Everyone knows all of the characters Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland has voiced over his career basically sound the same: whiny, high-strung, and on the verge of mental collapse. But that doesn’t mean that each of the animator’s roles has been effortless for him to pull off in the sound booth. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Roiland recently sat down with GQ to discuss the genesis of his career both as a creator and as a voice actor, and seeing all of his performances strung back to back really highlights just how much all of his characters sound like slight variations on Morty. But Roiland was candid about how voicing Earl of Lemongrab for Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time legitimately pushed him to his limit, so far so that he blew his vocal cords out.
Rather than taking the time to develop a voice for Lemongrab, Roiland explained that he took one look at the character’s storyboard design and immediately decided to just scream, which Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward thought was perfect. It was only after being advised by Tom Kenny (you know who Tom Kenny is) to get a cortisone shot and being told that he couldn’t speak for two weeks that Roiland was able to heal.
It all goes to show you that voice acting, no matter how much one might think it’d be easy, is actually quite difficult—in no small part because it doesn’t take much for a person to completely wreck their vocal cords. It also lets you know that if you are incredibly lucky, riding a one trick vocal pony into the sunset is at least somewhat possible.
For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.