Popeye Popeye


Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Popeye with sound clips and images.
Franchise: Popeye

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 Jul 4 2011
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
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeHarry Foster Welch
Harry Foster Welch
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeJack Mercer
Jack Mercer
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeFloyd Buckley
Floyd Buckley
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeMae Questel
Mae Questel
Popeye the Sailor
PopeyeWilliam Costello
William Costello


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



Add a Comment

said at 9:00 AM on Sun Apr 2 2017
 1 Shout Out!
1. Mercer
2. Questel
3. Costello
5. Welch
6. West
7. Buckly
said at 7:34 PM on Sun Dec 18 2016
Scott Inness was pretty good.
said at 7:14 PM on Sat Dec 17 2016
William sounds exactly like jack.
said at 12:07 PM on Mon Jun 13 2016
1. Jack Mercer
2. Billy West
3. William Costello
4. Mae Questel
5. Maurice LaMarche
said at 8:34 AM on Thu Apr 7 2016
 7 Shout Outs!
1. Jack Mercer- He essentially perfected what Harry and William started: just a fantastic take on Popeye.

2- Billy West- He does a really good job, surprisingly, he gets second place for me. His Popeye take resembles Jack's quite a bit, actually, impressive!

3. William Costello- The originator of the role, and he did a great job. He is a bit gravelly by comparison to others, but I really liked his take otherwise.

4. Mae Questel- How a woman can pull off a voice like Popeye's is nothing short of mind-blowing. Such raw talent coming from Betty Boop of all people is awe-inspiring, really.

5. Harry Foster Welch- A bit nasally and light when compared to others, but otherwise, he was a pretty good fit for Popeye.

6. Maurice LaMarche- Way too light and high pitched in the part, and he's pretty generic in the role. Average performance.

7. Floyd Buckley- Way too plain and generic a voice for Popeye of all people. This is a miscast.
said at 1:00 PM on Fri Feb 19 2016
 8 Shout Outs!
I think I'm going to go with Jack Mercer on this one, as he was the one who played the role the longest and considering just how straining of a voice Popeye's tends to be, it's rather impressive.

William Costello would be in 2nd place since he was the one to originally originate the role and set how the character should sound but Jack's the one to really take the role and go the extra mile.

Billy West is third. I'm amazed he can do this voice really well.

I'm going to rank Mae Questel fourth....I'm amazed a woman once voiced Popeye and it's Betty Boop of all people. Now that's some real range and skill. Very Impressive if i do say so myself.

For Fifth Place, I'd tied Maurice LaMarche and Harry Foster Welch, they both sound kinda similar in that their takes are noticeably far lighter. Decent but could have been rougher.

Floyd Buckley is in last place, I can't hear anything from his take.

Honourable Mention: Tom Kenny did pretty well in that Popeye animation that Genndy Tartakovsky did. I think a bit more time with the role and he could easily surpass Billy West IMO.
said at 12:54 PM on Mon Dec 7 2015
Billy West or Jack Mercer? Who should I pick. Billy does a great impression of Jack Mercer's Popeye. So I think I'll go for him.
said at 6:41 AM on Sat Oct 10 2015
 1 Shout Out!
1. Jack Mercer
2. William Costello
3. Billy West
4. Mae Questel
5. Maurice LaMarche
6. Harry Foster Welch
7. Floyd Buckley
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
said at 2:21 PM on Mon Apr 20 2015
@Ross123 Maybe it was accidentally, but even then, I agree with you about Mercer. ;)
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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
said at 8:17 PM on Fri Nov 27 2015
@HienFan Is it this one?


I dunno, that doesn't sound like Maurice. Sounds like Scott Innes from that soup commercial.

said at 5:35 AM on Fri Mar 20 2015
 3 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
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
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
 1 Shout Out!
Billy West For Sure!
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
 7 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
 3 Shout Outs!
I once read that Billy West doesn't like doing Popeye's voice a lot, as it hurts his throat.
said at 8:00 PM on Fri Nov 20 2015
@Dogman15 He even said in an interview that I was one of the hardest jobs he ever did. Also, I don't blame him. It is pretty hard.
said at 8:03 PM on Fri Nov 20 2015
@Dogman15* I've heard about that too. He even said in an interview that it was one of the most hardest jobs he ever did, and said it's like a buzz saw in his throat. Come to think of it, I agree, I don't blame him. it is hard.
said at 1:17 PM on Sun Oct 6 2013
 4 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 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.
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
 9 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
 11 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
 7 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