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NBA Jam BOOMSHAKALAKA!!, Shaq, Dota, Rage 2, The Twilight Zone and Pins

By John 'JP' Podlasek

Summary: Tim Kitzrow - you may not know his name, but if you’ve played game classics like NBA Jam you know his voice! In this episode, you’ll learn how Tim got started doing voice-over work as just a side gig. Hear stories about working on some of the most iconic video games and pinball games of all time. What it’s like doing projects for ESPN, EA Sports, Midway, Acclaim, numerous NBA teams, and hanging out with basketball stars. Talk about relaunching Mutant League Football and going up against EA. Hear how the technology improvements allowed him to branch out more into writing and commentary. Learn about going to school and auditioning with Steve Tucci, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and others. Hear how the icon line “BOOMSHAKALAKA!!” was created during a recording session and the inspiration behind it. Working with Jim Shorts on MLB Slugfest and all the classic Larry David-inspired dialogue in the game. How NBA Jam earned a lot more money for coin op owners than Midway because of the business model. Hear his two favorite games of all time to work on and why. Learn about the new “He’s On Fire!” DLC for Rage 2 pre-order and a future Dota Jam Announcer pack in the works. Hear the story of how NBA Jam’s reported to be haunted by Drazen Petrovic. How Shaq loved the game so much he’d occasionally have an arcade cabinet brought on the road with him for the hotel rooms. Learn about the NBA Jam book that’s being written and the Midway documentary “Insert Coin” by Josh Tsui. Hear about attending classic game conferences and his dream of doing an NBA Jam convention for charity in Vegas. How Midway employees bought prototype arcade games from the company after they were done being on test. Learn about an arcade museum by ex-NBAer Todd MacCulloch. Learn about the biggest arcade in the world outside of Chicago, Galloping Ghost (note: my 735 number was off :) Hear about the resurgence of Stern Pinball and how they’ve grown back from tough times to be a huge success.   Quotes: *”The two hardest things in the’re going to be a rockstar and make your money playing drums or be an out-of-work actor hitting the floorboards and auditioning in LA” *”It’s all about writing” *”They’d put you in this booth that was like a meat locker or refrigerator” *”This guy leans outside the door and tells John, “hey, tell Tim to say BOOMSHAKALAKA”...think of how crazy that pull something out of a cloud and toss it down the hall and it becomes a gold mine” *”Sorry sound guys, you get 2MBs for all the audio in the game, or less!” *”You’d think they’d make billions of dollars since it made a billion the first year, but they just sold the turntable...the hardware” *”I’m walking out of there at night, all the lights are off except for the Twilight Zone games that were on the floor, like a 100 games, and my voice was going and going….talk about walking into the Twilight Zone” *”Shaq….would occasionally have a cabinet brought on the road with him by his handlers” *”So we were driving around with a U-Haul to arcades reclaiming Arctic Thunders” *”I walked into his place and it was like an arcade with like 10 machines everywhere”   About My Guest: Today’s guest is Tim Kitzrow. For 26 years, he’s enjoyed a legendary run as the signature voice of classic games like NBA Jam, NFL Blitz, NHL Hitz, MLB Slugfest, Big Hurt Baseball, Wayne Gretzky Hockey and NCAA College Slam. Unique in the industry for his ability to write and produce commentary and voice talent, Kitzrow is the only talent in gaming to voice all four major sports leagues. With NBA JAM, which grossed over $2 BILLION to date, Tim introduced BOOMSHAKALAKA to the NBA lexicon and earned pop culture immortality. He’s appeared on television and radio with ESPN and FoxSports; worked with NBA franchises such as the Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Wizards, Bulls, Hornets, and Bucks; plus launched games with EA Sports, Acclaim, Bally and Midway. His latest game, Mutant Football League, released in 2018, is garnering acclaim as a fan and industry favorite.   Resources: *Tim Kitzrow website *Who Said What Now website *Tim Kitzrow Twitter *Mutant League Football website *Warriors highlight clip YouTube *Stan Tucci Wikipedia *The Second City website *Del Close Wikipedia *Steve Carrell Wikipedia *MLB Slugfest commentary YouTube *Blackbox Games Wikipedia *T.J. Jagodowki (not C.J….my bad) website *Jim Shorts WGN radio website *Rage 2 He’s On Fire! Trailer YouTube *Rage 2 Deluxe Edition pre-order website *Dota Jam Announcer Pack YouTube *NBA Jam Haunted by Drazen Petrovic ESPN *NBA Jam (the book) website *NBA Jam (the book) Twitter *Insert Coin website *Insert Coin Twitter *Fish Tales pinball Wikipedia *NARC arcade game YouTube *Midwest Gaming Classic website *Gary Payton Wikipedia *Steve Smith Wikipedia *Todd MacCulloch on pinball in ESPN *Galloping Ghost website *Stern Pinball website *George Gomez interview on Facebook *Level Ex website, check it out *Game Dev Advice Twitter *Game Dev Advice email *Game Dev Advice website *Game Dev Advice Hotline (224) 484-7733 *Don't forget to subscribe and go to for full show notes with links!

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