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Arrested Development Narrator

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Who is the narrator of Arrested Development? Here you can find out, and read more about him, his style, character and relation to the Bluth family. 

Arrested Development Narrator, voiced by Ron Howard, narrates from a third person the events of the show. Although he is not directly credited for the role, Howard does voice the narrator in all 68 episodes.

arrested development narratorStyle

The narrator occasionally interjects his own opinions on the weird acts of the Bluth Family through his interjections and intonation and so could be considered a “Commentator” type of narrator. Still, seeing how he is not a directly involved in the story character and never speaks about himself, the narrator could very well be consider a “Detached Observer” also.

Characterron howard

Even though initially the narrator was just guiding the audience through fast paced storytelling of the show, he eventually gains a personality and interjects his own commentary. At times, he even insults members of the Bluth family.  He even takes pride in his narration, going as far as insulting the Scandalmakers narrator in “Spring Breakout”.

Relation to the Bluth Family

It’s not clear how the narrator is related to the Bluth family. It is intentionally left to interpretation whether we should assume that the character played by Ron Howard in Arrested Development is the narrator of the show or is just a coincidence. On a couple fleeting occasions we are led to believe that Ron Howard really is the narrator as seen in “Faking it” when a hand with an “RH” ring looks through a magazine and in “Exit Strategy” when Ron Howard receives an invitation from George Michael to Maeby’s 16th birthday party and the next line of dialog occurs:

Maeby: So, did you send (an invitation) to everyone in my address book? George Michael: Yeah. I’m really sorry they didn’t come. I don’t know what happened. Maeby: I do. They found out I was 16. Narrator: And a lot of us just didn’t want to drive down to Orange County.

The forth season doesn’t offer an answer to the question, as the Narrator is constantly referring to the on-screen Ron Howard in third person while always trying to paint Ron Howard and his daughter, Rebel Alley, as much positive as possible.

ron howard - arrested development

Ron Howard interview for Time Magazine

In May 2013, Time magazine wrote an article about the forth season of Arrested Development for which Ron Howard was interviewed. At some point the following question occurred:

James Poniewozik: Without spoiling anything you don’t want to spoil, can you talk a little bit about your acting role in the new season?
Ron Howard: I’m not a central figure. But I am a plot point. And I particularly enjoy that the narrator is oblivious to who is Ron Howard. He couldn’t care less who this Ron Howard is. Just another specimen to be examined.

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