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Popeye

Voice Compare » Popeye » Popeye

Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Popeye with sound clips and images.
Popeye the Sailor Man traces his history all the way back to 1929 when he first started appearing in comic strips. This military veteran is famous for gaining super human strength when he eats his spinach.  Often battling for the love of Olive Oyl with Bluto Popeye is also known for his gravelly voice, his casual grammar, his speech impediment and of course his signature laugh which you should be able to hear in most of these clips. Also, important to note that his voice tends to be less gravelly when he utters things under his breath or is talking to himself.

Created by OptimusSolo on Mon Jul 4 2011, 41 Comments, Add Comment
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Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeWilliam Costello
William Costello
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeFloyd Buckley
Floyd Buckley
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeMae Questel
Mae Questel
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeJack Mercer
Jack Mercer
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeHarry Foster Welch
Harry Foster Welch
The All-New Popeye Hour (1978)
PopeyeJack Mercer
Jack Mercer
Popeye and Son (1987)
PopeyeMaurice LaMarche
Maurice LaMarche
Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy (2004)
PopeyeBilly West
Billy West

EDITOR'S OPINION

Jack Mercer had the longest tenure of providing the voice of Popeye and in my opinion that is definitely a good thing.  Welch who stepped in for him from time to time when he was in the armed forces or unable to record lines did a decent job but is just missing some of that gravelly magic. The early voices of Costello, Buckley (who was the radio voice of Popeye) and the one time performance by Questel are a little deeper voiced than I like my Popeye. Mercer also nailed the signature laugh of Popeye!

The modern voices by LeMarche and West are wonderful. I think they both did a great job of capturing the nuances of the character. In the end though my vote goes to Mercer.

1st: Mercer
2nd: LaMarche
3rd: West
4th: Questel
5th: Costello
6th: Welch
7th: Buckley


OptimusSolo

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Ross123
said at 1:03 PM on Wed Apr 15 2015
 1 Shout Out! [?]
Jack Mercer is the one I remember best & grew up listening to as Popeye so I'm going with him.

Billy is a close 2nd as he sounds almost identical to Jack in my opinion.

William is 3rd and gets my respect for bein the 1st voice for Popeye.

Harry, Maurice & Mae (I assume she must've been a bit of a smoker) are all average.

Floyd sounds as though he has mental brain damage. Sorry if that may be offensive to some people but there's really no nicer way to describe his performance.
HienFan
said at 6:42 AM on Fri Apr 17 2015
@Ross123 I got some childhood memories of Maurice's version from a veeery obscure computer game I had as a kid(I think the genre is called Multipath) though

Floyd was ridiculous, he sounds like someone else altogether
Ross123
said at 12:26 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@HienFan I've never heard of Multipath although the name itself sounds obscure never mind the actual game.

But you're right about Floyd, he's something entirely different but in a bad way.
Starscreamsfan
said at 12:31 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@Ross123 Floyd sounds like Billy Costello having a very bad cold. He seems to fumble his lines a lot.

Detmar Poppen (Popeye in the radio show) sounds similar to Buckley, but his line delivery is much better.

Harry Welch and Maurice LaMarche are pretty cool, but their laughs needed a little bit more work.
Ross123
said at 12:46 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@Starscreamsfan Quick question, why did you shout out my comment when my opinion is not the same as yours?

Either you pressed it accidently or you got hacked again. I remember reading something about that on the Jameson compare.
Starscreamsfan
said at 2:21 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@Ross123 Maybe it was accidentally, but even then, I agree with you about Mercer. ;)
Ross123
said at 2:27 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@Starscreamsfan That's ok, I was just making sure and trying to be cautious. Thanks for the exclamation anyway.

