Back to Jaw About Odyssey
|See Chris Anthony's voice listing|
Those of us who have been with AIO for a while have noticed a major change in the program. Early on in the beginning of the program, the announcer Chris introduced every show with a "wraparound" skit. She would welcome the listener to the program and then interact with other characters in a smaller-scale story. Some times the story would take the form of Chris talking to the mailman about letters to AIO or to an inventor about an invention which related to the episode. Often the story would be concluded at the end of the broadcast. These stories never (to my knowledge) involved any Odyssey characters, only outside ones. In addition to these scenes Chris would then "start the episode" by saying something like "Look Jimmy and Arty are in the Little Theater. Let's see what's going on..." and then the episode would begin.
Throughout the episode Chris would often pop up to introduce commercial breaks by saying something intelligent like, "Is the Barclay family all right? Find out when our Adventure in Odyssey continues, right after this," or "What happened to Whit? Find out when our Adventure in Odyssey continues." Then after the commercial break, something like, "And now the conclusion of Whit and Connie's adventure."
Finally, Chris would end the continued adventure with her own questions to "get the listener interested in next weeks show". If it wasn't a continued show, Chris would then wrap up her own little story began before the adventure. Finally, she would finish the episode with a few "lessons" and then the verse for the day.
As Odyssey continued, Chris's role became less and less overbearing. First her wraparound skits were cut. Then the cloying commercial break wraparounds were cut. And now, other AIO characters such as Jack Allen, Eugene, and Connie are introducing the episodes. All Chris does most the time now is say, "Hi! This is Chris! Welcome to Adventures in Odyssey!" and then finish up the episode and present the verse.
I, for one, like Chris's role best as it is now. After all, the important part of the episode is the actual adventure, not the surrounding skit. As presented in The Complete Guide to AIO, this skits often caused the "real" stories to have to be cut slightly. Also, did we really need to hear Chris say things like "Adventures in Odyssey will be back right after this"? These commercial intros probably came from a trend in television during the 80s to wrap around commercials, just so you didn't get the program confused with a McDonalds commercial. With a few of the programs on television now, it's still easy to get confused.
But Chris has always been a very important part of AIO. Those closing remarks are often very heartfelt and sometimes get some of the best music of the episode. I particularly liked the music and closing during The Final Conflict (AIO334). Sometimes in the rush of some episodes we don't quite catch the fullness of the message. This final wrap up time is really a good way to finish things off. And what AIO fan doesn't know that the ZIP code of Vancouver, BC is V6B4G3?