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Shack Chat: Who would you rather have been the voice of Detective Pikachu?

The new Detective Pikachu film was a rare opportunity to showcase some of Hollywood's most recognizable voice talents. Who should have voiced the iconic Pokemon?


Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there.

This week we take a look back at Pokemon Detective Pikachu and the vocal performance from Ryan Reynolds. Whether or not you're a fan of this casting, many of us have ideas of who could have provided a more appropriate (or at least more hilarious) voice to the iconic pocket monster.

Question: Who would you rather have been the voice of Detective Pikachu?

Dana Carvey - Asif Khan, His dog Lola is basically a Pokemon

Dana Carvey is a man of many voices, and I really think he could use some work. He seems like he would be a pretty swell Detective Pikachu with his vocal range. From Church Lady, to Garth, and all of his other voices he created for Saturday Night Live, I think he would bring something more to the role than we got from Ryan Reynolds.

Dana Snyder - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor

For some reason, I think the voice of Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Granny from Squidbillies would make a hilarious Detective Pikachu. And I'd definitely want it to be played for laughs, because both of those shows have nearly brought me to tears over the years. I think a weird, whiny Pikachu that's a lot like Shake himself would probably make me laugh the most. Honestly, I'd be fine with literally anyone but Ryan Reynolds.

Steven Ogg - Josh Hawkins, Some Guy

Probably most notably known for his role as Trevor Phillips in Grand Theft Auto V, Steven Ogg has also appeared in Westworld and The Walking Dead, as well as several other productions. He’s a great actor overall and does a really good job bringing characters to life. While he usually plays more sinister characters than Detective Pikachu, I just feel like he could do a really solid job of bringing the little guy to life.

Sure, he’s probably not the absolute best pick, but it would be nice to see someone that is more underrated getting a chance to help bring these kinds of stories to life. He’s also really good at making characters feel real, and I think he could have done a solid job in the role of Detective Pikachu. But, at the end of the day we all know our real hero here would have been Danny Devito. Let’s just be honest with ourselves.

Patrick Stewart - Kevin S. Tucker, Picardesque

There is something unintentionally hilarious to me about Patrick Stewart’s voice. I didn’t come to know the actor through his work in series like Star Trek: The Next Generation, but instead have heard his voice multiple times through the X-Men films and countless repeated trips through The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion’s introductory sequence. However, he can be heard in shows like American Dad, and it’s clear that Patrick Stewart has a natural knack for comedy.

Still, the idea here is that Pikachu has a hilarious voice that clearly belongs to a well-known actor. After all, I can’t hear the current Detective Pikachu and not know immediately that it’s Ryan Reynolds. So why not give the little pocket monster a voice that sounds like a seventeenth century British nobleman you probably wouldn’t want to pick a fight with?

“They try to talk to me all the time. All they hear is ‘Pika-Pika.’” I’m already hearing Stewart’s voice in my head.

Ted Levine as Jame Gumb - Chris Jarrard, Owns the original Goodbye Horses 12" vinyl single

This was a no brainer for me, as Ted Levine has the best voice of all time. His performance in Silence of the Lambs is unforgettable and I think channeling the character of Jame Gumb through Pikachu would have been perfect.

In a perfect world, I would love to have a copy of the Bible (or any book, really) read out loud by Levine. Having Ted be my gateway into all things Pokemon would help me be at ease with the off-putting creatures. Also, I would have enjoyed hearing Pikachu ask Tim to rub the lotion on his skin or else he’d get the electric shock again. I’m sure some Pika-tucking would have been hilarious, too.

H. Jon Benjamin - Blake Morse, Reviews Editor

If I can’t have Danny DeVito, I’ll take the dry, docile delivery of H. Jon Benjamin as a possible Pikachu performer. While many people have claimed that he basically just has one voice, I honestly think he’s more dynamic than he’s given credit for. I’ve been a fan of Jon’s since watching Dr. Katz way back in the day, but I think his work as both Coach McGuirk and Jason on Home Movies that really solidified my fandom.

Considering how popular his current shows Bob’s Burgers and Archer are, this doesn’t even seem that far fetched. The sarcastic tinge and monotone delivery that have propelled him to being a household name would’ve gone great with the humor in Detective Pikachu. He’s also voiced the Pokemon-like Kuchikopi on a few episodes of Bob’s Burgers, so there’s an ever-so-slight precedent for him to appear as a pocket monster. There’s always sequels, right?

