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This Is Who Narrates Curious George

One of the toughest parts of making children's entertainment is figuring out how to make sure your youthful audience doesn't get lost in the story you're trying to tell. 

This is part of the reason superhero comics had a habit of introducing youthful sidekicks. The likes of Robin and Bucky came into being partially so Batman and Captain America would have someone to explain things to, making sure the kids who were reading them stayed on the same page as the heroes whose exploits they were following. Without such a device, every plot twist the villain throws their way or clever trick executed by the hero is an opportunity to shed some of the audience who might miss the context or clues leading up to it. 

Using sidekicks in this way eventually fell out of fashion, but there are other ways to pull the same trick, and one of the simplest is to simply tell the kids directly exactly what sorts of things they need to know to understand the story. That's the method Peacock's "Curious George" has gone with, using a narrator to explain what the titular monkey cannot. But while the narrator helps guide the audience through George's adventures, adults and older kids in the audience might be stuck wondering where they've heard that guy before.  

That answer turns out to be lots of places, because Rino Romano has had a long career as a Hollywood voice actor. 

Where else you've heard Rino Romano's voice

Romano voices a deep roster of animated characters, particular in genre projects. He played Johnnie Rico in "Roughnecks: The Starship Trooper Chronicles," Lone Starr in the short-lived "Spaceballs: The Animated Series" and Tuxedo Mask in the English-language dub of "Sailor Moon." He's played both Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the short-lived "Spider-Man Unlimited" series as well as multiple video games, and Bruce Wayne in "The Batman" animated series that ran from 2004 to 2008.

As if playing Spider-Man and Batman in the same decade weren't enough fan favorites for one actor, Romano also voiced the male version (players can select at the game's outset) of the protagonist Revan in the beloved Bioware RPG "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic." It's a smaller role than you might guess in such a sweeping game; while many of the game's supporting characters voice all their replies, Revan's choices in the game's multifarious dialogue trees are selected by the player and not read out loud. Romano's performance instead was mostly about providing feedback to players — "Got it" and "Didn't work" and things like that — as well as providing the various grunts and groans to accompany doing or taking damage. It's the sort of thing that has to be done right, since the player will likely hear them thousands of times over the course of the game. 

Romano is joined by a stacked voice cast on Curious George

"Curious George" the series was developed at the same time as the 2006 feature film "Curious George," which co-starred Will Ferrell as the Man in the Yellow Hat. The series debuted on PBS in 2006 and ran for nine seasons before going on a three-year hiatus. It returned on the Canadian channel Family Junior in 2018, and the most recent season debuted on the NBC streaming service Peacock in July of 2020. It won two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Children's Animated Program, in 2008 and 2010.

Romano inherited his role on "Curious George" from an actor you definitely know: William H. Macy, who played The Narrator for the first 30 episodes of the series, before giving way to Romano. Coming onto "Curious George," Romano joined a cast that's a voice acting Murderer's Row. The central simian himself is played by one of those cartoon voices who looks much different than you might imagine: Frank Welker, voice of Megatron, Fred from "Scooby-Doo," and 861 other acting credits (including Abu from "Aladdin.") Jeff Bennett, the voice of Johnny Bravo and Kowalski from "The Penguins of Madagascar," took over as the Man in the Yellow Hat. The actor who plays Winnie the Pooh, Jim Cummings, plays Chef Pisghetti. Rob Paulsen, from multiple "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series and "Animaniacs," plays the cocker spaniel Charkie and others. Annie Mumolo, who recently starred as Barb in "Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar" plays the paperboy Bill.

If you pay attention the next time you're watching the show, chances are you'll recognize just about everybody.