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The Spongebob Voice Actor You Didn't Know Was In Starship Troopers

Actor Clancy Brown has been a prolific part of many people's childhoods for the better part of 22 years, whether they know it or not. Nickelodeon viewers know him as Mr. Krabs, the greedy sailor-mouthed crustacean from Spongebob Squarepants that owns the Krusty Krab. But while Mr. Krabs is Brown's most famous role, it's one of many in both film and cartoons.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Brown told the story of how he initially got into acting through reading Shakespeare as a child. After college, he pursued acting as a career and landed a breakout role as a prisoner in the 1983 film Bad Boys. According to IMDb, he wouldn't make his cartoon debut until 1994, when he had a bit role in The Little Mermaid TV series. Five years later, he would become Mr. Krabs. Two years before that, though, he would become a major player in the cult classic sci-fi movie Starship Troopers.

Clancy Brown played the meanest drill sergeant since R. Lee Ermey

Before he was Mr. Krabs, Clancy Brown was Sergeant Zim, the brutally effective drill sergeant who trained protagonist Johnny Rico and his squad. Zim is a stark contrast from the humorous antics of Mr. Krabs, though both run a tight ship. He's merciless in disciplining his squad. He intentionally gives a recruit a compound arm fracture on day one of basic training. When another recruit complains about knife training, Zim flings the knife with Hawkeye levels of precision into the recruit's open hand.

Yet his character also has some heroic aspects. He treats Rico with compassion when the recruit is sentenced to disciplinary flogging. He also demotes himself to private just to see the front lines once the war starts. In the end, Zim captures the alien insect's leader offscreen, apparently turning the tide of the conflict in favor of the humans. He may be a buzzkill with a malicious streak, but he's a hero.

Has Clancy Brown been in anything else?

The chances that you've already encountered Clancy Brown are high if you've kept up with movies or cartoons in any capacity. The cartoon world has heard him in everything from Samurai Jack to Star Wars: The Clone Wars as Savage Opress. He's even been in a few video games. He played the nefarious Dr. Cortex in the Crash Bandicoot series and appeared in 2018's Detroit: Become Human as Detective Hank Anderson. 

Needless to say, that only scratches the surface of Brown's incredibly stacked résumé. He's been working steadily since the 1980s and shows no signs of stopping in the near future. He's been involved in five television productions in the past three months alone. So no matter what you're watching, keep an eye out. You never know when you might see that selfish shellfish, Mr. Krabs, in a dramatic period piece like The Ballad of Buster Scruggs or a lighthearted cartoon like Spongebob.