Speaking with interviewer Ricky Church, Daly was openly apologetic. In the mid-1990s, one might be forgiven for dismissing Superman as a character. DC Comics’ “Death of Superman” incident was already a few years old, and the last movie was almost a decade ago. Kal-El was most certainly out of the public eye, a dated character who was out of place in a snarky, cynical decade. Additionally, cartoon voice acting was — and often still is — considered low on an unspoken social hierarchy of acting. Some people in their 40s will recall when film actors refused to move to TV, for instance. In Roger Ebert’s 2001 review of “Monsters, Inc.,” he said that voice acting was what actors once did instead of dinner theater.
Daly took the Superman job merely because it was a job, and not because Superman meant anything. He said:
“You know, I have admitted in many interviews and I will admit to you in my shame that I didn’t understand it at the time. I thought that I was sort of doing a Saturday morning cartoon show for kids. I didn’t realize how important Superman was to generations of people, children, adults, men and women and it wasn’t until later that it occurred to me how important this character was to people and how important it had been for so many decades. So I was a little slow on the uptake, but I get it now!”
Daly doesn’t mention the moment, and there must have been one, where he realized he was part of a larger pop phenomenon. He did, however, have some positive things to say about the character, understanding the central detail of Superman’s lasting appeal.