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The Announcer

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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.

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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:

  • Gene Baker, the original announcer for Queen for a Day during its run on NBC, having previously announced for the show during its original run on the radio on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
  • Jack Clark, announcer for Wheel of Fortune and the original host of The Cross Wits; tended to both host and voice various Bob Stewart projects
  • Bob Clayton, a Concentration announcer and substitute host, promoted to full-time host in 1969
  • Rich Fields (The Price Is Right)
  • Wayne Howell on Concentration and the Miss America Pageant
  • Johnny Gilbert, current announcer of Jeopardy!, and the first announcer for the 1990s revival of Supermarket Sweep; also announced various other series, including The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime and much of the 1980s runs of Pyramid.
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  • George Gray (The Price Is Right). Also has hosting experience (Extreme Gong, Junkyard Wars, The Weakest Link)
  • John Harlan (Password, Name That Tune, Catchphrase, Wipeout (1988) American Gladiators, the ABC run of Queen for a Day)
  • Harvey (John Harvey), best known for being Marc Summers' announcer on Double Dare (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 and various Barry and Enright series starting in 1981.
  • Johnny Jacobs, announcer of most 1970s Chuck Barris series (The Gong Show, Treasure Hunt US), as well as the CBS years of The Joker's Wild.
  • Johnny Olson, whose voice is synonymous with Mark Goodson/Bill Todman productions (including The Price Is Right and Match Game)
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  • 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; also did the short-lived series Whew!, Hit Man and Battlestars.
  • 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; also the Talk Show announcer on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and the official voice of Antenna TV
  • 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, and announced various Barry-Enright series in the late 70s.
    • Brian Cummings (season one) and Dean Goss (season two), the announcers/TV tray carriers for The All-New Let's Make a Deal; Goss would also announce the 1987-88 revival of High Rollers and was a substitute on Pyramid,
    • Jonathan Mangum, the current announcer/TV tray carrier for Let's Make A Deal
  • Jim Thornton (Wheel of Fortune after Charlie O's death)
  • Charlie Tuna (Scrabble, after Jay Stewart left; also did The New Battlestars and Time Machine), also announced Alan Thicke's show Thicke of the Night
  • Randy West, who hasn't had too many prominent shows (the final few seasons of Supermarket Sweep being an exception; he replaced Johnny Gilbert sometime after the show's move to PAX due to Gilbert's salary being considered too expensive for the bean counters at PAX) 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, where he was the first to retire undefeated, the first to win a car, and the first to shout "Big Bucks, No Whammies".
  • 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, most of the Tom Kennedy run of The Price is Right and Password (Plus/Super).
  • Burton Richardson (The New Price Is Right [1994], Family Feud [1999-2010], To Tell the Truth [1990-91, 2000-01], Family Game Night [2010-2012]) as well as The Arsenio Hall Show.

Notable Talk Show announcers include:

  • Ed McMahon of The Tonight Show, also hosted Star Search
  • 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 announced The Jay Leno Show.
  • Andy Richter for Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show and now Conan.
    • Joel Goddard for Late Night.
  • Gary Owens on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In; he also hosted a short lived spinoff, Letters to Laugh-In, as well as the first syndicated season of The Gong Show.

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