Eric Andre, actor and host of the comedic program “The Eric Andre Show” on the Adult Swim network, is the voice of Azizi in the live-action remake of Disney’s the “Lion King.”
Fans of the original animated version may find themselves struggling to remember the name Azizi from the 1994 film. You won’t be able to do; the name Azizi never appeared in the movie.
Azizi is one of the hyenas that runs around with Scar and attempts to hunt down young Simba and Nala. But in the original version, his name had a much more American sound to it: “Ed.”
Here’s what you need to know.
The Hyenas Were All Given African Names for the Live-Action Remake of the ‘Lion King’
The three main hyenas were named Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed. In the 1994 animated movie, Whoopi Goldberg provided the voice for the Shenzi, the one female hyena. Cheech Marin was Banzai. Jim Cummings played Ed, the hyena that answers questions with a cackling laugh.
For the live-action version, Disney decided to swap out two of the hyenas' names for African names. Banzai is now Kamari. Ed is now Azizi.
"Azizi" appears to have multiple meanings in Swahili. According to IMDB, the name means "moonlight." But various "baby name” websites list different meanings such as mighty one; powerful; beloved; and precious.
Some fans were not thrilled with the idea of the name change. There was a Change.org petition to keep Banzai and Ed in the new Lion King movie, but the petition failed to gain traction.
Eric Andre is Best Known For His Late-Night Comedic Talk Show on Adult Swim
Eric Andre, 36, is best known for hosting his own late-night show on Adult Swim. The Eric Andre Show debuted in 2012 and ran for four seasons. He also was one of the show’s creators and co-writers in addition to being the host.
Andre played pranks on the set and conducted interviews with celebrities, both real and impersonated. Rolling Stone published a review of the program in 2014 with this description of the format: “A tumult of stunts and bits that plays like an 11-minute punk aria; a sharp rebuke to the forced politeness and feigned enthusiasm of mainstream TV talk shows; a test of endurance for former reality-TV and child stars; and a nightmarish funhouse that swallows everyone involved, cast and crew included.”
Andre told the Indie Wire in 2016 that he created the program based on his stream of thought, which can result in some pretty chaotic scenes. “It is like pure Id, the most creative freedom I’ll ever have. There are no rules. It can totally be as surreal or absurd or nonlinear as it wants. If you hooked a tube up to my brain and fed it into a television, it would be the show, for sure.”
Andre’s recent acting credits include the animated Netflix series “Disenchantment.” Andre provides the voice of Luci, a demon that says he wants to “get rid of all the diseases plaguing mankind and replace them with worse ones.” He follows Princess Tiabeanie around, like a best friend who is a terrible influence.
Andre also recently played the part of “Mike” in “Man Seeking Woman” on FXX. In 2014, he appeared on the CBS sitcom “Two Broke Girls” as Deke, the boyfriend of Max Black, played by Kat Dennings. You can see Andre’s full list of acting credits here.
‘The Lion King’ Debuts in Theaters on July 19
Disney released a new trailer for the upcoming “Lion King” on April 10, 2019. The movie was directed by Jon Favreau, who also directed the 2016 live-action remake of the “Jungle Book.”
The characters were brought to life with computer-generated imagery, or CGI. This has led some critics to question whether the movie can really be called “live-action.” But Screen Rant noted that “Lion King” was “filmed on a bluescreen stage,” which is part of what separates it from an animated film.
The “Lion King” will debut in theaters on July 19, 2019.