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Descended Creator

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This is when a crewmember or executive for a show makes an appearance in a part that would ordinarily be cast with a professional actor — or the crewmember is also an actor.

This may start out as a Creator Cameo, with their original "extra" part becoming an Ascended Extra.

It is extremely common for foreign-language dubs to have voice actors who are also the dub's producer, ADR director, or scriptwriters. This is both because their skill sets feed into each other (it's easier to write dialogue that matches lip flaps if you're used to reading it, and vice-versa) and as a cost-saving measure — most dubs are non-union and relatively low-budget, so it pays to keep staffing small. This trope is also common in Western animation, as the production pipeline requires voice acting to be done before any actual animation can be created, resulting in the possibility of Permanent Placeholder should the crew become attached to the "scratch track" or the intended voice actor is a no-show.


Not to be confused with Fallen Creator, and has nothing to do with Jesus Christ or any other god that becomes mortal.


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  • Tom Carvel, the founder of the Carvel ice cream franchise, was the announcer of his company's local radio and TV advertisements from 1955 to his death in 1990.
  • Not long after taking the top job at Chrysler in 1979 after a 25-year career at Ford, Lee Iacocca began appearing in a series of "if you can find a better car, buy it" ads that reached pre-internet Memetic Mutation status in the early '80s.
  • From 1989 until his death in 2002, Dave Thomas appeared in over 800 commercials for Wendy's, the restaurant franchise he founded.
  • Dick Sittig created the "Jack Box" TV ad campaign for Jack in the Box and was the voice of the character from 1994 until 2015 when Jack in the Box hired a different ad agency.
  • When the scheduled voice talent for the 1964 western Gunfighters Of Casa Grande failed to show up to record the announcement for the trailer, it fell to one of the sound engineers and recordists to fill in so they had at least something to show MGM, the film's producers. That sound engineer? Don LaFontaine, who would later make a career out of voicing trailers.

  • This was very common during the earlier days of anime before it became relevant in the global market. Due to a smaller staff size and most work being put toward translation, some higher ups would take it upon themselves to voice characters and some voice actors would also do some of the lower-level work in the dubbing process.
    • Perhaps the greatest example of the above is Christopher Sabat. One of the heads of Funimation during its early days in the late 90s. For the dub of Dragon Ball Z, despite being The casting director, line producer, ADR director and translator of the original Japanese script, he’s lent his voice for iconic characters like Yamcha, Vegeta, Piccolo, and multiple extras. Going on to voice characters in future Funimation-led dubs as well as directing them.
  • Carl Macek did the voiceover for the opening narration of the first English dub of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. note  This was also infamous as a case of Voiceover Translation.
  • In FLCL, Hideaki Anno, one of the co-founders of Studio Gainax and creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion, provides the voice of Naota's pet cat in the Japanese version.
  • In His Coool Seha Girls, Center-sensei is voiced by Yuji Naka, a former developer for Sega who helped to create the Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Genesis.
  • Digimon Adventure: Dave Guerrie, a post-production coordinator, voiced several characters throughout the show, most notably Machinedramon.
  • Jalen K. Cassell is an African-American voice director, translator, and writer who’s done more work for the Jojos Bizarre Adventure dub, and has voiced two characters so far. Vanilla Ice and [[Deuteragonist Okuyasu Nijimura]]

    Film — Animation 
  • In The Incredibles, Brad Bird wound up voicing Edna Mode. He originally planned to cast Lily Tomlin, but she said he did it perfectly himself when demonstrating what she should sound like.
  • Meet the Robinsons director Steve Anderson voiced Bowler Hat Guy, Grandpa Bud and Cousin Tallulah.
  • Walt Dohrn, head of story on Shrek Forever After, was cast as Rumplestiltskin after everyone fell in love with the voice he came up for him when doing the readbacks on the recording sessions.
  • Tom McGrath, director and writer on the Madagascar films, voices Skipper the penguin, a role he reprised on the TV spin-off The Penguins of Madagascar. Private and Kowalski were also voiced by crew members Christopher Knights and Chris Miller respectively (though only for the movies). Along with McGrath, they've done multiple roles in other DreamWorks movies.
  • Chris Sanders as Stitch in Lilo & Stitch and the franchise that grew out of it (except in East Asia), even after leaving Disney. He's also the voice of Belt in The Croods.
  • Longtime animator and storyboard writer Ralph Wright was the very first voice for Eeyore in Disney's Winnie the Pooh series.
  • Pixar crewmember Bob Peterson has voiced Roz, Mr. Ray and both Dug and Alpha.
  • Storyboard artist Mark Walton was originally asked to voice Rhino the hamster in Bolt as a stand-in until an actor could be found and cast in the role. However, the directors enjoyed Walton's performance so much that they decided to give him the part, to Walton's extreme joy and ecstasy.
  • Production designer Lou Romano voiced Linguini, Snotrod, Bernie Kropp, and The Amoeba Boys, among others.
  • Pixar assistant producer Elissa Knight became the voice of EVE in WALL•E.
    • Likewise, due to the overlap of sound effects and dialogue in the film, sound designer Ben Burtt voices WALL-E, M-O and a lot of the other robots.
  • Dan Molina, editor of Chicken Little, performed the "voice" of Fish Out of Water by vocalizing through a tube into a water cooler tank full of water.
  • Blue Sky Studios founder and exec producer Chris Wedge voices Scrat in the Ice Age franchise. Likewise, story artist and producer Karen Disher voiced his female counterpart Scratte.
  • Brian Nissen, who wrote the screenplay for The Swan Princess, also narrated the film's prologue. He became The Other Darrin playing Prince Derek in the third film too.
  • Several characters from Zootopia are voiced by the crew; storyboard artist Raymond Persei voices Flash the sloth, co-writer Phil Johnston voices Gideon Grey, co-director Rich Moore voices Doug the ram, and co-director Byron Howard and co-writer Jared Bush voice Judy's annoying neighbors.
