For famous announcers, being well-known for your voice isn’t quite the same being well-known for your face, especially in this day of the unrelenting paparazzi. Those who found fame and fortune as announcers owe their careers to a combination of things. Being an effective public announcer calls for having a clear and strong voice, good enunciation and the ability to read copy naturally and without making a lot of mistakes.
Some of the most long lived careers in public announcing have been for those working in television. Game show announcers and late night TV show announcers are probably the ones most commonly remembered. Most people remember Johnny Carson from his decades of late night TV and there, at his side on most every show, was the famous Ed McMahon. For 30 years McMahon was at Carson’s side and will ever be remembered for his announcement at the beginning of each show, “Here’s Johnny!”
McMahon always had lots of work and could be seen all over TV throughout his long career. He did numerous TV commercials including being the spokesperson for Budweiser for years. He hosted several television shows, the Macy’s Parade and gave away money for the American Family Publishers to their sweepstakes winners.
A few other famous late night TV announcers include Hugh Downs and Gene Rayburn, who did the Tonight Show before Carson took over. Both of these men went on to become well-known game show hosts and major celebrities. Alan Kalter, the red-headed announcer for David Letterman has been around for years and the famous Don Pardo from Saturday Night Live has had the announcing duties there for decades as well. Pardo also announced for several daytime soaps and game shows including Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Search For Tomorrow.
The most famous movie trailer announcer of all time was Don LaFontaine, who passed away in 2008. He was credited with recording more than five thousand movie trailers and did voice work on literally hundreds of thousands of TV commercials. His nicknames included, “Thunder Throat”, and also, “The Voice Of God”.
Famous announcers have great jobs. The work isn’t too tough the hours are good and the pay is great. For those who can get a gig like that, it’s good work.