UPDATE: Gotta go live my actual life. Thank you everybody for joining me! I hope you check out my new Fatherhood Web Series: http://www.mom.me/fatherhood

Hi, I’m Hank Azaria – Simpsons voice guy, actor, director, producer and father. If you don’t recognize my name, you probably know my voice from characters like Apu, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, and more. I'm really psyched that my new web series, Fatherhood, just started airing on AOL and Mom.me. I was terrified of becoming a father, so I spoke to as many experts and famous dads as I could find including Bryan Cranston, Kevin Bacon, Rainn Wilson and more. Check out the first few episodes here: http://www.mom.me/fatherhood

PROOF: https://twitter.com/HankAzaria/status/428586968986173440

Shameless Self Promotion:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/hankazaria

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hankazaria

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/hankazaria

So that’s me…feel free to ask me anything about being a dad or whatever else you guys want to chat about.

Comments: 1992 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

emre801912 karma

Hey Hank,

You probably don't remember me but when I was a teenager I was very sick. The Make a Wish foundation was nice enough, for my wish, to fly me out to California to meet the crew behind the Simpsons. I don't have a question, but just wanted to thank you guys.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping me trough one of the hardest parts of my life. I've been cancer free for almost 10 years now, and being able to meet you and the rest of the crew have helped me immensely by keeping my sprite up (Edit, I really like soda). You guys gave me a wonderful day I will never forget. Thank you again

Hank_Azaria765 karma

I'm so glad you had a good time and I'm so glad you're OK.

smiffany712 karma

Are you still sad that Phoebe chose Paul Rudd over you or have you moved past the pain?

Hank_Azaria969 karma

You don't ever really get over something like that, you just learn to live with it.

Sundogx2689 karma

How deep do you get in Moe's head when voicing him... And does it terrify you?

Hank_Azaria1261 karma

LOL. It's funny, but Moe really does feel like somewhat of an alter-ego for me. I think more than any other character I've ever played on camera or off. He's so bitter and dark that when I get really angry or bummed out, I can very much relate to Moe's point of view. And sometimes performing Moe does genuinely feel like a release of my own tension and angst.

seebs624 karma

Hi Hank, The movie "Godzilla" (1998) featured three prominent voice actors from "The Simpsons": yourself, Harry Shearer, and Nancy Cartwright. This seems too improbable to have simply been a coincidence. I've always been curious how you three ended up in the same summer blockbuster?

Hank_Azaria864 karma

Dean Devlin, an old friend and the producer and writer of Godzilla, is a big Simpsons fan and purposely put all 3 of us in the movie.

Graphitetshirt248 karma

Is Dean still a friend after you saw the final version of the movie?

Hank_Azaria450 karma

Yes, he is, although I think if I keep publicly bashing that movie he might not want to be friends with me anymore.

0Catalyst425 karma

Do you like to freak Mrs Azaria out by changing voices when you orgasm?

Hank_Azaria958 karma

Even just trying to think of an answer to this question is creeping me out.

texticles339 karma

Kirk Van Houten is one of the most hilariously sad characters. Was that really you singing ''Can I Borrow A Feeling?'' Good work.

Hank_Azaria462 karma

That song sounded so awful, how could you possibly doubt that it was me singing it? They would hardly need to bring in somebody else to sound that bad.

Fishmandog330 karma

What is your favorite one-off character you have done on The Simpsons? I don't think many people realize that you do lots of background work besides just the main characters you voice.

Hank_Azaria923 karma

By far my favorite one off was Frank Grimes. It was supposed to be William H. Macy and I filled in as best I could, and I really love how the episode came out...it was a rare opportunity to do an emotional performance on the show.

kgunderson280 karma

Hey Hank! You rock! I'm curious about your role as David on Friends. Did you expect it to be a recurring character on one of the biggest shows of the time? What other guest spots have you enjoyed?

Hank_Azaria386 karma

I did not know that was going to be recurring character until they asked me back. I really enjoyed Wayne Knight on Seinfield.

NahRumph263 karma

How fun was mystery men to film? Greatest super hero movie of all time.

Hank_Azaria377 karma

I've said this a lot publicly before, but Mystery Men, for me anyways, wasn't 1/4 as much fun as it should have been. It was quite a disorganized and tense set, and I didn't know how to overcome that and just enjoy myself yet. So, not so much fun really.

knucklesoup155 karma

I read Mr. Stiller hated making that movie and fought with the director constantly. Did your experiences on that film with Ben lead to your hilarious role in Along Came Polly?

