Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - Hi Vanity Fair. I'm Billy West. You might recognize me as both Ren and Stimpy. "Hey Ren, will you button me?" "Shut up you fool! Else I shall kill you!" Or Fry. "Aw man did everything just taste purple for a second?" And Farnsworth on Futurama. "Good news everyone, I don't want to live on this planet anymore." [funky music] - That's exactly the job I've always wanted. - Nobody is as funny or as smart as you! - I'm nice, I've got a great dog, I can eat a ton of cotton candy without getting sick. - Eh, you were expecting maybe the Easter Bunny? - Oh joy! Hey Ren, it's Commander Hoek and Stimpy! Happy happy happy! Joy joy joy! My favorite live action drama! - It's so funny when John Kricfalusi called me to do Ren and Stimpy he said "Hey! I want you to do voices on the cartoon here." I said sure, wonderful. And I looked at the drawings and I couldn't figure out what they were, you know? Were they microbes or were they mosquitoes? But it was like, very dolly-esque. I used Larry Fine from The Three Stooges as a template for Stimpy. "Hey ma I peed on my shoe." So I amped him up into a sort of like, the cartoon universe you know, it's like "Hey Ren, will you button me?" - Come on Ren I need your help! Oh please! - He sent in my Stimpy audition because he changed mind he wanted to do the Ren character and I said "Fine! I don't give a fat frog's behind who does what." I had a job, I was grateful. We started doing stuff and uh he got himself fired um, unceremoniously. So then the execs were going, "Well wait a minute, wasn't Billy supposed to do both voices?" And you know, they sent me some stuff and I read it and I sent it in and they said, "Okay, we'll work with you." You know. - Dear Ren, that's me, that's me! You are my favorite tv star. - The voices to me sound like what they look like. Happy happy, joy joy! Happy happy, joy joy! ♪ Happy happy, joy joy joy! ♪ - I was uh wondering, well if you want to uh [intense music] go to the fair, stupid? [screams] - Jim Jenkins, he was really creative and he created this slew of characters. And the character Doug I guess was based on him when he was a little kid. You know, he was sensitive, had crushes on girls when he didn't even know how to approach them. He was respectful of everybody. He was, "Well, a painfully average 11 and a half year old. This is my dog Porkchop. Oh no, here comes Roger Klotz." "Hey loser, I'm running for office so vote for this!" - I know how you must feel now but in a few years when you look back on all this- - What a loon! You never told me your sister was such a weirdo! - Well actually I did try to- - She's even goofier than you are, Funnie. [laughs] - [Doug] So everything worked out okay. - These characters were just absolutely beautiful and I got to do Doug Funnie and Roger Klotz, I got to do the gym coach, Coach Spitz. Now he sounded like this. - You didn't break anything, did you? Nah, nothing broken. - I know there's a reason why certain people talk the way they do. They might have bruxism. They might have periodontal malocclusion or the jaw might be jutting out. Say your jaw was like really out and you have to talk through all that stuff to get to your tongue. You have to go through the jaw and you gotta go through all that space. By the time it comes out this is all a spiel. And so that show lasted for four years on Nickelodeon and my mom loved that show. You know, long after it was over with and they did another Doug on Disney. I had nothing to do with it. My mom would say, "Too bad you can't get that Doug thing going again." - Bugs Bunny? - Eh, you were expecting maybe the Easter Bunny? - You're a cartoon, you're not real. - Not real eh? If I weren't real, could I do this? [Bugs smooches Michael] - At the time that they were casting for Space Jam I was still working in New York City on The Howard Stern Show. And I was getting ready to leave radio because, you know, I did my bit for radio for what it's worth. But they don't pay anything. You know, and I just said "You know, I can't stay here. If I stay in the part of the pool where people pee shame on me." But Ivan Reitman, the person who was doing Howard's movie, Private Parts. So he used to sit in in the radio studio and watch me doing my thing. He set it up where I was gonna audition for Bugs. It was hairy. I mean because you've gotta meet so many people's perceptions of what that character is. You try to come as close as you can but there's something that no mortal can do is replicate Mel Blanc's acting choices. You really are skating on thin ice when you start, you know, rambling. Say it was a long monologue or something. You know, you gotta really pay attention all the time just to make sure that you're staying in character. You know and I used to listen to cartoons and I kinda got the pattern, the rhythms and stuff like that. Like, "Ain't I a little stinker?" - Well uh does he say "What's up, doc?" Like this? [Bugs munches on carrot] Eh what's up, doc? - Yeah! - Yeah! - Nope, never heard of him. - Bugs changed every time they had a new director for a cartoon. So you know, bearing all that in mind I took the plunge and I was doing a Bugs Bunny opposite Michael Jordan. Except I was never in the room with him. They had a blue screen guy feeding him lines. And he'd say, "Oh stop it Bugs." I wasn't anywhere near. So then there was a wrap party at Warner Brothers for Space Jam. Michael Jordan's agent, Ken Ross sees me. And he goes, "Michael, this is Billy West. He did Bugs." And he reached over like, six people and he goes, "Hey Billy." It was like his hand, shaking his hand was like, that big. "Michael Jordan, the closest thing to a religious figure that we have." [laughs] And I did Elmer Fudd. You can listen to the cartoons and he's a combination of a child who acts sort of innocently and new to the world like a candide type of character. "Shh, be vewy vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbits." [laughs] And then he would go "Alwight wabbit, come out with your hands up. I'll bwast you." - Alwight you pesky wabbit. I've got you now. [gun cocks] [ramp slams on Elmer's head] - And that guy who did his voice was named Arthur Q. Bryan. And he was a radio star. And he had these little characters where you would do, you know the baby talk. And they thought he was perfect for Elmer Fudd. 'Cause he would just look on and goes, "Well Mr. Bunny wabbit, would you come here for a moment pwease?" You know and then he'd go, "I got ya now!" [Billy mimics gun noises] [gasps] - Why for you bury me, weiner boy? [Woody pecks at cart] Guess who? [laughs] - At that point I was just answering the calls for auditions and they said they were gonna redo Woody Woodpecker. And I thought, great! You know, I'll come down. Then I did my thing and I said, "You guys do know that that's a sped up voice?" So I tried to do it as approximate as I could. "Guess who?" And that was the Mel Blanc Woody Woodpecker. After him it was Gracey Lantz. That was Walter Lantz's wife. She goes, "I hope you like today's show!" You know, and they sped it up. And if you could hear me sped up, that's what, it would sound like Woody Woodpecker that way. I couldn't do the laughing real time. It had to be edited in. Because I had to take breaks for breathing. [Billy laughs] And then when they edit it together and sped it up, it was [Billy laughs]. - [Woody laughs] - And I also auditioned for Wally Walrus. "Oh that Woodpecker! I hate you Woodpecker!" - That should fix that Woodpecker you bet [hums]. - And I get to do some, a lot of incidental type characters. - Oh, I would like to buy a hotdog please. - I was plenty busy on that show and I loved it. I had nothing but energy. You know, I was younger [laughs]. I was a young guy. - So I'm gonna be a delivery boy? - Exactly. - All right! I'm a delivery boy! - Hey it's Philip J. Fry. Greetings from the year 3000. It still sucks. You know what that voice is, that was just my um, voice when I was 25. I remember what he sounded like. I was all whiny and nasally and complain-y. I was a musician I might be like, "Oh man I broke a string! Now what am I supposed to do?" You know that's exactly the way I sounded. "You'd think somebody would turn the light on."