The Child's Play Reboot Wasn't Actually Mark Hamill's First Time Voicing Chucky

The "Child's Play" series is currently enjoying a robust renaissance, with both a well-received 2021 TV series, "Chucky" — which has won accolades for its queer representation – and a "Child's Play" remake in 2019, which had the good taste to invent a new mythology for the central killer doll. In the 1988 original, a vicious serial killer named Charles Lee "Chucky" Ray (Brad Dourif) used voodoo magic to shunt his own soul into the body of two-foot "Good Guy" doll. Over the course of the film, Chucky eventually reveals himself to be very much alive in the body of the doll, and perfectly capable of taking lives. Because the Good Guy doll was a hot Christmas commodity coveted by millions (a clear reference to Cabbage Patch Kids), the first "Child's Play" reads as a criticism of the fevered consumer frenzy that has now become an annual tradition for retailers. 

That satire eventually fell away, and the initial "Child's Play" movies — currently totaling seven in addition to the TV series — would come to involve Chucky's ex-girlfriend (Jennifer Tilly) and genderfluid child (Billy Boyd), as well as a complicated bisexual "cult." Despite an initially silly premise — a killer, living doll — "Child's Play" has bothered to carve out a sizeable and long-lasting niche in the horror community, blending horror with camp (John Waters appeared in the fifth film, giving audiences a clue as to its tone). 

The 2019 remake of "Child's Play" jettisoned the voodoo magic angle, presenting instead a technologically advanced, artificially intelligent walking, talking doll whose evil was brought on by as an act of vengeance from an exploited factory worker. In the new "Child's Play," Chucky was an innocent robot, voiced by Mark Hamill, whose capacity for protecting his owner started to reach some bloody extremes. 2019's "Play" was not so much a satire of Christmas toy consumption, and more a comment on exploited labor. 

Hamill was an inspired choice for Chucky, and not merely because he was a well-established voice actor with decades of experience (he had previously voiced the Joker in "Batman: The Animated Series"). As it turns out, Hamill had played the part before.

Lettuce Head Kids

Created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, the animated series "Robot Chicken" debuted on Cartoon Network in February of 2005 and is still running to this day. The series is a slightly blue sketch comedy show that relies heavily on pop culture references understood mainly by Gen-Xers, and whose actors are all modeled from toys in Green's and Senreich's action figure collection. The comedy stems from seeing, say, He-Man have to deal with an unruly father, or Kermit the Frog meeting his Wall Street cousin Gordon Gekko. It quickly became a staple a broad community of pop media enthusiasts, and is currently enjoying its 11th season. 

In the massive pop culture gumbo of "Robot Chicken," it was natural that slasher villains from well-known 1980s horror movies should make an appearance. Freddy Krueger appeared occasionally, as did Jason Voorhees. 

14 years prior to the release of the "Child's Play" reboot — indeed, before the production of "Curse of Chucky" and "Cult of Chucky" — Chucky appeared in an episode of "Robot Chicken," wherein he was voiced by Mark Hamill. In his sketch, Chucky seems a little confused as to his own backstory (voodoo magic, I think?) when he stops to rest in a lettuce garden. The heads of lettuce each open revealing a demonic Cabbage Patch Kid — excuse me, Lettuce Head Kid — lurking inside. The Lettuce Heads kids attack Chucky, hoping to steal his soul for themselves. Ah, a walking satire of Cabbage Patch Kids being attacked and killed by a different satire of Cabbage Patch Kids. This instigates a worldwide plague of living Lettuce Head Kids attacking the populace. 

Mark Hamill doesn't remember it

Hamill was a regular actor on "Robot Chicken," playing over a dozen roles over the course of 10 separate episodes, including Luke Skywalker, the Joker, Harrison Ford, Iron Man, The Master Control Program, and Howard Cunningham from "Happy Days." When making press tours for the "Child's Play" remake, Hamill often expressed that he respects original Chucky actor Brad Dourif as an actor, and that he would never think to fill the role Dourif made iconic. Others needed to remind him that he had already done that very thing in 2005. 

On his Twitter account, Hamill openly admitted he had forgotten about the "Robot Chicken" segment, and reiterated how excited he was for the new reboot. His Tweet read: 

I'd forgotten I did the #RobotChicken parody until I saw this post. It was an homage to the great Brad Dourif version I love. But the @ChildsPlayMovie is a reboot with a completely different origin for the new Chucky.

Prolific actors often forget about jobs they take, especially smaller roles from over a decade previous. Hamill hasn't commented on his experience of voicing Chucky on "Robot Chicken," and given the length of the segment, it likely took him very little time to record; Hamill could easily have played multiple roles in the recording booth that same day. So one can hardly blame him. 

He has, however, played more versions of Chucky than even Brad Dourif.