  • Director Cory Edwards voiced hyperactive squirrel photographer Twitchy in Hoodwinked!.
  • Editor, director, and solo animator Ladd Ehlinger Jr. also voices the lead character "A Square" in the 2007 animated adaption of Flatland.
  • In Ralph Breaks the Internet, co-screenwriter Pamela Ribon voices Snow White.
  • The voice of Hognob the boar in Early Man is voiced by director Nick Park.
  • In Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, storyboard artists Joey Cappabianca and Dave Stone voice Plastic Man and Ace Morgan respectively.
  • In The Rescuers, story artist Larry Clemmons voices Gramps the turtle
  • In Daffy Duck's Quackbusters animator Mark Kausler provided the voice of Egghead for his cameo.
  • Legendary animator Bud Luckey (who among other things, designed Woody) voiced the Jackalope in Western Animation/Boundin, Agent Rick Dicker in The Incredibles, Chuckles the Clown in Toy Story 3, and Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Josh Radnor stars as Jesse in Liberal Arts, which he also wrote and directed.
  • When Michael Douglas began producing Romancing the Stone, he didn't plan to play the male lead. The part was offered to Sylvester Stallone and Christopher Reeve before Douglas finally decided to play the role himself.
  • The director of Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy never intended to play Solid Snake himself.
  • Kevin Smith cast himself as Silent Bob in Clerks after realizing he couldn't memorize Randal's (who he had written for himself to play) lines, displacing the friend who was supposed to play the character, simply so that if the film's production bankrupted him at least he'd have solid evidence he'd made a movie. He's in it for all of maybe ten minutes of footage and doesn't even do anything until the end. That changed drastically in Smith's later work. Silent Bob's one and only line of dialogue in the film wasn't even meant for him, either. It was originally meant to be spoken by Jay, but Jason Mewes (a heavy drug-user at the time) was unable to properly deliver the line and Smith took it upon himself. Since this line was more or less the moral of the story, Silent Bob became the sort of sage-like figure he is in later films, remaining quiet only until he has something important to say.
  • Mel Gibson didn't originally intend to play William Wallace in Braveheart.
  • Dan Schneider played the manager Mr. Bailey in Good Burger.
  • Director Jon Favreau plays Tony Stark's long-suffering chauffeur "Happy" Hogan in the Iron Man film series. He reprised the role for the third film despite passing the torch as director. He would also appear as Hogan in other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, including Avengers: Endgame and the two Spider-Man films.
  • Quentin Tarantino in almost every film he's ever done.
  • Sharlto Copley only intended to produce District 9 and had no plans of acting in the film (at the time, Copley had no interest in acting). Director Neill Blomkamp ended up casting him as Wikus since he fit the role the best.
  • Although John Landis often makes cameo appearances in his films, his large role in Into the Night came about through necessity: the Persian actors playing the rest of the four bad guys were unfamiliar with the slapstick tradition, and Landis found it easier to direct them through it if he led by example.
  • Harold Ramis as Egon in Ghostbusters. He never wanted to play the part, but he was the only one who really made anyone go, "Okay, that's Egon." This carried over into The Real GhostbustersMaurice LaMarche was specifically asked not to impersonate Harold Ramis, but he realized that nothing else sounded right!
  • In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, the steam engine Lady was voiced by producer Britt Allcroft.
  • In the film adaptations of Astrid Lindgren's books, Astrid would often step in and narrate the stories, reading selected quotes from her original books.
  • Uwe Boll read out the Opening Scroll of the Alone in the Dark movie.
  • In Rampage: Capital Punishment, Uwe Boll plays Andy the producer in an uncredited role.
  • Disney storyman Winston Hibler became the narrator of the studio's True Life Adventure series of nature films.
  • Melvin Van Peebles played the main role in Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, mainly because any actors who had the skill set necessary and were willing to star for what little Van Peebles could offer requested Sweetback have more lines written (Sweetback only had six lines in the entire film). Production was so tight Van Peebles even ended up doing his own stuntwork and even contracted gonorrhea filming one of the film's unsimulated sex scenes.
  • Stephen King played Jordy Verrill in Creepshow, a meatier role than his usual Creator Cameo.
  • In addition to writing, directing, and producing the movie, Tommy Wiseau stars as Johnny, the main character, in The Room.
  • Fittingly, the director of The Disaster Artist, James Franco, plays Tommy Wiseau.
  • In Hangman's Curse, Frank Peretti appears as Dr. Algernon Wheeling, a scientist who helps the Springfields.
  • Director Mick Garris provided most of the voices of the Crites in Critters 2 because he couldn't afford Frank Welker.
  • M. Night Shyamalan's role as Dev Raman in his directorial debut, Praying With Anger, marks his first (and so far only) performance in a lead role.
  • For the movie Old Fashioned, director Rik Swartzwelder played the lead role of Clay, and co-producer Nini Hadjis also stars in the movie as Lisa, the fiance of Clay's best friend David.
  • Let There Be Light director Kevin Sorbo also serves as the film's lead actor with his role as Dr. Sol Harkens.
  • The Chinese film Assembly had an American special effects director. He plays an American tank commander the main characters meet during the Korean War.
  • Rocky Horror creator, Richard O'Brien played Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Cosmo in its sequel, Shock Treatment.
  • In Gang of Roses, director Jean-Claude LaMarre was going to cast a different actor to play Babyface Malone, Chas's Love Interest, but couldn't find one in time so he decided to play the role himself.
  • In Cry Blood, Apache, director Jack Starrett also plays the sadistic Deacon; one of the gang of murderous gold hunters.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, the Italian director Rossano Brazzi plays the antagonist, Phineas T. Prune.
  • Show creator Rod Serling was always the narrator of The Twilight Zone, but in the final episode of Season 1, he appeared on-screen for the first time. It was intended as a one-time gag, but it was such a hit that he appeared at the beginning of all subsequent episodes (while continuing to do closing narrations). He could have appeared in season one before the season one finale; when "A Nice Place To Visit" was in pre-production, the episode's writer Charles Beaumont suggested that Serling play the role of the main character. (Serling decided against it.)