And yes, the majority agree that Mercer is the best.
Starscreamsfan
said at 5:47 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@Ross123 Yes, I mean, nobody can imitate Mercer perfectly without damaging their vocal chords (which is what happened to West during production of The Quest for Pappy).
HienFan
said at 9:10 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@Ross123 It is obscure, I had to look up what that genre is and took a long time, they're more or less a 3D animated version of Choose your own Adventure book

Doesn't help the production of these games are really cheesy and have some errors at the credits
Ross123
said at 12:20 PM on Wed Apr 22 2015
@Starscreamsfan Well thank goodness Billy eventually recovered cos we need his vocals for his other voice roles.

I wonder if Tom Kenny's gonna try and impersonate Mercer in the animated movie out next year.
Ross123
said at 12:22 PM on Wed Apr 22 2015
@HienFan Yeah, sounds like a game I'll never play.

Like I said, Maurice is just alright in my opinion.
Starscreamsfan
said at 2:29 PM on Wed Apr 22 2015
@Ross123 Yeah, thank goodness he did.

They had a sneak peek trailer of the new flick some time ago, and from what I recall, he was doing a Jack Mercer impression. And a pretty neat one as well (I don't think it was as great as Billy West's impression, but it was neat nonetheless).
Ross123
said at 9:52 AM on Sat Apr 25 2015
@Starscreamsfan That sounds good enough for me. Cause all that really matters is that the audience enjoys it.
Starscreamsfan
said at 5:35 AM on Fri Mar 20 2015
 2 Shout Outs! [?]
Well, Blow Me Down!!!! (does the Popeye laugh)

Of course, Mercer is the definitive rendition of the character. But I must commend Billy Costello, Detmar Poppen (radio Popeye) and Floyd Buckley for being great prototype voices. Costello originated the character, while Poppen was a pretty cool radio Popeye. I've never heard Buckley's Popeye on radio (his episodes apparently being lost in the mists of time), but I do sense some potential. Mae Questel and Harry Welch are decent replacements. Even though Questel tends to sound like Popeye's nephews and Welch's voice not being quite that raspy and the laugh needing a little work, they both did great. LaMarche and West are really awesome replacements. They really deserve to play the role again.

Everyone does great, but if I had to rate them, it would be like this:

1) Jack Mercer
2) Detmar Poppen (Popeye radio show)
3) Floyd Buckley
4) William Costello
5) Mae Questel
6) Harry Welch
7) Billy West
8) Maurice LaMarche
Starscreamsfan
said at 1:59 PM on Tue Apr 21 2015
1) Jack Mercer
2) Detmar Poppen (Popeye radio show)
3) William Costello
4) Floyd Buckley
5) Billy West
6) Mae Questel
7) Harry Welch
8) Maurice LaMarche
HienFan
said at 11:29 PM on Mon Sep 1 2014
*listen to Maurice* I swore I heard him in a Multipath game before when I was a kid, it sounds similar
economics
said at 1:39 PM on Sun Aug 24 2014
Billy West For Sure!
HienFan
said at 11:28 PM on Sat Feb 8 2014
 1 Shout Out! [?]
Mercer>Costello>LaMarche>West>Foster Welch>That one woman>Buckley