Hank_Azaria235 karma

Well, we both had a very difficult time on that movie. Everybody on that movie had a difficult time on that movie, yet we both enjoyed working with each other. So, I guess the shared suffering perhaps brought us closer and led us to working together again.

crinnie247 karma

You must get loads of requests to do impressions of your Simpsons characters. What's the most popular request? My guess would be Comic Book Guy or Duffman.

Hank_Azaria441 karma

I usually get Moe.

pinkpussylips195 karma

Did she really have a great ass?

Hank_Azaria338 karma

It was hard to tell because my head was all the way up it.

cahagiytyhe192 karma

What was it like working with Simon Pegg on "Run Fatboy Run"?

Hank_Azaria295 karma

Really, really, really great. He is such a nice guy and so genuinely enthusiastic and positive. I really enjoyed being around him personally and professionally.

cartersliver183 karma

If you could tell twenty year old Hank Azaria ONE thing, what would it be?

Hank_Azaria454 karma

I was such an idiot when I was 20 that it's really hard to pick just one thing to tell myself. I might start with "keep it down" and "get a haircut" and then move on to more meaty statements like "worrying is a complete waste of time, it's like praying for things that you don't want to happen." That would be my biggest message: don't worry.

MrThingyman163 karma

Hi there, Mr. Azaria. It's great to have you back on reddit, thanks for doing this :D.

  1. What's a movie that you were involved with that maybe didn't get enough attention which you would recommend that more people watch?

  2. If you had the ability to literally transform into other actors, what's the first actor (or actress) you'd choose?

  3. You're awesome.

Hank_Azaria319 karma

  1. I would say Shattered Glass and Lovelace.
  2. I would transform in to Barbara Eden, who played Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie, just because it's too much fun to respond to your question that way.
  3. Yes, yes I am.

dedtired161 karma

Care to share some stories/fond memories of Marcia Wallace? I loved her character and her voice and will miss her in future episodes.

Hank_Azaria242 karma

Marcia was very sweet, very genuine, very caring and supportive. It's really sad that she's not with us any more. She always took an interest in my career and personal life, beyond just being courteous. She was one of the good ones for sure.

TVsNoah155 karma

My mom once grabbed you in NYC. You were doing Spamalot at the time. She grabbed you and said "Nice Suit." Just wanted to say sorry.

Hank_Azaria268 karma

I'm actually going to thank you for that because I don't know how I reacted but I do know that being physically grabbed by surprise by people I don't know is one of my least favorite things about being an actor.

TheRealRandomUser142 karma

Hi Mr Azaria,

Thanks for doing this.

You've been involved with the Simpsons from the earliest days; was there a specific point when you realized that it wasn't just another garden-variety "couple mediocre years and then forgotten" TV show?

Of all the characters that you've voiced for the show, are there any that you've been surprised to see stick around for 25 years?

Hank_Azaria313 karma

Disco Stu has got to be against the odds. Even characters like Snake and Comic Book Guy started out as one-off odd ball characters. Superintendent Chalmers and Lou the Cop - all these guys seemed like they had no personality at first, to me anyway. I mean Comic Book Guy didn't even have a name.

parker_dub129 karma

Hey Hank!

The Simpsons has accomplished and done pretty much everything a legendary television show could do. Is there any particular thing, or direction that the Simpsons hasn't gone, that you still really want to see happen? Thanks!

Hank_Azaria223 karma

I love poker, so I'd love to see a poker episode. Once Homer and the guys were playing poker in Homer's garage, but it didn't really get into the poker world. It's really hard to tell poker stories on film and tv though because you have to oversimplify it so much that it's just not worth it.

ninjajandal119 karma

Hello Hank, from all the way in nz. First off a big thank you for the Simpsons, the show truly was the main influence in my childhood (and adulthood if I'm honest). My question is, while playing the part of Cheif Wiggum, what Ralph moment inspired the most fatherly pride?

Hank_Azaria500 karma

I can tell you one of my favorite Ralph lines which was when he walked into the adult section of the comic book store and explained "everyone's hugging." The line that they couldn't use that I wish they could was "she's hungry."

TaxiZaphod110 karma

Just re-watched Grosse Pointe Blank yesterday for the umpteenth time. It's one of my favorite movies.

What is your favorite story from that shoot?

Thanks!

Hank_Azaria137 karma

I really loved that movie too. I should have mentioned it earlier as a movie of mine that doesn't get enough attention that I think more people should watch, although I only have a small part in it. I remember in the middle of shooting that movie, I went to The Birdcage premiere and it was really amazing to me to see the difference in my career from before that movie came out to after it came out. But that doesn't really have much to do with Grosse Point Blanke, which was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

rscanlo106 karma

A freak accident occurs while your doing your voiceovers for a Simpsons episode. You wake up and for some reason can never shake the last character's voice that you were using before the accident. Which voice would be the worst to be stuck with for life? The best?

