An interview with Anndi McAfee, who provided the voice of Phoebe Heyerdahl on Hey Arnold!
How did you start working on the show?
I auditioned for the role with Joey Paul Jensen, the casting director. I was chosen shortly after.
What did you enjoy about the playing Phoebe?
Being on a show as a kid with a bunch of other kids is a recipe for fun! There are so many great things about Phoebe, one of them being George Takei voicing Phoebe’s dad. I got to meet him! I love how smart Phoebe is. She cares about other people’s feelings.
What set Hey Arnold! apart from other ’80s/’90s cartoons?
What set Hey Arnold! apart was a cast of kids voiced by kids. We made a lot of stuff up as we went. Craig Bartlett, the series creator, and the other writers created this world for us. It really felt like a show by kids for kids.
Why do you think Hey Arnold! and other ’90s Nickelodeon shows remain popular with the people who were kids when the show originally aired?
I think Hey Arnold! connected with kids in an honest way. There was a nice balance of silly kid situations and real heartfelt situations that kids were actually beginning to go through in their own lives. Adults tend to really connect to shows in their childhoods that emotionally connected with them.
Do you have a favorite episode of the show?
“Grand Prix” and “What’s Opera, Arnold?” “Grand Prix” was just hilarious and really showcased the group of kids very well. I love how Phoebe really came alive and we saw her aggressive streak. I absolutely LOVE opera. I thought showcasing such beautiful music in a way that made kids laugh. It was brilliant.
What do you think the show’s legacy is?
Hey Arnold! has at least one character that everyone can connect with. You really feel the love and care that went into the show in each episode.
Any other comments?
Green-light the Hey Arnold! jungle movie!!