Does that voice on the airport PA system sound familiar?

Holbrook, 78, spent more than 40 years in local media and now does commercials for radio and television. After 9/11, airport officials approached him to record some of the announcements on the airport's public address system. He continues to do so.

His pay? Breakfast, complete with biscuits and gravy.

Holbrook says he enjoys the positive feedback from travelers who hear his announcements.

"A lot of people tell me, 'We know we're home when we hear you.' I like that I can make people feel comfortable, especially the way things are for travelers these days."

Blue Grass Airport Executive Director Michael Gobb says Holbrook "has a way of reassuring our customers," comparing it to the effect that former CBS newscaster Walter Cronkite had on his audience.

Entertainment factor

Holbrook's voice may be reassuring, but at McCarran airport in Las Vegas, some of the recorded voices you'll hear at the airport are downright entertaining.

Since the early 1970s, celebrities who have headlined at the many showrooms in town have recorded messages for moving walkways, reminding travelers to stand to the right so folks in a hurry can rush by on the left. Over the years, the voices have included Bill Cosby, Dick Clark, Phyllis Diller, Rich Little and Rodney Dangerfield.

"They all did it for free," says Randall Walker, airport director. "The messages are all funny and clever. The whole concept is to grab people's attention. If people don't pay attention, then it has no effect."

Paying attention on the moving walkway is important, but at the security checkpoint, it's essential. So, in 2004, the airport joined forces with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to spice up the videos shown to passengers waiting in line.

Now, instead of the standard, stern, TSA-supplied instruction videos, passengers can be heard chuckling and occasionally guffawing at entertainment icons such as Wayne Newton and Cirque du Soleil, comics Carrot Top and Rita Rudner, and assorted clowns, magicians and celebrity impersonators.

The videos show those characters trying to get their medical devices, loose change, giant footwear, weapons and oversized carry-on bags past straight-faced security officers.

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