Entries Tagged as 'announcers'

Requiescat in Pace Don Pardo

Legendary NBC Announcer Don Pardo

Legendary NBC Announcer Don Pardo

It’s unfortunate that two successive blog posts are remembrances of the dead. First Robin Williams and now legendary NBC announcer Don Pardo.

But the emotions for me surrounding the news regarding these two talented people could not be more different.

Of course when I woke up to the news this morning about Don’s death, I was startled but not shocked. For some reason (maybe I’m a long distance, harmless stalker who is just not that good at this stalking gig) I knew of Don’s age and that he had long been pre-recording his SNL intros. He was 96 years old when he died.

It’s a loss to be sure but that’s a great life run.

And he was STILL WORKING! I remember thinking at the beginning of each recent SNL season “how long can Don keeping doing this?” I got my answer: to the very end.

Awesome.

And kudos to Lorne Michaels for ensuring that as long as Don wanted the job, he had the job.

Yes, I’ve already been asked who I think they’d get to replace Don as the SNL announcer. I don’t know but I’m pretty sure the new person will be shaking in their boots for about a season and a half before feeling comfortable taking over for a voice-over legend.

“Legend”, you say? Oh yes, let me expound.

So let’s go back to early this morning. I learned the news of Don Pardo’s death by listening to an AM news radio station in Buffalo, NY. Not via their network feed, the local announcers read the news of Pardo’s passing.

Digest that for a second.

The local news radio station read a story about the death of an off-camera network announcer.

To be clear, I would not consider today to be a slow news day.

That told me one or two amazing things before I even got out of bed – this was going to be Don Pardo’s national day of respect and possibly a day of respect for the announcing / voice-over industry itself.

I was filled with joy, a much different emotion than I felt last week at this time.

As the day has progressed, I have seen my assumption become fact. I am so happy for Don right now and for everyone in our business. Everybody knows who Don Pardo is – and they should!!!!

He’s been a multi-generational announcer and been an active broadcaster throughout some of the most amazing transitions in broadcasting. Forget SNL for a second, Pardo was the booth announcer at WNBC in New York who broke the news about Kennedy having been shot in Dallas. Wow.

If you’ve never seen the series featuring an interview with Don at emmytvlegends.org (here’s that stalker thing again) there are some great stories from Don about his work in broadcasting. I’m hoping the YouTube views on that puppy skyrocket in the weeks and months ahead.

So today, I will pray for Don’s family and that they experience God’s healing power as they mourn Don’s loss. But I will also smile and enjoy for him (and us) the national tributes Don Pardo is justifiably receiving for his life’s work.

There are two great voice-over Dons in heaven now and I suppose both will have to either audition for the “voice of God” role or just split the week between them.

P.S.

The day after posting this I received notice of the tribute done last night to Don Pardo by NBC Nightly News Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams, who went so far to switch studios during the newscast and deliver the final segment of his broadcast from Studio 8H. Just one word to the Anchor and his co-workers: Classy. See for yourself.

and God made a voice actor

If you saw the Super Bowl, one of the ads you probably watched was for Ram Trucks and featured one of my true broadcasting heros….one of the people whose talents I would quickly exchange for mine, Paul Harvey. Even after his death his talent – which is one the greatest successes in radio and possibly ALL of broadcasting – still resonants.

One small example comes every Friday on Facebook when my friend and great voice talent Vance Elderkin posts “Hello, Facebookians. It’s Friday,” in a tribute to Harvey who every Friday would open his broadcast by saying “Hello Americans. It’s Friday!”

Another more recent example is the recent Meme that has grown from the famous Harvey speech upon which the Ram Truck ad was built – many jobs have been substituted for the Farmers in this Meme so I suppose it should have come as no surprise that voice acting would have its Meme day.

Except there WAS a surprise.

There was a surprise for me in the personal impact I felt experiencing the great writing, quality audio production and perfect performance by John Taylor who clearly sneezes away more talent during allergy season than most of us can hope to attain in our lifetimes. The great ones always make it look and sound easy.

I hope you enjoy his work as much as I have.

thank you gary owens and corey snow

Sometimes people ask me what I like most about my job. Some days I don’t have an answer. ;)

But I think on a clear day, I would say I love the community I work within, the other talents, even more so than the clients – who are equally amazing.

It’s the talents, however, who create great voice-over projects and from whom I learn so much (and yes, occasionally steal from).

Also, we sometimes create our own projects for our own artistic enjoyment (and maybe the enjoyment of others). A Christmas audio project I (and other VO-BB’ers did many years ago with my friend Phillip Banks and then later a video project with my friend Jeffrey Kafer comes immediately to mind. And then another project a group of us did for Armed Forces Radio was a hoot.

I really am thrilled to even be considered let alone invited to participate in these projects because the final piece is always fun.

So when my friend and fellow voice talent Corey Snow invited me and a bunch of other folks to participate in a tribute to Gary Owens we collectively couldn’t say yes fast enough.

The above video is that project and I was stunned to be the lead off voice on this thing – I should have, I dunno, worn a tie or something. But it’s just great heart felt video to tell a guy who has entertained so many people how great an impact he had on all of us, including:

Liz deNesnera

Monk Schane-Lydon

John LaPiana

Pam Tierney

Todd Ellis

Moe Eagan (who got driven to school once by Gary Owens!)

Joe J. Thomas

Doug Turkel

Chris Ratliff

CC Petersen

Bob Souer

Anthony Gettig

Kendra Hoffman

Lee Gordon

Karl Kuhlken

Corey Snow (who was the heart and soul behind this project)

autobiography of an announcing master

Don_Pardo

The Archive of American Television has so many amazing interviews of performers who have truly fascinating stories that you really can’t hear anywhere else. Most of the interviews are uncut and I’ve really enjoyed that.

Well on a You Tube fly around I found this great series featuring the legendary Don Pardo from 2006. They are long segments but they are amazing.

I hope you enjoy.

audio’connell in syracuse

Lauren Synger - Female Voice Over Talent

I had the opportunity to meet Syracuse, NY female voice over talent Lauren Synger today on her home turf and what a great voice talent she is too!

While she excels at commercial and narration work, her real passion is character voices and she is especially fond of audio books (which is really where she got her start in voice over.)

She was kind enough to introduce me to a few contacts while I tried to find some ISDN studios in the area (not an easy task) and she had some very kind words about her successes with Voices.com, run by my friends David and Stephanie Ciccarelli.

It’s always great to make a new VO pal. Thanks Lauren.

voice over tattoo

Needles and art.

I like one of those things.

But my agent and friend Erik Sheppard likes both of those things because, well, he’s a bit of a freak (not a bad quality in an agent).

You may have heard about Erik’s Don LaFontaine tattoo…well he’s at it…or guess inking it again.

But this time my shy, reticent agent (ha!) got his latest tattoo broadcast on national television (TLC).

I’m not much of a tattoo guy myself but I thought this was kinda cool…especially since it was somebody else getting drilled.