‘Rugrats’: Elizabeth Daily Recorded Some of Tommy’s Lines Just Before Giving Birth

Throughout the ’90s, Rugrats was a TV show phenomenon. Young children and adults all loved to watch what kind of chaos would follow the beloved group of toddlers.

With a kids-eye view of the world, the show’s success helped elevate Nickelodeon’s must-watch status. Today, kids from that generation fondly remember watching Tommy, Chuckie, and Angelica navigate their day-to-day life. And while the show was funny, many of the actors voicing the characters dealt with hilarious situations.

‘Rugrats’ background

Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, The Simpsons was a massive hit. Arlene Klasky and her then-husband Gabor Csupo ran the production and animation company working on the show. It was there the characters turned yellow, and Marge got her signature blue hair. The two then went on to create Rugrats, inspired by their two young sons and what would happen if the babies could talk. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Klasky said she didn’t want their characters to look like typical Saturday Morning cartoons. “Our aesthetic was offbeat and quirky. I personally didn’t draw the way Disney did. I drew artsy, cartoony, humorous drawings. And Gabor came from traditional animation, but he’s a visionary. We both loved European art and Japanese animation. Some people thought our style was ugly. We thought it was beautiful.”

Csupo agreed, “We started to draw crazy-looking babies. And the more outrageously funny they looked, the more we liked them.”

A hit on their hands

E.G. Daily attends C2E2 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo
E.G. Daily attends C2E2 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo | Timothy Hiatt/FilmMagic

RELATED: ‘Rugrats’: Every Baby – Even the Male Characters – Was Voiced By a Woman

The show was always a success, right from the start. It was different enough to gain attention but still gave parents peace of mind letting their kids watch it. As the years went on, the characters became more complex, and the show gained even more traction. In 1994, Rugrats went into syndication, and that’s when its popularity really soared. According to The New Yorker, the show had 26 million viewers a week, making it one of the top cable programs.

New shows started up again in 1996, and a slew of movies followed due to its popularity. A 2001 special “All Growed Up” celebrated the show’s tenth anniversary and served as the pilot for its own spinoff series following the crew ten years down the line. The sequel aired from 2003 to 2008. 

In 2018, Nickelodeon and Paramount announced a Rugrats reboot was in the works. Featuring all the original voice actors, along with some new characters, the show plans a return to entertain a whole new generation of fans. 

Most of the voice actors are women

While some of the main characters in Rugrats are boys, their voices belong to women. E.G. (Elizabeth) Daily and Christine Cavanaugh are the voices of Tommy and Chuckie, respectively.

That should come as no surprise since Nancy Cartwright is well-known for her role as Bart Simpson’s voice. The success of the show meant Daily and Cavanaugh were always busy. So busy that Daily told an interesting story about one of her most unusual recording experiences.

Mental Floss reports that Daily continued to work while she was in labor. “The engineer was like: ‘Your contractions are coming really quickly now.’ And I was like: ‘No, I’m fine.’ Very soon after that, I had my daughter.” Whew, talk about dedication to her craft! She voiced the Tommy Pickles character for the show’s entire 13-year run and its spinoff series.

While she plans to revive her role as Tommy during the reboot, most recently she was on The Voice. Too Fab reports that she auditioned back in 2013 and stunned the judges. She made it onto Team Blake but lost in the knockout rounds.