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Why These Voices In High On Life Sound So Familiar

When Squanch Games' "High on Life" was first revealed, it became immediately clear that it was aiming for something different. Not only did it feature a quirky design element in the form of talking guns — known in this fictional universe as Gatlians — but it also came from the mind of "Rick and Morty" co-creator Justin Roiland. According to the game's official FAQ, Roiland took on an active role in development, creating the initial concept and helping to flesh out the design throughout every stage of its creation.

As such, players can expect plenty of humor and bizarre characters, as is typical with Roiland's work. Of course, the fact that "High on Life" features weapons that are sentient and can speak to the player means that there's quite a large cast of characters. Combined with the invasion of Earth by an alien criminal organization known as the G3 Cartel, which introduces even more bizarre individuals to interact with, and "High on Life" ends up being a much more dialogue-heavy game than many other shooters.

Chances are good that you'll recognize many of these cast members while playing through the story, as a lot of them are familiar figures in the world of voice acting. In fact, several of them have worked with Roiland in the past. Let's see who is part of the game's cast and where you might have heard them before.

Justin Roiland - Kenny

Not only did Justin Roiland play an integral part in developing "High on Life," but he also provides the voice of Kenny, one of the main characters in the game. This isn't exactly unusual for him, as he has previously provided voices for many of the projects he has worked on over the years. Kenny is not only the first talking gun that players encounter, but the li'l guy also plays a major part in the story. As a pistol-like weapon, Kenny fires a single shot at a time, but he's also capable of launching enemies into the air with a Glob Shot.

Roiland voices a number of other characters in "High on Life," and the voice he uses for Kenny and a few others sound strikingly similar to the tones he uses for Morty and Rick in his television series, which he created with Dan Harmon in 2012. While continuing to work on the Adult Swim series, he has also developed "Solar Opposites" for Hulu with Mike McMahan, where he voices the main character Korvo.

He launched Squanch Games in 2016 (originally under the name Squanchtendo) and it has since gone on to release a few notable games, including "Accounting+" and "Trover Saves the Universe." Outside of these creative endeavors, Roiland has had voice roles in a variety of projects, ranging from various characters in "Robot Chicken" to playing ill-fated college student Doug Cheston in Amazon Prime Video's animated series "Invincible."

Michael Cusack - Knifey

Among the weapons that players can get their hands on in "High on Life," Knifey is the only dedicated melee weapon. As his name suggests, Knifey is a blade that can be used to stab and slash enemies. Australian actor and animator Michael Cusack provides the voice for the hilarious weapon, which is described by in-game text as a weapon that would happily kill whoever is holding it. Like its fellow Gatlians, Knifey also has special abilities, such as the capability to act as a tether and zipline or to open hidden Lugloxes scattered throughout the world.

In much the same way as Justin Roiland, Cusack is not someone who has worked solely as a voice actor. In fact, he has also created several of his own television shows for Adult Swim, including both "Smiling Friends" and "YOLO: Crystal Fantasy." He is also one of the creative forces behind Hulu's "Koala Man," a 2023 series that features Roiland and Hugh Jackman as part of the cast. Cusack will voice the titular hero in "Koala Man" when it launches in 2023. 

Fans of "Rick and Morty" may recognize Cusack from providing many of the voices in the parody episode "Bushworld Adventures." In "Smiling Friends," he lends his voice to both Pim and Alan, along with several other characters.

David Herman - Gene

Gene is a seemingly unhoused creature that can be found in Blim, sleeping on a bench outside. Once you encounter him, Gene will come into your home and hang out of the couch for the rest of the game. A former bounty hunter himself, he'll give players missions and even send them to find his former weapon Knifey, who can then be used to stab him once the player gets back home. 

Gene is portrayed by David Herman, an experienced actor and comedian who was part of the original cast of "MADtv" when it began airing in 1995. Prior to his appearances in the sketch comedy show, Herman had been an actor in films such as "Let It Be Me" and "Lost Angels." Herman has also worked with Mike Judge on a few projects, voicing several characters on "King of the Hill" and playing the neurotic Michael Bolton in the cult classic film "Office Space" as Michael Bolton. Herman has since appeared in films and television shows such as "Dude, Where's My Car?" and "Angel."

With an extensive list of voice acting roles, Herman will no doubt be familiar to many players. In addition to over 100 episodes of "King of the Hill," Herman can be heard in "Family Guy," "American Dad!," "Futurama," and "Disenchantment." In terms of video games, he is perhaps best known for voicing Errol in various "Jak and Daxter" games.

