Jim Brockmire, A Legend in the Booth: A Hugely Entertaining Funny or Die Video Leads to a Lawsuit Over Character Rights Between Hank Azaria and Craig Berko
In this NOT SAFE FOR WORK video, Hank Azaria plays broadcasting legend Jim Brockmire.
As reported in a November 16th, 2012 post to The Wrap, The Simpsons vocal talent and actor Hank Azaria is suing actor Craig Bierko in U.S. District Court in Central California, claiming that Bierko is "jeopardizing a potential movie deal by falsely laying claim to [the Jim Brockmire] voice that Azaria claims he created nearly 30 years ago."
"In 2010, Azaria used the voice in a Funny or Die skit [see above] in which he played a sportscaster named Jim Brockmire, which employed the voice in question. (The suit also notes that the Brockmire character employed other attributes, such as a plaid jacket and a back story about his wife abandoning him.) The video became a hit, the lawsuit says - so much so that Azaria was able "to entertain discussions to develop a feature-length motion picture based upon the Jim Brockmire Character who uses the Azaria Voice."
"It also drew the attention of [actor Craig} Bierko, who subsequently contacted Azaria and claimed to have created the voice either independently or in collaboration with Azaria."
"Azaria [has now gone to court] seeking a declaration that the sportscaster voice alone isn't copyrightable, but that the Brockmire character is, plus a declaration that Bierko has no claim to the voice. (He also wants Bierko blocked from laying claim to the voice.)"