Does Jenny Slate Voice Missy in ‘Big Mouth’ Season 4? How the Show Handled the Transition
Big Mouth Season 4 debuted on Netflix on Dec. 4, 2020. The new season of the hit animated series about adolescence (and everything that comes with it) garnered attention earlier in the year when cast member Jenny Slate announced she was leaving the show. Discover how they wrote the switch into the plot.
Jenny Slate voiced Missy in ‘Big Mouth’
Slate is known for her work in such live-action series as Parks and Recreation and Married. She’s also starred in films like Obvious Child and Gifted (the latter of which led to her dating her co-star, Chris Evans). But those who watch animated movies and shows may be most familiar with her voice acting.
The actor voiced Missy Foreman-Greenwald through the first three seasons of Big Mouth. Missy is one of the young teenagers experiencing the ups and downs of puberty. This includes getting her very own “hormone monster” to guide her decisions. Missy is portrayed as nerdy and a bit awkward, but stands up for herself when it counts.
She left the show in 2020
Following renewed conversations on Black voices in entertainment, Slate stepped down. “At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play ‘Missy’ because her mom is Jewish and White — as am I,” she wrote on Instagram. “But ‘Missy’ is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.”
Slate continued. “I acknowledge how my original reasoning was flawed, that it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy, and that in me playing ‘Missy,’ I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people.”
Slate had already recorded ‘Big Mouth’ Season 4
“Dude I’m most excited for missy’s new voice actor,” wrote one Twitter user of the season in November 2020. “[SPOILER ALERT] you’ll have to wait until season 4 ep 9 to hear @ayoedebiri as Missy, BUT promise it’ll be worth the wait,” replied the official Big Mouth Twitter account.
The episode in question, “Horrority House,” shows the character confronting “all of these different parts of who she is,” creator Nick Kroll told Variety. After Missy literally pieces them together, she meets her new self, voiced by Ayo Edebiri. “The transition is a nice farewell to Jenny in that moment,” the actor said.
Did Ayo Edebiri emulate Slate’s voice?
Edebiri told the publication she wanted to pay “homage” to Slate’s Missy, “while also bringing something new.” Of her take on the character, she added, “The voice I found is also because of the work Jenny did, too.” Edebiri then voiced Missy in the final episode of the season, “What Are You Gonna Do?”
In addition to voicing the character, Edebiri is a comedian and writer. She is known for her Comedy Central digital series Ayo and Rachel Are Single and the NBC sitcom Sunnyside, joined the Big Mouth writing staff for Season 5. “Because I had the experience of being in the room and knowing the story, I think that helped with the comfort level,” she said.