he 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
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- SNL tackles Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion, politically and personally
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
Subscribe to the Week