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Hank Azaria Imitated Mel Blanc's Impression Of Edward G. Robinson For The Simpsons' Chief Wiggum

When it comes to voiceover actors, "The Simpsons" Hank Azaria is the ultimate utility player. Few of the characters he voices would be considered "main" characters who drive their own episodes (with rare exceptions), but he's made an indelible mark on the show. To voice his many, many side characters, Azaria often relies on impressions of celebrities and personal acquaintances. Over the years, he's revealed the inspiration for many of them.

For example, Moe Syzslak is based on young Al Pacino, as well as the real-life gravelly-voiced Red the Bartender. Snake Jailbird is a combination of Sean Penn's Jeff Spicoli from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and a college friend of Azaria's who was a perpetual stoner. The Comic Book Guy is based on another college friend of Azaria's. Dr. Nick Riviera is a bad impression of Ricky Ricardo from "I Love Lucy" (per GQ).

The inspiration for Police Chief Clancy Wiggum is even more surprising. Here's who Azaria channels to bring the inept, piglike cop to life.

Chief Wiggum is an impression of Mel Blanc doing an impression of Edward G. Robinson

As Azaria explained to GQ, Police Chief Wiggum's voice is actually an impression of Edward G. Robinson–or, more accurately, of Mel Blanc doing an impression of Edward G. Robinson.

As Azaria explained, Edward G. Robinson was an actor most well-known for his 1930s and 40s mob films, and especially for his distinctive voice and look. "Time" magazine said Robinson had "the face of a depraved cherub and a voice which makes everything he says seem violently profane" (via Britannica). Robinson often played "tough guy" characters, like a con man in "Smart Money" or a gangster in "Little Caesar." However, he also acted against type, like when he played the lead role in "Dr. Erlich's Magic Bullet" or Dathan in "The Ten Commandments."

As Azaria also explained, Mel Blanc was the prolific voiceover actor behind many of the characters on "Looney Tunes," like Bugs Bunny. When playing gangsters, Blanc often channeled Robinson, like he did for the character of Rocky the Gangster in the 1946 short "Racketeer Rabbit" (per the Looney Tunes Wiki).

It makes sense why Azaria would look up to Blanc, who was described as "The Man of a Thousand Voices." Azaria's own voiceover career is one Blanc would have been proud of.