  • Tom Braidwood was cast as Frohike while serving as an assistant director on The X-Files. Allegedly the casting director said, "We need someone slimy—like Braidwood." (He also portrayed him in the spin-off The Lone Gunmen.)
  • Twin Peaks:
    • When a set dresser accidentally got stuck in the set and appears in a reflection in a key scene, David Lynch decided to cast the man as the Big Bad of the show, BOB.
    • Lynch himself plays Bureau Chief Gordon Cole, first as a voice over the phone and then making several trips to Twin Peaks in person. He becomes one of the main characters in the third season, Twin Peaks: The Return.
  • Originally, Tina Fey did not plan to star in 30 Rock. As things turned out, Fey ended up playing Liz Lemon, who was basically a somewhat exaggerated version of her.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Co-creator Tina Fey appears as "Marcia" in the final two episodes of season one and has a recurring role as a crazy psychiatrist in the rest of the series.
  • As the show went on, Larry David made more and more appearances in bit parts in Seinfeld, perhaps most notably as the voice of George Steinbrenner.
  • Michael Landon in Little House on the Prairie did not originally intend to both direct and lead in the role of Pa.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • When Joel Hodgson left he was replaced by the show's head writer, Michael J. Nelson. MST3K was built on this trope. Major and minor characters alike were all played by members of the production staff (because many of them had performing experience and it saved money). You can practically count on one hand the number of times someone appeared that didn't already work for the series in some capacity.
    • There were also a few times when their families showed up as extras, like the pancake breakfast in Quest of the Delta Knights.
  • Carl Reiner first played Alan Brady on The Dick Van Dyke Show as just a voice cameo, then with his face hidden, until finally he became the center of an episode ("Coast to Coast Big Mouth") and was fully seen. Reiner played several one-time-only and bit parts during the series as well.
  • Sherlock: Mark Gatiss's cameo as Mycroft Holmes in the first episode is half Mythology Gag and half Creator Cameo. As of the second season opener, "A Scandal in Belgravia", he ascended from cameo to major recurring character.
  • Brent Butt, although he is a professional actor, did not intend to star in Hiccups.
  • Stephen J. Cannell, as well as creating Renegade and writing several episodes, played the Big Bad, Dirty Cop Lt. Donald "Dutch" Dickerson.
  • Lorenzo Music was just a writer before he was asked to lend his unique voice to the unseen doorman Carlton in Rhoda. He then became a well-known voice actor, most notably as the voice of Garfield.
  • Gene Roddenberry had an uncredited voice cameo in an episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, as the Enterprise Mess Officer (the ship's chef).
  • Because it is filmed on a fast turnaround and a small budget, Power Rangers has been guilty of this multiple times. Producer Doug Sloan voiced Prince Gasket in Power Rangers Zeo and was Kimberly's Uncle Steve in one episode; he also played Tyler Steele in the Cybertron pitch-reel (that would later evolve into VR Troopers). In a by-proxy example, one frequent example is stunt coordinator Koichi Sakamoto's wife, who was the A-Squad Pink Ranger in Power Rangers S.P.D. and a woman with a baby carriage in Power Rangers RPM. Sakamoto himself played an alien warrior that fights alongside Bulk and Skull in a Zeo episode.
  • In Quantum Leap, creator Donald P. Bellisario played the guy Sam leaped into in "A Portrait For Troian." Writer/producer/wife of Bellisario Deborah Pratt plays title character Troian (who is named for their daughternote  — Bellisario co-wrote this one as well) in the episode and voices both the Project Quantum Leap AI Ziggy and does the Opening Narration from mid-Season 2 on.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess the Xena Scrolls: 1940, the umpteenth grand-children of the Heroes do an Indiana Jones and get the Scrolls with the story of Xena; 1990, young Joxer finds the Scrolls in Grandpa's attic and pitches the story to real Robert Tapert the producer.
  • Averted in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys's episodes about the production staff of the TV show: the staff are played by the regular cast (Bruce Campbell is Robert Tapert, Hudson Leick is producer Liz Friedman, Kevin Smith is head writer Jerry Patrick Brown, Michael Hirst is writer Paul Robert Coyle, Ted Raimi is the Kurtzman half of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Gina Torres is casting director Beth Hymson-Ayer...).
  • The Kids in the Hall
    • Jeffrey Berman, a producer, appears in many skits as a background character, purely to save money on hiring extras. He was immortalized as the 'sixth' member in this skit. The punchline that he appeared in more skits than an actual member of the cast could conceivably be true.
    • And Paul Bellini, a writer, became a recurring character. (He never spoke until after the credits rolled on the series finale.)
  • Bill Lawrence appeared as the incredibly cynical justice of the peace who marries Lady and the Janitor in the Scrubs episode "My Soul on Fire, Part I."
  • When Sesame Street began, writer Matt Robinson had major input in creating the character of Gordon. When the producers couldn't find any actor they liked for the role in auditions, they talked a reluctant Robinson into taking the job. He wound up playing Gordon for the first three seasons. A later retcon established Gordon's last name as Robinson. Matt Robinson also created and voiced the Muppet character Roosevelt Franklin.
  • Jerry Paris, director of many an episode of Happy Days, can occasionally be seen in a bit part such as a photographer taking pictures in "Fonzie Loves Pinky Part 3."
  • The "Zeke's Blues" episode of The Protectors originally had Tony Curtis in mind to play the guest role of Harry Rule's friend, nightclub pianist Zeke Daley — but Shane Rimmer, who wrote the episode (though better known as an actor, he also scripted episodes of Anderson shows), wound up playing Zeke instead.
  • Edward McGinty, the main historical consultant for Boardwalk Empire, plays the quiet and unassuming ward boss Al Boyd. Early in development, McGinty was chatting with series creator Terrence Winter when Winter looked him in the eye and said: "You know, with that face you should play one of the ward bosses."
