If you tune into Swamp People, the show that follows folks who live in the swamp region in Louisiana, then you're very familiar with Swamp People's narrator. He's kind of the heart and soul of the series. Although he doesn't quite have a Louisiana accent, he is from the South. Meet Pat Duke, the narrator Swamp People.
Who narrates 'Swamp People'?
Pat Duke has been narrating Swamp People since 2010. According to his website, Pat hails from Nashville, where he started a career in music when he was 14. He became a studio singer, musician, and eventually producer — and has won several awards for his work. He eventually pivoted to voice work and was hired as the voice of Miller Lite. He's been in over 10,000 commercials, so you've likely heard his voice before. For a while, he lived in Los Angeles, but he's back in Tennessee.
Pat's LinkedIn describes himself as "a versatile voice actor who connects with the audience. My style is unique, like sweet southern molasses with a gritty city edge. Narration, story telling, I pull the viewer in."
He started narrating Swamp People in 2010, but that's not the only show he's narrated. Pat has narrated National Geographic's Wild Alaska, Rock Stars, and Breakout, Destination America's Buying the Bayou, and more.
So, how exactly does one end up narrating a show like Swamp People? Apparently, he simply auditioned after being told to sound like an "authentic Southerner."
"Swamp People began for me as just one more audition in a huge stack of auditions I was recording on a typical day in Los Angeles. I had no idea that one audition was going to change my life. The direction for the script said they wanted it to sound like an 'authentic Southerner.' I figured I might have a shot at winning the gig, because being from Nashville, Tenn., I actually am an 'authentic Southerner,” Pat told NOLA.com.
By this point, we've all come to associate the swamp region of Louisiana with Pat Duke. "The narrator of the show Swamp People is what an alligator would sound like if they could talk," someone tweeted, and they're not wrong.
Surprisingly, not everyone loved Pat at first:
"The executive producer, Brian Catalina, loved my voice, but the folks up in New York City thought I sounded like a hick. Thank goodness Brian won them over. I'll tell you this, the New Yorkers were pretty rough on me for the whole first season, making me re-do stuff because to their ears I was too Southern. Their negative attitudes changed dramatically the second year because they had a 'runaway hit' on their hands. Suddenly, I could speak any way I wanted to. They even let me change the script around whenever I felt the words didn't sound Southern enough."
But luckily, it sounds like Pat isn't going anywhere as long as Swamp People is on air. "I guess as long as there is a Swamp People, I'll be the voice of it," Pat shared.
Watch Swamp People every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on the History Channel.