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Remembering Gary Owens, the voice




Actor Gary Owens speaks during the 'The Best of Laugh-In' panel at the PBS portion of the 2011 Winter TCA press tour held at the Langham Hotel on January 8, 2011 in Pasadena, California.
Actor Gary Owens speaks during the 'The Best of Laugh-In' panel at the PBS portion of the 2011 Winter TCA press tour held at the Langham Hotel on January 8, 2011 in Pasadena, California.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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In 2008, I met one of my heroes, Gary Owens, at Jerry's Diner in Encino.

It was a long interview and covered his life and career, and the power of the announcer.

After it aired, I'd call on Gary for a favor now and then, and he always called back, and whether he was leaving a message or speaking to me in person, he'd always say, "Hi, John. It's Gary Owens."

Yes, Gary, I knew it was you. How could that remarkable voice be anybody else?

I'm terribly sad that phone call will never come again. Gary died Thursday; he was 80.

Here's the whole interview, from the Off-Ramp archive.