Orson Welles
We Know a Farm...

This tape of a British session has been circulating for years...

The famous actor/director appears to be reading inept voice-over copy for some frozen-food spots while trying to keep up with pictures. His directors (or ad-agency hangers-ons and suits) have no idea how to communicate with him. Luckily, some anonymous recording engineer kept a tape recorder rolling.

Wikipedia says some people insist this is from a Toronto recording session in the '80s. I know that I got this copy from another engineer in 1972. I've also heard it spoofed in the British radio comedy series "I'm Sorry, I'll Read that Again", with the name "Orson" replaced by "Lionel". Wikipedia says that show ran from 1963 to 1973.

More recently, this session has been spoofed on the American children's cartoon "Animaniacs" (link to video clip), and the cult adult cartoon series "The Critic".

You'll also hear a reference to it at end of an underground spoof on v/o sessions, Advertising in the Year 2000, which I produced in 1981 and has been circulating at studios since.

In early 2005, artist Alan Rhodes sent me a link to his 3-minute dance-mix version. It probably doesn't make much sense unless you've listened to the original first.

Want to learn how to avoid sessions like Orson's?
This is a multi-generation analog tape which has picked up a lot of noise on the way. Be forgiving...

This site is maintained by Clio- and Emmy-winning sound designer
and industry author Jay Rose.

To Top of Site

tutorials, studio info, more

To Site's Humor Index

To books

about audio for video