  • Richard Osman, in his role as an executive for Endemol UK, made such a good impression when he pitched Pointless to The BBC that they suggested he take on the role of co-host himself. So he did.
  • Executive Producer William Dozier was the Lemony Narrator in Batman (1966).
  • Originally only a writer for Horrible Histories, Larry Rickard was given the role of hyperactive Motor Mouth newscaster Bob Hale because the male actors in the original troupe couldn't handle the three-minute monologues on top of the rest of their lines. Rickard eventually became part of the main troupe and they all went on to write and act in Yonderland.
  • Esben Storm, writer/director/script-editor on Round the Twist, played the recurring character Mr Snapper.
  • Young & Hungry executive producer Ashley Tisdale guested in the episode "Young and Lesbian."
  • Stargate SG-1's recurring Mauve Shirt and Butt-Monkey Sergeant Siler is played by Dan Shea, the show's stunt coordinator and Richard Dean Anderson's stunt double.
  • Star-Burns of Community is played by Dino Stamatopoulos, a writer and consulting producer for the show. The role originated as a simple cameo role with Dino playing him to avoid the expense of hiring another actor, but the writers loved the character enough to make him into a recurring role.
  • Go Nagai, the creator of Cutey Honey, played the part of Honey's father/builder Dr. Kisaragi in a DVD-exclusive epilogue for Cutey Honey The Live.
  • On The Office (US), Phyllis is played by Phyllis Smith, a crewmember who impressed the director when reading with the cast.
  • Throughout Arrested Development, Executive Producer Ron Howard served as the narrator. He appeared as himself in the final episode of the original run (to whom one of the characters pitches the idea of the show itself). He has a recurring role (as a fictionalized version of himself) in the post-resurrection fourth season.
  • Jam And Jerusalem: Co-writer Jennifer Saunders plays the supporting role of Caroline Martin.
  • The Barney & Friends episode "The Treasure of Rainbow Beard" featured the at-the-time head writer Stephen White as the titular pirate.
  • To Tell the Truth,
    • On the 1990 version, host Alex Trebek was unable to tape two episodes due to his wife going into labor (not helped that he was spread real thin hosting two other game shows at the time), so producer Mark Goodson filled in for him.
    • Goodson also subbed for an ill Bud Collyer in a 1967 episode of the original series. He apparently forgot it by the time he did the 1990 episodes, as he claimed those were the first time he ever hosted the show.
    • Mark also filled in as a panelist one time during the 70s run of Match Game, as Charles Nelson Reilly was late (allegedly "getting his hair nailed on", according to Gene Rayburn).
  • Person of Interest creator Jonathan Nolan provides a computerized voice for Samaritan a few times in the show's last few episodes.
  • In Season 2 of Underground, Executive Producer John Legend was cast as Fredrick Douglass.
  • In Doctor Who:
    • Actor and scriptwriter Glyn Jones wrote "The Space Museum" (1965) and acted in one of the main guest roles in "The Sontaran Experiment" (1975).
    • Mark Gatiss, well-known for doing this, has acted in a couple of 21st-century episodes as well as writing a larger number. His biggest roles were as the titular Professor Lazarus in "The Lazarus Experiment", and as a British army officer in the finale of Steven Moffat's term as producer and Peter Capaldi's as the Doctor, "Twice Upon A Time". He also made an uncredited cameo as the voice of a fighter pilot in "Victory of the Daleks" (which he wrote) and "A Good Man Goes to War", and played the role of Gantok in "The Wedding of River Song" under the pseudonym of "Rondo Haxton". Prior to the revival, he had played a version of the Doctor in a non-continuity BBC parody sketch, "The Web of Caves", and other characters in several Expanded Universe audio dramas, most notably an alternate-timeline version of the Master in the Big Finish Elseworld drama Sympathy for the Devil.
    • "Twice Upon a Time" features Mark Gatiss and fellow Who scriptwriter Toby Whithouse (in a much smaller role) - as soldiers on opposite sides of a war. Moffat himself jokingly wondered what that represents.
  • Chuck Barris served as host of his own show, The Gong Show.
  • World Events, the first and only live-action documentary series by World Events Productions, was narrated by company co-founder and future Voltron creator Peter Keefe.
  • The Office (US) writer and producer Michael Schur has a secondary role as Dwight's weird cousin and farm assistant Mose Schrute.
  • Byron Allen, creator of the syndicated game show Funny You Should Ask, is often one of the panelists. Jodi Miller, head content producer, also appears on the panel from time to time.
  • Producer Bill Carruthers was the voice of the Whammy in Press Your Luck.
  • Russian Doll: Natasha Lyonne co-created and stars in the series.
  • Ezel: Casting director Rabia Sultan Düzenli plays a young Rabia Karaeski, Ramiz's wife, in the second season of the series. It appears to be her only on-screen role to date, as she has since become a prominent casting director in the Turkish television industry.
  • Bob Hearts Abishola: Series co-creator and writer Gina Yashere portrays Abishola's friend Kemi.

  • The infamous "Friday" by Rebecca Black features a rap break by Patrice Wilson, co-founder of ARK Music Factory, the studio behind the single.
  • In the Nine Inch Nails video for "Starfuckers, Inc.", the prostitute that accompanies Trent Reznor at the rundown amusement park is revealed in the end to be the video's director Marilyn Manson.
  • Robert John "Mutt" Lange sang most of the backing vocals on the albums he produced for Shania Twain, his then-wife.

  • Played with in Jersey Jack Pinball's The Wizard of Oz; many of the playfield toys were sculpted by Dennis Nordman, a renown pinball designer in his own right. In this case, he was leveraging his hobby of building miniature dollhouses.
  • For a more normal example, Steve Ritchie often voices whatever has the most lines in his own tables if that role isn't already established. Examples include the skull in No Fear: Dangerous Sports and the narrator in AC/DC.


  • When Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse wrote Life With Father, they intended the title role to be played by a famous actor. Howard Lindsay wound up playing Father, alongside his Real Life wife, Dorothy Stickney.
