11 items from 2015
One of the great voices of television and radio, Gary Owens died on Thursday at his Los Angeles home. Owens is best known for his work as the announcer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and coining the phrase "beautiful downtown Burbank." He is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Arleta Lee Markell, and their two sons, Scott and Chris. He was 80. His was an iconic voice alongside Casey Kasem. Owens got his start working in radio stations throughout the Midwest and the South. He became a disc jockey in Los Angeles at Kfwb-am in 1961 and moved to Kmpc-am, where he worked for two decades. In addition to Laugh-In, he appeared on animated shows from Space Ghost to The Ren & Stimpy Show, narrated Sesame Street segments, and did commercials and intros for television shows like Bewitched. Here is a pretty delightful one that he did for »
- E. Alex Jung
Gary Owens, the radio and TV performer best known for serving as the announcer for Laugh-In, died Thursday at his Los Angeles home. He was 80. Gary Owens Dies Owens’ son Chris Owens confirmed his passing, saying that his father, who had been battling diabetes since age eight, was surrounded by family when he died. […]
- Chelsea Regan
Gary Owens, the famous voice of “Laugh-In,” died on Thursday at his Encino, California, home after succumbing to diabetes-related complications. He was 80. The veteran talent, who enjoyed a long career as a radio DJ, voice performer and TV announcer, served as the announcer for NBC’s “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” from 1968 to 1973. His trademarks included the catchphrase “beautiful downtown Burbank” — said in a deep, booming voice — and holding his hand over his ear while he announced. See Photos: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2015 Owens was the first radio star to be inducted into the Hollywood HaIl of Fame presented by the Hollywood. »
- Travis Reilly
In a career that spanned seven decades, Gary Owens' role as the off-the-wall announcer on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was a highlight that has become part of broadcasting history. Owens, who died Thursday at 80, will always be remembered as he cupped his hand over his ear and provided the voice of the comedy show that reinvented comedy. When he got the job just before the series launched in 1968 — and made comedy history — Owen's "audition" was anything but standard, recalls George Schlatter, now 82, who was the hit show's creator and executive producer. Schlatter's
- Alex Ben Block
He also lent his voice to hundreds of programs, such as Sesame Street and Yogi’s Treasure Hunt and, more recently, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Wizards of Waverly Place, Johnny Bravo and Dexter’s Laboratory.
Owens passed away at his Los Angeles-area home and is survived by his wife of 57 years, Arleta, and their two sons.
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Gary Owens, a radio and TV announcer and voiceover artist who will always be remembered as the voice of the seminal NBC comedy series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, died on Thursday at 80. Owens died due to complications from diabetes, which he had suffered from since the age of 8. His son, Chris Dane Owens, a producer and musician, told The Hollywood Reporter that his father died peacefully at his home in Encino, surrounded by family. His son said Owens continued to work until he was 79, furthering a career that began when he was 16 years old. Read
- Alex Ben Block
Though best known as the announcer for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Gary Owens enjoyed a long and varied career up until his death on Thursday. He was 80. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, his rep said in a statement to People. The veteran announcer, whose career spanned seven decades, worked until the end; a month before his death, he had voiced TV promos.Owens began his career as a voice-over artist in 1949, but his big break came in 1966 as the voice of cartoon superhero Space Ghost. He went on to provide voices for The Green Hornet, Batman and »
- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl
Though best known as the announcer for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Gary Owens enjoyed a long and varied career up until his death on Thursday. He was 80. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, his rep said in a statement to People. The legendary announcer, whose career spanned seven decades, worked until the end; a month before his death, he had voiced TV promos.Owens began his career as a voice-over artist in 1949, but his big break came in 1966 as the voice of cartoon superhero Space Ghost. He went on to provide voices for The Green Hornet, Batman and »
- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl
Radio, TV and voiceover performer Gary Owens died on Feb. 12 at his home in the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles. Owens, who was 80, had been a diabetic since the age of 8.
Owens was probably best known as the announcer on NBC’s “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” (1968-73), with his trademark hand-over-the-ear announcing style. On the show, John Wayne once imitated Owens announcing. The phrase Owens created on his Kmpc radio show, “Beautiful downtown Burbank,” later became a nightly catchphrase on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.”
Owens also lent his voice to more than 3,000 cartoons, providing the voice of “Space Ghost” as well as Blue Falcon, Roger Ramjet, Powdered Toast Man and even Batman. He was animated as himself in “Garfield and Friends,” “The Fantastic Four,” “Eek the Cat” and “Bobby’s World.”
Owens had a mellifluous baritone voice with impeccable nuanced timing, and was equally adept at comedy or deadpan delivery. »
- Variety Staff
On the eve of its 40th anniversary special (though the anniversary itself isn't until October), what is left to say about "Saturday Night Live"? There have been multiple books written about the show, several documentaries, countless essays — riding the never-ending roller-coaster between "Saturday Night Dead" and "Saturday Night Lives Again!" — best-ofs, worst-ofs, and every other kind of list you can think of. I don't know that anything I write over the next few pages will provide new insight into one of the most influential comedy shows ever made, but I wondered if you could tell the story of the show — through good times and bad, through revolutions and evolutions and retrenchments — by looking at its sketches. I wound up picking 21 in all: some among the show's most famous, some obscure but important. These aren't meant as a definitive breakdown of the best "SNL" ever had to offer, but as a »
- Alan Sepinwall
It may be difficult to recall (or imagine) a time when an uncivil war of words between politically disparate intellectuals was sufficiently novel to generate massive media coverage and score impressive Nielsen numbers. It is very much to the credit of co-directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon that their “Best of Enemies,” a thoroughly engrossing and surprisingly entertaining documentary about the notorious 1968 televised clash between conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. and liberal gadfly Gore Vidal, is both fascinating as a glimpse at the not so distant past, and provocative as an account of what arguably was an early step in the decline of political discourse on television. After limited theatrical play and pubcast rotation, the film should enjoy a long shelf life as a teaching tool in broadcasting, political science and communications studies courses.
Ironically, the documakers emphasize early on, this epochal event was less a primetime innovation than a product of desperation. »
- Joe Leydon
11 items from 2015
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