THE ANNOUNCER’S TEST
It’s been told that some decades ago, Jerry Lewis “performed” the following exercise while filling
in for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” It was called, “The Announcer’s Test “, originated in the early 1940s as a reading test for prospective radio talent. In that era, the “prospect” would read the progression for clarity, enunciation, diction, tonality and expressiveness.
And the prospect had to perform it PERFECTLY! No stumbles or stammers. Plus, it was to be read
with FEELING and MEANING!
It’s still a good tongue twister and a challenge for technique… and it’s silly. And doing voiceover is a lot of fun.
The trick that Lewis did was to read it like we sing “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” A progression, where you start with line one, then repeat line one and add line two. Then you do line 1 and 2 and add the third
line. Ready? Set….GO!
* One hen.
* Two ducks.
* Three squawking geese.
* Four limerick oysters.
* Five corpulent porpoises.
* Six pair of Don Alversos tweezers.
* Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array.
* Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred scripts of Egypt.
* Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates with a
masked propensity towards procrastination and sloth.
* Ten lyrical, spherical diabolical denizens of the deep who hall stall
around the corner of the quo or the quay of the quivery, all at the same
Hope that helps…. In my opinion, this is one of the best warm up exercises evah!
So enjoy while you warm up those articulators. … tongue, teeth and lips.