Voice Talkers: Living the Dream of a Voice Actor

O.K., the following video isn't new, but it's still one of our favorites.  "Voice Talkers: Living the Dream of a Voice Actor" was created by the Brooklyn-based comedy troupe POYKPAC and won second place in 2008's Sketchies 2 contest.


The Voice of Saturday Night: A Birthday Tribute to SNL's Don Pardo

Live, from New York! It's... Donnn Parrrdooo! For nearly 35 years Don Pardo has been the steadfast and unmistakable voice of Saturday Night Live. He has announced SNL's opening credits since the show's debut in October of 1975 — for all seasons except the seventh — and can still be heard to this day. Although Mr. Pardo — who turned 92 this week — is currently best known for his weekly "Not Ready for Prime Time" duties, he's had a remarkable multi-generational career that spans over 65 years and includes programs such as the original The Price is Right, Jeopardy, and a stint as a war reporter during World War II. In honor of  his 92nd birthday, we thought we'd take a closer look at this legendary voice of NBC

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Presidential Voiceovers: Ronald Reagan Explains the Perils of Littering

Long before becoming the Governor or California or the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan narrated the 1963 film Heritage of Splendor, focusing on why we must preserve America's great natural resources from the consequences of littering. Sponsored by the Richfield Oil Company and Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

In honor of President's Day, watch as President Reagan explains the "year-round problem" of littering — AKA "the special touch" we have added to the untouched beauty of North America's landscape. 


The Battle of the Olympic Voiceovers: USA vs. Canada! Freeman vs. Sutherland!

Inukshuk: Symbol of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

There’s a chill in the air, and frost on the ground, but a mighty flame will soon ignite, firing the imagination, and the spirit, in all of us,” or so says Morgan Freeman in one of Visa's many 2010 Olympic promos airing in the USA.

"Belief. Its essence is invisible, and its power is extraordinary. It’s the cornerstone of dreams, and it lives in the hearts of our Olympic athletes." At least according to Donald Sutherland in a commercial for CTV, the network broadcasting the Games throughout Canada. 

The 2010 Winter Olympics will kick-off tomorrow, February 12 in Vancouver, Canada. The 17-day competition will include 83 countries battling on snow and ice in 15 different sports for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand on the podium and, "believe." 

Just as USA and Canada will go head-to-head in an attempt to win the most golds, both nations have their own advertising campaigns. Each is designed to educate home audiences about distinguished athletes and build drama — just in time for the opening ceremony.

Over the past few months, the two different countries, two different brands, and two different narrators have been seeding and crafting their own Olympic storylines. This post will examine and rate Morgan Freeman's five promos (for the United States) and Donald Sutherland's five spots (for Canada) to determine the ultimate victor. Two men enter; one man leaves

Welcome to the first-ever (like, in the history of the world) Winter Olympics Promo Olympics (or WOPO). Let the games begin...

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Darth Vader's Voice Before James Earl Jones

The original track of Darth Vader's voice as performed by the British actor that played him, David Prowse. Imagine how different Star Wars would have been if they had left it like this.

From the 2004 documentary, Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.


Who in Dat Commercial? Our 10 Favorite Super Bowl Voiceovers

This Sunday, February 7, 2010, over 100 million viewers across the country will converge to watch Super Bowl XLIV (that's 44 to you) in South Florida (A.K.A. Miami). Both opponents have their own unique storylines that you'll no doubt hear again and again as we inch closer to the ultimate “human drama of athletic competition.” Can Peyton Manning lead the Indianapolis Colts to a second Lombardi Trophy in three years and solidify his status as the greatest quarterback of all time? Will Drew Brees take the New Orleans Saints — America's team, armed with their very own trademarked catchphrase — to their first Super Bowl victory and bring much needed inspiration to a city on the mend?

Of course, while millions watch the drama unfold on the gridiron, just as many — perhaps a few more — will tune-in for the commercials. Super Bowl ads have moved into a league of their own — complete with controversy, stats and legions of fans. And if once a year isn't enough, websites like SuperBowl Commercials and Adland are devoted to compiling and reviewing hundreds of Super spots.

