3rd Annual BTVA Anime Awards

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, 26 Comments, Add Comment
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


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


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said at 5:35 AM on Fri Mar 20 2015
 1 Shout Out! [?]
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
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
said at 1:39 PM on Sun Aug 24 2014
Billy West For Sure!
said at 11:28 PM on Sat Feb 8 2014
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
 3 Shout Outs! [?]
Still can't get over Mae's Popeye's voice.
said at 9:01 PM on Sat Jun 28 2014
@Music Meister How was a woman even able to do that voice?
said at 10:06 PM on Wed Nov 6 2013
 1 Shout Out! [?]
I once read that Billy West doesn't like doing Popeye's voice a lot, as it hurts his throat.
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.)
said at 11:03 AM on Wed Aug 22 2012
 1 Shout Out! [?]
They're almost all so good, I'm having trouble choosing...
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
said at 2:06 AM on Tue Jul 5 2011
My favorites are Mercer, Costello, and West in that order.
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?!!
said at 4:28 AM on Tue Dec 13 2011
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.
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.
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.
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