[Video below.] This clip speaks for itself — literally. The Columbus Dispatch discovered a homeless man along Ohio’s I-71 claiming to have “the God-given gift of voice,” and what began as your everyday viral video has exploded into a life-changing experience for one man. Yesterday morning he was a panhandler; today he’s the most in-demand voice personality in the world, thanks to offers from countless radio stations, voiceover gigs and even the Cleveland Cavaliers.
His name is Ted Williams, and he’s an ex-radio announcer according to the note he scrawled on a piece of cardboard that he used to solicit change from drivers. And wow, does Williams ever deliver for a dollar. Williams tells the Dispatch about his struggles, but thankfully “alcohol and drugs and a few other things” haven’t diminished Williams’ velvety vocal cords, and he says he’s two years clean now.
“I have a god given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be greatfully appreciated. Thank you and God bless. Happy holidays,” reads Williams’ roadside sign for help.
Like Williams, the radio industry has fallen on hard times in the past decade, but given the viral power of this video, Williams was quickly approached by more than a few morning show appearances. In fact, Reddit reported that Ted was tracked down by Columbus area radio show the Morning Zoo and appeared on this morning’s program, and even found time for an interview with CBS’ “The Early Show.”
As evidenced by Williams’ new haircut, what a difference a day makes. A mere 24 hours after the video went viral, Williams says he’s already been offered a bunch of employment opportunities, including one that’s a Ohio citizen’s dream job. “The Cleveland Cavaliers just offered me a full-time job and a house,” Williams revealed. The Cavs will reportedly have to compete against MTV, the NFL and likely countless more suitors for Williams’ services.
While Williams’ sudden and lucky twist of fate could bring any man to tears, he gets most choked up when discussing how an invitation to do the gamut of TV shows in New York has opened the door for him to visit his 92-year-old mother in Brooklyn for the first time in years. “One of my biggest prayers that I sent out was that she would live long enough to see me rebound,” Williams said. “There’s so many words. I’m just so happy.”
Clic below to watch the video that went viral:
[media id=1063 width=400 height=300]
Click below for Ted’s interview on the Today Show: