Once upon a time, we were flipping through TV channels when suddenly… SpongeBob SquarePants and, uh, David Bowie? His voice is a great bit higher as Lord Royal Highness, almighty king of “Atlantis SquarePantis,” but you can’t fool us, Bowie — we’ve always known how much you love to play royalty. Inspired by the amusing discovery, we went on to unearth 16 strange cartoon characters voiced by 9 unexpected rock stars. Check ’em out after the jump, and hit the comments to let us know the others that you’ve found over the years. Oh, and we didn’t include musicians who have voiced cartoon versions of themselves, or else this thing would be 95% The Simpsons. Sorry, Keith and Mick.
David Bowie / Lord Royal Highness in SpongeBob SquarePants / Maltazard in Arthur and the Invisibles
In 2006, David Bowie took a role on good ol’ SpongeBob to please his six-year-old daughter, an avid fan of the show. He wrote in his blog, “We, the family, are thrilled. Nothing else need happen this year, well, this week anyway.” Coolest dad ever? That same year, Bowie provided the voice of the evil Emperor Maltazard, a greedy former war hero whose minions ride mosquitoes, in Arthur and the Invisibles. So, would you rather be held hostage by Lord Royal Highness, the wacky bubble king, Maltazard, the mosquito warlord, or Jareth, the goblin king? All three of those roles involve some sort of domination/captivity/jail situation, by the way. Bowie, you dog.
Iggy Pop / Lil’ Rummy in Lil’ Bush: Resident of the United States / Jerry in American Dad! / Uncle Anouche in Persepolis / Demon From Another Dimension in Rock & Rule
Iggy Pop has a knack for voicing cartoon characters. It all began in 1983 when he provided the voice for the demon in the rock & roll-themed animated film Rock & Rule. After that, he voiced a newborn baby in 1998’s The Rugrats Movie (not pictured) followed by his role as Jerry in a 2007 episode of American Dad!. Later that year, he was Uncle Anouche in Persepolis, and then he took on a two-year stint as Lil’ Rummy in Cartoon Network’s Lil’ Bush: Resident of the United States. In 2010, he provided the voice of Darkos in the third installation of the aforementioned Arthur and the Invisibles film (not pictured). Work it, Iggy Pop.
Ozzy Osbourne / Fawn in Gnomeo & Juliet / Vicar in Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind
If you ever need a drunken grumbled English voice, Ozzy’s your man. In 2007 he voiced Vicar in Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind and in 2011 he was Fawn in Gnomeo & Juliet. Correction: If you ever need a drunken grumbled English voice in an animated film involving deer, Ozzy’s your man.
Tom Petty / Lucky in King of the Hill
It was pretty easy to tell that Tom Petty was the voice behind Lucky Kleinschmidt from 2004 to 2009, seeing as Lucky looks exactly like a snaggletooth’d Tom. His catchphrase was “I done slipped on pee-pee at the Costco,” naturally.
Debbie Harry / Vain Gloria in Phantom 2040 / Angel in Rock & Rule
In 1993, Debbie Harry performed alongside Iggy Pop and Lou Reed in Rock & Rule. Then, for three episodes in 1994, she was Vain Gloria in Phantom 2040. There are very few rocker ladies who have ventured into animation, so rock on, Debbie Harry. Honorable video game mention: She voiced Delores in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Jarvis Cocker / Petey in The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Who doesn’t love the bizarre whirlwind that is Jarvis Cocker? When the Pulp front-man popped up as Petey in The Fantastic Mr. Fox, we were thrilled. Check out his performance of Petey’s Song at the film’s French premiere.
Gene Simmons / Jessie in King of the Hill / Sea Monster in SpongeBob SquarePants
In a 2003 episode of King of the Hill titled “Reborn to Be Wild,” Gene Simmons had a brief role as a biker who tells Bobby’s Christian skater mentor to “never come between a kid and his dad.” In 2007, Simmons returned to animation as a hamburger-loving deep sea monster in SpongeBob SquarePants. Surprisingly, neither of these characters seemed to have abnormally long tongues.
Sting / Zarm in Captain Planet and the Planeteers
In addition to providing the voice of his creepy puppet narrator self in Peter and the Wolf: A Prokofiev Fantasy (we’re still a little scarred), Sting was the first to voice Zarm in Captain Planet and the Planeteers from 1990 to 1992, followed by David Warner and Malcolm MacDowell. In 2007, Sting appeared as himself in Bee Movie. Get it? Bees? Sting? Very appropriate.
Ringo Starr / Duck Brothers in Courage the Cowardly Dog
Ringo is no stranger to children’s television, but we really didn’t see this Courage the Cowardly Dog appearance coming. In 2002, he voiced three evil alien ducks, otherwise known as the “Duck Brothers.” For more Ringo, check out the 1971 version of The Point. Or, better yet, The Beatles animated series.