J.B. Smoove - Gus

In "High on Life," actor/comedian J.B. Smoove provides the voice of Gus, a frog-like gun that can fire a collection of rounds at the same time. This gives Gus the ability to work in very much the same way as a shotgun, making him an excellent choice for close combat. The weapon also comes with some special abilities, including a function that allows him to launch dice to create platforms and a vacuum skill that sucks faraway enemies close enough to be blasted with the shotgun.

While some of the actors in "High on Life" have worked pretty much exclusively in the world of animation, Smoove is someone that players might recognize from his face just as much as his voice. The comedian, who told Lohud in 2018 that he developed his sense of humor largely from mother, launched his TV career as part of "Def Comedy Jam" before landing a cast role on "Saturday Night Live." By 2007, he was a member of the regular cast of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," appearing regularly alongside Larry David. The actor was also part of the main cast of "The Millers." Fans of the MCU will likely recognize Smoove as Mr. Del, one of Peter Parker's hilariously beleaguered teachers.

"High on Life" is not Smoove's first video game appearance, either. He previously voiced Dr. Ray De Angelo Harris, the fraudster host of "Chakra Attack," in "Grand Theft Auto 5" and Bebop in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Portal Power."

Betsy Sodaro - Sweezy

Like many of the other main characters in "High on Life," Sweezy is a talking weapon. If you've ever played the "Halo" series and have used the Needler, then you'll have a good idea of how Sweezy works. She comes with a quick-fire mode that can shoot multiple crystal projectiles in rapid succession, which can also pierce through armor and explode on impact. Voiced by Betsy Sodaro, Sweezy can also slow down time (and any nearby objects) using a Time Bubble.

Described as "an explosive comedy force" by The Mary Sue, Sodaro trained in improv and comedy and is a regular performer with LA's Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. One of her first major screen roles came in the historical comedy series "Another Period" and she also had a recurring role as Rita in the TBS sitcom "Clipped." More recently, she has appeared in "Disjointed" on Netflix and an episode of the comedy series "Ghosts," as well as the Netflix original film "Hubie Halloween." Podcast fans may recognize her voice from her own show, "We Love Trash," as well as appearances on shows like "Comedy Bang! Bang!" and "High and Mighty."

Sodaro has also become a regular voice actor in recent times and has been nominated for two Behind the Voice Actors Awards for her efforts. She portrayed the character Label in DreamWorks' Netflix exclusive series "Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts," Community Sue in "Big City Greens," and Patty in three episodes of "Bob's Burgers."

Laura Silverman - Lizzie

Lizzie is somewhat unique in "High on Life" in that she's one of the few human characters that players can talk to. The sister of the protagonist, she is far from silent and seems to be in a constant state of excitement. Portrayed by Laura Silverman, Lizzie has a somewhat frosty relationship with Gene, who constantly annoys her. Players get plenty of opportunities to speak to Lizzie throughout the campaign, as she remains seated at the kitchen counter for most of the story.

The sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, Laura has appeared in many of Sarah's projects over the years, including "The Sarah Silverman Program." Of course, she has also established her own career, taking a starring role in the comedy-drama series "The Comeback," alongside with Lisa Kudrow and Damian Young, as well as guest appearances in the likes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "House," and "Nurse Jackie."

As a voice actor, Silverman is perhaps best known for her portrayal of the character Andy Pesto in "Bob's Burgers," a role she reprised in 2022's "Bob's Burgers: The Movie." She was also part of the main cast of the animated series "Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist" and has lent her voice to characters in "Adventure Time" and "Big Hero 6: The Series."

Tim Robinson - Creature

Even among the rather bizarre and distinctive guns in "High on Life," Creature stands out as unique. That's because he isn't just one life form, but instead exists with a collection of others on his back. Played by Tim Robinson, Creature can fire out multiple tiny blue monsters with sharp teeth that will start ripping into the flesh of anyone they hit. That makes him the ideal weapon of choice when you face a lot of enemies at once, since these little critters spread out their attacks.

Working in comedy since he was a teenager, Robinson trained in improv in Chicago and began performing on stage to try and earn a living in the entertainment industry (via Vulture). The decision paid off and he quickly established himself in the comedy world with appearances at the festival Just for Laughs. By 2012, he'd been hired as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live," although he was ultimately moved to the writing team after a single season (via The New Yorker). Since then, Robinson has launched his own sketch comedy series on Netflix, the beloved "I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson."

"High on Life" is far from the comedian's only voice role, so players might recognize him from his many animated appearances in shows like "Solar Opposites" and "Star Trek: Lower Decks." Gaming and animation fandoms collided in 2022 when Robinson voiced Ugly Sonic in the movie version of "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers," parodying the controversial original character design for the "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie.