Ay, caramba! Nancy Cartwright's long career being Bart Simpson

Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Entertainment News

PITTSBURGH — Other than being a little older than you remember, or being out of costume, most of the celebrities at Steel City Con look like the people you see in the movies and on TV.

Nancy Cartwright, even though she has blonde hair, is not yellow. And she's not a 10-year-old boy.

She's not Bart Simpson.

Cartwright has been voicing the mischievous icon from "The Simpsons" since it launched as a sketch piece on "The Tracey Allman Show" in 1987. On Dec. 17, 1989, it premiered as a half-hour sitcom on Fox and now, with 34 seasons and 745 episodes, it is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running scripted primetime series.

The 65-year-old Dayton, Ohio, native, who ad libbed one of Bart's famous lines, "Eat my shorts!" has never grown tired of being Bart, partly because she's more than just Bart. She voices Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, Kearney, Database and baby Maggie. She's also the voice of Chuckie in "Rugrats" and "All Grown Up!" (since 2002), Daffney Gillfin in "Snorks," Rufus in "Kim Possible," Mindy in "Animaniacs," and more.

This weekend, she sets foot in Pittsburgh for the first time to appear at Steel City Con along with Kelsey Grammer, Michael C. Hall, Dolphin Lundgren and many more.


Q. What is it like for you to attend a convention like Steel City Con? Can you walk around without people knowing who you are?

A. It's the funniest thing, but I do feel like, with all the social media and the attention I get from my postings, I am still pretty anonymous. There are 8 billion people on this planet and I used to think the world revolved around Miss Cartwright but it definitely is not true, and I can still pretty much go anywhere and most people don't know who I am. I just kind of blend in.

Occasionally, there will be a follower or a fan and they will recognize me. But I also find that people are so kind, they're hesitant to come up to me. They're very respectful. But sitting in a restaurant, for example, I've got radar and I can sense when I'm recognized sometimes. When I finish my meal, I'll go by that table and say [in Bart's voice], "HEY, WHAT'S HAPPENIN', MAN!" and they're just like, "Whaaaaa!"

Q. That must be a lot of fun.


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