In the spirit of 44, and the advertising explosion it brings with it, we culled through the last decade of Super Bowl commercials to look for notable voiceovers, and found a few that speak for themselves. Read on for our ten favorites. 

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Voice Legends: 5 Men and a Limo

Voiceover legends Don LaFontaine, John Leader, Al Chalk, Mark Elliot, and Nick Tate in a the (now classic) short film, 5 Men and a Limo, created for the 26th Annual Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards in 1997. You may not recognize all of the names, but you've certainly heard their voices.


Grammy Roundup: The Voices Behind the Music

For 51 years the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has gathered annually to celebrate outstanding achievements in the music industry. This Sunday, January 31 at 8PM, the 52nd Grammy Awards will erupt on to televisions (three-dimensionally!) across the universe.

What you might not know, is that many of the same voices that can be heard on your favorite albums have also taken little-known turns in animated programs, narration, videogames, and audio books. Our team of experts reviewed the full list of 2010 nominees, entered their details into a state-of-the-art voice recognition database known to few "insiders" as The IMDB, and had the results secretly verified by the independent accounting firm of Deloitte. We will now present our findings to you.

So, when you're no doubt watching CBS's Grammy Awards telecast on Sunday (because "we're all fans"), instead of just talking about Beyoncé's ten nominations, the Black Eyed Peaspossible Album of the Year win, or Hall & Oatesnod for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, you can also discuss Fergie's early work in Peanuts, Beyoncé's other group, The Wub Girls, and Hall & Oates' brilliant cameo as an animated angel and devil.

Read on for the groundbreaking discoveries. 

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Juke Vox Heroes: Jane Lynch

Welcome to the second installment of Juke Vox Heroes. This series identifies an actor lending his or her vocal prowess to a surprising number of places and examines their vast repertoire of work.

Today we'll take a look at the great Jane Lynch (fresh off her Golden Globe robbery), who plays Sue Sylvester, the ruthless cheerleading coach on Fox's award-winning series Glee. And while it may not be as illustrious as some little statue given by the Hollywood Foreign Press, this humble post will highlight and celebrate a selection of her auditory achievements. 

Way before becoming the horse-estrogen-fueled, pro-littering, track suit wearing commander of the Cheerios, Ms. Lynch made a living doing voiceovers. Her early work included spots for Safeway and Washington Mutual among others. "I have the stock old lady voice and stock midwestern accent,” she explained in a Fresh Air interview last year. These days she's come full circle and, in addition to extensive film and televsion roles, can be heard in a surprising number of animated projects as well as a videogame.

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Burt Reynolds Teaches Survival; Dexter Reads About Dinosaurs

We here at WViT appreciate the art of simple, lo-fi, storytelling — maybe that’s why we’re fascinated by nuances of the voice. In today’s digital age of eye-candy, the practice of no-frills narration without visual whizbangery seems to becoming a dying tradition. Perhaps we’re purists, but as the debate rages about the future of media, how it can be saved, and the dawn of the iPadiTablet, iSlate or whatever it's destined to be crowned, we hope there will always be room for a quality story that lets the imagination fill in the blanks.

That's a reason why we love audio books and, specifically, (Here's our required FTC disclosure: We are no way affiliated, related, married, dating or even acquaintances with anyone from, although we do follow them on Twitter — hope that’s O.K.)

Audible's over 140,000 hours of content includes an abundance of narrators — good and bad — and this includes a growing number of recognizable voices such as Johnny Cash, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey, Uma Thurman, Sean Penn, Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Krasinski to name a small few. Surprisingly though, there isn't an easy way to find a thorough list of celebrity narrators — that's where we come in. We've pooled our global resources together to figure out who reads what and compiled a few notables in this post. For a comprehensive list, check out our new WViT Lists section. Tell your friends.

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