Emmy for playing Mitch Albom in the miniseries Tuesdays with Morrie (1999). He has appeared in numerous movies playing characters such as Albert Freedman in Quiz Show (1994), Alan Marciano in Heat (1995), Agador Spartacus in The Birdcage (1996), Bartok in Anastasia (1997), Victor "Animal" Palotti in Godzilla (1998) along with Simpsons co-stars Nancy Cartwright and Harry Shearer, Jeff/The Blue Raja in Mystery Men (1999), Hector Gorgonzolas in America's Sweethearts (2001), Claude in Along Came Polly (2004), Kahmunrah, The Thinker, and Abraham Lincoln in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2010) and Gargamel in the 2011 film The Smurfs and its sequel The Smurfs 2. He has also played Whit in Run Fatboy Run (2007). More recently, Hank has joined the cast of Ray Donovan (2014-2016) an American television crime drama series playing James Cochran, head of the L.A. division of the FBI.

Credits

Also Starring (1989-1991)

Season 1

Season 2

Starring (1991-present)

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8

Season 9

Season 10

Season 11

Season 12

Season 13

Season 14

Season 15

Season 16

Season 17

Season 18

Season 19

Season 20

Season 30

Season 31

Season 32

Commentaries (2004-2017)

Hank Azaria's Characters

See also

Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Azaria, Hank interview with Terry Gross. Fresh Air. National Public Radio, WHYY-FM, Philadelphia, 2004-12-06
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Azaria, Hank. The Simpsons The Complete Fifth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. Silverman, David. The Simpsons season 1 DVD commentary for the episode "Some Enchanted Evening" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Joe Rhodes. "Flash! 24 Simpsons Stars Reveal Themselves", TV Guide,. Retrieved on 2007-08-15. 
  5. Azaria, Hank. The Simpsons The Complete Fourth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Triple Bypass" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  6. Azaria, Hank. The Simpsons The Complete Eighth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Homer's Enemy" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  7. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/arts/hank-azaria-simpsons-apu.html
  8. https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/the-simpsons-carl-voice-alex-desert-hank-azaria-1234782691/

External links

Cast and Crew
Starring
Dan Castellaneta | Julie Kavner | Nancy Cartwright | Yeardley Smith | Hank Azaria | Harry Shearer
Also Starring
Pamela Hayden | Tress MacNeille | Maggie Roswell | Russi Taylor | Karl Wiedergott | Christopher Collins | Doris Grau | Jo Ann Harris | Marcia Mitzman Gaven
Special Guest Voices
Kelsey Grammer | Maurice LaMarche | Joe Mantegna | Marcia Wallace | Greg Berg | Albert Brooks | Phil Hartman | Jan Hooks | Jane Kaczmarek | Jon Lovitz | Frank Welker
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