William Richard "Billy" West (born April 16, 1952) is an American voice actor and comedian. Put this guy in a room, give him a script and a mic and you can do a complete show with 20+ individual voices.
In Futurama alone, he is slacker delivery boy Philip J. Fry, Mad Scientist Professor Hubert Farnsworth, smarmy space captain Zapp Brannigan,note Richard Nixon (who is now President of Earth and, like many celebrities from the past, is a head kept alive in a jar), and half of any background/supporting characters you see — oh, and Dr. Zoidberg, the loser lobster-esque alien doctor.
...and all of this after he first came to public attention as the voice of both Doug and Roger on Doug and both title characters of Ren and Stimpy after John Kricfalusi (the original voice of Ren) was firednote . He (along with Joe Alaskey) has become one of few voice actors who can impersonate Mel Blanc in his prime, including characterizations of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other characters from the Looney Tunes. He's also the Red M&M. Even before he was known for all these roles, West worked in radio, and was actually a cast member of The Howard Stern Show from 1989-1995.
Notable roles of Billy West include
- Phillip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, Richard Nixon, Leo Wong, Officer Smitty, and many, many others in Futurama
- Sorcerio, the Jester, Mertz, and Pops in Disenchantment
- Stimpy, and Ren in the later seasons, from The Ren & Stimpy Show
- Doug Funnie and Roger Klutz from Doug
- Elmer Fudd (and sometimes Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn and Porky Pig) in various Looney Tunes media like Space Jam and The Looney Tunes Show.
- The Red M&M in the M&M commercials.
- The Honey Nut Cheerios Bee in the Honey Nut Cheerios commercials
- Cecil in The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil
- Harvey the Wonder Hamster and the announcer from The Weird Al Show
- Ralph Roach in Joe's Apartment
- G.e.e.K.e.R. from Project G.e.e.K.e.R.
- Slimer and Mayor McShane from Extreme Ghostbusters
- Shaggy Rogers in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (Replacing Casey Kasem after he retired from the role due to it conflicting with his vegetarian lifestyle)
- Woody Woodpecker, Wally Walrus, and Smedley in The New Woody Woodpecker Show
- Mr. Holloway in the King of the Hill episode "The Company Man"
- Rancid Rabbit and Mr. Sunshine from CatDog
- Chit Chatterson, Ben Franklin, Genghis Khan, Winston Churchill and several others in Histeria!
- Rayman in in Rayman: The Animated Series
- Zam and Nash in Crash Nitro Kart
- Sparx in The Legend of Spyro (second game only)
- Poochini in Poochini
- Kyle Finster in Squirrel Boy
- Mrs. Grimley in As Told by Ginger
- George Klimer and Anita Bidet in The Oblongs
- Principal Razinski in My Life as a Teenage Robot
- Magus from The Scorpion King: Rise of the Akkadian
- Skeets in Justice League Unlimited
- Jimmy Proudwolf in What's New, Scooby-Doo?
- Zim in the pilot for Invader Zim (Replaced by Richard Steven Horvitz for the show proper)
- Pidge in Voltron The Third Dimension
- Ellyvan in Jungle Junction
- Rocket Raccoon in Ultimate Spider-Man
- Popeye in Popeye's Voyage: The Quest For Pappy
- Bashful from The 7D
- Grimtrix in Sofia the First
- Gobba, Lunk, and Balk from Mixels
- Sheriff Tex Avery, Sagebush Sid and Freddy the Fly in The Wacky World of Tex Avery
- Fatso in the Casper's Scare School film
Tropes in Billy West's work:
- Man of a Thousand Voices: If you gave this man a script for a half-hour animated show and a microphone, he could do the voices for nearly all the characters.note He can even do things to his voice that would require alteration from studio recording equipment (cf. the voice of the pure energy being from the Futurama episode "Love Labors Lost in Space," which was initially thought to be technical difficulties). He's that good.
- He even voices an old lady in one episode of As Told by Ginger. It takes a sharp ear to notice as she sounds like Fry on helium.
- He also voiced Popeye in the 2004 Direct-To-Video movie Popeye's Voyage: The Quest For Pappy - whose iconic growl is actually two voices speaking at the same time an octave apart, as demonstrated by West in a Fresh Air interview.
- He revealed on Talkin Toons With Rob Paulsen that he was a voice match for Della Reece of all people in the video game adaptation of the film Dinosaur.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: A handful of his most memorable voices are some variation on Larry Fine of The Three Stooges (Stimpy is basically Larry, but high-pitched so as not to sound like "a depressed old Jewish man"). He was even hired as a dialect coach for the 2012 Stooges movie.
- Vocal Dissonance: He claims to have based the voice of Phillip J. Fry on himself when he was 25 years old. It's barely any different from the way he sounds now. He's in his mid-60s and yet the very youthful voices of Fry, Doug, and the Red M&M are the voices he does that are closest to his natural speaking voice.