Ben Schwartz, best known as the voice of the fast-talking robot Sonic the Hedgehog, sits down with the Times’ Dot Complicated podcast to discuss Sonic, pinball, and putting his life on display on Halloween.
“The end of Sonic’s first game was me riding the bus and it turned around and I was walking with my girlfriend — and you always want to go faster than that boyfriend who you’re like, ‘How much more do you want to know about this game?’ — and she just smiled at me and started yelling my name,” he said. “I didn’t even respond. I was just kind of dumbfounded.”
Schwartz, who also lent his voice to the protagonists of both the TV show Bob’s Burgers and its animated film spinoff, Bob’s Burger, has admitted to his love of gaming, explaining that he has been playing games since he was four years old.
He said that he was initially reluctant to take the microphone for Sonic, but grew to appreciate the animated series that evolved from it.
“It was, ‘Oh, I get to be a hedgehog,’ but I would be like, ‘I need more carrot — what’s really going on here? How does my voice become these different voices?’ I wanted to figure out how to make it feel completely original, and part of what made Sonic special was this feeling of having these clashing and falling characters together,” he said.
He also acknowledged that the character of Sonic had become “out of control,” as both merchandise and merchandise-like knockoffs were popular.
“Things have gotten very vulgar in terms of the way we describe what kids like to play with and draw and paint,” he said. “There’s some good art out there and some really bad art out there. All these little digital artists in Silicon Valley are creating all these kind of crude things for a guy in a lab coat, and I’m really confused.”
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