Radio

The Host Whisperer

|

This is funny:

You Washingtonians who get your morning news fix from National Public Radio may have noticed something over the years: All those NPR hosts, well, kinda sound the same. There's a very distinct NPR voice: Quiet, calm and careful.

Well, it's not an accident. Turns out NPR actually has someone on staff to help radio hosts perfect that soft and lulling voice: David Candow.

"Weekend Edition Saturday" host Scott Simon talked about Candow during a "Q&A Cafe" interview last week at Nathans restaurant.

"There is a man named David, who's called 'The Host Whisperer' and he works with people on their delivery skills," said Simon.

NEXT: Chinese Should Stick to Rice, Says Sen. Ethanol (R-Iowa)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I tip my hat to you sir. Clearly, you have perfected not having a real job to an art form. I could only hope to aspire to live in your shadow.

  2. Kind of like the BBC delivery that Monty Python mocked so well.

  3. Actually, I’d say the guy does a bang-up job. Those NPR guys and gals really are soothing to listen to.

  4. Very funny–I’ve always wondered. Still, I think that NPR’s Jackie Lyden has the BEST female radio voice I’ve ever heard. Great timbre, distinct without being fake, and all around lovely to listen to. Maybe the best voice period!

  5. Jackie Lyden’s good. Fucking sexy.
    But back in the day, Ann Taylor sounded like she’d chew the skin off your balls and ask for seconds.
    Anyway, fuck public radio. Shit’s dull.

  6. Oh, so he is the reason that every time I listen to NPR on the way to class I almost fall asleep at the wheel.

  7. But how are you supposed to get voters into a fear-driven rage with a calm voice?

  8. Rush,

    The calm voice has a purpose. Hypno-voice . . . I’m sure thats a real word . . .

  9. This is funny? I don’t even find it remarkable. As in ‘I don’t think it should be remarked upon’. I listen to a fair amount of NPR on the weekends. I know the voice you’re talking about. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that radio people obsess over the sound of their voices. Or that those voices are the product of that obsession.

  10. Who trains them to be Beltway-obsessed socialists? Does that pay well?

  11. Warren,

    Is this (warning: MP3 link) more remarkable? Probably not, and yet it is…compelling. Explanation here.

    Anon

  12. Does david candow swallow a bottle of valium every time “Car Talk” comes on?

  13. Who trains them to be Beltway-obsessed socialists? Does that pay well?

    It usually does, but the trick is getting tenure.

  14. Sounds like a twist on Psychological Anti-Warfare at its finest. In a strange, trance-inducing way.

  15. That’s funny, Abdul.
    I can hear just hear Tom Magliozzi screech, “And even though David Candow swallows a bottle of valium every time we say it, this is National Public Radio.”

  16. And they’re all named Nina Cokieheimer.

  17. At least the NPR announcers can still speak in declarative sentences.
    What makes me nuts is the under-30 “progressive” types who speak in halting pauses that end with a question mark: “I hope…Osama wins? It would be good…for the COUNTRY?” It’s as if they’re afraid ofspeaking with authority lest they come off like a redneck warmonger.

  18. Yes, but without him, we would never have had the NPR gals and Pete Schwetty – LOL funny.

  19. Does he teach tos annoying golf commentators how to speak too?

  20. Jackie Lyden? Not a patch on Alison Steele, the Nightbird, BITD on the old WNEW-FM.

    My current “audio crush” is the Irish lady (named Quinn?) who does the news updates on WBBR 1130 AM/Bloomberg radio in the evenings. She’s magic!

    Kevin

  21. As I’ve stated before on H&R, NPR announcers sound like they’ve been lobotomized.

    If true, this could also explain why they all become beltway-obsessed socialists.

  22. Barry: Was that an intentional or accidental Osama/Obama mix-up?

  23. Mee-shell Norris.

    Mee-shell Norris.

    Mee-shell Norris.

    Mee-shell Norris.

    Okay, I’m ’bout ready to kill somebody now.

  24. Funny. I always heard that as Nichelle Norris. Figured she was named after Uhura or something like that.

  25. I personally enjoy listening to the gentle clacking of Carl Castle’s dentures in the background.

  26. They must slip in the Diane Rehm show while Candow is at lunch?

    That woman has the voice of a 90-year tracheotomy patient.

