Voice acting is a unique skill, and not everyone is able to translate the talents required to bring an animated character to life into other kinds of acting. Some stars are simply more comfortable working behind a microphone rather than in front of the cameras, and we may never get to know their faces at all. Others, however, are able to move back and forth between live-action work and voice acting with ease, providing some surprising crossovers between the different kinds of entertainment.
When it comes to the popular adult animated series Rick and Morty, there aren’t that many voice actors in the mix. That’s because the creators — Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon — provide many of the voices themselves and even play multiple parts within a single scene. They can’t do everything, however, and the actor behind the voice of Beth should certainly sound familiar.
‘Rick and Morty’ premiered on Adult Swim in 2013
Rick and Morty premiered in 2013 on the late night segment of Cartoon Network known as Adult Swim. As Looper reports, Adult Swim dates back to 2001 and has long been a home for truly bizarre comedies — both live action and animated. As animated series aimed at adults have risen in popularity, Adult Swim has hosted favorites like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, and The Boondocks.
Interestingly, Adult Swim functions separately from Cartoon Network and is not simply the kid-friendly network’s late-night offering. Instead, Nielsen Ratings — which famously tracks television habits and ratings — considers Adult Swim a completely separate channel. Over the years, Adult Swim has helped to revive animated series that failed to take off on larger networks, giving the programming block a reputation for success and catering to a dedicated audience.
When Rick and Morty premiered in 2013, it was to the perfect audience. The show follows Rick, a genius scientist with a drinking problem, and Morty, his 14-year-old anxiety-ridden grandson. The pair travel through the “infinite universe,” stirring up trouble wherever they go and providing hilarious commentary along the way.
The ‘Rick and Morty’ creators voice most of the characters
The cast of voice actors for Rick and Morty is not as expansive as the show’s complexity might suggest. That’s because the series’ creators — Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon — do a lot of the voice work themselves. In fact, Justin Roiland voices both Rick and Morty as well as plenty of other side characters. Harmon, meanwhile, has lent his voice to plenty of characters on the series including Birdperson, Ice-T, Flu Hatin’ Rapper, and Red Alien.
The primary voice work for the series beyond Roiland and Harmon is for the Smith family: Jerry, Summer, and Beth. Each of these characters has a dedicated actor.
Sarah Chalke provides the voice for Beth on ‘Rick and Morty’
Those who are listening closely to Beth Smith will probably find her voice familiar. That’s because the character is voiced by none other than Sarah Chalke, as Den of Geek reports.
Sarah Chalke is an actor who is perhaps best known for her long run on Scrubs as Elliot. However, she has also played the iconic role of Becky in Roseanne and had a recurring part in How I Met Your Mother. More recently, Chalke played one-half of the heartfelt duo at the center of the incredibly popular television adaptation of Firefly Lane.
Chalke’s voice work as Beth on Rick and Morty may seem like a departure from the live action acting that helped her rise to fame, but it’s not her only voice acting credit. Chalke has also done voice work for Paradise PD and Milo Murphy’s Law.
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