Millions of Americans know the voice of Elwood Edwards, but few if any know his name. That’s because Elwood was the voice of AOL in America. “Welcome!” “You’ve Got Mail!” and “Files Done!” are all Edwards. Edwards is semi-retired these days, although he does occasionally pop up on TV: In fact, he appeared in a Jimmy Fallon sketch just last year. And, apparently, if you live in Ohio, he might be your Uber driver.
Brandee Baker, a former PR exec for Facebookclimbed into an Uber and while chatting with the driver, realized it was, in fact, Edwards. And he even did the traditional AOL greeting for her too, bringing everybody back to a time when most of the screaming on the internet came from your modem, not your Facebook feed.
Edwards, if you were wondering, largely worked in radio and TV behind the boards and camera instead of in front of the microphone. His AOL fame came about because his wife, in 1989, overheard Steve Case, CEO of AOL, mention he was hoping to add voice clips to his service. Edwards recorded his now-famous clips with a cassette deck, got them to case, and the rest is history. Really, though, if Uber is smart, they’ll hire him on to voice their app. Edwards telling you your driver had to cancel would really ease the blow.