At the Academy Awards last Sunday, J.K. Simmons took home the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Whiplash, making him the first M&M to win an Oscar. Simmons has provided the voice for the bumbling Yellow M&M character for nearly 20 years—but he’s not the only celebrity to speak for the candy. Here’s his story—and six others.
1. J.K. Simmons // Yellow
You don’t have to worry that Simmons is moving on to greener (yellower?) pastures now that he’s an Oscar winner—he recently recorded new voiceover work for the brand. To celebrate his nominations this award season, the company presented him with a mosaic portrait of himself made out of—what else?—M&Ms.
2. Billy West // Red
You may be more familiar with Billy West from one of his many other voiceover jobs. He’s Fry, Zapp Brannigan, Professor Farnsworth, and Zoidberg from Futurama; Doug Funnie and Roger Klotz on Doug; Ren and Stimpy on Ren and Stimpy; and many, many others. That’s him in the commercial above with J.K. Simmons.
3. John Goodman // Yellow
Before J.K. made the Yellow M&M his, America’s Sweetheart John Goodman had the role.
4. Jon Lovitz // Red
Similarly, before Billy West took over Red, the part belonged to Jon Lovitz. Here’s a super-’90s commercial with Goodman, Lovitz, and Steven Weber (as himself, not an M&M).
5. Cree Summer // Green
In response to the urban legend that some ingredient in these particular M&Ms makes them aphrodisiacs, Mars decided to make the Green M&M character a vampy flirt. Enter Cree Summer, also known as Susie Carmichael from Rugrats, Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures, and Penny from Inspector Gadget. Like Billy West, her voiceover resume is quite long and impressive.
6. Vanessa Williams // Brown
One of the newest members of the spokescandy family, Vanessa Williams stepped into the role of Brown with a Super Bowl ad in 2012. “Ms. Brown is definitely the brains behind it all,” Williams said shortly after her debut.
7. Eric Kirchberger // Orange
This pretzel M&M is constantly stressed about being eaten—and who can blame him? Pretzel M&Ms are delicious. When he's not pretending to be candy, Kirchberger is a standup comedian and actor.
Honorable Mention: Phil Hartman.
Though it’s mentioned in several places that Hartman voiced Blue when the color replaced tan in 1995, I couldn’t find any evidence to support that. What I did find, however, was the 1996 commercial featuring Hartman as “Mr. Chocola-ta-tay,” a chocolate bar desperately trying to impress Tia Carrere.