No, this isn't the title of the next James Bond movie. It's modern day rags to riches. It's the latest in what can be considered feel good stories. It's this side of the Pond's Susan Boyle. Only a lot less uglier. See for yourself...
How can this not be a feel good story? It's got it all. It has a man debasing himself so the wealthy will throw him the meagerist of scraps, is rescued by pure luck. It's evidence that if you try hard enough you too can succeed, regardless of background, in the free market utopia that is America!
Before this week, the name “Ted Williams” most likely brought to mind the phrase “Teddy Ballgame.” Now, the name has become synonymous with “Golden-voiced,” as a homeless man with that moniker has shot to stardom as a result of his breathtaking vocal chords.
Recently, Columbus Dispatch videographer Doral Chenoweth III filmed a brief interview with the Brooklyn-born Williams, who — until recently — panhandled on the corner of a highway.
Yesterday, the video went viral, and has (at the time of this posting) racked up more than 5 million views on YouTube. This ascent is most likely due in no small part to the Reddit community, which took up the cause after Reddit user and Columbus-dweller “shiggiddie” posted the video to the site after hearing about the interview on a local radio show.
“I had already seen the immense good the Reddit community is capable of doing,” shiggiddie says. “I hoped that maybe through the community I might find out who this Ted Williams character is, and how we might be able to help him get on his feet with some work other redditors might want/need for their businesses, etc.”
The results were overwhelming: “I received anywhere from 70 to 80 job offers for Ted in my personal messages alone over the past day and a half, some coming from people claiming to represent the interests of nationwide radio programs, television shows, businesses looking for someone to do their voice systems, ads, ads and more ads, musicians wanting Ted to contribute his voice to their tracks, and even radio hosts wanting him to join their shows as a full-time jockey,” shiggiddie says.
“I haven’t even gotten to the news sources asking me for more information, of which I’d guess I received personal messages from at least 20 to 25.”
The video spread from boards like Reddit to viral culture blogs, leading to appearances on major news outlets — from print to radio to television.
In fact, the awestruck Williams recently appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, where he he tearfully told viewers that he’s on his way back to Brooklyn to reconnect with his 92-year-old mother. From the side of the highway to television to New York — that’s a pretty rapid and drastic progression.
But the trip back to BK isn’t the biggest opportunity that this turn of events has presented for Williams — his lightning-fast ascent to the viral video firmament has also garnered him job offers from the likes of the NFL and the Cleveland Cavaliers (and, by proxy, Quicken Loans). The Cavs also offered him a house.
Quicken Loans President Jay Farner heard about Williams’s great talent last night. “We’re working on a lot of marketing over here at the company, voiceover work, commercials and websites and all kinds of things for Quicken Loans and a variety of our companies who would need that. People heard the voice and thought that might be a great fit. And when I saw that he was in Ohio, I thought that was excellent because the Cavaliers are right there and we’ve got a Quicken Loans web center down there. We’re kind of partial to helping folks in the Midwest.”
Makes you wonder... what about the millions of others homeless people. Guess they're standing on the wrong street corner and holding up the wrong signs.
Sorry buddy, you should have had a better sounding voice.
Man, what a great time to get lucky in broadcasting. Just as radio is becoming completely obsolete. The sad part is that he'll never be as popular as Bubba the Love Sponge. And yes.. that's actually some radio personalities name.
The Cleveland Cavs offered him a home and a job. You would think that this would mean a lot but then you realize that it's a home in Cleveland and they'll always have the leering doubt that he'll drop them and go to Miami once he makes it really big.
I wonder if any conservatives have started blathering on about the "American dream" with this news story. On that note, we should track down the family that was foreclosed on so that this guy could get a free house from a charitable bank.
Maybe at this point I should remind you that the American dream is a fallacy, death on the other hand, is certain.
If he does wind up getting a job from some beautiful, magnanimous master they will watch him and scrutinize everything he does and says waiting for an opportunity for him to backslide and quietly put him back out on the street. Just look at the morning shows. How much more can you point out that he's some crazy bum.
Ah, today show.. never change. Never fucking change. If there was anymore proof that you needed that our news outlets are total shit, the Today show would be a prime exhibit.
This man's story is pure capitalist theatre. You take one guy from the gutter, make him famous to pacify an easily duped underclass desperate to believe American meritocracy still exists. If a bum can do it, then what's stopping you? You know, other than reality.
But it's true. Why get out and protest when your big break is just around the corner.. literally. Or on Youtube. Good news guys, I was telling a joke to some buddies of mine in a restaurant and some producer overheard me. Now I have my own sitcom deal!
Then after that I was walking down the street and some fashion designer was all like "Wow, you have an interesting look about you" and now I'm a model. Pretty crazy, huh. But here I am.. I'm also over there on that billboard and in magazines.
You see, this shit just doesn't make sense and most of all, just doesn't seem logical to hope for. But hey, it's such a feel good story. Black homeless man honored by white power structure for convincingly imitating a white man's cadenced. "He's so well spoken!" Exclaimed a local white fat man. Just look at how they treat his reunited moment with his mother.
My goodness.. What a touching moment! *CLICK CLICK FLASH CLICK CLICK SHUTTER CLICK CLICK*
I heard that a couple of people have negative things to say about this guy. That they've seen him yell and harass drivers for not stopping or slowing down. Just a head up, that his shouting voice isn't nearly as "golden" as his radio one.
It really is just a lot of white guilt that got him this much attention. Now it's just a matter of time before we watch him backslide to the streets again. I mean, it's not like he doesn't have a record that... well, once the light shines on all the details will not be so pretty.
"Williams, 53, has been busted for theft, robbery, escape, forgery, and drug possession. He is pictured at right in mug shots (click to enlarge) taken as a result of those Ohio collars, which stretch back more than two decades."
My god! That man has lived several life times of awesome hair. It's really amazing to see the shift from Howard Stern to Richard Pryor in the top right corner. I also wonder why they let him wear the medical mask in that one image. I mean, what's the story behind that one? I so want to know now.
Oh yeah.. he has 9 kids. How the hell? I mean, I know if I'm out of change and a homeless guy ask me for some I usually just tell them I don't have anything on me. I don't put out with a pity fuck. But hey, I guess I shouldn't judge other's charity.
Well, At least it's the weekend and he'll be out of the media attention come Tuesday.... I hope.