  27. Heck, even SNL had a series of skits about this for awhile–one of their better recent ones, actually.

  28. Sports announcers all talk with the same voice too. And they always blab so much they lose focus on important shit that is going on.

  29. They must slip in the Diane Rehm show while Candow is at lunch?

    That woman has the voice of a 90-year tracheotomy patient.

    She has “Spasmodic dysphonia (or laryngeal dystonia) is a voice disorder characterized by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the larynx (vocal folds or voice box) during speech.” (from Wikipedia)

  30. I like NPR. One thing that really bugs me though, is that many of the hosts do this thing where they loudly suck in before they make a point or ask a question. It’s a spit-filled kind of reverse hiss, “shshshshshshsh”. It somehow can go unnoticed, but once you notice it, it’s really annoying.

  31. kebko,

    I always was annoyed by audio quizzes in Spanish class, because you could hear the people’s spit clicking around when they talked. It made me want to puke.

  32. One thing that really bugs me though, is that many of the hosts do this thing where they loudly suck in before they make a point or ask a question. It’s a spit-filled kind of reverse hiss, “shshshshshshsh”. It somehow can go unnoticed, but once you notice it, it’s really annoying.

    YES! I’m not the only one. Can’t they fix that?

  33. It’s not the radio hosts breathing or sucking. It’s the sound of the Star Trek-like doors to their studios opening and closing.

  34. Here’s a great comment on a Seattle public radio heavyweight, Steve Scher:
    “the genius of Steve Scher is that he’s distilled this murmuring NPR baritone into a thing that floats free of content altogether. His show has a languorous, luxuriously shapeless quality, like your favorite bathrobe. He may seem to be drifting comfortably away as his guests drone on about bird sanctuaries and the mayor of Vancouver. But don’t think he’s not listening. He’s listening exactly as much as you are.”

    http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-03-26/diversions/ask-an-uptight-seattleite.php

  35. If he was that good, he’d do something about the denture-slipping side-lisping Daniel Schorr. That man has no business being in radio anymore.

  36. Daniel Schorr

    That mangled puke is still mouthing off? I figured that fucker to have shit his final diaper a long time ago.
    God, he’s intolerable.

  37. Abdul
    I think she has mental disphonia as well…you can’t figure out what the fuck she’s talking about becasue of her brain spasms

  38. Is he the guy who stuffs the ice pick into their brains and performs the lobotomy as well?..cause they’re all brain damaged fools

  39. And yet, Nina Totenberg continues to elude capture by Candow. She’s a sly one, with her fingernails on the chalkbaord voice, mocking David with every harsh and grating syllable.

    If he used a rocket propelled net, like they used to use on Wild Kingdom, he would have nabbed her by now.

    Mee-shell Norris.

    I thought it was just me who was driven nuts by this over-educated, psuedo-intellectual clam bake of a J-school reject’s ruination of her own name. I have one of these where I work. She’s a useless fucknut of a babbling imbecile who is openly loathed by each and every staffer.

  40. I noticed that they haven’t coached Daniel Schorr – and thank Gawd for that.

    NPR male announcers almost all sound like Ira Glass – emasculated. Like their balls never dropped.

  41. Of course Daniel Schorr is 91 years old. We need more older folks on the radio.

  42. no one has mentioned the irony of all the hit and runners who love public radio?

  43. I occasionally listen to NPR, but I certainly don’t love it. I love my Teaching Company CDs, which is what I usually listen to on my never-ending commute.

  44. It’s listener-supported public radio! At least that’s what they say during fund drives.

  45. That mp3 link above is great; I put it on repeat for the best meditation loop I’ve encountered in a while. Thanks!

  46. I find the “NPR Voice” to be as grating as the “Wacky Morning DJ Voice.” It oozes pretension.

  47. Oh, so he is the reason that every time I listen to NPR on the way to class I almost fall asleep at the wheel.

    Yeah, because it’s not like an evening of PBR, Jager shots and an AMF nightcap could have anything to do with it… 🙂

  48. “Barry: Was that an intentional or accidental Osama/Obama mix-up?”
    accidental…odd, considering I detest the “Obama=Muslim” meme that the right have been milking; maybe it’s working…ON ME!!!(dun, dun, DUNNN!!!!!!)

  49. Here we are interviewing Mr. Peter Schweaty.

  50. Providing Personal Finance News like Insurance, Loan, Debt, Business, Pension, Payday Loan and other Debt Settlement Blog.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.