Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Frozen Peas (Or “Yes, Always”)

Yesterday was Orson Welles’ 100th birthday. I’ve never watched any of his movies, but there was once childhood moment that he was very influential in, albeit indirectly!

During the 1970s, in order to make money, Welles often did voiceover work for advertising. As he only did this work for money, obviously, he didn’t care much for it, and often proved to be very testy and hard to work with during recording. One such humorous recording session of a frozen peas commercial managed to be leaked to the public.

Voice actor Maurice LaMarche would often parody that infamous recording session as a warm-up before performing his role as Brain from Pinky and the Brain. In fact, the Animaniacs staff were so impressed by his impersonation that they decided to direct an entire parody of Welles’ recording for the show. The result was “Yes, Always”, a sketch in which The Brain assumes the role of Welles doing voiceover work for the cartoon:

As most other kids who grew up with the show, I had no idea that this sketch was a reference to Welles’ recording. I didn’t even know who Orson Welles was. Looking back at this sketch now, knowing what I know now, I consider it to be absolute genius. Then again, what single animated frame of the entire show wasn’t?