Ben Schwartz on playing Sonic the Hedgehog, Jean-Ralphio, and more

18th February 2020

Parks and Recreation’s Jean-Ralphio! Star Wars’ BB-8! And, now the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog! We’re joined by Ben Schwartz. Ben’s big break came in 2010 with a small recurring role on Parks and Recreation. Jean-Ralphio was a character who only showed up a few times a year – but he was one of the most memorable characters on the show. We’ll chat at length about his role on the show. You can hear his voice work alongside Jim Carrey and James Marsden in Sonic The Hedgehog, the new blockbuster that just hit theaters. We’ll chat about his long time fandom of the video game series. Plus, we’ll have him describe some truly cursed Sonic the Hedgehog online fan art.

Episode notes

Photo by Nicholas Hunt / Getty Images

Ben Schwartz on playing Sonic the Hedgehog, Jean-Ralphio, and more

Parks and Recreation‘s Jean-Ralphio! Star Wars‘ BB-8! And, now the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog! We’re joined by Ben Schwartz. Ben’s big break came in 2010 with a small recurring role on Parks and Recreation. Jean-Ralphio was a character who only showed up a few times a year – but he was one of the most memorable characters on the show.

He was an underachieving club kid who personified confidence and chaos. Jean-Ralphio always had access to the “illest clubs” in Pawnee, Indiana. He was the kind of guy that always thought he was nailing everything he did – even when it was clear he wasn’t. You probably have seen memes of him singing loudly in people’s ears.

Ben is starring alongside Jim Carrey and James Marsden in Sonic The Hedgehog, the new blockbuster that just hit theaters. It’s truly the role of a lifetime.

The film was initially scheduled to be released in fall of 2019, but after an overwhelmingly negative online reaction to the first trailer, Paramount delayed the film to redesign Sonic. Ben talks about the criticisms the film originally faced, and his long time fandom of the video game series. Plus, we’ll have him describe some truly cursed Sonic the Hedgehog online fan art.

Ben’s also starring in Standing Up, Falling Down, and he’s performing opposite Billy Crystal. You can see it now in select theaters. His improvised two person show Middleditch and Schwartz is on the road now. Each performance is made up on the spot alongside Silicon Valley‘s Thomas Middleditch. The show will also be making its way to Netflix in the near future as a three part special.

If you’d like to see the pictures of Sonic we showed Ben, click here. But, fair warning: they’re kind of disturbing.

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Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

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