  • In 1939, Otto Preminger, then blacklisted in Hollywood, was directing the play Margin for Error. When, during rehearsals, the actor playing the German Consul, Rudolf Forster, was recalled to his home country, Preminger, who hadn't acted since he was nineteen, agreed to step into the part after his line readings impressed Clare Boothe Luce. This led to the Typecasting that restarted his Hollywood career.
  • William Shakespeare is known to have played various minor roles in his own plays; he started his career as an actor and continued to be a member of the company after becoming a playwright and part-owner. In most cases the specific roles he played are unknown, but tradition holds that he played the Ghost in Hamlet and Adam in As You Like It; internal textual evidence suggests he probably played the Chorus in Henry V. Some scholars have made attempts to figure out possible others based on computer analysis of the plays' vocabulary.
  • In-universe in The Producers (the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation and 2005 movie). The writer of Springtime for Hitler takes objection to an auditioner's version of a song and gets up on stage to do it right. He's cast as Hitler on the spot. When he's injured shortly before the play opens, the director steps in to play the role.
  • In the stage adaptation of Green Day's American Idiot, singer/songwriter Billie Joe played St. Jimmy in some Broadway shows.
  • Hamilton: Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the play (plus its award-winning songs) and, in the original Broadway production, played the lead role: Alexander Hamilton.
    • His earlier play, In the Heights, was similar: he both wrote the music/lyrics and played the lead role of Usnavi during the original Broadway run.
  • Spring Awakening: For the 2015 American Sign Language revival, Andy Mientus (who pitched the concept to the director, Michael Arden) co-directed the show with Arden for the workshop version, but left to do Les Misérables. When Hanschen's actor (Joey Haro) landed a movie deal, Mientus stepped in for him as he had already played Hanschen in the original national tour. Mientus ended up playing the role for the rest of the revival's Los Angeles run and eventually reprised the role on Broadway as well.
  • Sting stepped into the cast of The Last Ship for a time.
  • Some of the later stage adaptations of the Sakura Wars series feature its creator, Oji Hiroi, as one of the theater workers.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer:
    • Joseph D. Kucan, director of the live-action scenes in the series, also stars as iconic villain Kane.
    • Tiberian Dawn featured Eric Gooch, one of Westwood's graphic designers, as Seth, Kane's second in command — he even animated his own death scene.
    • [[Command & Conquer: Red Alert Red Alert had the Announcer voiced by Martin Alper — President of Virgin Interactive Entertainment, the game's publisher.
  • Ed Boon, one of the masterminds behind Mortal Kombat, provided the voice work for Scorpion in all of the games up through Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Even after being substituted by Patrick Seitz, he continues to provide Scorpion's iconic Catchphrase, "GET OVER HERE!!!"
  • Daisuke Ishiwatari, the creator of the Guilty Gear saga, voiced the main character Sol Badguy up through Accent Core (Plus), where in the game's Story Mode, he was Darrin'd by Joji Nakata. This is because Ishiwatari himself felt it would be better if a professional handled the role, though this didn't stop him from portraying Freed in another Arc System Works project, Battle Fantasia, as well as lending his voice to later Guilty Gear installments (albeit in minor roles with minimal dialogue). Ditto with Toshimichi Mori, the director of BlazBlue, though he voices Paracelsus, also from Guilty Gear.
  • Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software voices Crazy Earl in the Borderlands games.
  • The Negativitron in LittleBigPlanet 2 is voiced by Jeremy Mayne, one of the game's musicians. Similarly, the character of Sean Brawn in the PlayStation Vita version is voiced by writer and story director Dave Mervik.
  • Masamitsu "Moo" Niitani, president of Compile, voiced Satan in the Puyo Puyo games and cosplayed him too.
  • Keiji Inafune, original creator of Mega Man, head of Comcept, and developer for the Neptunia series, appears throughout the series as various superweapons, including a melee weapon, a Kill Sat, and a Cool Airship.
  • Since the voice-acting needed for the first four installments of the Ace Attorney series was limited to shouted one-or-two-word phrases, most of the recorded voice clips in the English-localized versions are provided by members of the localization team. They started hiring professionals once the voice-acting became more extensive in Dual Destinies.
  • The video game adaptation of I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream has Harlan Ellison voicing AM; the genocidal supercomputer who tortures five human characters. And it's clear Ellison enjoyed the role.
  • Masahiro Sakurai provides the voice of King Dedede in both Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and the Super Smash Bros. series. A former employee of HAL Laboratory, Sakurai was directly responsible for the creation of both series.
  • Cryptic Studios has used its own team members to voice characters at least twice in Star Trek Online. Captain James Kurland, CO of Deep Space 9 and the USS Defiant, is voiced by Jeremy Randall, one of the programmers, and Lieutenant Kyona, tactical officer of the USS Enterprise-F, is voiced by lead writer Christine Thompson.
  • Hideo Kojima voiced God in Metal Gear Solid 4 and himself in Metal Gear Solid V.
  • Hideki Kamiya provided the voices of Six Machine in Viewtiful Joe, Onigiri in Ōkami, and extended Creator Cameo Wonder-Director in The Wonderful 101. And while he didn't otherwise work on the game in a creative role, he also voiced Godot in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations.
  • From Yoshi's Story onward, composer Kazumi Totaka supplied the voice of the titular dinosaur.
  • Former Granblue Fantasy producer Koichi Haruta now voices the wind Primarch Raphael.
  • Halo:
    • Joseph Staten, one of the lead writers for all the Bungie-made games, also voiced all the Grunts during his tenurenote , plus the Superintendent in Halo 3: ODST. Though he had long left the franchise by the time Halo 5: Guardians began production, he did come back to voice the Grunt Dimkee Hotay.
    • In Halo Wars 2, Yapyap THE DESTROYER is voiced by 343 Industries's Narrative Director Nick Ardizzone.