Oh god Mae and Buckley... the former is really odd while the latter sounds nothing like how I imagine Popeye to sound like
Music Meister (Moderator)
said at 10:17 PM on Wed Nov 6 2013
 6 Shout Outs! [?]
Still can't get over Mae's Popeye's voice.
Zillah
said at 9:01 PM on Sat Jun 28 2014
@Music Meister How was a woman even able to do that voice?
Dogman15
said at 10:06 PM on Wed Nov 6 2013
 2 Shout Outs! [?]
I once read that Billy West doesn't like doing Popeye's voice a lot, as it hurts his throat.
Galactic_Cyrus
said at 1:17 PM on Sun Oct 6 2013
 2 Shout Outs! [?]
It's really not hard to do Popeye's voice, but I think Jack Mercer nailed it the most. The only stinker here is Buckley. Sounds WAY off.
Bob's Son
said at 5:56 PM on Mon Feb 4 2013
A friend of mine recently met a man by the name of Warren Fischbach, in Milwaukee Wi, who claimed to be the voice of Popeye. Could this be so? (He also claimed to know my father, Bob Dwan, who worked in early radio and T.V.)
Starscreamsfan
said at 5:20 PM on Mon Apr 13 2015
@Bob's Son I think it could have been for TV ads in Milwaukee TV stations if what he says it's true.
JayGirl10
said at 11:03 AM on Wed Aug 22 2012
 1 Shout Out! [?]
They're almost all so good, I'm having trouble choosing...
voiceactorfan
said at 4:27 AM on Tue Dec 13 2011
 3 Shout Outs! [?]
jack mercer is best but i got to give it to questel for being the only girl and sounds better than some up of the guys.
MatthewC17
said at 2:39 AM on Sat Jul 9 2011
 5 Shout Outs! [?]
Questel's performance is very good
She deserves credit for voicing Popeye
Starscreamsfan
said at 5:22 AM on Fri Mar 20 2015
@MatthewC17 Yeah. Even if she sometimes sounds like Popeye's nephews, she really does a top notch job.
PurpleWarrior13
said at 8:33 AM on Fri Jul 8 2011
 6 Shout Outs! [?]
Of course Jack Mercier is the best, but props to Mae Questel for sounding a lot like the character! There are so many voice legends in this VC!
jonhardwick
said at 8:02 PM on Tue Jul 5 2011
 1 Shout Out! [?]
what about scott innes in thst chunky soup commercial i can post a link
OptimusSolo (Admin)
said at 2:34 AM on Wed Jul 6 2011
@jonhardwick We only include official versions of characters in Voice Compares, sorry
pokemastanumba1
said at 5:45 PM on Mon May 13 2013
Actually, commercials do count as official appearances, since they need permission to use a certain character from a (different) franchise to represent.
OptimusSolo (Admin)
said at 3:22 AM on Sat May 18 2013
@pokemastanumba1 Just because someone needs 'permission' does not make it official. Also, when I say official it means according to 'our site' guidelines and definitions.
Cartoon_fan87
said at 2:06 AM on Tue Jul 5 2011
My favorites are Mercer, Costello, and West in that order.
NachoElephant
said at 1:13 PM on Mon Jul 4 2011
 4 Shout Outs! [?]
I was surprised to find out that Popeye was played by a female voice actress
OptimusSolo (Admin)
said at 2:15 PM on Mon Jul 4 2011
@NachoElephant I was too, even hearing it I have to do a double take and think is that really a female?!!
voiceactorfan
said at 4:28 AM on Tue Dec 13 2011
@OptimusSolo
lol it is a female sounds like a man thou.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 12:49 PM on Mon Jul 4 2011
All of the voice actors here did a good job and there isn't really one I can say is the weakest. My vote's on Jack Mercer while Billy West is second.
pete
said at 11:42 PM on Mon Jul 4 2011
@NCZ I can say Buckley is differen from the rest and Questel sounds like alot like a guy so props to her. If I'm not misttaking she was the first female to play a male.
PurpleWarrior13
said at 8:29 AM on Fri Jul 8 2011
@pete She was certainly one of them. She voiced Little Jimmy in the Betty Boop cartoons (in addition to Betty herself), and pretty much every female and little boy character in Max Fleisher cartoons, as well as being one of the original voices of Casper the Friendly Ghost.
Starscreamsfan
said at 5:21 AM on Fri Mar 20 2015
@pete Buckley does sound different, but he ain't bad. He reminds me a lot of Detmar Poppen, who played Popeye on radio (ironically, Buckley played him on public appearances during the time Poppen was playing the sailor and later replaced Poppen in the radio show).


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Who do you think has been the best from these Popeye voice actors?
William Costello
Floyd Buckley
Mae Questel
Jack Mercer
Harry Foster Welch
Maurice LaMarche
Billy West