Kids of the ’80s may not know his name, but they will definitely remember his voice. John Moschitta, Jr., was the mustachioed man who pitched toy trains, planes, and automobiles with extraordinary speed in all those commercials. Yes, he is the Micro Machines guy. You may also remember him as Jim Spleen in the incredibly successful FedEx commercial in 1981 or as Mr. Testaverde on the television show “Saved by the Bell.”
Moschitta’s ability to say up to 11 words per second and 583 words per minute earned him the nickname “Motormouth.” His rare talent for machine-gun speech even intrigued scientists at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, who, back in the ‘80s ,offered to test Moschitta’s brain.
Growing up, Moschitta dreamed of being listed in The Guinness Book of World Records, having his own place among unique and talented people. But how? Moschitta was a kid and had no access to money, so he decided to set the record in something he could do easily and for free. He set his sights on becoming the world’s fastest talker, and he succeeded in 1984. He held this record until the 1990s, when he was outspoken by fast-talking competitor Steve Woodmore.
Moschitta ultimately became an icon. During his 20-year run of commercial success, he performed for the queen of England, the chancellor of Germany, eight presidents, and several Supreme Court justices.
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Everyone knows of his mad skills, and his face is beyond familiar; it is only his name that slips the mind, but nevertheless, he is one of the most recognizable TV ad characters of the ’80s and ’90s.
Ah, America. A country so lovely at times that a smart, fast-talking kid from New York City took an unusual dream and made it a generational memory.
Check out Moschitta’s fascinating story here: