It’s been a crazy couple of days for former radio DJ Ted Williams, who has suddenly skyrocketed from being a homeless panhandler on the streets of Columbus, Ohio, to a viral Internet sensation now making the rounds of national TV shows. Thanks to the video shot by Doral Chenoweth III and posted on the Columbus Dispatch website, Ted Williams’ booming radio voice has reached the ears of millions of people, including potential employers.
What caught the web producer’s eye was Williams’ cardboard sign reading, “I have a God given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times…” Williams says that he wrote the sign hoping that it would help him to find a job in radio or get some voice over work. After being trained in voice work and a career in radio, his life spiraled due to his abuse of drugs and alcohol. His last radio job was in Columbus, Ohio and in the past he worked at Columbus AM station WVKO.
The short clip of Chenoweth’s interview with Williams (shot 6 weeks ago, but not posted online until this Monday, since it was a “slow news day”) has obviously touched a nerve with people who have caused the video to become a huge hit on You Tube. And, now, job offers have been streaming in. Yesterday Williams got a call from the Cleveland Cavaliers, offering him a full-time job doing voice over and announcing work for their organization. They even sweetened the deal with a promise to pay the mortgage for him on a new home.
And, then today Williams was in New York City, where he was a guest on the Today Show, did some voice over for Kraft Foods and also got to reunite with his mother (Ted was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York), who he hasn’t seen in more than 20 years. It’s clear that he’s overwhelmed by the attention and outpouring of support and we can all hope that this will herald positive changes in Williams’ life.