Voice Icons: Interview with David Lee

My interest in voice actors started at a very early age. I loved cartoons and listened to a lot of radio, and I was very curious to know what the people behind those voices looked like and who they were.

One of the voices that remained an enigma to me until recently was the iconic, oft-imitated promo voice for Monster Truck TV ads: “SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!” It was so hilariously over-the-top, and yet a monstrously effective voiceover (if you’ll pardon the pun).

For unknowns reasons, I never got around to researching the voice, nor did I ever think to ask among the VO pro community. And surprisingly, even Googling for “monster truck voice” is of little help.

But that voice is a mystery no longer. It belongs to voice imaging master David Lee [link: DavidLeeImaging.com]. Click on that link there and listen to the demos, and if you don’t recognize the voice instantly you should clean the wax out of your ears.

One of the primary reasons I first published my newsletter (now in its 10th year) and founded The Voice Actor Appreciation Society was to bring recognition to the people behind the voices you hear but seldom or rarely see. And OnMilwalkee.com has done that for David Lee in a recent interview. Here are some highlights:

OnMilwaukee.com: I’m a little surprised that on the phone, you sound like you do when I hear you on the radio.

David Lee: Well, there’s a little bit of acting in that. If I really talked that way, I’d scare a few people.

OMC: Can you turn it on and off easily?

DL: Yeah, it’s like an actor playing a part.

OMC: How did you develop your trademark sound?

DL: I guess it started back in the ’80s when I was trying to emulate a guy named Joe Kelly. He was a DJ way back and did all the concert spots. He was the voice of every hard rock station in America. Kelly was the voice of WLZR. I picked up on him, and the other stuff was mostly being directed toward a certain sound.

OMC: On the radio, you sound like you’re 7 feet tall. But you’re not. Your voice doesn’t match your physical persona. Are people surprised when they meet you?

DL: I do surprise a lot of people who tell me I don’t look like I sound.

Click here to read the complete interview which also includes a photo and a demo link.

Now maybe we can all sleep better tonight, finally knowing the name of that “monster truck voice guy.”

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