  • Several members of Overkill Software, the developers behind PAYDAY The Heist and PAYDAY 2, have lent their voices for several characters. Sound and music composer Simon Viklund voices Bain, co-producer Ulf Andersson voices Wolf, and lead producer Almir Listo voices several minor characters like the Taxman and Vlad's drunken brother-in-law.
  • In Blasto, the Big Bad, Bosc, is voiced by the game's assistant producer, Dan Mueller.
  • Very common in games by Rare, with a recent video from Rare Replay showing that most of the voices for Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct and Viva Piñata were done by the game designers, composers, programmers and studio heads for the company. This is especially notable with Conker's Bad Fur Day, where not only did Chris Seavor direct, design and write for the game, but he also voiced every single male character in it except the Great Mighty Poo.
  • In the Japanese dub of WarioWare Gold, Joe is voiced by the series' character designer Ko Takeuchi.
  • Brian Bloom is the writer of Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare. He also voices the player character Nick Reyes, and the character's appearance is modeled on him.
  • Oji Hiroi provides the voice for Ōkubo Nagayasu in Sakura Wars 4: Fall in Love, Maidens.
  • In BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, similar to how the RWBY characters are voiced by Rooster Teeth staff, Casey Lee Williams, the primary vocalist for the RWBY soundtrack, does the voice of Neo Politan, albeit voice grunts since Neo is mute.

    Web Animation 
  • Given how RWBY is a Rooster Teeth production, it's no surprise that many of the studio's employees also serve as cast members for the show.
    • Monty Oum was always going to voice a part in the show. Originally it was going to be Professor Ozpin until he realised his voice didn't suit the character. He ended up voicing Lie Ren instead. He also had intended to voice Qrow but passed away before the character made an appearance.
    • Series writer Miles Luna provides the voice of Jaune Arc and the barking sounds for Ruby's pet corgi Zwei (but he voices the latter only in the spin-off chibi series).
    • For volumes one through three, the voice for the show's secondary antagonist Roman Torchwick is provided by Rooster Teeth Animation head Gray G. Haddock.
    • Series producer and co-director Kerry Shawcross also serves as the voice of Team SSSN member Neptune Vasilias.
    • Producer Kathleen Zuelch was the original voice of Glynda Goodwitch up until volume three, during which she went on a drunken twitter rant against the show's other cast members which resulted in her termination from Rooster Teeth.
    • As for Ruby's family, her father Taiyang Xiao Long is voiced by Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns, while her half-sister Yang Xiao Long is voiced by RT's expo and social media manager Barbara Dunkelman.
  • Bravest Warriors has writer Breehn Burns voices several characters, notably the Emotion Lord.
  • Making Fiends:
    • Creator Amy Winfrey voices Charlotte in both the original web series and the TV reboot.
    • The same goes for character designer Aglaia Mortcheva, who voices Charlotte's co-star Vendetta.
    • Producer Dave Wasson and writer Peter Merryman voice numerous side characters in the TV series.
  • In Tim Burton's web series The World of Stainboy, background artist and animator Will Amato voices the title character's father.
  • Homestar Runner creators Matt and Mike Chapman voice a majority of the show's cast, including Strong bad and the title character.
  • Creators Matt and Mike Chapman voice a majority of the show's cast in their second web series Two More Eggs.

    Western Animation 
  • One of the oldest and most iconic examples is Walt Disney as the original voice of Mickey Mouse. In fact, until Chris Diamantopoulos for the Paul Rudish series, the mouse has always been voiced by non-professional voice actors:
    • When Walt retired from voicing Mickey, he gave the job to Jimmy MacDonald, head of the studio's sound effects department. Jimmy also voiced such characters as Chip 'n Dale, Humphrey The Bear, Jaq and Gus from Cinderella, and the Dormouse from Alice in Wonderland.
    • Upon his retirement, MacDonald passed the role to one of his trainees, Wayne Allwine, who voiced Mickey until his death in 2009, where the role went to Hallmark Cards illustrator Bret Iwan.
  • John Kricfalusi voiced Ren on the first season and a half of The Ren & Stimpy Show until Nickelodeon fired him for late (as well as controversial) work.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and Evil Con Carnenote  had creator Maxwell Atoms voice recurring characters Jeff the Spider and Cod Commando. Writer C.H. Greenblatt voiced recurring character Fred Fredburger (who debuted in "Keeper of the Reaper", which Greenblatt has writing credit for).
  • C.H. Greenblatt was also featured on Chowder as a puppet version of himself, as well as the voice of the adult Chowder in the finale.
  • On SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Series creator Stephen Hillenburg was the original voice of Potty the Parrot. Executive producer Paul Tibbitt eventually took over after Hillenburg left the series.
    • Series writer Doug Lawrence (better known as Mr. Lawrence) provides the voice of the villainous Plankton. Stephen Hillenburg had created Plankton as a potential villain for the show in 1997 but later feared that Plankton's plans would get repetitive and decided he would be better off as a one-time character. Doug Lawrence loved the character and used both his writing skills and his voice to prove that Plankton could work as a major antagonist. If it weren't for Lawrence's dual role as both the voice and writer for Plankton, his character would likely never have become a major player in the show.
  • Doug Lawrence also voiced Filburt in Rocko's Modern Life, which he was a writer on before working on Spongebob. He got the role by sneaking in an anonymous audition tape which was so impressive that Joe Murray failed to recognize one of his staff as the voice!
  • The Angry Scientist on Sheep in the Big City was voiced by creator Mo Willems. Writer Joey Mazzarino also voiced some minor characters such as General Specific's cousin General Outrageous.
  • Thurop Van Orman, creator of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, had to fill in as the voice Flapjack when the actor originally cast for the role, Paul Reubens, failed to show. Two of the show's writers, Kent Osborne and Jackie Buscarino, also voiced Thomas Hatch and Sally Syrup, respectively.
  • Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward voicing a few characters, most notably Lumpy Space Princess. Storyboard artist Kent Osborne voices Joshua the Dog and a few minor characters.
