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The Major TGIF Sitcom Star You Likely Didn't Know Voiced Sonic The Hedgehog

Sega's "Sonic the Hedgehog" started off as a high-speed side-scroller video game that follows the titular character as he attempts to stop Dr. Robotnik (or Dr. Eggman for purists) and rescue a cadre of his animal buddies. Proving to be immensely popular, the video game character launched an entire franchise, and it wasn't simply just rip-roaring video games. There have been animated television series, merchandise, and even most recently, live-action movies starring Sega's affectionately known flagship character nicknamed the Blue Blur.

Joining Sonic is a robust cast of other anthropomorphic animal companions, like the twin-tailed fox Miles "Tails" Prower, the fiercely protective echidna Knuckles, the occasional villain and anti-hero Shadow the Hedgehog, and the big-time Sonic fan Amy Rose. And as far as his voice actors go, he's been voiced by a number of familiar figures, including Ben Schwartz in the last two "Sonic" movies and renowned voice-over actor Roger Craig Smith in several video games. However, in Sonic's long history, there was one big star from ABC's "Thank God It's Friday" lineup who had previously voiced the hedgehog.

A star of Family Matters voiced Sonic in several 1990s shows

According to IMDbJaleel White of "Family Matters" was the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog in several animated television specials and shows, including "The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog," "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Sonic Underground," and "Sonic: Christmas Blast." Considering the many times White has voiced Sonic, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that he wasn't utilized in the recent "Sonic" movies, but then again, the creators may have wanted to bring in some fresh talent since White had not voiced Sonic since 1999. Still, when White was cast as Sonic in the previously mentioned shows and special, he was riding high on his success as the nerdy, yet lovable character of Steve Urkel.

In an interview with Geek Chic Elite, White looked back on his experiences with portraying the character of Sonic. "Voice acting was super cool, man," he recalled. "That was a job I didn't necessarily want, only because it was time-consuming but they always need a name to sell something, not understanding that's the way it goes. When I was a kid, in order to sell Sonic on ABC Saturday morning, they used me to create a flow from Friday night."  

White also talked about what he felt was the best part of voice-over acting. "The creativity is the fun part and the easy part, I can wrap my head around a lot of creativity, I think I did over 100 episodes of 'Sonic the Hedgehog,'" he said. "Sonic fans are crazy but so awesome because again, they're appreciative and I'm really thankful for that." So if you happen to have watched any of these shows back in the halcyon days of the 1990s, you have White to thank for your crippling addiction to chili dogs.