It doesn’t happen so much these days but during the Golden Age of Television a regular part of any show would be a short little opening announcement, some funny, some spooky, some downright weird and all going a little way to describe what was in store. Here we take a look at 8 of our favourites.
HONG KONG PHOOEY (ABC 1974)
Announcer: Who is this superhero? …Sarge? No… Rosemary, the telephone operator?… No… Henry, the mild mannered janitor?
Henry: Could be…
Then straight into the just as classic Hong Kong Phooey Theme Tune.
QUANTUM LEAP (NBC 1989-1993)
Female Announcer: Dr Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum leap accelerator. He finds himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images of his own self and driven by an unknown force to make history for the better. His only guide on this journey is Al, an observer from his own time in the form of a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. And so Dr Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life striving to make right what once was wrong, hoping each time he leaps will be the last.
STAR TREK (NBC 1966-1969)
Of course, I’m sure most of us could recite this one verbatim but we couldn’t not include it.
Captain Kirk: Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It’s five year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilisations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Which reminds us of our favorite joke “how many ears does Captain Kirk have? Three – his left ear, his right ear and his final front ear” boom boom, it’s the way we tell ’em of course.
I DREAM OF JEANNIE (NBC 1965-1970)
AnnouncerL Once upon a time in a mythical place called Cape Kennedy, an astronaut named Tony Nelson went up on a space mission. The missile went up but something went wrong and they had to bring it down. Captain Nelson landed on an island in the South Pacific where he found a bottle – at least it looked like a bottle, but it didn’t act like a bottle….
True Jeannie-us that one…
THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW (CBS 1960-1968)
Announcer: The Andy Griffith Show…. Starring Andy Griffith… with Ronny Howard. Also starring Don Knotts. Brought to you by Post, the cereals that start your day off a little better. Post.
An example of how so many vintage shows had their own long running sponsors.
THE INVADERS (ABC 1967-1968)
Announcer: The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose – to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road looking for a shortcut he never found. It began with a closed, deserted diner and man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy. Now David Vincent knows the Invaders are here, that they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.
Another sci-fi classic and one of David Icke’s favorite shows.
THE OUTER LIMITS (ABC 1963-1965)
Announcer: There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can change the focus from a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to The Outer Limits.
CAPTAIN CAVEMAN AND THE TEEN ANGELS (ABC 1980)
Announcer: Set free by the Teen Angels from his block of glacier ice comes the world’s first superhero – Captain Caveman. Now as the constant companion to the Teen Angels, Brenda, Dee Dee and Taffy, he faces hilarious and sometimes scary mystery missions. Get ready for Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels.
Yes we do know that you are all now bellowing “Captain Cavemaaaannn” at the top of your lungs.