The 10 Best John DiMaggio Performances
Voice acting is an unusual job. You may have widely-known, beloved roles but walk through your day unrecognized by your adoring public. But there are voice actors with so distinct a sound, that as soon as they open their mouth, fans recognize. John DiMaggio is one of those. Some voice actors offer value through range. Most of the voice actors who work on The Simpsons provide the voice to five or ten regular characters, each of them with a distinct manner of speaking. However, there are also voice actors who have such a commanding, specific sound that there is little reason for them to change it up. DiMaggio is also one of those. Just about any fan of animation will recognize when he shows up, even if they do not know him by name. He has given countless performances in television and film — as well as video games. Here are ten of his biggest-name performances to date.
Bender, Futurama (1999 to 2013)
Far and away his most recognizable performance is Bender from Futurama. He gives the foul-mouthed, heavy-drinking robot his charisma. He is an integral character to the series, the best friend and roommate of the Billy West-voiced Philip J. Fry, the low-IQ burnout from 1999 who accidentally froze himself for a millennium. Though the show had a tumultuous relationship with the various networks that aired it, in the end, it had quite an impressive run.
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Bender, The Simpsons (1989 to Present)
Bender has shown up in a few episodes of The Simpsons as well, as the two are sister shows, both from the mind of Matt Groening. Most recently, DiMaggio’s Bender and the rest of the crew showed up in Springfield in 2014 following the end of Futurama’s run. The episode was called “Simpsorama,” the tagline of which was “A show out of ideas teams up with a show out of episodes.”
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King Zog, Disenchantment (2018 to Present)
Devotees to Matt Groening’s work are likely to have already seen the released episodes of his latest show, the Netflix-exclusive fantasy series Disenchantment. It features Groening’s classic drawing style and the voices of Abbi Jacobson (Broad City), Eric Andre (The Eric Andre Show) and Nat Faxon (Friends From College) as Bean, an alcoholic princess, her personal demon and her elf friend; respectively. DiMaggio lends his voice to Bean’s short-tempered father, King Zog.
Watch now on Netflix.
The Scotsman, Samurai Jack (2001 to 2004, 2017)
Genndy Tartakovsky is not necessarily a household name, but those of a certain age will recognize his work. He was the Russian-American animator behind the Cartoon Network hits Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack. The latter had such a cult following that it was continued for a short time in 2017. A samurai from feudal Japan is sent to a dystopian future by an evil wizard and wanders the desolate landscape in search of a way back. DiMaggio provides the voice for the Scotsman, one of Jack’s recurring allies.
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Various, Transformers films (2007, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2017)
Throughout the five Michael Bay-directed Transformers films, there have been many different Transformers. The mythos of Transformers is great and wide. It is about toy sales, after all. Starting with the first sequel Transformers: Dark of the Moon, DiMaggio has given vocal performances as a variety of Autobots and Decepticons including Crosshairs and Nitro Zeus.
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Dr. Drakken, Kim Possible (2002 to 2007)
Kim Possible, the show about the titular high school secret agent, seems to be having a resurgence in popularity with a live-action reboot coming soon. During the animated show’s run in the early to late 2000s, DiMaggio gave voice to Dr. Drakken, Kim Possible’s blue-skinned arch nemesis whose evil plots she and her sidekick Ron Stoppable frequently foiled.
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Jake the Dog, Adventure Time (2010 to 2018)
Adventure Time had quite an impressive run before it ended recently. Even for an animated series, ten seasons is nothing to scoff at. The show portrays a sort of surreal fantasy world explored by a cast of recurring characters but mainly a teen named Finn and Jake, his talking dog who can shapeshift and change size. DiMaggio plays the latter as a generally easy-going and likable canine.
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Rico, Madagascar films (2005, 2008, 2012 and 2014)
The Madagascar films were massively popular when they were released, even if there were undeniably diminishing returns. Among the many zoo animals who find themselves stranded in the wild, DiMaggio, for his part, plays Rico, the wild card member of the penguin crew. He communicates with, rather than words, guttural noises similar to that of the Tasmanian Devil.
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General Grievous, Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003 to 2005)
Animator Genndy Tartakovsky was hired by Cartoon Network once again in 2003 to make a series of shorts in his typical style to bridge the narrative gap between Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. In them, DiMaggio provides the voice for antagonist General Grievous, who made his debut on the show prior to his live-action debut in the latter film.
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Various, Neo Yokio (2017 to Present)
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