Good, Bad, Ugly: The TPIR Announcer Tryouts
Originally posted: October 22, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

The talk about Rich Fields being let go from his announcer gig this past summer was immense. A lot of the TPIR fanbois and regular fans were crying foul. Although Rich wasn't the best announcer, he was pretty damned good. Not only that, he actually started to grow into the new sidekick role that he and Drew started to do when Drew decided to make the show his own a couple years ago. I enjoyed the banter and companionship between the two. Not only that, but Drew was Rich's biggest supporter. Which, makes it odd when out of the 3 announcers that tried out, two of them worked with Drew on the Improv All Stars tour or on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Well, they've all had their tryouts, now it's time to see how they did. I will be giving the good, the bad and the ugly for all 3 announcers.

We start with the first tryout announcer in JD Roberto. He was the first to get the tryout after Rich was let go. You may remember him as the guy that hosted the bastardized Shop 'til You Drop back in 2003-2005 on PAX, now ION. He also was the first host of Flamingo Fortune and hosted the Animal Planet show, You Lie Like A Dog.

Let's start with the Good: He sounds like he's comfortable and doesn't make that many mistakes while reading the copy. He had that experience of dealing with big, lively crowds when he was doing Flamingo Fortune. So, out of the three that tried out, he's the most comfortable in his position.

The Bad: Yeah, he's JD Roberto. He's a major turn-off to the hardcore fanbase because most of them found him completely annoying when he was hosting STYD: Costco edition. Sometimes he also doesn't know when to not talk into the mic.

The Ugly: And it's a very big ugly. During most of the shows, you could hear him insult the contestants while the show is going on. That to me is a very big no-no. The announcer role should be one where you also bring up the contestant. Not smite them when they do something foolish. That's for the audience to do when they give a horrendous bid or don't get the wheel around all the way.

Next up is Jeff Davis. He's one of Drew's buddies that he worked with on Whose Line is it Anyway? and on Improv All-Stars. He's a very talented comedian and not a bad singer to boot.

The Good: He brings the party atmosphere that the current heads of TPIR are looking for. He's also what they look for in a sidekick to Drew. Not only that, he also takes up for Jonathan Mangum from Deal, He will describe the prizes, while playing with them so to speak.

The Bad: He also tends to get lost sometimes and a good chunk of his announcing is done in post production because he sometimes flubs his lines so bad that he has to redo them in order for them to get it right.

The Ugly: There's the small fact that he seems to come off as an annoying worm when he isn't behind the microphone. Not only that, he sometimes comes off as a tool.

Finally, there's Brad Sherwood. He was the most recent tryout for the show. He is also experienced like JD with hosting The Dating Game from 1996-1997. Another show I have to talk about in the future. And like Jeff Davis, he's one of Drew's buddies from Whose Line & Improv All-Stars.

The Good: Well, he's got experience. That's pretty much all I can say.

The Bad: He, like Jeff Davis, has most of his announcing done in post production. And unlike Jeff, his is really noticeable. This is making me feel that he was ill-prepared to handle these types of duties. Don't get me wrong, he's a great comedian.

The Ugly: But it doesn't help when you look, sound and probably feel very ill-at-ease behind the microphone. Aside from that, he sounds very very fake when he's actually starting the show and telling contestants to come on down.

So, if I had to choose between either one of these three, then I'd probably choose Jeff Davis. At least he shows some enthusiasm without sounding fake & most importantly, he doesn't insult the contestants. Either way, Drew and Co. need to do some more tryouts for people. Heck, give Howard Finkel from WWE a shot. He did a damned good job when Monday Night Raw did The Price Is RAW back in 2009 with Bob Barker. But, I'm dreaming there. I just hope that Price picks right, otherwise, we could be in for a long stretch.

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