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Cuckoolander Commentator
"Cadwallader scored again, making things level, but Luna did not seem to have noticed; she appeared singularly uninterested in such mundane things as the score, and kept attempting to draw the crowd's attention to such things as interestingly shaped clouds and the possibility that Zacharias Smith, who had so far failed to maintain possession of the Quaffle for longer than a minute, was suffering from something called 'Loser's Lurgy.'"

It's the Big Game, everyone is in the stands and excited. They can't wait to see what happens, to hear the announcer as he or she comments on the action and keeps the crowd up to date. Too bad said announcer is off in his own little world and not really paying much attention to the actual game.

The Cuckoolander Commentator is, as the name suggests, a Cloud Cuckoo Lander whose job it is to announce, comment on, or otherwise narrate on what's going on at an event. This will cause, at the very least, an Unreliable Narrator and will usually require a straightman second announcer to act as the Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder.

It's less common to see such announcers in a serious event or setting, unless the story in question is a comedy in the first place. More commonly it will be a relatively informal affair, and indeed the Cuckoolander Commentator may just take up the job himself without anyone asking (or particularly wanting) them to do so.

If the character does appear in a formal or major setting, it could be that the Cuckoolander is actually a deliberate act. A characterization the announcer does to add some flavor to the job and add to the witty banter between a co-announcer or host.

Compare Large Ham Announcer, which this trope can overlap with, since the Cuckoolander Commentator's antics can easily be a Crowning Moment of Funny for a work. Tends to be the Wise Guy half of a Straight Man and Wise Guy duo.

May also be The Announcer for a game show, in which case any Cuckoolander qualities may indeed be an intentional act for entertainment.

Currently, this trope is envisioned for announcers at particular events or shows, rather than the general narrator, though that may change depending on examples. Also, it isn't intended to include merely snarky or funny commentators. Cuckoolander Commentators are usually funny, but it's often because they're so out there and, barring the deliberate act clause, usually aren't doing it intentionally.

Examples:

Comics
  • JLA #76 starts out by showing Plastic Man announcing the eponymous League's celebratory baseball game. At the end of the scene, everyone disappears except him, leading him to call for a break in the both while he has a seizure. As it turns out, he's hallucinating as his body is reconstituted in the Watchtower's lab.

Film

Literature
  • The example quoted above is the result when Luna Lovegood is made a Quidditch commentator in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Professor McGonagall acts as her Minder.
    Luna: ...but now that big Hufflepuff player's got the Quaffle from her. I can't remember his name. It's something like Bibble - no, Buggins -
    Professor McGonagall: It's Cadwallader!
    • The earlier commenter, Lee Jordan, wasn't as extreme, but had shades of this trope. While he did announce what was going on in the game, he also had a tendency to rant about the Slytherin team's less-than-ethical play tactics (including screaming profanity at them), discuss how pretty he thinks certain female players on the Gryffindor team are, and gush about Harry's new Firebolt ("Jordan, are you being paid to advertise Firebolts? Get on with the commentary!") He also can swear pretty badly when Gryffindor is losing, to the point where McGonagall tried to take the microphone off of him at one point.

Live-Action TV
  • Saturday Night Live: A recurring sketch featured a pair of announcers at various ladies sporting events, one of whom is completely clueless. One of his more cogent moments, after a bowler bowls a strike:
    Greg Stink: She's gotta be careful.
    Pete Twinkle: Why is that?
    Greg Stink: Two more strikes and she is outta there.
    Pete Twinkle: No, no, no... Now, hold on, Greg. I — you know, I think you're thinking about baseball.
    Greg Stink: Yeah, you're probably right! I do not know this game! It is an absolute mystery to me!
    • Saturday Night Live's portrayal of Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Carey made him appear this way, with Harry going off on completely unrelated tangents when delivering his reports on Weekend Update.
  • A hilarious example happens in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, where Fry and Laurie are commenting on an English Cricket game. By the end of the sketch they're shouting about completely random things from growing up in England.
    Hugh Laurie: STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM!
  • MTV Brazil had a soccer tournament between musicians, Rockgol. Given the high level of play (one time a player managed to make an offside reposition wrong!), the commentators, usually comedians, would put nicknames on the players and referees and talk about anything possible.
  • ESPN employs one of these for, of all things, the World Series of Poker in the form of Norman Chad.

