Last night, I was watching the 1986 movie Peggy Sue Got Married, about a time-traveling Kathleen Turner who goes 25 years into her own past, when she was in a budding relationship with her philandering husband, played by a very young Nicolas Cage. It's a great movie, but I could not get past the weird voice that Cage was using. Was this a voice he'd had before his career took off, and then he worked on altering it? Or did he choose this weirdly high-pitched, dorky voice? It was the latter. And it was supposed to be Pokey, the horse friend of claymation character Gumby. And it almost got him fired, but somehow convinced his uncle, director Francis Ford Coppola, that this was a great idea. And lo, by the powers of nepotism, he stayed in the movie, doing that voice.
As any responsible geek would do, I sought out some Gumby videos to contrast and compare. I was pretty disappointed to find that not only was Cage's "Pokey" voice an unbelievably questionable acting choice, but it was also a really bad impression of Pokey. I'll include video of Cage's performance after the jump so you can also compare, but if you want to take my word for it, you can just watch "The Moon Boggles," a 1956 episode of Gumby (video link) that features our two pliable friends in a sci-fi adventure!
Here are some of Cage's "Cagiest" moments, and you will hear that he doesn't sound like Pokey as much as he sounds like someone who has a permanent wedgie, as well as a frog in his throat that is inexplicably wearing underwear and also has a permanent wedgie (video link):
Another thing I'd like to know is when Cage started to walk places shoulder-first, and if he walks like that in real life. No really, next time you watch a Nicolas Cage movie, watch him walk shoulder-first. You won't be able to not-notice.