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Super Mario Bros.

Voice Compare » Super Mario Bros. » Donkey Kong

Comparision of the voice over actors who have been the voice of Donkey Kong with sound clips and images.
He's the leader of the bunch, you know him well. He's finally back to kick some tail! His coconut gun can fire in spurts. If he shoots ya, it's gonna hurt! He's bigger, faster, and stronger too, he's the first member of the DK Crew!

Donkey Kong is one of the most famous characters in video gaming. He is a big, hairy gorilla who may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is nonetheless brave and heroic. He made his first appearance in 1981's Donkey Kong.

There are two individuals who have used the name Donkey Kong. Introduced in 1994's Donkey Kong Country is the modern-day and arguably better known Donkey Kong, instantly recognisable by his red necktie. His grandfather, Cranky Kong, was the original Donkey Kong from the 1981 arcade game, the one-time nemesis of Mario.

The modern-day Donkey Kong is a banana-loving ape who lives on DK Island and enjoys slacking off with his best friends Diddy and Dixie Kong. His nemesis is the crocodilian leader of the Kremlings, King K. Rool, who almost always tries to steal the Kongs' precious bananas. DK is generally on good terms with Mario, but they do face off every now and again.

Created by Pokejedservo on Fri Aug 14 2009, 48 Comments, Add Comment
Special thanks to NCZ for additional sound clips.
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Donkey Kong (1983)
Donkey KongSoupy Sales
Soupy Sales
Donkey Kong Country (1998)
Donkey KongRichard Yearwood
Richard Yearwood
Donkey Kong 64 (1999)
Donkey KongGrant Kirkhope
Grant Kirkhope

EDITOR'S OPINION

His English speaking debut was in the early 80's Ruby Spears series "Saturday Supercade", in the Donkey Kong segments old Kids show star Soupy Sales. While Donkey Kong didn't say a lot of words other than his own name but has said them before. However in Saturday Supercade Donkey Kong was more of a playful trickster than a dumb angry brute though Soupy did certainly come up with a way to make that work.

In the Donkey Kong Country TV series done by Nelvana he was voiced by Richard Yearwood. Now I know that the DKC series was not exactly a fan favorite (loosely based on the games, had a bunch of musical numbers) but I didn't think it was so bad. And that includes Richard's take on the character as well. Granted I know that some may question the validity in this since Cranky Kong is suppose to be the original Donkey Kong here. (And that supposedly the current DK we are seeing here is DK Jr. all grown up.) But while fortunately Nintendo didn't drop any sense of a backstory that RARE tried to do on the DKC series, this is still pretty much the main image of Donkey Kong that Nintendo is still using to this date.

Overall neither one are bad but I am thinking of going with Soupy a bit more here.

(Update: Grant Kirkhope voiced DK in Donkey Kong 64 and his fairly limited work on the role is actually pretty good. Grant's voice for the role does kind of sound like the late Soupy's voice except a bit lower and gruff which does work with the role pretty well. But anyways Grant's performance is pretty good as it does suit how DK is a big dopey but heroic ape. Overall all of these guys did well but I am going with Soupy and Grant the most with Richard at a close second.)


Pokejedservo

Latest Comments

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Bombermanp
said at 1:42 PM on Wed May 21 2014
hell i dont think grant needed all thos grunts in stuff.. all he needed was "hey!.... Cool... OK!" and he would have still won XD
Yitsul
said at 4:28 PM on Sat Apr 19 2014
where's takashi nagasako?
Nightmare Crusher
said at 4:36 PM on Sat Apr 19 2014
@Yitsul He doesn't say actual words like the three guys here.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 4:41 PM on Sat Apr 19 2014
@Yitsul Richard Yearwood and Soupy Sales have full dialogue.

Grant Kirkhope has phrases like, "Ooh, banana!" "Okay!" and "Cool!" in addition to his grunts.

Takashi Nagasako makes monkey sounds and doesn't speak English.
Ross123
said at 10:13 AM on Tue Apr 15 2014
My vote is changing to Grant for the best DK voice.
HienFan
said at 11:30 PM on Mon Apr 14 2014
1 Richard
2 Grant
3 Soupy
SmartyBoyboy
said at 7:32 PM on Sun Apr 13 2014
 3 Shout Outs! [?]
Fred Tatasciore should do a good DK voice.
Possibly Kevin Michael Richardson.
LordofEvil96
said at 6:18 PM on Mon Apr 14 2014
@SmartyBoyboy I don't know if that'll be likely since Nintendo seems to have a fear of using most voice actors from L.A. for the Mario and Donkey Kong games.
NCZ (Admin)
said at 8:06 PM on Mon Apr 14 2014
@LordofEvil96 It's not that they're afraid, it's because the voice acting in those games is nearly non-existent, so there's no point in renting out a studio in LA and hiring completely new voice actors just to record a few quips for each character, when there's nothing wrong with the pre-established local voice actors, both creatively and logistically.

Kid Icarus: Uprising and Fire Emblem: Awakening (as well as Brawl for the Metal Gear characters) prove that Nintendo are perfectly capable of getting LA talent for games that require it.
dhazzard
said at 3:56 PM on Fri Apr 18 2014
@LordofEvil96 We probably wouldn't have Kenny James as Bowser if they did, or any of the other actors for that matter.
Nightmare Crusher
said at 6:03 PM on Sun Apr 13 2014
 5 Shout Outs! [?]
I didn't think it would be less than a day before Grant overtook the poll.
Dark Kuja
said at 5:36 PM on Sun Apr 13 2014
 3 Shout Outs! [?]
I'd kinda like to hear John Dimaggio voice DK.
pete
said at 2:40 PM on Sun Apr 13 2014
If only Grant could do in cartoon, and get more material. Has potential to be so much more, still my favorite, nostalgia aside.
Dogman15
said at 10:23 AM on Sun Apr 13 2014
Now that Grant Kirkhope is an option, I've got to vote for him. Now, if Takashi Nagasako was added, that would really be a tough decision.
rosebr10
said at 10:00 AM on Sun Apr 13 2014
Sorry Richard, you're the "Banana Slamma'," but you can't beat the godly combination of

"Oh, Banana. Don. Don. Donkey Kong. Yeah!"
rosebr10
said at 10:40 AM on Sun Apr 13 2014
@rosebr10
Is it just me, or is that clip self-aware?
(rhetorical question; do not answer)
NCZ (Admin)
said at 9:45 AM on Sun Apr 13 2014
 1 Shout Out! [?]
For the cartoon voices, Soupy Sales sounds more like a real gorilla, but Richard Yearwood is so fun to listen to, especially when he sings.

Grant Kirkhope gets my vote overall though.
HienFan
said at 9:39 AM on Sat Feb 1 2014
I'm going with Richard

Although I prefer Charles Martinet the most
pete
said at 11:52 AM on Sun Apr 13 2014
@HienFan Did Charles even voce him, or are you thinking of Grant?
NCZ (Admin)
said at 12:41 PM on Sun Apr 13 2014
@pete Yes, if you look at DK's page on the site you can see that Charles Martinet voiced him in Mario Kart 64 and a few others.
FUNiman
said at 2:15 PM on Tue Jan 21 2014
Takashi Nagasako is the best, but out of this list I GUESS Sales is the best out of this not so good list.
Christopher10006
said at 6:43 PM on Sun Dec 1 2013
#1. Takashi Nagasako
#2. Kevin Bayliss
#3. Charles Martinet
#4. Dex Manley
#5. Soupy Sales
#6. Richard Yearwood

P.S.:Dex Manley voiced him in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour and Mario vs. Donkey Kong, 2: March of the Minis, Minis March Again!, Mini-Land Mayhem he was silent in Minis on the Move.
CatsTuxedo (Moderator)
said at 6:56 PM on Sun Dec 1 2013
@Christopher10006 I'm pretty sure DK's voice in those games was recycled from Donkey Kong 64, in which Grant Kirkhope voiced DK.
rosebr10
said at 8:11 PM on Sun Dec 1 2013
@Christopher10006
No. I'd say Dex Manley is most likely the announcer. Neil is too young for Manley so he must be done by Trevor Smith. Then there's Ella by Heidi Darschke (straightforward enough).

