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Color commentator

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Michael-Cole

A photo of WWE color commentator Michael Cole.

A color commentator, sometimes known as a color analyst, is a member of the broadcasting team for a sporting event who assists the play-by-play announcer by filling in any time when play is not in progress. The term is of North American origin. The color commentator provides expert analysis and background information, such as statistics, strategy and injury reports, on the teams and athletes, and occasionally light humor. Color commentators are often former players or coaches of the sport being broadcasted.

Though not always the case, in professional wrestling, the color commentator is usually a "heel sympathizer" (or a supporter of the "bad guys") as opposed to the play-by-play announcer, who is more or less the "voice of the fans" as well as supporters of the "good guys" (or babyfaces). Though both are supposed to show neutral stance while announcing, the color commentator (especially when they support heels) are usually more blatant about their stance than the play-by-play announcer. Jesse "The Body" Ventura and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan pioneered the "heel sympathizer" for color commentary in wrestling. Both Jerry "The King" Lawler and JBL later made successful transitions into those roles, though Lawler has since shown more sympathy for faces (partially due to being over with fans after nearly 40 years in wrestling) while JBL has since returned to active wrestling. ECW Commentators, Tazz and Joey Styles tend to be completely neutral; in addition, combine both aspects of play-by-play with color commentary.

Famous color commentators, past and present

Professional wrestling

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