Meg Ryan will be narrating the new How I Met Your Dad pilot as the future Tracy (the mother). This news has us thinking about celebrity voice-overs and that feeling of your brain being absolutely ON FIRE when you hear a commercial with a familiar voice, but can’t figure out for the life of you who it is. That feeling can drive you to insanity. You know it’s a voice you’ve heard before, one of note, one to remember. Here are 12 of the most popular celeb voice-over actors … and some you might not have realized until now.
1. Sigourney Weaver
In 2007, the BBC brought their groundbreaking and all around INCREDIBLE series, Planet Earth, to BBCAmerica. For the American audience, the English actor, David Attenborough was replaced Alien, Avatar, Working Girl, Ghostbusters, and Political Animals star, Sigourney Weaver. With identical dialogue, I’m not sure why the switch was necessary, as Attenborough’s booming English accent and gentle tone was perfect for the series, not that Weaver’s wasn’t, I am just partial to Attenborough’s.
2. Alec Baldwin
Again David Attenborough gets replaced with an American! When the BBC aired their new docuseries Frozen Planet in 2011, Attenborough voiced, but when BBCAmerica picked it up and began to air Frozen Planet in the U.S. in 2012, Alec Baldwin narrated. Baldwin actually did a fantastic job and stood up to Attenborough’s voice, that of the perfect English accent specimen.
3. Zach Braff
How adorable are the commercials of the little white lab puppy at the spa advertising Cottonelle toilet paper! Awwww. Not quite sure what one has to do with the other, but it’s okay…because there is a puppy involved, anything can be excused in a puppy’s presence. Ever think that voice in the background is a little similar to Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian on Scrubs? Well it is, because they are both Zach Braff!
4. Will Arnett
“I’ve made a huge mistake,” no Will Arnett doesn’t say the famous Gob Bluth words from Arrested Development in his GMC commercials, sadly. Arnett’s grave tone perfectly advertises the tough and rugged image that GMC is all about. That is some truly inspired voice over casting!
5. John Krasinski
I sincerely hope that while John Krasinski was recording the voiceover for his Blackberry ads, there were cameras present that he looked into with that amazingly attractive smirk, a la The Office. CAMPAIGN FOR JOHN TO REPLACE SIRI!
6. Julia Roberts
Who woulda thought Oscar winner and America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts would be voicing Nationwide insurance commercials? Well, she does, only wish there was a Vivian/Pretty Woman laugh in there somewhere.
7. Jeff Bridges
Jeff Bridges, with all his “dudeliness” is pretty hard to miss in his Duracell ads. Sounding just like himself and the infamous Jeffery “The Dude” Lebowski, don’t you just want him to say, “Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not “Mr. Lebowski.” You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”
8. Queen Latifah
With a melodic hip-hop tone, Queen Latifah voices the Pizza Hut ads! Not something noticeable when watching the commercial, maybe because oozing cheese distracts you, but once you know it’s her and watch again, you KNOW it’s the Queen.
9. Robert Downey Jr.
10. Kristen Bell
I think we all know that for 121 episodes, 6 seasons, Kristen Bell voiced Gossip Girl. Something that really threw us all off in the end, (SPOILER ALERT) when they mysterious “GG” was actually a dude.
11. Patton Oswalt
ABC’s freshman comedy, The Goldbergs, is something to tune in to. Revolving around a family in the 1980s, parents Wendi McLendon-Covey and Jeff Garlin are polar opposites, rising three teens. The youngest son, who is voiced by Patton Oswalt, narrates the show, from the future!
12. Jason Bateman
Like The Goldbergs on ABC, a son from the future narrates NBC’s freshman comedy, Growing Up Fisher. Growing Up Fisher is about the Fisher family; kids, mom, and blind dad. Jason Bateman narrates, looking back on his childhood with a visually impaired father.
Image courtesy of Voice Over Herald, The Verge, Wikipedia, , Alec Baldwin, , Pop Wrapped, , Sitcoms Online, Elle, So Feminine, The Committed Indian, People, Flavor Wire, The Dirty, Radio Lab, The Guardian