Dear Reader, I don’t have much time to write today, because we’re getting ready to leave Hawai’i tomorrow. Consequently, I thought I would share a random, drive-by thought with you. Could you imagine being incessantly subjected to the voice of Barney, 24/7? All hours of the day, non-stop? I was sitting with my son this morning watching children’s television. We initially watched "Barney & Friends" featuring Barney the Dinosaur. In my humble opinion, Barney’s voice has to be one of the most annoying voices of all time, ranking right up there with Jar Jar Binks of Star Wars fame. What do children see or hear in this purple anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur that they enjoy so much? I would rather be subjected to The Wiggles for an entire week than Barney for five minutes. I even read that Barney’s voice has been used as a method of torture "lite" (whatever that means) in Guantanamo Bay’s prisons. Enough said.
I couldn’t help but wonder who does the voiceover for Barney, so I did a little investigating via Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, Bob West provided the voice of Barney until 2002, when he was replaced by Dean Wendt. I wondered, how can these guys live with themselves? How do the ones they love put up with hearing their voices when they sound so much like Barney the Dinosaur? While I realize that these actors do voiceovers of Barney and contort their voices to become the verbal manifestation of that annoying pain in the Jurassic, I can’t help but think that their real voices must not be much different from Barney’s (like Pee Wee Herman, aka Paul Reubens). Do they realize how much how much pain their voices elicit in the name of entertaining children? It’s a Faustian bargain, I tell you.
If you ever heard Jim Henson talk he sounded pretty much just like Kermit the Frog and didn’t change his voice much for Kermit, but he also did other characters like Ernie.
Just imagine how Frank Oz feels, as he did Cookie Monster, Grover, Bert, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Yoda. 🙂