The voice of Bart Simpson
Chauncé Hayden: So tell me everything there is to know about The Simpsons.
Nancy Cartwright: (As Bart Simpson) Hey, what’s happening, dude? Who the hell are you?
According to your publicist, I didn’t think you were allowed to talk like Bart.
(As Bart) Oh yeah, man!
So I guess I’ll be talking to both Bart and Nancy today.
(As Nancy) I control everything that comes out of his mouth!
I just got a chill. I always dreamed of one day being on a Simpsons episode. That’s as close as I’ll ever come.
(Laughs) Hey, you want to talk to Nelson or Ralph? I can do them all!
I didn’t know you did Nelson’s voice.
You bet! (As Nelson) See the thing about Huckleberrys is once you’ve had fresh, you’ll never go back to cans!
Is it difficult going back and forth from one character to another?
No. But I do kind of get wrapped around myself. Somebody just has to look at me straight in the eye and say, “Hello! Come back Nancy! You’re not Ralph Wiggum!”
Do you ever feel like you’re more Bart Simpson than Nancy Cartwright?
Well, the cool thing is that it’s just a voice, and it’s not my image that is projected through your TV. So I don’t really feel like Bart. He’s the star. I just give him the voice.
So no chance you’ll ever lose your mind and think you’re Bart Simpson for real?
(Laughs) Oh, God no! But I have done some pretty wild things.
I was on a promotional tour for my book over in Europe. So here I am, flying on the airline, and the flight attendant comes up to me and says, “Nancy Cartwright? It turns out that both the pilots are huge fans of The Simpsons and they want you to come up to the cockpit, so they can meet you.” So I go up there, and we must have chatted for two hours, and at the end of the conversation, one of the pilots says to me, “Listen, do you think that you could talk into the P.A. right before we land and tell the passengers what the weather is like in London, but do it as Bart?” So about a half hour before we landed, the pilot gets on the P.A. system and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking. We have a special guest on the plane this evening. It appears Bart Simpson would like to say a few words to you before we land.” So I get on and say (as Bart), “Yeah, ladies and gentlemen, I just want you to know that neither of your pilots has been drinking this entire flight.”
Weren’t you supposed to be Lisa Simpson when you first auditioned for the series? But you weren’t happy with the character.
It’s not that I wasn’t happy. It’s just that, compared to Lisa, a 10-year-old child who was a deviant, mischievous underachiever and proud of it, which one would you rather do?
Do you actually watch The Simpsons?
Yes! I’m a total fan! And it’s an interesting thing, because I’ve done some television and films. Some people recognize my face from movies like The Twilight Zone, and TV shows like Mr. Belvedere and Empty Nest. When I see myself on TV or in films, I feel like I’m still looking at me. But when I do Bart, I totally become a fan just like you, and I enjoy it for just what it is.
Which episode is your favorite?
There are just too many. But I have to say I like the musicals.
Is it hard to sing in character?
No. In fact, Bart has a much better voice than I do!
We just carried on. That’s all we could do.
I can’t even imagine what your voice must be worth to FOX. Would it be fair to say it’s worth a million dollars?
(Laughs) You think it’s worth only a million? I’m insulted!
Nobody can replace Bart!