Maurice LaMarche is a Canadian voice actor and former stand-up comedian. He has voiced the animated version of Egon Spengler in The Real Ghostbusters and its follow-up Extreme Ghostbusters, The Brain in Animaniacs and its spin-off Pinky and the Brain, and various characters in Futurama, for which he won an Emmy.
LaMarche began on Inspector Gadget and went on to Dennis the Menace, Popeye and Son, and The Real Ghostbusters, where he played Egon Spengler. After The Real Ghostbusters, LaMarche became a regular mainstay of the voiceover industry appearing in such shows as Tiny Toon Adventures, GI Joe, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Animated Series, Taz-Mania, Where’s Waldo, The Little Mermaid, Batman: The Animated Series, and Bonkers before landing perhaps his most recognized role in 1993 as The Brain on Animaniacs and later its spin-off show, Pinky and the Brain.
In creating the voice for Brain, LaMarche says he looked at a picture of the character and immediately thought of Orson Welles, although the character was not modeled after Welles. Voicing Brain gave LaMarche the opportunity to make use of his signature impersonation of Welles. LaMarche won an Annie Award for his role as the Brain, and was nominated for an Emmy.
Following this, LaMarche worked on The Critic, Freakazoid!, and The Tick before then reprising his role of Egon in Extreme Ghostbusters. While working on The Critic, LaMarche once voiced 29 characters in one 30-minute episode.
The stretch of two years after this saw LaMarche portray characters in such shows as Hey Arnold! as Big Bob Pataki, Queer Duck, The Chimp Channel, and Sonic Underground as Sleet. During this time Maurice would become the voice actor for Mortimer Mouse, whom he would voice in the television series Mickey Mouse Works and Disney’s House of Mouse.
It was at this time, 1999, that LaMarche began work on Futurama, where he voiced Zapp Brannigan’s beleaguered assistant Kif Kroker, melodramatic soap acting unit Calculon, the Nero-esque Hedonismbot, Morbo the news anchor, and Lrrr, ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8, among numerous others. He has also done his Orson Welles impression on the show, winning a 2011 Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Emmy for his portrayal of Lrrr and Orson Welles in the episode “Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences”. He won another Emmy the following year for the Futurama episode “The Silence of the Clamps”.
LaMarche continued to work steadily in television, including guest roles on The Simpsons (where he once again parodied Orson Welles). He also portrayed Hovis the butler on the Nickelodeon series Catscratch.
LaMarche has done various voice work for many Warner Bros. Animation and DiC Entertainment cartoons. He also delivered the protracted belches for the “Great Wakkorotti” shorts on Animaniacs, in which Wakko Warner performed various pieces of music. In 2011, LaMarche reprised his role as Yosemite Sam in Cartoon Network’s new series The Looney Tunes Show and its spin-off, New Looney Tunes.
LaMarche also made several appearances in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, where he voiced Chancellor Neighsay.
LaMarche acted, voice only, in the second episode of the hit NBC show Heroes, “Don’t Look Back”, as the villain Sylar. His voice is heard in a chilling recorded phone conversation on Chandra Suresh’s answering machine. The role of Sylar was later played by Zachary Quinto.
LaMarche appeared in many films, including dubbing the voice of Orson Welles over Vincent D’Onofrio’s on-camera performance in Ed Wood; Pepé Le Pew in Space Jam; supplying the voice of the Alec Baldwin puppet in Team America: World Police, and reprising his roles from Queer Duck and Futurama in the direct-to-video films Queer Duck: The Movie and Futurama: Bender’s Big Score, respectively.
In Mark Hamill’s 2004 movie Comic Book: The Movie, LaMarche made a rare live appearance to be in the special features of the DVD alongside Pinky and the Brain co-star Rob Paulsen. Among other gags, he re-enacted his impression of Orson Welles’ famous frozen peas commercial outtake.
LaMarche has also lent his voice to commercials. He voiced Kellogg’s Froot Loops spokesbird Toucan Sam, the animated Willy Wonka character in Nestlé’s Willy Wonka Candy Company commercials, and the narrator for Lexus commercials. He would also appear as himself, doing the voice of Popeye the Sailor for the Long John Silver’s restaurant chain in the early 1990s. In September 2018, LaMarche was featured in the commercial for the upcoming open world driving game Forza Horizon 4.