Also can you do impressions of famous people/accents, or does your skillset apply mostly to voiceacting?

Hank_Azaria167 karma

The worst would be Bumblebee Man since I don't really speak Spanish so I would have no idea what I was talking about. And also it's very hard on my voice, so I wouldn't even be able to talk within about 3 days. I think if I had to pick a Simpson's voice to live with for the rest of my life, it would be Lou the Cop or maybe Superintendent Chalmers.

protopod98 karma

Barring any unforeseen events, do you plan to stay with The Simpsons until it ends?

Hank_Azaria197 karma

Absolutely.

scottlarocc92 karma

Now that you've talked to so many notable fathers, who would you say is #1 dad?

Hank_Azaria287 karma

me.

smilesunshine092591 karma

Hi Hank,

Love your work. Two Questions: Who was your influences for Agador Sparticus’ character (voice and movements) and did you improvise your lines? The names you called Murray the Dog in Mad About You, were those improvised as well in each episode?

Hank_Azaria141 karma

Agador was a combination of Puerto Rican street queens that I used to see and hear hanging out in Manhattan when I was growing up, and believe it or not, my grandmother. I think that we all used to pitch nicknames for Murray on Mad About You, both myself and the writers, but frankly I didn't even remember that we did that until you just asked that question.

Happy_Bridge75 karma

How - more accurately, how in the world - do you, as one of the most prolific voice actors ever, create a voice for a new character while avoiding sounding like another voiceover character that you've already voiced?

I'm thinking of John DiMaggio's Jake the Dog sounding like Bender.

Hank_Azaria93 karma

I'm sure that sometimes I have done this, but you just try to not do that. Also the writers and directors will point out when you do sound too much like another character, which has happened a lot.

BigBrainAmWinning71 karma

Thanks for coming back! Do you enjoy acting in person more, or do you prefer voicing characters?

Hank_Azaria103 karma

there's fun aspects to both, it really depends on the job and the script.

werdman260 karma

Is there any big easter eggs, or secrets in the simpsons in terms of jokes between the cast and the writers, and if so what are your faverate ones?

Hank_Azaria150 karma

Besides the fact that we all usually record with our pants off, I can't think of any...

Lancaster198349 karma

Describe your perfect Sunday.

Hank_Azaria124 karma

Lately I've been getting to live out my perfect Sundays. I take my son in the morning, usually on some kind of daddy/son field trip like to a kids show or a ball game or one of the million things you can do with your kid in New York. Then by 4 o'lock the poker game that I host begins and I watch football and play cards with my buddies til about 10 o'lock. That is close to a perfect day for me. And by the way, my wife is around for much of that as well.

Toswin44 karma

So my question, what is (currently) the funniest, most memorable thing that your Son has done?

Mine growls at his feet when I put socks on them.

Hank_Azaria209 karma

When my son asks for desserts or special treats, my wife usually replies "I'll think about it." And then usually doesn't let him have it. At Thanksgiving 2 years ago, my son pointed to the dessert table and said "mom, I'm going to eat all of that. You think about it."

SuperScate42 karma

Hi Hank

I love your work, you are a great talent. Thanks for doing this AMA.

I know you've done a lot of movies with Ben Stiller. What is the connection between you both? Are you great friends or is it coincidence?

Do you have any future movies or projects with him?

Ps. I think you'd be an awesome dad too.

Thanks

(Edit: words)

Hank_Azaria115 karma

We met working together but we have become pretty good friends. I think Ben plans on making Night of the Museum 3 without me, which I think is a big mistake, but that's his prerogative

TaserWieldingBear42 karma

HANK! I friggen LOVED Huff. I know you've said before that it was a really difficult show for you to deal with psychologically, ironic given your character's profession, but that show was incredibly touching, funny, and fascinating. Where do you think season 3, had you had the chance to continue, would have gone story-wise? I have to know!!

/also, please convince Showtime to stream the series

Hank_Azaria54 karma

You know, as difficult as I found Huff to make emotionally, I was enjoying doing it more and more as it went on. Season 2 was a lot easier logistically than season 1 was. I was really surprised when the show got canceled because I thought it was really good. I have absolutely no idea where the show was headed. I'm pretty sure that Oliver Platt's character was going to go to rehab and maybe even to jail and have issues of recovering and slipping in and out of addiction and legal problems. But other than that, I really don't know whether Huff was going to get back with his wife or get divorced...no clue.

