My useless super-power

Go Out and Write Something Superhero!


There are very few people who know about my useless super-power, but I’m going to reveal it to you, dear readers, right now.

Ever since I can remember, when I hear a commercial on the television with a voice over, or something on the radio, or if I’m in another room (where I can’t see the TV) and I just hear the voices, I can tell who is speaking (and usually I can tell what movie it is too – even if I haven’t seen the film.)

For example, I’m watching TV as I write this and a car commercial just came on. The voiceover was done by the actor who used to play “Burger,” Carrie’s BF on Sex and the City. I don’t even know the guy’s actual name, but I recognize his voice. The commercial is over and I have no idea what brand of car was being advertised.

Bank of America ads? Kiefer Sutherland. (Simply Orange? Keifer’s dad Donald.)

Hyundai? Jeff Bridges.

U.S. Military (or a particular branch, maybe Marines?) Gary Sinise.

Some brand of yogurt I can’t remember? Willem Dafoe.

I can do this all day.

Also, I can catch voices (most likely) even fewer people would know, like Peter Coyote and Keith David, who both do a lot of PBS narration on documentaries, but they also do some commercial television work too. (I love Keith David’s voice, it’s a fantastic baratone.)

So what do I do with this amazingly useless super-power? Not much. Amuse friends who happen to be around when the TV is on, especially when I can pull something unusual out of the hat.

“Oh, remember that guy that played in that movie with Burt Reynolds in the 1970’s? Yeah, that’s him selling that energy drink. Yep, that’s definitely his voice.” Invariably my friend will scrunch up their face and listen, and they’ll be like, “Oh my god! Yeah, you’re right! How’d you do that?”

Well, that’s a national secret. I could tell you, but……