Here’s recent interview that appeared in The Desert Sun, a publication that serves Palm Springs and the surrounding areas. Nancy put her artistic side on display in Palm Desert this past weekend.
If you’d been doing the voice of Bart Simpson for 30 years, it would be hard for that mischievous underachiever to not seep into other aspects of your life.
Just ask Nancy Cartwright, 60, who has voiced the perpetual 10-year-old since before the animated sitcom became a prime-time TV hit and pop-culture phenom.
The show just celebrated a huge milestone on April 29 when it aired its 636th episode, becoming the longest-running scripted series on prime time, eclipsing “Gunsmoke” which ran from 1955 to 1975.
“How cool is that. Unbelievable,” Cartwright said of the watershed moment which was mentioned on the show and marked by a “Gunsmoke” parody opener that has Maggie win an old-fashioned western gun-draw.
Cartwright remembers when she auditioned for the role of Bart Simpson in 1987, which started out as shorts on The Tracey Ullman show. She actually had gone in to audition for the role of Lisa “an 8-year-old middle child” and left with the role of her older underachieving brother, Bart.
It wasn’t for another two years in 1989 that the Simpson family would get its own show on prime time television, which back then was a big deal. Cartwright recalls only a few animated shows that had achieved prime time status — “Wait Till Your Father Gets Home,” “The Flinstones” and “Johnny Quest.”
“We were lucky that it went over into a half hour and then it was a whole different kind of game — our own show. Not the ‘Tracey Ullman Show,’ but ‘The Simpsons,’” she said.
“Who knew it was going to be a) so popular and b) so controversial. And that’s all you need. Boom. We got a hit. Thirty years later we’re tame now, compared to most shows on television. It’s quite fun.”
And 30 years later Cartwright, who has established herself in the voice over artist world, is now delving into another artform — sculpting and painting.
Much of her artwork is animated in nature and inspired by Picasso and Andy Warhol. She also has a couple Roy Lichtenstein-inspired pieces called “Eat My Shorts” and “Cowabunga” — two of Bart’s more famous catchphrases.
Cartwright has about 21 pieces of her art — from sculptures of Bart Simpson’s head to Andy Warhol inspired triptychs — on display during the month of May at D Gallery on El Paseo. She plans to attend a special opening reception on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. to help kick off the exhibition and meet fans.
Cartwright talked with The Desert Sun about her passion for art and what it’s been like voicing one of the most notorious animated characters.
Read the Nancy’s full interview at Desert Sun.