Professional Wrestling
  • Dusty Rhodes. Botchamania has a segment called "Insane Dusty Commentary".
  • Art Donovan at King of the Ring 94.
  • Booker T. since returning to do commentary on Smackdown in 2011.
  • Brad Maddox on his few commentary appearances. What he says almost always contradicts what's actually going on in the ring.
  • On the March 30, 2013 edition of Saturday Morning Slam, Daniel Bryan served as guest commentator, and spent much of the time going off on a tangent about bears, culminating in Bryan going ballistic when Antonio Cesaro put R-Truth in a bear hug. See it here.
  • Tazz on occasions and Botchamania has a segment called "Insipid Taz Commentary".

Radio
  • The radio version of Dead Ringers parodied famous cricket commentators' (such as Henry Blofeld, whose father was the namesake for the Bond villain) tendency to talk about all the cakes they'd been sent in by local fans by exaggerating it into them rather talking about those than the ongoing cricket match.

Sporting Events
  • Australian Rules Football commentator Rex Hunt sometimes makes it really hard to tell what's going on from his commentary (even for those who understand the game perfectly), and combines it with Large Ham. Depending on who you ask, the result is either heaps of fun or incredibly annoying.
  • The NFL's John Madden showed glimpses of this during his long tenure as a color commentator. Between his tendency to fall into Captain Obvious mode, his occasional near-incoherent ramblings, and some absolutely bizarre moments (Turducken, anyone?), his eccentricity made him easily the most beloved of NFL commentators during his time.
  • Brazilian announcer Galvão Bueno has many moments of this, given he rambles a lot and at times tries to show off his intelligence with inane and malaproper-filed comments. An infamous case was "The physics don't allow it."
  • Spanish WWE announcer Héctor del Mar definitely qualifies. His callings tend to fall in all kinds of absurd puns, improvised senseless proverbs and downright bizarre comments about the matches and the wrestling in general, and the most awesome thing is that he is not the color commentator (who technically is Fernando Costilla, Deadpan Snarker of Humor Amarillo fame). Despite his little attachment to wrestling announcing itself, Del Mar is popular in Spain to the point that many Spaniards watch WWE more due to him than the actual product.

Video Games

Web Original
  • Jesse Cox could be considered this. Especially when paired up with... well... just about anyone really but especially TotalBiscuit. Though it gets inverted when he works with Wowcrendor
  • LetsPlayer Raocow is this turned up to 11. His Let's Play commentary is some of the most bizarre, stream of consciousness non-sequitur you'll ever find on the Internet.
  • Homestar Runner has one: Coach Z attempting to be the announcer for the Fall Float Parade. Marzipan is not amused.
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • In "Rock, Clocks, and Two Stupid Ponies", Pinkie and Spike are allegedly the commentators for the fall race. In practice, they spend all their time talking about how high they are and never even mention the race.
    • In "The Pet Games", Dick Hardman spouts non-sequiturs and nonsense, and he frequently has no idea what's even happening in the game. The other commentator, Tom Waterman is much saner in comparison, but he can't be all there because he acts like Dick's commentary is completely normal.

Western Animation
  • Pinkie Pie in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is the commentator alongside Spike for the contest between Applejack and Rainbow Dash during the annual Running of the Leaves.
    Spike: You know, Pinkie, these two ponies have a bit of a grudge match they're trying to settle, trying to prove who's the most athletic.
    Pinkie: Yes! And "grudge" rhymes with "fudge"!
    Spike: Yes it...does? What?
    Pinkie: And I like fudge. But if I eat too much fudge, I get a pudge, and then I can't budge.
    (Beat)
    Spike: So...no fudge?
    Pinkie: Aw, no thanks. I had a big breakfast.
  • Nick Diamond is certainly more eccentric than his co-commentator, often filling time between Deathmatches with ... something bizarre.
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