BATMAN/ABC/1966-68 (Batman Narrator) - Each episode of the fantasy
adventure BATMAN was narrated by William Dozier, the program's executive
producer. With a questioning and menacing tone, the narrator would follow the
storyline and drop corny ad libs along the way. The show ended with the classic
signature closing invoking the viewers to tune in "Same time...Same Bat
THE BROTHERS GARCIA/NIK/2000-02 (Larry Garcia) - Colombian born comic
John Leguizamo narrates the program as the never seen but now grown up Larry
Garcia (ala an Hispanic Wonder Years). Larry Garcia (Alvin Alvarez) is an
imaginative 11-year-old loner who lives with his Mexican-American family in San
CRIME & PUNISHMENT/NBC/1993 (The Interrogator) - James Sloyan provided
the voice of the unseen "Interrogator" who interrupted characters (victims.
criminals. police) in mid-action to ask them questions on this short-lived six
episode police drama.
FACE TO FACE/NBC/1946-47 (Voices behind the scene) - This art quiz
program featured an artist (Bill Dunn) who drew pictures of unseen persons
guided by clues he received from conversations heard from behind curtains or
over a telephone. .When completed, the sketch was shown to the studio audience.
Eddie Dunn was the interviewer/host of the series.
FARAWAY HILL/DUM/1946 (Voice off screen) - The first network television
soap FARAWAY HILL about a wealthy widow, Flora Campbell (Karen St. John) who
retired to the country to escape the pressures of everyday living, featured an
unseen female narrator who guided the viewer through the program events with her
off-camera comments. This was a technique carried over from radio where the
narrator helped summarize and question events in the plot.
TRIVIA NOTE: THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW/CBS/1967-78
did a satirical take-off of soap operas called AS THE STOMACH TURNS set in the
fictional town of Canoga Falls where Carol played the town bitch. At the end of
each sketch an off-camera voice (Lyle Waggoner) would speculate on the outcome
of the characters actions by asking questions that began with "Will...? and
followed by "Tune in next time for another episode of "As The Stomach Turns."
THE INNER SANCTUM/SYN/1954 (Mr. Raymond) - This TV spin-off of the spooky
radio program "The Inner Sanctum" featured the unseen announcer Mr. Raymond
(voice of Paul McGrath) who narrated mystery tales amidst the trademark sound of
a creaky door.
SING IT AGAIN/CBS/1950-51 (The Phantom Voice) - Before NAME THAT TUNE
there was SING IT AGAIN, a musical quiz program where contestants from the
studio audience tried to identify songs from only a few notes. The home audience
segment featured "The Phantom Voice." The host Dan Seymour (1950-51) & Jan
Murray (1951) placed four telephone calls during the program telecast. If the
home viewer could identify a famous celebrity's voice, they were awarded a fifty
dollar savings bond, and on occasion a possible jackpot of $15,000 was offered.
THE WALTONS/CBS/1972-81 (John Boy Walton) - This rural family drama set
in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Jefferson County, Virginia during the Depression
was based on the childhood reminiscences of the series' creator, Earl Hamner,
Jr. who though not seen would narrate the opening and closings of each show. His
voice was supposed to be John Boy Walton as an older man who was recalling
stories about his family when they lived atop Walton Mountain in the 1930-40s.
Richard Thomas played the part of the younger John Boy, an aspiring writer who
chronicled all the family's events.
THE WHISTLER/SYN/1954-55 (The Whistler) - This suspense anthology about
people in crisis was hosted by an unseen narrator known only as "The Whistler,"
whose signature was a distinctive musical whistle (whistled by Dorothy Roberts).
Bill Forman provided the voice of this mysterious faceless stranger who began
each program with the following introduction "I am the Whistler, and I know many
things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales hidden in the hearts of
men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terror
of which they dare not speak" The series was based on the 1942 radio program of
the same name. The WHISTLER theme was composed by Wilbur Hatch.
THE WONDER YEARS/ABC/1988-93 (Kevin Arnold) - Set in the late 1960s and
early 1970s, the WONDER YEARS told the adventures of a 12-year-old Kevin Arnold
(Fred Savage) who struggled with his emerging adolescence; his bully older
brother, Wayne (Jason Hervey); his seemingly stern father, Jack (Dan Lauria);
and his continuing romance with Gwendolyn "Winnie" Cooper (Danica McKellar), a
beautiful young girl next door. Actor Daniel Stern, provided the adult
off-screen voice of Kevin Arnold who nostalgically related his youthful days at
Hillcrest Grammar School and later Robert F. Kennedy Junior High. Daniel Stern
later parodied his voice-over narration on the sitcom THE SIMPSONS when a
grownup Bart reminisced about his childhood.
THE WONDERFUL JOHN ACTON/NBC/1953 (John Acton) - Set in Ludlow, Kentucky,
this rural family drama told the stories of the Acton's, an Irish family living
along the Ohio Valley in the year 1919. The series was narrated by Luis Van
Rooten as the unseen grandfather Kevin Acton who reminisced about his childhood
growing up in a small American town. Ronnie Walken played Kevin as a young man.
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