The Voice of Cheer.
Ah Santa Claus. Rosy cheeks. Round belly. Cheery smile. And, above all, a booming jovial voice. While it’s nearly impossible to pin down exactly where our western idea of Santa’s iconic merry tone originates, you might imagine Stan Francis, who voiced Santa in the 1964 stop motion classic, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Or perhaps John Moore, who starred in countless Christmas ads for Coca-Cola. Or maybe House Jameson, who voiced Santa Claus in The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, a radio play by Norman Corwin, first performed as early as 1938. Possibly even Edward Ivory, in Tim Burton’s classic film The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Santa has been portrayed both by household names like Tom Hanks, Jim Broadbent and Mickey Rooney throughout the years. But it’s also a common character voice impersonation for those of us “less famous” in the voice-over world as well. The classic, rumbling “ho ho ho” has been uttered by countless actors and voice-actors over the past hundred or so years. Via radio, TV, blockbuster hits and direct-to-video films, Santa’s appeared as lead actor, supporting actor, voice actor and brief cameo appearance in both dramatic and comedic roles. Actors who portray him are incredibly diverse in age, gender, accent and race. Although Santa may have meant something specific in, say, the 1950’s, now in 2019, there’s hardly one idea of Santa.
At Voquent, we feel the uniting factor is the holiday spirit of generosity that inspires and ignites the voice of this character above all. And we’re definitely not alone! It seems like everyone wants a piece of the jolly red guy this time of year. Nowadays you can have Santa give you directions on your smart phone, call a hotline to chat and ask him questions, download a voice changer to help you sound more like Santa and leave messages for your friends and family, and so much more. The voice seems to embody holiday cheer more universally than any other holiday tradition.
Tied inextricably to memories of childhood, gifts, wish-fulfillment and happiness, no wonder so many of us are warmed by this voice as much as by hot-cocoa (or spiked cider 😉) this time of year. In keeping with the holiday spirit of inclusiveness, diversity, and holiday cheer, we’re creating a Voquent Profile for Santa, chock full of voices in a variety of portrayals and accents. We are excited to showcase our talented actors in a new way this year. We’ll be updating this database over the holiday season with your help, showcasing our favorite portrayals of good ol’ Saint Nick, both traditional and non-traditional alike. Santa voices run the gamut of comedic, booming, kind, serious, dramatic, ironic, funny and serious so send us whatever you’ve got. We know the talent on our Voquent roster is unparalleled and can’t wait to see what unexpected places you all will take this fun holiday “assignment”!
Seriously, we need your help! We can’t choose which is best and want you to make up your own mind by listening to a few of our top Santa voice picks below.
Have a listen to some of the best Santa voices.
And if you think you’re a top Santa contender, add a sample to your profile with the tag “Santa” or email it to email@example.com and we’ll add it to Santa’s profile. We’re keen to here from voices of all creeds.
Happy holidays one and all, may we each be filled with the spirit and voice of cheer all season long!
Caroline Cole voice over actor and writer.
Al Black Voquent.com’s Production Director.