The Announcer

Nearly every TV show that has a Studio Audience but isn't a Sitcom has an announcer. The Announcer has several duties:
  • Deliver opening and closing spiels for the show.
  • Introduce the host, contestants and/or celebrity guests.
  • On a Game Show, Describe the prizes the contestants can win or have won.
  • In most cases, warm up the audience before taping and keep them entertained during breaks/stopdowns.

In some cases, an announcer can also be a sidekick.

We might have called this The Barker, that guy in a circus or carnival whose job is to loudly announce the attractions, but we didn't want it to be confused with a certain famous game show host.

Some notable game show announcers:

  • Jack Clark, announcer for Wheel of Fortune and the original host of The Cross Wits
  • Bob Clayton, a Concentration announcer and substitute host, promoted to full-time host in 1969
  • Rich Fields (The Price Is Right)
  • Johnny Gilbert, current announcer of Jeopardy!, and the first announcer for the 1990s revival of Supermarket Sweep.
  • George Gray (The Price Is Right). Also has hosting experience (Extreme Gong, Junkyard Wars, The Weakest Link)
  • John Harlan (Password, Name That Tune, American Gladiators)
  • Harvey (John Harvey), best known for being Marc Summers' announcer on Double Dare (1986) (and doing the same for History I.Q.).
  • Jimmy Kimmel of Win Ben Stein's Money
  • Charlie O'Donnell, the original announcer of Wheel of Fortune from 1975 to 1980, and again from 1989 to 2010. He was also heard on several other shows, most notably American Bandstand.
  • Johnny Olson, whose voice is synonymous with Mark Goodson/Bill Todman productions (including The Price Is Right and Match Game)
  • Don Pardo, the original announcer for Jeopardy! and The Price Is Right, as well as announcing for Saturday Night Live
  • Rod Roddy, heard on Press Your Luck and The Price Is Right. Came to prominence as the announcer on Soap.
  • Shadoe Stevens, who did double duty on the John Davidson version of Hollywood Squares as both announcer and panelist, and continued announcing Hollywood Squares into the Tom Bergeron version; now the Talk Show announcer on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
  • Jay Stewart, the original announcer/TV tray carrier for Let's Make a Deal; he also announced for most of the 1980s run of Sale Of The Century.
    • Brian Cummings (season one) and Dean Goss (season two), the announcers/TV tray carriers for The All-New Let's Make a Deal
    • Jonathan Mangum, the current announcer/TV tray carrier for Let's Make A Deal
  • Jim Thornton (Wheel of Fortune after Charlie's death)
  • Charlie Tuna (Scrabble, after Jay Stewart left; also did The New Battlestars and Time Machine)
  • Randy West, who hasn't had too many prominent shows (the final few seasons of Supermarket Sweep excepted; he replaced Johnny Gilbert) but is very well known for interacting in the fandom, and wrote a biography on Johnny Olson. He was also a contestant on several shows, including Press Your Luck.
  • Kenny Williams, heard on The Hollywood Squares and most other Merrill Heatter/Bob Quigley shows.
  • Gene Wood, another Goodson/Todman workhorse best known for Family Feud.
  • Burton Richardson (The New Price Is Right [1994], Family Feud [1999-2010], Family Game Night [2010-2012])

Notable Talk Show announcers include:

  • Ed McMahon of The Tonight Show
  • Bill Wendell, associated with David Letterman; succeeded upon his death by Alan Kalter, who has also worked on various game shows and the USA Network
  • Ed Hall, then "Stuttering" John Melendez on Leno-era Tonight Show. Wally Wingert announces The Jay Leno Show.
  • Andy Richter for Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show and now Conan.
    • Joel Goddard for Late Night.
  • Gary Owens on Laugh-In.