Hank Azaria has been part of the Simpsons team since way back in Season 1, circa 1989. As the voice of characters like Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, and many more, Azaria has helped make The Simpsons what it is today. In fact, according to Azaria himself, he voices around 30-35 running characters, but not all voices are created equal. There is one of his many voices that he actively dreads performing for episodes of The Simpsons.
Speaking with Conan O'Brien on an at-home episode of Conan, Hank Azaria shared the voice he dreads:
There are certain voices I save, like Duffman will blow me out in a second. I have to save Duffman for the end and I actually dread it. It actually does hurt, but I am not complaining.
Oh no! Duffman may not turn up in every episode of The Simpsons, but he's one of the more memorable characters. After all, Homer and Co. drink a whole lot of Duff, so the appearance of Duffman can be quite the event. Duffman, who Lenny describes as "a guy in a costume that creates awareness of Duff," has a booming voice and tendency to yell "Oh yeah!" No wonder Duffman is rougher on Azaria's voice that the likes of Carl Carlson, although I'm a little surprised Duffman beat the gravelly voice of Moe Szyslak.
Hank Azaria did make it clear that he's not complaining even about the voice he dreads, although he has been open about wanting to stop voicing one of his best-known characters: Apu. He openly stated that he was willing to stepping aside from voicing Apu after some controversy, and he came to the conclusion that it didn't feel right to continue with that character.
Interestingly, despite his plethora of Simpsons voices, Hank Azaria has to be careful with how he uses his voice:
My voice blows out rather easily, so I have to watch it. I was having a rough time in my life, and I got into a screaming match. I totally blew out my voice and it didn’t come back for almost two weeks. I scared myself so bad that I actually got my vocal cords insured. Really.
Of all the things for Hank Azaria to lose, his voice has to be one of the scariest! At least he has vocal insurance now. Fortunately for fans as well as Azaria (assuming his voice stays safe), The Simpsons has already been renewed for Season 32, so at least some of his characters should be back in the fall.
Of course, a lot regarding The Simpsons Season 32 may be uncertain at this point, due to production shutdowns throughout the television industry. As an animated show, The Simpsons wouldn't require the kinds of sets, stages, and casts as a live-action show, but there will surely be challenges even for animation if television doesn't return to business as usual.
Fortunately, Season 31 of The Simpsons hasn't yet come to an end. The next new episode will air Sunday, May 10 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox and see Lisa make some snooty new rich friends while Homer takes Marge on a romantic cruise. As for the Season 31 finale, The Simpsons will wrap its current season on Fox on Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET.
If you're already looking ahead to some viewing options once The Simpsons heads into hiatus, be sure to check out our 2020 summer premiere schedule. There is also plenty of Simpsons content to be found on the web courtesy of Disney+, including the first 30 seasons, the Simpsons movie, and the recent Maggie-centric "Playdate with Destiny" short.