However, DK in all those games is Grant Kirkhope recycled from Donkey Kong 64 (as is Kevin Bayliss' Diddy Kong). Just because he isn't in those games' credits doesn't automatically mean he was replaced. Stuff like that was why Bardakoff, Spindler and Maruno's roles were attributed to Martinet and Ibe until these past couple years. You need to pay attention to where the sounds/voices were first heard/originally came from and keep tabs on which sounds are used in each game to be truly effective in determining who did what voice in which game.

For example, for the Toads in the Mario Strikers series, just because Sam Kelly (who now voices both Peach and Toads) is credited in Charged doesn't mean she started voicing both characters then. Peach: yes. Toad: no. The Toads reuse the clips from Strikers done by Kelsey Hutchinson. There is no need to credit Hutchinson again in Charged because nothing new was produced.

There's your crash-course in Nintendo's voice actor crediting history.
Ross123
said at 9:20 AM on Fri Oct 11 2013
Soupy has 2 be the best, 2 be honest his voice is not what I expected DK 2 sound like.

Richard wasn't great.
Galactic_Cyrus
said at 11:53 AM on Mon Oct 7 2013
Richard Yearwood is REALLY miscast, IMHO. Soupy Sales sounds more like an accurate fit for the character.
HyperVoiceActing
said at 8:15 PM on Fri Oct 4 2013
 1 Shout Out! [?]
Since I have a guilty pleasure attachment to the DKC show and I never saw the Supercade in my life, I'm going with Yearwood.

My suggestion for a new DK actor would be Frank Welker. Yes it's a typecast, but the man's so great at going roles like this it's hard to not pick him.
TrueMyriad
said at 7:00 AM on Fri Oct 4 2013
 1 Shout Out! [?]
I changed my mind, Travis Willingham would be perfect fit for Donkey Kong.
mdalsted
said at 9:43 PM on Thu Oct 3 2013
How about we put in the video game actors? I believe they are, as other commenters have pointed out:

Takashi Nagasako (Jungle Beat onward)
Grant Kirkhope (DK64)
Charles Martinet
Kevin Bayliss

(I have to ask, though, in what games did those last two play DK? o.o )
NCZ (Admin)
said at 9:49 AM on Fri Oct 4 2013
@mdalsted For the most part they don't talk, they just make gorilla noises.
TrueMyriad
said at 6:50 PM on Fri Jul 5 2013
Personally, Diedrich Bader(voice of Fiskerton Phantom)would be the best voice for Donkey Kong.
Toady_12
said at 12:10 PM on Sun Apr 21 2013
1. Takashi Nagasako
2. Grant Kirkhope
3. Charles Martinet
4. Kevin Bayliss
5. Soupy Sales
6. Richard Yearwood
Metabad
said at 2:34 AM on Tue Apr 17 2012
I like Richard Yearwood the most, his voice gives Donkey Kong more personality and I like his more laid back performance which fits him quite well.

Honestly, the only thing I found sort of off about his performance was his singing, not that he was a bad singer, oh no, quite the contrary I think his singing was too good to be coming out of DK, a giant monkey having such a great singing voice seemed really funny and rather unfitting to me. But the guy is a great singer and I hope he continues to sing and act.

As for Soupy Sales, he just portrays him as a dumb brute, to be fair it does fit DK in that cartoon and the original arcade game rather well, but otherwise its pretty generic and I couldn't see this voice fitting him now especially in his more heroic roles.

