Patrick Warburton's Voice Has More Range Than You Realize
"I'm not exactly a chameleon."
Patrick Warburton might have the most recognizable voice in animation. Booming but nasally, hilarious and somehow sultry. It’s tough to nail down exactly what makes Warburton’s voice so unique, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to imitate the voice of Joe from Family Guy, Brock Samson from Venture Bros., and Kronk from The Emperor’s new groove — not to mention live-action roles like David Puddy on Seinfeld (“High-five!”) and The Tick in the 2001 series.
So when Warburton stopped by Inverse headquarters to talk about his latest role in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, we had to ask him what makes his voice so special and how he differentiates between his various iconic characters.
Watch the video above to see Patrick Warburton perform some of his most recognizable characters and review a YouTube video that teaches fans how to imitate his voice.
Of course, for Warburton, the voice comes naturally. He may do some work to modify it for different roles, but admits that he’s “not exactly a chameleon.” Still, there are some differences, Kronk is “down here,” the actor says as he deepens his voice. Meanwhile, Joe is a “little bit more, I guess, out there” and a bit more gravelly. Brock Samson is a “sort of the darker version, the edgier version. He still gets excited and stuff, but he’s a little cooler, but it’s still sort of the same. The timbre comes from the same place.”
To his credit, Warburton is so prolific that he can’t be pinned to just one character. His voice might get recognized by fans on a regular basis, but the role they mention is constantly changing.
“In the last few years there’s not really a consensus,” he says he gets everything from the short-lived The Tick show to Rules of Engagement, a CBS sitcom that’s in syndication.
“Of course now it’s all been about A Series of Unfortunate Events,” he says. “So Lemony, which has really been a nice departure for me because I played so many stupid characters and Lemony is smart.”
Watch a full version of the tutorial impression video that blew Patrick Warburton away.