Professional Announcer Voice Over by Dean T. Moody
What is an Announcer?
The typical Announcer stereotype is probably Gary Owens’ character from Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, standing at a mic, one hand over one ear, proclaiming something important in a big, stentorian baritone voice. While Owens was something of a parody, another famous Announcer was Don Pardo, whom I first heard as a child when he introduced Art Fleming on the original Jeopardy! and then on to announce the Not Ready for Prime Time Players in the first seasons of Saturday Night Live. These guys were such fun to listen to!
Is the Announcer Read dead? Boy, I hope not!
While the stereotype that employed Pardo and Owens made fun of is largely defunct, I am often called upon to give those very kinds of reads. The irony here is twofold: First of all, many directions given to Voice Actors ask specifically to NOT do an “announcery” read (instead, the more “conversational” read is preferred), so it’s fun to get to do something against the grain like that. Secondly, when I am asked to do an “Announcer” voice, these requests often come from younger producers and directors (the very people we VO types are often told hate to be “sold to” and who require authenticity in all things commercial). I personally LOVE doing these sorts of jobs. I think I missed my calling when I was born far too late to be a 50’s-era TV announcer!
So who counts as an Announcer these days?
Today, the term “Announcer” could easily be applied to Promo voices (“It’s MUST-SEE TV on Thursday nights on NBC!”), color commentators on TV and radio Sports programs (“…And THERE HE GOES, past the ten, the five…TOUCHDOWN!”). The same could even be said for News reporters (“And that’s the way it is…”), or openers for TV Variety shows (“Heeeeere’s JOHNNY!”). Lastly, there are those courageous souls like Randy Thomas (The Emmys, Grammys, and just about any award shows you can think of), who go LIVE and rarely ever flub a line (“…Accepting the Oscar tonight for Meryl Streep is Danny DeVito…”). My undying respect!