And that's a good idea to ask Showtime to stream it. I'll get on that.

vassalloraptor36 karma

Hi Hank! Big fan :) were there any Simpsons lines you read that stand out as the funniest, or the one you had the most difficulty saying without laughing?

Hank_Azaria84 karma

We've gotten the giggles over a variety of Simpsons lines over 25 years of recording and often they're not the funniest lines, they're just lines that for some reason are striking you as odd or funny in the moment. Lot of times it has to do more with how tired you are than how funny the line is. That said, I would say about once or twice every show I need to run away from the mic because I'm laughing at something and I'll ruin the take if I don't clear out.

dmj23433 karma

Hi Hank! How do you personally balance a busy work schedule with being a Dad? Thanks!

Hank_Azaria59 karma

I think it's hard for every dad. I tend to be either barely working at all where I have tons of time or working jobs that need me 12-14 hours a day so I have no time. I really hate when I have to travel and leave my family. You know, I do what everybody does...my best to stay connected by Skype, or my son really loves getting emails from me and dictating emails to my wife in response.

yonkeltron31 karma

Mr. Azaria,

Thanks for doing this! As one of the moderators on /r/judaism can you verify that you did actually grow up speaking Ladino? Do you still?

Also, what was it like on the set of The Birdcage? How much was ad-libbed? Any great stories?

Hank_Azaria77 karma

I did not grow up speaking Ladino. My parents were both fluent in Ladino, but I was not.

We rehearsed The Birdcage more than any other film I've ever done. Mike Nichols told us that we should get all of the ad-libbing out of our systems in rehearsal and that he and Elaine May would take down the best of our improvising and put it into the script. And that's pretty much what we did. That said, there were little teeny lines here and there that would get thrown in...like when I picked up my boombox I said "come on, Gloria" and that stayed in the movie. But mostly we stuck to the script. If you look at the film, you'll see there aren't too many cuts, meaning a lot of the scenes just play in one long shot. That's why Mike didn't want a lot of ad-libbing, he wanted things to play continuously and at a rapid pace, which really is best for farcical comedy.

spelbot28 karma

Hank, How do you remain being so suave after all these years, is there a secret?

Hank_Azaria106 karma

Yes, there is a secret. But it's a secret.

slashedheart26 karma

I know that the Simpsons is never ever going to end, but which character do you most want to see with their own spin-off show?

Hank_Azaria56 karma

I guess either Moe or Comic Book Guy. Professor Frink would really amuse me as well.

lawrnk26 karma

[deleted]

Hank_Azaria74 karma

LOL. I heard recently that hippos kill more human beings than any other animal.

nekholm22 karma

Hi Hank!

Who is geekier, David on Friends, or professor Frink?

Hank_Azaria64 karma

I think that it's not even a contest and I think you know the answer to that question.

HeThinksIStillCare22 karma

Hi Hank. I'm a huge fan of all of your work. Thank you for doing this.

  1. What was the biggest surprise for you in becoming a father? The "Wow. I never would have thought that could happen." moment. And

B. What is the one lesson you're already concerning yourself with teaching your child? As in, "I've got to figure out a way to discuss __________ with my child one day. How am I going to explain this?" For me, it was trying to explain to my then-5-year-old-twins what a terrorist was and why the attacks in NY, PA and DC took place. I'll take the birds and the bees talk over that talk any day of the week.

Hank_Azaria53 karma

My biggest surprise as a father was the fact that I was capable of doing it at all. I guess I'm pretty shocked at how much I love it, but that's not to say it isn't really hard sometimes. People say that as a parent the days go very slowly and the years go very quickly, and that seems to be true. It's so hard to explain so many things to your 4 year old. My son just asked me this morning why people have 2 hands. Try wrapping your brain around that one. I'm also not looking forward to dealing with the dangers of drugs and alcohol when he gets older.

NewRedditRN22 karma

With most of your roles being within comedy, what makes you choose to do the occasional dramatic feature?

Hank_Azaria33 karma

I love working in dramas, I'm just more known for doing comedy. I would love to do more dramas if I could, although comedies are generally more fun.

gerryhanes19 karma

Good evening sir. What special memory from filming always makes you smile?

Hank_Azaria39 karma

Hmm, that's a good question. Shooting Along Came Polly with Ben Stiller, there was a day when we couldn't get through a scene without laughing because our faces were so close to each other. That always makes me giggle when I think about it. There was also a day on The Birdcage when Robin Williams fell down in the middle of a scene by accident and we just kept rolling and both started cracking up. And that scene is actually in the movie. Also the time I spent with Jack Lemmon shooting Tuesdays with Morrie. I got to ask him a lot about his life and about being an actor which was pretty amazing.

