The video: Although his voice sounds like it should be booming from your car's speakers, until recently Ted Williams was using his rich baritone primarily to ask passers-by for spare change. The Clevelander worked as a radio host during the 1990s, but a battle with alcohol and drug addiction left him homeless. Now, after a clip of Williams speaking on the street went viral on YouTube (view video below), his golden tones have caught the attention of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The NBA team has offered the 53-year-old a job as an announcer, and pledged to help him find a home. "I'm just so thankful," Williams told the Associated Press.
The reaction: It's the "first viral video phenomenon of 2011," says Allahpundit at Hot Air. The YouTube clip got 4.5 million views in 48 hours, and "job offers for radio gigs" have been pouring in. TV execs take note: "'Talent at the Off-Ramp'" could be "America's new reality-show hit." This man's "rich, throaty tones" seem "custom made to rest comfortably between top 40 hits," says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. "But it's not just his gift that has ignited his story." It's his grace, optimism, and humility. "A smooth baritone is rare; resilience in the most dire of straits is even rarer." Watch the original clip, courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch, here:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
Subscribe to the Week