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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Exploring Voice With Christopher Walken And The Three Little Pigs

I'm sure you've all heard of Samuel L. Jackson being chosen to read the adult kid's book, Go the F*@* to Sleep. He plays the ultimate tough guy in films, so it seems appropriate.

What you may not know is that Christopher Walken did the same thing back in 1993, when he went on a British television show to read "The Three Little Pigs."

GalleyCat (by the way, this is a great publishing industry blog to follow) posted the video yesterday. Walken is often cast as a tough guy, bad guy, loner, etc. and has appeared in films such as The Deer Hunter, Batman Returns, Pulp Fiction, Sleepy Hollow, etc.

He's also hilarious (if you haven't seen "The Continental" skit on Saturday Night Live, you're missing out...if you like that silly kind of stuff).

With "The Three Little Pigs," Walken's deadpan delivery and intonation make for a slightly different version and, to me, it's an example of how voice (literally) can change the feeling of a story. As a verbal storyteller, it's the little pauses, pitch of the voice, eye-contact with the audience, facial expressions, etc. that engage people.

As writers, we can do those exact same things with word choice, sentence length, sentence order, repetition, character details, and building suspense.

Click below to watch Christopher Walken retell "The Three Little Pigs."


  1. Ooh, interesting! Thanks for sharing, Jess.

  2. Love the Continental!! Christopher Walken is the best!


  3. Christopher Walken is also the love interest in the Hallmark version of "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and he's wonderful.

    *heads over to watch the video*

  4. oh my gosh he should have been a stand up comedian!!!! this is so funny! pork city :)))

  5. pig two - same story. I'm STILL laughing!!!

  6. It's amazing how much a story can change given the delivery. Hilarious!

  7. Funny! It's all in the delivery. I agree.

  8. The video is hilarious. He's a top notch entertainer. What talent!

  9. It's those subtle things that make all the difference.

  10. That's hysterical. It really does make a story a story by who is telling it. Good food for thought, Jess!

  11. I love Christopher Walken. He's good at anything he does. This was wonderful! "Pork City.". Too funny!

  12. Glad you liked the house pictures!

  13. You are so right! I remember special events in the library at school where the stortellers/readers who could do the voices well were the ones the children clapped the hardest for, then begged for the book when it was their turn to go to the library! Thanks for the link! On my way now to watch the videO:)

  14. "I got a fever, and the only presciption...is more cowbell!"

  15. I love Walken. He cracks me up.


  16. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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