Black Voices Behind TV Cartoon Characters

Black Voices Behind TV Cartoon Characters
ESSENCE.COM Oct, 16, 2009

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Black folks have always made it happen on Hollywood’s big and small screens. Many African-American actors have provided their instruments to give voice to some of America’s top cartoon characters. examines some of our favorite celebs who are not always seen but heard.

“The Cleveland Brown Show”’s queen of the night is Donna Tubbs, who does her darndest to keep her blended family happy.

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Regan Gomez-Preston brings to life sassy P.Y.T. Roberta Tubbs, the eldest daughter of Donna and Cleveland’s stepdaughter.

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The original Roberta Tubbs was voiced by Nia Long.

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The former “Mad TV” star lays down the law as the ornery Judge on “Family Guy.”

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She’s known for playing strong Black women, so it’s only befitting that Ms. King would voice militant rebel teen and his younger brother, Riley, of Aaron McGruder’s comic strip turned cartoon animation “The Boondocks.”

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If ever there were a more ornery senior citizen than “The Boondocks” resident gramps, the world would be a much more miserable place. Between the Old G’s explicit musings and shameless ogling of young tenderonis, we can’t help but be tickled.

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Biracial neighbor Jazmine Dubois was often the brunt of Huey and his young bro’ Riley’s jokes.

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The late legendary Isaac Hayes used his smooth vocals to add flavor to the head chef on the zany and politically incorrect “South Park.”

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Pride goes a long way in this close-knit family, but it never stops sassy teen Penny from finding her own way by any means necessary.

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This comedic actor plays Oscar, father, hubby and proud businessman who always has something new under his sleeve.

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As the lady of the house, Mrs. Trudy keeps things in order with a strong but gentle hand.

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As the chief superintendent or “super” of the Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs projects, Thurgood O. Stubbs did his best to maintain order throughout his drama-filled days. The three-time Emmy Award-winning show endured much criticism and controversy throughout it’s three-year run. Thurgood is short-tempered, impatient, not very bright, and usually gets himself into trouble. He is often called “The Super” (or just “Super”) by all of the people.

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Devine is still heavenly as she remains the calm in many of her husband’s storms as the superintendent of public housing.

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Comedian and actor Faizon Love immortalized the late great funnyman Robin Harris whose stand-up routine about misbehaved kids inspired the cartoon series “Bebe’s Kids.”

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The comedian made beautiful moo-sic as the sassy frassy cow on this hilarious animation.

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The funnyman’s signature husky tone suited the neighborhood’s hefty good fella’s warm greeting: “Hey, Hey Hey,”

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The former “Different World” star and Canadian-born Summers was perfect as this curious preteen. Penny’s inquiring mind kept Inspector Gadget on his P&Q’s and even helped him solve a mystery or two.

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Despite the stereotypes associated with the Mammy character, we only got to see her shoes and her hard at work to chase that mouse Jerry out of her house.

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