You might not know his name, but sooner or later you will probably recognize his voice. Pro wrestling, variety shows, commercials, radio, golf tournaments—if an announcer is needed, Bruce Radel wants the smooth, silky voice you hear to be his.
Radel, 51, a father of three, is built like a drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket, not surprising since he’s a former Marine. So how does a professional tough guy become one of the premiere announcers in Las Vegas and cohost of Vegas' Ambassadors of Hospitality on vegasallnetradio.com? If you ask Radel, he’s just happy to make the most of whatever opportunities come his way.
How long have you wanted to use your voice as your job? I think ever since I was a kid. In fact, when I was going to school we’d always get in our little groups and it was like, “Who’s gonna write it, and who’s gonna speak it?” And I’d volunteer to speak it because I’m a talker, not a writer.
So what is your day job? I’m a training specialist for a security company. We primarily do weapons—anything from handguns, rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers. We also do all kinds of training that has to do with defensive drive, CPR, first aid, communications and alarm systems.
How did you get started in announcing for pro wrestling? Where I work, a troop says to me, “One of these days, I’d like to get my wrestling program together and I’d love for you to be my ring announcer.” I’m thinking, I’ve never done anything like that in my life, but I’d give it a shot.
What company are you with now? I got into [Las Vegas-based] Future Stars of Wrestling, which has been really good. We have a great group of young wrestlers who are on the cutting edge of being noticed one day.
How did you hook up with the raunchy and hilarious balloon artist known as the Balloon Master? So, wrestling led me to meet Sinh Bodhi [former WWE performer Kizarny], and he decided he was going to get together with Freakshow Wrestling, which adds sideshow entertainment with wrestling. So I did that for a while, and the Balloon Master was one of Sinh Bodhi’s guests on Freakshow. So I said, “Hey, let me get a few things down. Where have you performed? What have you been doing? I’ll throw it out there as I introduce you.” And then [the Balloon Master] said, “I’ve never had anybody introduce me like that before. I’m trying to get my own show together. Would you ever want to come out and be a part of that whole program?” And we’ve been going two years strong and growing in numbers at the Onyx Theater.
How would you describe The Balloon Master Show besides being an insane variety show? It’s totally unrehearsed, drop-your-jaw, live-and-raw. We’re the most unprofessional professional show live in Vegas. We’ll start off sometimes with burlesque. We have jugglers. We have a fire-breathing clown, Scorch. We have Orangey the Mime, the loudest mime in all of Las Vegas.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the show? I think one of the craziest things that may have freaked a few people out—the Balloon Master being a father and me being a father—we had a couple of ladies in the audience that were getting ready to have babies, so we wanted to help with breastfeeding. But because we’re men, what can we do? We put the male breastfeeding breasts on, and we had two volunteers get up and sit in our laps and drink milk out of our breasts as we tried to talk to them and comfort them as fathers would a little child. That was probably one of the weirdest things some people would ever see Bruce Radel in. Here I am in a suit and then I’ve got the fake breasts on, pumping breast milk into a volunteer’s mouth.
Are you able to make enough money announcing to be doing it full-time? What it’s been is a lot of experience. That’s what I’ve gained. I appreciate the opportunities; that’s what I’m looking for.
What are your goals going forward? I’d like to do more live shows. I’d love to get into more radio. But if I could ever achieve my main goal, that would be a game show host. I’d love to do Family Feud. That would be wonderful, to bring it back to Richard Dawson’s days, where you could still kiss. Probably these days you’d have to kiss them on the cheek, not on the lips … But nonetheless, that’s what I’d like to bring it back to.