Gary Owens is an American disc jockey and voice actor. His polished baritone speaking voice generally offers deadpan recitations of total nonsense, which he frequently demonstrated as the announcer on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Owens is equally proficient in straight or silly assignments and is frequently heard in television, radio, and commercials. He’s best known as the voice of Space Ghost on Space Ghost. He also was himself on Space Ghost Coast to Coast in 1998.
Owens was born Gary Altman in Mitchell, South Dakota, the son of Venetta, an educator and county auditor, and Bernard Joseph Altman, a county treasurer and sheriff.
Owens was a journeyman DJ/announcer throughout the midwest and southern U.S. in the late 1950s, finally ending up at radio station KEWB, Oakland, California in 1959.
Owens moved to KEWB’s sister station KFWB in Los Angeles in 1961. From there, he joined the staff of KMPC in 1962, , where he remained for the next two decades working the 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. shift, Monday through Friday. A gifted punster, Owens became known for his surrealistic humor. Among his trademarks were daily appearances by The Story Lady, the Rumor of the Day, myriad varieties of “The Nurney Song”, and the introduction of the nonsense word “insegrevious”, which was briefly included in the Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary.