The Simpsons has been on the air for 30 years now, with Season 31 just starting. Even if you’ve given up on the show a while ago, surely episode 666, which will be Treehouse Of Horror XXX, is worth tuning in for, no?
If you do decide to watch again for this spooky milestone after a bit of an absence, you might notice a few... changes to the voices. Some actors have deliberately tweaked the tone of certain characters to avoid straining their vocal chords, while others just show wear and tear of thirty years of ageing.
In the rarest of circumstances, there’s even been some recasts and reshuffling of parts, resulting in some noticeable changes.
There’s some characters too where you might not particularly think they've changed too much; Season 4 sounds the same as Season 24 for them, after all. However, if you go back and rewatch the earliest seasons, you’ll be in for a bit of a surprise.
Many of the show’s original voices were way off base, as characters just got fairly standard voices before their increased importance saw the cast actually give them personality. 30 years on, some voices are practically unrecognisable.
10. Lenny Leonard & Carl Carlson
All the other entries here are single characters, but with Lenny and Carl it just makes sense to have them together. Not only because the characters are seemingly inseparable on screen, but because their voices are intrinsically linked.
The reason for this double whammy is because when Lenny first appeared, he had what’s now Carl’s voice, and vice versa. Lenny first appeared in Life On The Fast Lane, the ninth episode of the show, while Carl appeared one episode later in Homer’s Night Out.
This voice switching continues throughout the first two seasons, although occasionally the characters both use what is now Lenny’s voice. Brush With Greatness, the 18th episode of Season Two is the final time Carl has substantial lines with Lenny’s voice.
By Season Three, both characters have their correct voices and are finally paired up regularly. What’s especially strange about this is that Lenny and Carl are voiced by different people, Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria respectively. This means that rather than one actor flipping between voices, there was a conscious decision to switch the two voices over.
Thirty years later, it’s clear that was for the best.