Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"What the heck is VO imaging ? "

From time to time, someone will ask me what I mean by imaging, as it applies to the voice over world. The short answer is that it's the pre-recorded voice you hear promoting the upcoming newscast on your TV station ("Tonight at 10-find out where to buy the cheapest gas in your area!"). Or, the voice you hear between songs on your local radio station ("We play the most music! Star 104.7!"). It's what program directors use to "brand" their stations. There are many voice over talents who specialize in this type of work, and their voices are heard across the country on many stations or across networks. The money can be very good for exceptional talents in this niche of voice over.

One of the best  to ever come down the pike was Ernie Anderson. I grew up on the west side of Cleveland (Insert joke here) , and as a kid, use to watch Ernie on TV 8 as he hosted a scary/corny horror flick. He was "Hot in Cleveland" long before the current hit TV series with Betty White. Ernie went by the character name of Ghoulardi, and to say that his comedy bits were a bit strange and unpredictable is a huge understatement.

What's cool is, he used that local TV show as a springboard to launch an incredibly successful imaging career on national TV networks when he made the move to L.A. His voice would truly rattle your speakers. And believe it or not, some of his pre-recorded, generic, imaging liners are still being used by radio stations today, even though he died back in 1997. Many will remember him as the deep voiced "Love Boat" announcer.

Click on this link and then the other links you'll see to hear his amazing take on copy. Also, check out the video link you'll see to watch him and several other VO talents at work. The clip is very dated from an old L.A. TV magazine show, but still fun and interesting to watch.


  1. Remember Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MST3K)? At least, I think that's what it was called. Now that would have been a good voiceover gig!

  2. It also reminds me of the joke on Frasier when he goes to the bathroom during a commercial break, but has to run back just to say, in between the commercials, "You're listening to KACL 780AM - we'll be right back!" He yells at Roz, asking why this couldn't be pre-recorded. (Talk about "canned"!)


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