Gilbert Gottfried - Bill Lavoy, Started Playing The Witcher 3 Again

Hopefully nobody is looking for a serious pick from me here because that’s not what’s about to happen. Detective Pikachu isn’t my thing, and when I was doing some research for this I wanted to just say that I thought Ryan Reynolds was a great choice. He’s Canadian and we must stick together.

However, I think that Gilbert Gottfried would be both amazing and awful. I’d really like to hear what his Pikachu would sound like, but I think it would be more funny as a sample. It probably wouldn’t be a good choice for a feature film. I did stumble across Gottfriend reading lines from 50 Shades of Grey while doing homework for this, so that’s a win.

Mark Hamill's Joker - David L. Craddock, Longreads Editor

Pikachu is an adorable lil’ critter whose cute ‘n’ cuddly demeanor hides a stone-cold killer: Get on his bad side, and he’ll fry your brains quicker than my mom was convinced a Saturday afternoon playing video games would. Mark Hamill could bring that closet psychopath to the fore by voicing the role in his patented Joker voice from Batman: The Animated Series and the Batman: Arkham series of video games.

Load any Detective Pikachu trailer and listen to Ryan Reynolds deliver a line. Now replace his voice in your head with Mark “Joker” Hamill’s. Takes on a sinister edge, yes? Moreover, it changes the tone of the movie.

“There! That’s what I like to see! A nice. Big. Smile.”

Danny DeVito - Sam Chandler, The Man from the Future

I think Ryan Reynolds has done a brilliant job voicing Pikachu. There’s just so much to love about that little scamp. However, if I was to pick another voice actor to portray the portly yellow Pokemon, it would have to be Danny DeVito. After seeing the internet suggest him way back in the day, I couldn’t stop imagining a Pikachu with the same voice and mental state as Frank Reynolds. That’s the adult-version of Detective Pikachu I think we all need.

Gregory Burke - Donovan Erskine, Intern

If you’re searching for the perfect person to voice Pikachu, look no further than Shacknews’ own Greg Burke. Greg has the sass, charm, and quick wit needed to pull off everyone’s favorite electric mouse. I mean come on, go listen to a Shacknews Top 10 video with your eyes closed and imagine that voice coming out of Detective Pikachu.

Picture little Pikachu ranting to you about how much he hates the new Star Wars movies, and how Disney ruined Luke Skywalker. How funny would it be to see Greg get pissed off at Mr. Mime for his constant shenanigans? This is pure gold. Somebody get Greg out of the video mines and into a VO booth ASAP.

Will Arnett - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

I'd like to go on record and say that I quite enjoyed Ryan Reynolds' take on Detective Pikachu and I liked the movie as a whole… mostly, but that's a story for another day.

Really, if there's another voice that could match Reynolds in terms of sarcastic wit and comedic timing, it's Arrested Development's Will Arnett. We've already seen what he can do as LEGO Batman, so the comedic chops are there. But that section of cool people who have watched him on BoJack Horseman know that he can also do sincere, emotional gravitas along with his off-the-wall comedy. Reynolds gives Detective Pikachu a bit of an adult edge, but I actually think Arnett would be able to do the same thing, but a lot better.

(Having said that, if you watch one episode of BoJack Horseman in your life, make it "Free Churro," because that might be the best episode of any show I've seen in the last year.)

Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.

Shack Staff stories are a collective effort with multiple staff members contributing. Many of our lists often involve entires from several editors, and our weekly Shack Chat is something we all contribute to as a group. 

From The Chatty
    • reply
      May 24, 2019 2:16 PM


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      May 24, 2019 2:18 PM


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      May 24, 2019 2:20 PM

      Wouldn't it be hilarious if it was Ryan Reynolds?

    • reply
      May 24, 2019 2:50 PM

      Bert Newton.

    • reply
      May 24, 2019 2:52 PM


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      May 24, 2019 2:58 PM


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      May 24, 2019 2:59 PM


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      May 24, 2019 3:35 PM

      Nobody else. I wouldn't have even gone to see it (willingly) if he hadn't been in it.

    • reply
      May 24, 2019 3:57 PM

      An unruly pug

    • reply
      May 24, 2019 3:59 PM

      I don't know if you guys picked up on it from my response, but I like BoJack Horseman.

      You guys should watch more BoJack Horseman.

    • reply
      May 26, 2019 6:36 AM

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