Ted Williams, the homeless man with the golden voice, does 'Today' show
It's really hard to believe that just 72 hours ago, Ted Williams, the self-titled "man with the golden voice," was panhandling on the streets of Columbus, Ohio.
Now he's sitting on the "Today" couch with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira and fielding job offers from the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. All because of a video shot by a Columbus Dispatch reporter and posted to the newspaper's website Monday.
Right now, Williams is in the midst of one of those crazy media storms that can overwhelm a person's life. While Williams was talking to Lauer and Vieira on NBC, his 90-year-old estranged mother was giving an interview on CBS' "Early Show."
The pair, who haven't seen each other in more than 20 years, reunited after their separate TV appearances.
Williams used his skills to kick off the "Today" broadcast this morning. Later, during the interview, Lauer expressed some concern that the sudden blast of attention would damage Williams' sobriety. (The former radio announcer said he had a long battle with drugs and alcohol, which led to his homelessness in 1993.) But Williams remained positive, saying, "This time around, Matt, I have a God, a God of my understanding, in my life."
Williams was visibly nervous during his interview, bouncing on the couch and occasionally covering his face when his misspoke. But he kept it together to joke about the Cavaliers giving him LeBron James' old house. He even had a chance to geek out on Matt and Meredith, gushing that he'd been a faithful "Today" watcher since the days of Gene Shalit, Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel.
Funny, moving and, we'll admit it, pretty inspirational. Maybe the networks should hire Williams to deliver that news about all the birds falling from the sky....
-- Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Ted Williams gives a wave from the "Today" couch. Credit: Associated Press