The Five: Voices
Okay, kids, for this addition of "The Five" we're going to talk about those voices we love so much. I'm going to focus entirely on television announcers, but I'm expanding the topic to include anyone whose job in television is (or was) centered around their vocal cords. That's why you won't see Mel Blanc or Daws Butler on my list, though they most certainly would have been on it otherwise. Everyone on board? Okay, let's do it:
- Don Pardo: Even Lorne Michaels hasn't been on Saturday Night Live as long as Don Pardo (remember Lorne left the show briefly in the 1980s). No one can say "musical guest: FISHBONE!" with as much conviction as Mr. Pardo, and that's why I admire him. He was also the announcer on Jeopardy! for the first several years when Art Fleming was host.
- Rod Roddy: Roddy, the perpetually ecstatic announcer for The Price if Right, passed away three years ago. Most people liked his flashy clothes, but I always admired the way he would pronounce things in a really unique way, sometimes seeming to invent entirely new letters in order to stretch out monosyllabic words. It was actually scientifically proven several years ago that when Rod Roddy pronounces the word "car" it has twenty-seven syllables.
- Joel Godard: It's not unusual for late night talk shows to utilize their announcers in sketches. Letterman does it with Alan Kalter all the time. Nobody beats Joel Godard, though, who plays a clinically insane version of himself on Late Night with Conan O'Brien when he's not busy doing his announcer thing. My favorite Joel moment was when he threatened to sue God for making him stupid, and that merely making that statement proved his point.
- Ted Knight: Sure, most people know him as Ted Baxter, the self-centered news anchor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and some even remember him as the creator of Cosmic the Cow, but I knew him best as the narrator on Super Friends, a show I watched in reruns, seeing as how I was only a year old when it ended its original run.
- Gary Owens: I gave Conan credit above for making Joel Godard part of the show, but long before Conan's show there was Laugh-In, which made Gary Owens (later the voice of Space Ghost in the original Hanna-Barbera series) a vital part of the show's insanity.
Okay, so who do you like? Remember it doesn't have to be an announcer, just anyone known for their voice.