Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Narrator Of Arrested Development Might Surprise You

When "Arrested Development" was brought back for a fourth season by Netflix in 2013, roughly seven years after its cancellation, arguably the biggest contributing factor was the show's passionate fanbase. "Arrested Development" viewers remained so committed to the show's revival, in fact, that fans not only wrote letters to Fox executives but, in one instance, one fan mailed a crate of bananas to employees at Fox. Whether the banana incident helped or hurt the cause at the time, it indicated a cult following that only grew in the wake of the show's then-conclusion.

The bananas were an unsubtle reference to the Bluth family's frozen banana stand, which is a recurring source of comedy throughout the original run of "Arrested Development" that continued even into its revival. Comedy in "Arrested Development" is often self-referential. There's nothing inherently funny about a frozen banana stand, but for viewers familiar with its context in the series, its very presence becomes a gag of sorts.

Another frequent source of comedy that develops over the course of "Arrested Development" is its omniscient narrator. At first, the narration in "Arrested Development" may seem like a mere plot device, but it quickly develops its own sort of comedic rhythm. Frequently, for example, the narrator will matter-of-factly contract a claim confidently made by a main character moments prior. Sometimes the narration simply adds a tag to a joke, like pointing out when Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) says the name of the series outright in Season 3.

Surprisingly, given his central comedic role, the voice of narrator remains unnamed in the credits of "Arrested Development." As it turns out, the man behind the voice is important not just for his narration, but for a role in the very existence of "Arrested Development."

The big name behind the narration is...

Though "Arrested Development" includes no mention of the narrator in its credits, it's no secret that the voice behind it is none other than series executive producer Ron Howard. Like with many uncredited roles by prominent performers, Howard's IMDB page includes his capacity as the narrator of "Arrested Development" among his various acting performances.

In an interview with CNN, Howard admitted to having little narration experience prior to his work on "Arrested Development." His vocal cadence, he explained, was modeled after the narration in National Geographic nature documentaries. By his estimation, then, the "Arrested Development" narrator is describing the Bluth family akin to how a nature expert might describe, for example, a flock of rare birds.

Howard is a prolific Hollywood multi-hyphenate. His body of work includes directing blockbusters like "Solo: A Star Wars Story" and acting in a recurring role on classic sitcom "Happy Days," as well as various writing credits, soundtrack credits, and much more. So, while Howard may not have had experience as a narrator prior to "Arrested Development," he did have a wealth of experience in a general sense. His inclusion as one of the central voices of "Arrested Development," then, was simply one notch among many on his belt.