Bob LeMond was one of the most iconic TV announcers of all time
He introduced us to I Love Lucy and made his last announcement on The Addams Family.
Pay close attention during The Addams Family episode "The Addams Family and the Spaceman," and you can catch a bit of TV history.
About two minutes into the episode, Gomez, Morticia and Uncle Fester catch a radio announcement while driving in their convertible. Urgently, an announcer’s voice reports an unidentified spacecraft flying over the very cemetery where the Addams family has planned a moonlight picnic.
The announcer heard in this broadcast was none other than Bob LeMond, who from the 1930s to the 1960s was quite possibly America’s most iconic announcer of all time for radio and TV. And this scene in The Addams Family, marks the last announcement he ever made on a TV show.
LeMond is perhaps most famous for serving as the announcer for Lucille Ball’s radio show My Favorite Husband. When it came time for Ball to debut I Love Lucy, he also served as the announcer for the pilot, which was lost for years, and when it was found, his introduction had been lopped off.
This piece of TV history was so important to I Love Lucy fans that LeMond went back and re-recorded the original announcing he did, so that the pilot could be experienced as closely as possible to how it was originally.
LeMond was a popular announcer, with very specific ideas about what made an announcer good. His top three requirements were sincerity, warmth and friendliness, qualities he embodied for decades with a voice that audiences loved and trusted, whether he was announcing the Best Picture winner or the first-ever Raid commercial to feature Bugs Bunny.
Oppenheimer’s dad Jess was a producer, writer and director of My Favorite Husband when it was on the radio, and then later went on to be a writer for I Love Lucy. His son Gregg spoke about LeMond on his behalf.
"He was that familiar voice that people heard at everything from Leave It to Beaver to the Academy Awards, but they didn’t know his name," Oppenheimer said. "He was also one of the nicest guys in the business."
LeMond never planned to become one of the most familiar announcer voices of all time, though.
He got his start announcing when his brother-in-law asked him to fill in as an announcer for a commercial for his company. After that, LeMond never stopped announcing, though, soon joining CBS before a stint in the Armed Forces Radio Service.
While enlisted, LeMond trained other announcers and met his wife Barbara Brewster, who was performing in a USO troupe with her twin sister. The story goes that he saw their poster and knew she was the one.
When they met, Barbara was sure that she knew him, likely because his voice had already become so familiar to millions. "Have we met before?" she asked, and he said no, but asked her to dinner.
After the war, LeMond returned to announcing gigs on both CBS and NBC, becoming unavoidable on the dial.
His voice — which the South Gate Daily Press-Tribune reported "causes as much fluttering of feminine hearts in his audience as the stars with whom he appears" — made him everybody’s top choice in an announcer, especially for top-flight network shows.
Over the years, outside of the minor celebrity he achieved as one of the country’s best announcers, LeMond enjoyed his success from this work because it gave him regular hours and afforded him a lot of quality time with his wife Barbara and their three kids.
That’s why when the demand for TV announcers started waning in the Sixties, LeMond didn’t mind it so much, retiring from announcing abruptly after warning The Addams Family of a potential alien invasion.
With all his free time, he enjoyed boating and playing golf, and for work, occasionally, he dabbled in real estate, but mostly, he just liked hanging out with his family, something his kids said he always made time for.
"We thought he had a great job because he could spend a lot of time with his family," said LeMond’s oldest son, Rob. "He didn’t have to go to work from 9 to 5. He wasn’t a celebrity movie star, but he was certainly well-known."