Pepper the parrot talks too well. He sounds so human that when he was recruited to appear in a TV commercial, the producers dubbed over Pepper's voice using a human who sounded more like a parrot than Pepper did.
"It's absolutely true. The parrot talked too well," said Steve Rychetnik, director of the commercial. "The parrot didn't sound like a parrot.""His voice is extremely clear," said Joanie Doss, Pepper's owner, who learned later that her star bird had in effect, lip-synced the words.
"It's extremely humorous," Doss said. "I thought it was the funniest thing I ever heard. But that's show biz."
"He sounded too smooth and clear," said audio engineer Randy Johnson, who was ordered to get another more parrotlike voice after the commercial was made. "The client wanted a different voice because they said the parrot didn't sound like what people think a parrot sounds like."
The TV commercials, airing widely in Alaska, are advertisements for Alascom, a large telecommunications company that provides long-distance telephone service to much of the state.
The "Hello campaign" commercials feature a variety of people in different settings in a series of fast-moving sequences giving everyone - including the parrot - a chance to say "Hello" in a different way.
In the commercials, Pepper walks up to a telephone receiver, squawks and says, "Hello."