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William Richard Werstine (born April 16, 1952), known professionally as Billy West, is an American voice actor and comedian born in Detroit, Michigan. Put this guy in a room, give him a script and a mic and you can do a complete show with 20+ individual voices (some of which will sound like they're pitched up or down or autotuned on the track, but aren't).

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.

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...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 & Stimpy after John Kricfalusi (the original voice of Ren) was firednote . He (along with the late Joe Alaskey) became 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.

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Not to be confused with the guy from the video game The Adventures of Bayou Billy.


Notable roles of Billy West include

Billy West and his works provide examples of:

  • Creator Backlash:
    • He doesn't like talking about doing Ren and Stimpy because he hated working with John K so much. He didn't even come back for the short-lived (and ill-fated) Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" series.
    • He refused to continue to voice Doug and Roger for Disney's Doug, though Doug fans may be disappointed to know that it had more to do with the fact that his pay was significantly decreased than the quality of the new series.
    • He hates Looney Tunes: Back in Action, primarily because he was replaced by Joe Alaskey as Bugs' voice half-way through production (although his work as Elmer Fudd remained), and accused director Joe Dante of being too demanding and indecisive.
  • 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.
  • Playing Against Type: His voice for Magus in The Scorpion King video game tie-in sounds a bit like Zapp Brannigan, but his characterization sounds a lot more evil.
  • Promoted Fanboy: West is a big Mel Blanc fanboy as elaborated on the main page. He stated that one of his biggest career highlights was seeing his name appear next to Blanc's during the credits of Daffy's Rhapsody.
  • 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.
  • We Used to Be Friends: As noted, West is among the many people who feel this way about John Kricfalusi.

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