Vocal Impressions: Walken, Kissinger, Devine, More We share listeners' descriptions of Andy Devine, Henry Kissinger, Jeanette MacDonald and Christopher Walken, and issue a new challenge: activist Jesse Jackson, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, singer Grace Slick and Paula Winslowe, the voice of Bambi's mother.
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Vocal Impressions: Walken, Kissinger, Devine, More

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Vocal Impressions: Walken, Kissinger, Devine, More

Vocal Impressions: Walken, Kissinger, Devine, More

Vocal Impressions: Walken, Kissinger, Devine, More

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88668665/89071201" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sounds Like ...?

How would you describe these four voices?

Jesse Jackson

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Jerry Seinfeld

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Grace Slick

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Paula Winslowe, Bambi's Mother

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In "Vocal Impressions," a monthly contest, listeners provide word pictures brought to mind by distinctive voices.

Among the responses from the previous challenge, actor Christopher Walken was admired, but from a considerable distance. Politician Henry Kissinger evoked Elmer Fudd, Col. Klink from Hogan's Heroes and James Bond villains, while for actor and cowboy sidekick Andy Devine, it was unfortunate relatives. And for Jeannette MacDonald, there were frequent mentions of spring days and spring break gone berserk.

We also issue our next challenge: Describe the voices of political activist Jesse Jackson, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, Jefferson Airplane lead singer Grace Slick and Paula Winslowe, better known as the voice of Bambi's mother.

Christopher Walken

Listeners say the actor sounds like:

The car salesman who just quit smoking three days ago and has poison ivy on his arms — Charles Rajani

The nervous, shifting eyes of your neighbor's crazy dog — Marty Conboy

A soft, windy rain threatening to become a thunderstorm — Michael Anichini

The guy you ask, "How you doing?" at the bus stop and regret you did — Billy Combs

Death's jovial kid brother — Michelle Moreau

That charismatic guy at the water cooler who gathers a crowd even when he's just describing why he had to use mustard instead of mayonnaise — Denise Jewell

The cat that saunters by ignoring you, then suddenly turns around and smiles — Olivia Elisabeth Collins

The stranger who offers you candy — Brenda Colladay

The guy you change your mind about getting on the elevator with — John Harrison

The devil incarnate — Will Oliver

Stoli served over cracked ice — Ginny McCaskey

The unsettling noise heard at all hours from the house of the creepy loner next door — Genevieve Haas

The troubling dream you had and can't quite remember — Rhonda Broom

The cool uncle who snuck you a beer at the family barbecue when you were 13 — John Medici

A zombie playing a living person in a B-movie — Staci Diffendaffer

Henry Kissinger

Listeners say the the politician and diplomat sounds like:

Someone doing a terrible imitation of Henry Kissinger — Allison Davis

The old guy in the row behind you on an airplane dictating a letter for the entire flight [to hear] — Marty Combs

A ride downhill on a sled, before it has snowed — Marilyn Phillips

The love child of Marlene Dietrich and Elmer Fudd — Curtiss Clark

Pudding skin — John Peck

The villain in any James Bond picture — Rhonda Bloom

Pulling nails from an old creaky board — Jim Connelly

His tongue is the wrong size for his head — Lucie Shores

How the ticking might sound in Salvador Dali's paintings of melting clocks — Scott Olson

An old Chevy with a bad muffler idling inside an abandoned cave — Beth Bailey

A torn bagpipe — Glen Blackall

A Yiddish Elmer Fudd — Rod Masserman

Jeremiah the bullfrog — Robert Pugliese

The smartest teddy bear in the room — Laura Burrone

Herman Munster after having bitten his own tongue — Patrick Gerrity

Andy Devine

Listeners say the the actor and cowboy sidekick sounds like:

That high-pitched mosquito that always eludes your slap and finally drowns in your drink — Olivia Elisabeth Collins

The kid everyone made fun of in elementary school who grew up to be a really nice guy but who you still don't want to sit next to on the bus — Craig Farquhar

A poorly cleaned chimney — John Harrison

Gargling water and talking at the same time — Nora Christie Puckett

What the fruity bits inside Jell-O salad hear when the Jell-O is vigorously jiggled — Laura Cole

The town drunk who has something to say to everyone — Alex Mitchell

John Wayne through a cracked drive-in movie speaker — Tom Hale

My Jewish grandfather if he got trapped in Oklahoma City for 40 years — Benji Ruscoe

The stubble left by coarse sandpaper on unfinished wood — Paul Mazur

An old Evinrude sputtering out — Hugh Moore

The uncle your parents would not let baby-sit you — Brenda Colladay

My grandfather after his fifth martini when he's feeling inspirational — Nick Courtnage

Jeannette MacDonald

Listeners say the the actress and singer sounds like:

An icicle dripping directly into your ear — Beth Bailey

A bird singing beautifully outside your window on a spring morning but that after a while, you want to throw a shoe at — Bonnie Welch

An over-tightened fan belt on an '85 Pontiac — Scott Bellows

What the lady in the mothball-scented hat in the pew next to you hears in her head when she sings — Brenda Colladay

A factory whistle announcing quitting time — Tom Hale

Your mother asking you to make a dinner salad after you just dropped acid — Allison Barrows-Young

Ice cold lemonade you accidentally spilled down the front of your shirt on a hot July day — Rhonda Broom

The Statue of Liberty on vacation — Lucie Shores

Ethel Merman-lite — John Ranck

An expensive service for 12 your Mom has displayed in the china cabinet: You'd like to appreciate and enjoy it, but just don't — Kavin Shelly

Tight curls in a bad perm — Michelle Moreau

The collective nightmare of cats among the rocking chairs — Paul Mazur

A spring day on speed — Marshall McLaughlin

A spring day in an apple orchard so bright and blue it hurts — Rachael Hanley

Luscious drops of multicolored rain scattered on glass — Rod Phillips