By Stephanie Ciccarelli
February 23, 2010
Ever heard of The Announcer's Test?
One of my friends on Facebook happened to mention it to me and I thought you might be interested in learning more about this challenging yet fascinating elocution exercise.
This is the sort of thing that people wishing to enter into broadcast television and radio may encounter and warrants featuring and discussion amongst the voice over community.
Learn more in today's VOX Daily!
Announcers have the exciting job and responsibility of sharing the news or providing commentary live without much time to review what has been handed to them to read. To be a professional announcer, one has to be quick on their verbal feet and on the ball so to speak to deliver a message clearly.
While some aspects of announcing can be rehearsed in the cases of award shows, game shows, and special events there are always surprises along the way that an announcer needs to be mentally prepared for in order to articulate on the go.
How do announcers prepare for cold copy live to air?
The Announcer's Test, as it is commonly referred to, originated in the 1940s at Radio Central New York employed as a cold reading test given to aspiring radio talent to demonstrate their reading ability.
à¹ 10 factors that use every letter in the alphabet a variety of times
According to Wikipedia, Del Moore, a long time friend of Jerry Lewis', took this test at Radio Central New York in 1941, and passed it on to him. Jerry has performed this test on radio, television and stage for many years, and it has become a favorite tongue-twister (and memory challenge) for his fans around the world.
à¹ One hen
à¹ Two ducks
à¹ Three squawking geese
à¹ Four limerick oysters
à¹ Five corpulent porpoises
à¹ Six pairs of Don Alverzo's tweezers
à¹ Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array
à¹ Eight brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred crypts of Egypt
à¹ Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth
à¹ Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who haul stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time.
Others have created variations of The Announcer's Test, even entirely new material in the same vein, compiling zany tongue twisters in the middle of relatively reasonable speech patterns. One such example is The Price is Right episode from September 15th, 1988 where announcer Rod Roddy (1937-2003) performed a number of "dreaded announcer tests" as he reveals the showcase packages.
I happened to find a video of Jerry Lewis reciting The Announcer's Test. Enjoy!
I'm curious to learn if this is something that you've come across before, and if so, how did you hear about the exercise and how often you use it?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
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