For more than 25 years now, Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche have portrayed two of the most important and game-changing mice in the history of animation. What? No, this isn’t about anybody named Mickey and/or Minnie (or Mortimer). They’re fine, too, but I’m talking about Pinky and the Brain (brain brain brain) from Warner Bros’ always clever and timeless Animaniacs, which unveiled plenty of world-takeover plans in Season 2 on Hulu earlier in November, with a third season on the way.
CinemaBlend spoke with Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche to promote the stellar second season of Animaniacs, as seen in the video above, and when I asked the two comedic voice-acting veterans what their favorite kinds of jokes were, I should have expected a punchline would come first. As Paulsen put it:
Rimshots for the room! Before he offered up his legitimate answer, though, LaMarche spoke up with both an answer for Pinky and the Brain-related jokes and the kind of humor he personally enjoys, saying:
As awesome as it would have been to hear the voice of Futurama’s Hedonismbot and Looney Tunes’ Yosemite Sam telling a downright filthy joke that could never be told in the world of Animaniacs, so be it. There are more than enough family-friendly jokes to go around, I suppose, even though sometimes adult humor makes it past the censors.
Speaking of, here’s what Rob Paulsen offered up regarding what his actual favorite Pinky and the Brain gags are (and note that I spent several minutes wondering what an ape-whip was before realizing he was actually saying an acronym):
Earlier in the interview, when I asked about how much they’ve learned from the musically education-friendly Animnaniacs, Rob Paulsen mentioned that it wasn’t just school-ish subjects like history and geography he’d picked up on, but also meme culture and other topics. For a very specific instance, Paulen recalled not knowing who World of Warcraft’s Leeroy Jenkins is for a certain scene, nor why the joke was funny, until someone explained it to him. Countering that with his own example, Maurice LaMarche shared that he was completely oblivious to the cannibalistic reference being made during the animated series’ original run. In his words:
Also a situation where something that’s funny now 100% was not a humorous ordeal for anyone at the time. Humor, as it goes with everything, is usually subjective, especially when it comes to pop culture references.
But I think I can say with objectivity intact that taking over the world would be the coolest thing ever, especially if one was a talking mouse, and had another talking mouse as a partner in crime. When I asked how the two stars would go about taking over the world, either as themselves or their rodent counterparts, Maurice LaMarche went into Brain-mode and offered up:
Followed by Rob Paulsen turning the Pinky up to 11 in saying:
And I think they’ve pretty much succeeded in their global takeover. Even if Pinky and the Brain themselves aren’t currently our overlords, their attention-drawing antics on Animaniacs should be enough to distract everyone while Yakko, Wakko and Dot truly begin to conquer the Earth. At least until the point when LaMarche can tell his filthy Ray Ramano joke, and it all comes crashing down.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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