  • Regular Show features creator J.G. Quintel as Mordecai and High-Five Ghost (replacing Jeff Bennett as the latter role). It also has storyboard artist Minty Lewis as Eileen, whilst fellow board artists Toby Jones and Andres Salaff provided voices for several one-shot characters.
  • Uncle Grandpa creator Peter Browngardt voices the titular character.
  • Clarence had creator Skyler Page voice that show's titular character until... some incidents during the first season. He was voiced by head writer Spencer Rothbell for the remainder of the series.
  • On Steven Universe, storyboard artist Lamar Abrams provides the voice of various characters, notably Buck Dewey. In addition, producer Jackie Buscarino voices Sour Cream and Onion's mom, Vidalia.
  • The 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls featured head writer Haley Mancini voicing Princess Morbucks, replacing Jennifer Hale. Co-writer Jake Goldman is the voice of Blossom's love interest, Jared.
  • Mighty Magiswords creator Kyle A. Carrozza is also the voice of lead character Prohyas Warrior, as well as recurring characters Grup the Dragon and Old Man Oldman, among others.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, series director Mic Graves voices Banana Joe and his parents. Likewise, series creator Benjamin Bocquelet performs the wails, screams, and laughter for the character Sussie while storyboard artist Aurelie Charbonnier note  performs Sussie with her chin and (as of season 5) provides her voice.
  • Apple & Onion creator George Gendi voices Apple.
  • Much like CN above, [adult swim] shows do this as well:
    • Aqua Teen Hunger Force co-creator Dave Willis portrays both Meatwad and Carl, as well as several other tertiary characters. He later admitted playing Meatwad had seeped into his everyday life: when he comes across something incredibly cute, he'll start with Baby Talk, but end up doing Meatwad's mangled Simpleton Voice.
    • Happens on Robot Chicken all the time. Matt and Seth regularly appear as themselves, writers (especially Tom Root and Breckin Meyer) regularly voice characters and occasionally themselves. They even got [adult swim] execs Mike Lazzo and Keith Crofford to appear as themselves a couple of times.
    • The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder voiced a younger version of Robert Freeman in a few flashbacks. Also, co-producer Carl Jones voiced the recurring character Thugnificent.
    • Moral Orel creator Dino Stamatopoulos does several voices throughout the show, such as Mr. Creepler, Clay's father as a middle-aged man, the kid whose name no one knows, Mr. Armature, etc.
    • Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland voices both of the title characters as well as additional voices. There's also the other co-creator and writer Dan Harmon, who voices Birdperson and numerous minor roles.
  • Jack Mercer was an animator at Fleischer Studios when he was asked to replace the original voice actor for Popeye the Sailor. He ended up doing the official voice of the character for the next fifty years, as well as voice other iconic characters, such as Felix the Cat.
  • For several years, one of Woody Woodpecker's voice actors was co-creator Ben Hardaway. He was also voiced by Walter Lantz's wife Grace Stafford for a period. Lantz had actually refused to let Stafford voice Woody, but she snuck an anonymous voice recording for tryouts, which Lantz ended up accepting without realization of who it was!
  • Goofy's memorable voice came courtesy of Disney storyman Pinto Colvig. Colvig also did Pluto the Pup, and both Grumpy and Sleepy on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He later did similar voices for other studios and was even the original Bozo the Clown.
  • The current voice of Donald Duck is Disney animator Tony Anselmo, who learned how to do the voice from the original VA himself, Clarence "Ducky" Nash.
  • Bill Melendez, director on the various Peanuts specials, also provided Snoopy's growls and laughing along with Woodstock's chirping.
  • The crew of Freakazoid! were having trouble finding a voice actor who could capture the manic breaks-out-into-Jerry Lewis-impressions-goes-off-on-fourth-wall-tangents-in-the-middle-of-a-fight voice of the title character. Finally, they just gave it to series writer Paul Rugg. Fellow writer John P. McCann voiced Douglas Douglas, Dexter's father.
  • Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick provide voices for a number of characters in The Venture Bros.. Almost all of the Those Two Guys pairs are them: 21 and 24, Pete and Billy, Doe and Cardholder, et al.
  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone do more than half the voices in South Park, including a few incidental female characters.
  • For the first couple of seasons of The Simpsons, Matt Groening provided the noise for Maggie's sucking sound on her pacifier; he made an appearance as himself in a later episode.
  • William Hanna provided the vocal effects and the speaking voices for Tom and Jerry, as well as other animals, in a few shorts.
  • For the first season of Recess, series writer Jeff Wright voiced Hank the janitor. Paul Dooley took over in season two.
  • Of course, we can't forget Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy fame, voicing Peter, Brian, Stewie, and Quagmire. He also voices Stan Smith and Roger in American Dad!, as well as Tim the Bear in The Cleveland Show (though only for the first two seasons; in the show's final seasons the role went to voice actor Jess Harnell due to MacFarlane being occupied with his work on Ted).
  • Gravity Falls':
    • Much like Ward and Quintel above, creator Alex Hirsch voices regular characters Grunkle Stan, Soos, and Bill Cipher, as well as Old Man McGucket, Quentin Trembley, and several incidentals.
    • Mabel's rival (and later friend), Pacifica Northwest, was voiced by production assistant Jackie Buscarino.
    • Storyboard artist Niki Yang voiced Mabel's second friend Candy in the show.
    • Animator Sam Marin voiced Celestabellebethabelle in the episode "The Last Mabelcorn".
    • Writer Matt Chapman appears in the show as the voice of Mermando, Soos' grandmother Abuelita, and a few members of the boy band Sev'ral Timez.
  • Harvey Beaks: Dade and Jeremy are both voiced by creator C.H. Greenblatt. Storyboard artist Andres Salaff voices Princess while production supervisor Nick Sumida voices several minor characters, notably Randl's mother, Kathy, and Mikey.
  • Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh both voice the major characters of the show's recurring B plot; Heinz Doofenshirtz and Major Monogram, respectively. Additionally, writer/storyboard artist Aliki Theofopolous Grafft voices Mandy
  • In their next show, Milo Murphy's Law, Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh respectively voice the recurring time-travelers Vinnie Dakota and Balthazar Cavendish. We also have story editor Scott Peterson as the voice of Scott The Undergrounder.
  • Mike Judge, who voices the title characters of both his shows Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill as well as several other characters in each.
  • Tex Avery voiced multiple characters in his cartoons some examples include Willoughby the dog from "Of Foxes and Hounds," "The Crackpot Quail" and "The Heckling Hare"; Junior of "George and Junior"; the bulldog in "Bad Luck Blackie"; Lenny from "Lonesome Lenny"; and he even filled in for Bill Thompson as Droopy in a couple of cartoons.
  • A couple of Disney animators lent their voices to the Classic Disney Shorts: Milt Kahl voiced the title character of "Ferdinand the Bull" as a calf, and Fred Moore and Ward Kimball voiced their caricatures from "The Nifty Nineties."
  • Steve Viksten, voice of Oskar Kokoshka on Hey Arnold!, also wrote a whopping one-third of the show's 187 episodes. Arnold's parents were also voiced by the show creator (Craig Bartlett) and one of the writers (Antoinette Stella).
  • Filmation founder Lou Scheimer would voice characters on several shows from said studio, mainly for budget reasons.
  • Bruce Timm did some placeholder work as the leader of the Jokerz gang in Batman Beyond while the production team looked for a professional voice actor to play the part. Then he learned they used his voice in the final product because he did such a good job.
  • On Animaniacs, writer Sherri Stoner voices Slappy Squirrel, while Paul Rugg voices Mr. Director.
  • The titular dog from Blue's Clues was voiced by Traci Paige Johnson, one of the show's creators.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, the creator Daron Nefcy voices recurring minor characters Sabrina and StarFan13.
  • Creator Adam Reed voices main character Ray Gillette in Archer. This was circumstance: he was originally intended to be a minor character and Adam Reed was hired for cost-cutting reasons. Ray isn't in the show's credits for this reason.
  • Aaron Springer is the creator and voice of the title character in Billy Dilley's Super Duper Subterranean Summer.
  • The Mighty B! is co-created by Amy Poehler, who voices series protagonist Bessie Higgenbottom.
  • Harland Williams created Puppy Dog Pals, and voices the main characters' owner Bob. Likewise, staff writer Jessica Carleton voiced a flight stewardess in "Bob Loves Mona".
  • Chris Nee, the creator of Doc McStuffins, voices Emmy and Alma's mom.
  • BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg voices the minor recurring character Charley Witherspoon, an anthropomorphic frog.
  • Creator Kevin Gillis provided the voice of Ranger Dan in the fourth Raccoons special, The Raccoons: Let's Dance!. Lisa Raccoon was also voiced by Lisa Lougheed, who was the lead singer of the end theme and the various other vocal pieces in the show proper.
  • Tim Burton voices the title character in his (currently lost) first film The Island of Doctor Agor.
  • Craig of the Creek creators Matt Burnett and Ben Levin voice two of the three Elders of the Creek (and the third is voiced by Zachary Steel, their friend and previous collaborator). The three are characters from a previous short film the duo made, IM IN UR MANGER KILLING UR SAVIOR, voice actors included. Burnett and Levin also voice two of three Junior Forest Scouts, Boris and Tony, respectively.
  • On Muppet Babies (2018), Kermit, Beaker, Rowlf, and Waldorf are voiced by the show's supervising director, Matt Danner.
  • While Marvel's Spider-Man has the Hulk voiced by Fred Tatasciore as usual, his human persona, Bruce Banner, is voiced by the initial showrunner for the series, Kevin Shinick. Likewise, Marvel staff member Joe Quesada voices Joe the coffee shop employee.
  • Eric Rogers, the showrunner for Skylanders Academy , voices Crash Bandicoot . Apparently, he just did scratch vocals for the character, and the higher-ups were so impressed that he was cast for the role proper. He did get replaced by Rhys Darby after leaving the show in season 3.
  • Bill Freiberger, executive producer and show-runner of Sonic Boom, is the voice of Comedy Chimp, Lady Walrus and a few other minor characters.
  • The Pogo special "The Pogo Special Birthday Special" contains two examples Chuck Jones who directed the special voiced Porky Pine, Bun Rab, and Basil Butterfly and Walt Kelly the creator of the strip voiced P.T. Bridgeport, Albert, and Howland Owl.
  • On Big City Greens, Series co-creator Chris Houghton voices Cricket, while his brother Shane, the other creator, voices various minor characters. Niki is voiced by series director Monica Ray.
  • On Get Blake!, series story editor Derek Dressler voices Blake's dad.
  • The voice of Bong in Tiny Planets is provided by series composer Kim Goody.
  • On Fancy Nancy, Nancy's Uncle Pete is voiced by supervising director Jamie Mitchell.
  • Future-Worm! creator Ryan Quincy voices Robo-Carp and Andy's dad.
  • Welcome to the Wayne creator Billy Lopez voices Ollie Timbers, one of the main characters.
  • On She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Spinerella is voiced by series showrunner Noelle Stevenson.
  • Crossing over with The Danza, but in The Loud House episode "Really Loud Music", Michelle and Doug, the judges for America's Next Hitmaker, are voiced by the show's composers Michelle Lewis and Doug Rockwell.
  • On Splash and Bubbles, creator John Tartaglia voices Splash.
  • On Mrs. Munger's Class, One Saturday Morning executive producer Peter Hastings voices Mrs. Munger.
  • Victor and Valentino creator Diego Molano voices Victor.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Ian Jones-Quartey voices Radicles and Darrell, as well as a number of other minor and recurring characters.
  • In the original French dub of Kaeloo, series creator Remi Chapotot voices Stumpy, Quack Quack, and Eugly.

Alternative Title(s): Ascended Creator, Ascended Crewmember


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