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Who Voices Bart On The Simpsons?

Whatever you do, don't have a cow, man. The iconic catchphrases of the rotten but lovable Bart Simpson are just part of what has made the animated "The Simpsons" character so popular for over three decades — ay, caramba! The show, now in Season 33 (and that's not a joke like "Naked Gun 33 and 1/3" — there have actually been 33 seasons of "The Simpsons"), is still going strong, and while the actors who portray the denizens of Springfield may now be significantly older than those characters, their voices are not. That's the beauty of animation. Well, that and your skin can be yellow.

Bart has long been the troublemaker of the Simpson household — at least, the intentional one. His boyish pranks and sarcastic wit often get him in hot water, which usually leads to a mea culpa of sorts. In one episode, he outs sweet sister Lisa as a brainiac in front of her cool new beach friends, leading to some serious sibling friction. This is after he falsely blames buddy Milhouse for the cool kids shunning him first (to be fair, it's funny). The inner workings of a diabolically fiendish boy. Still, he always redeems himself somehow.

Much as his wicked ways have endured through the years, so has Bart's distinctive speech. But if you were expecting to find an overgrown man-child behind that impish voice, you're not even close.

Bart Simpson is a woman in real life

So who exactly owns the seemingly eternal windpipe behind the gleefully misbehaved Bart? That would be Nancy Cartwright. Yes, in case you didn't know, a woman has been the voice and attitude behind the cartoony 10-year-old boy for 730 episodes (and counting), per IMDb. Cartwright has been doing the character since as far back as Bart's earliest appearances in shorts (meaning clips, but this also applies to his outfit) on the "Tracey Ullman Show" in 1987. That's an awfully long time to be a pre-pubescent boy, even if the joy of torturing the neighboring Flanders kids never gets old.

Cartwright joins Dan Castellaneta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), and Yeardley Smith (Lisa) as the frozen-in-time Simpson family. She isn't the only female cast member bringing life to a young boy on the show, or in the world of animation, for that matter — Bart's pal Milhouse is played by actress Pamela Hayden. But since Cartwright also portrays other boys on the series (like bully Nelson Muntz and simpleton Ralph Wiggum), does the impressive vocal chameleon ever tackle female roles?

Nancy Cartwright has range

The short answer is yes. Even on "The Simpsons," Nancy Cartwright is credited with voicing baby Maggie Simpson. Although since Maggie has uttered notoriously few words (in addition to being a baby for 30-plus years), that's literally not saying much. But Cartwright's list of over 150 credits in her storied career includes plenty of women, too. Even though a lot of those credits are for playing Bart, and not just on "The Simpsons." She's performed as Bart on everything from "Family Guy" to "Portlandia" to "Sesame Street." That said, Cartwright is far from a one-trick pony, and while she is an accomplished, versatile voice talent, she has also appeared in several live-action projects as well.

One of her earliest live-action roles came in a memorable segment of the 1983 anthology "Twilight Zone: The Movie." Cartwright played Ethel (poor Ethel), the doomed "sister" of a monstrous little boy (not like Bart Simpson — okay, maybe a little) with god-like powers. Ironically enough, the tragic end for Ethel comes when she is transported into a cartoon world and apparently eaten. Fortunately for Cartwright, things worked out a bit better when she got whisked away into the animated realm of "The Simpsons," despite constantly being strangled by Homer for laughs. At least Bart hasn't been killed off yet, like poor Maude Flanders – cartoon life isn't for everybody.

So the next time you notice Bart Simpson ripping off one of his famous catchphrases (like, say, "eat my shorts"), just remember the woman behind the boy. But she's talented enough that you're likely to forget.