YarnSpinner18 karma

Hey, new upcoming dad here. What brand of diapers should I get? I wanted to do cloth, but everyone on my wife's side of the family poo-poos that idea quite firmly. I wanted to ask you a pertinent dad question, but I couldn't think of any. Please feel free to just respond with what you think is important.

I'm super stoked to be a dad!

Hank_Azaria32 karma

I just like the fact that you said somebody "poo-pood" your diaper idea. There are diapers that my wife insisted upon that are environmentally friendly that you might want to think about.

Hobbzor15 karma

Hi, Hank! I love all of your voice acting work and especially your character in Eulogy. Have any good stories from the set?

Hank_Azaria36 karma

This is going to be an annoying answer, but I remember having a funny running joke with Zooey Deschanel that really made us laugh...hard...but I can't remember what it was. I'm terribly sorry.

TorgoTheWhite11 karma

Do you make a cameo in the new Godzilla? God I hope so.

Hank_Azaria28 karma

Given how the last one went, I think they probably want to leave me out of this next Godzilla venture.

LPGWDAL6 karma

Also, how did you get "Quickly Nibbles! Chew through my ball sack." past the censors?

Hank_Azaria14 karma

I have no idea what you're talking about. Is that a thing Moe said?

FadeToTurtleneck10 karma

I think it was when principal skinner was stuck in the school because of snow and the student put him in a sack of dodgeballs

Hank_Azaria22 karma

I don't do the voice of Skinner, and I have no idea how we got that passed the censors.

spammyjoe5 karma

So many questions and so little time! Thank you for doing this, it's cool when someone you admire takes the time out-

  1. Do you have a favourite writer from the Simpsons that you love(loved) the parts written for you? Have you built lasting relationships with your co-workers, that have transitioned into other favourite projects?

  2. Do you have any special movie props/memorabilia that you were allowed to take home?

Sorry I don't have any Dad questions, :) (Girl in her mid twenties)

Hank_Azaria7 karma

  1. I can honestly say that I admire and enjoy all of the writers on The Simpsons. Some I know better than others, but I get a genuine kick out of interacting with all of them. We're so used to seeing each other over there every week for 25 years that we don't even think about what would happen if we didn't see each, but we haven't worked together outside of the show too much.
  2. I kept my cufflinks from the movie Quiz Show. It would be fun to tell you that I kept my thong from The Birdcage, but it would be a lie.

moethebartender5 karma

Worst episode ever?

Hank_Azaria14 karma

Yes.

NoShirtNoShoesNoDice4 karma

It's safe to say that I have seen just about everything you've done (IMDb page for the lazy) and Hector in America's Sweethearts remains my favorite of all of your roles. Every time someone mentions coins, regardless of the situation, I will always chime in with "It's bigger than coins". A close second is "Agador Spartacus" in The Birdcage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhePEs4IL8w.

Since most recognize you as a voice from The Simpsons, but many still have no idea who you actually voice, how often do "fans" approach you about characters that you have nothing to do with? A recent TMZ video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXiy5AVzhVk - just the beginning of the video, for the uninterested) shows an autograph hound trying to get you to sign characters that aren't yours. Is this frequent and does it bother you?


Bonus question: When might we see you play a character like the Terminator? You know, because I think the Hispanic people are crying out to see a deadly, destructive, killing machine that they can embrace as their own, you know, that they can relate to.

Hank_Azaria3 karma

Usually autograph guys know what characters to stick in front of your face. That was a 1st, what happened in that video. People will sometimes think I'm Homer, just because they think of me as "The Simpsons guy." And I guess assume that must mean I'm Homer. Or they just have no idea which characters I do and don't even try to guess.

Bonus: That question has confused me on so many different levels, so I will respond with saying I don't know.

thedroogabides3 karma

Hey Hank,

Why were you asking Wes Welker rude questions about kickers. I assume it is for a project of some sort, or do you just really hate kickers.

Hank_Azaria5 karma

That wasn't me, that was legendary sportscaster Jim Brockmire, who happens to look a lot like me...and happens to hate kickers for his own dark and personal reasons.

patrick_4441 karma

Hi Hank, gotta love The Simpsons. I can't quite remember, but I believe I once saw you playing in the WSOP Main Event. Do you still play in the event?

Hank_Azaria2 karma

Yeah, I love playing in the WSOP and I do whenever my schedule permits, which is about once every 3 or 4 years. But, it's harder as father to make it there.