Richard might not be perfect, but I could see him fitting DK in the games moreso than Soupy.
TheBlackHawk
said at 6:16 PM on Tue Apr 3 2012
(Should have mentioned this in my first post)

Honestly, I can't pick between any of them; they're all so great, including his four video game voice actors: (in debut order)

--1994 Kevin Bayliss: DK Country series, DK: King of Swing
--1996 Isaac Marshall: Nintendo 64 Mario spin-offs, Game Boy Advance Mario spin-offs (2001-2003), Mario Party 1-7, Super Smash Bros. (64 & Melee), Mario vs. Donkey Kong (only the "burp" effect from Smash Bros.)
--1999 Grant Kirkhope: Donkey Kong 64, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario vs. Donkey Kong
--2004 Takashi Nagasako: Mario Power Tennis & Donkey Kong Jungle Beat onward

I think they're all great! They all really fit DK in the games they appear in!
TheBlackHawk
said at 3:59 PM on Sun Aug 12 2012
@TheBlackHawk [Correction], Isaac Marshall never voiced Donkey Kong; Charles Martinet voiced DK in such games as MK64, Mario Tennis, Mario Parties 1-7, etc.
SmartyBoyboy
said at 10:49 PM on Sun Feb 19 2012
 1 Shout Out! [?]
My votes are:
1. Takashi Nagasako
2. Grant Kirkhope
3. Kevin Bayliss
4. Soupy Sales
5. Richard Yearwood
pokemastanumba1
said at 7:39 PM on Fri Oct 7 2011
Takashi Nagasako FTW. Nobody else can do this.
TheBlackHawk
said at 2:16 PM on Thu May 26 2011
Tie for me. I can't pick between them; they're both hilarious!

Soupy Sales - DONKEEEEEEEY kong. XDD "Row row row the plane, *unintelligible noises*" XD
Richard Yearwood - "Got any banana cream pie?" XDDDDD
OptimusSolo (Admin)
said at 1:02 PM on Tue Nov 30 2010
Saturday Supercade is a cartoon from the early 80s that featured video game properties like Donkey Kong, Q-Bert and the earliest version of Mario.
1wolffan (Guest)
said at 8:01 PM on Mon Nov 29 2010
I like Richard yearwood and what is saturday starcade???
nikki (Guest)
said at 10:03 PM on Sat Nov 27 2010
do diddy kong next
jonhardwick (Guest)
said at 7:43 PM on Sat May 29 2010
richard's donky kong sounds like chris rock.who agree's with me.
dtemplar
said at 2:03 PM on Wed Nov 4 2009
R.I.P. Soupy
SCP21
said at 12:34 PM on Thu Aug 20 2009
 1 Shout Out! [?]
I loved the 3D show of this. Would love to find episodes somewheres.
Metabad
said at 12:03 AM on Tue Sep 11 2012
@SCP21 I know its been a few years since you've said this, but you can find some of the episodes on Youtube now, just search for the episode titles on Youtube and you're bound to come across them. I think there's even a channel for them called "DonkeyKongCentral" or something along those lines.
SCP21
said at 10:03 PM on Sun Sep 30 2012
@Metabad Oh awesome, thanks! Loved that show back in the day despite the camp.
jeff (Guest)
said at 4:24 PM on Sat Aug 15 2009
Soupy Sales was more true to the original image to Donkey Kong
john (Guest)
said at 11:13 PM on Fri Aug 14 2009
I had no idea the voice from DKC was African American that's a cool bit of trivia, as for the voices I don't really care for either of them but I guess I like the original a bit better the other one sounds like he's trying to be hip.


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"He is gaming's greatest Gorilla."

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BTVA POLL
Who do you think has been the best from these Donkey Kong voice actors?
Soupy Sales
Richard Yearwood
Grant Kirkhope