How much would you pay to have all of your audiobooks read by Ian McShane? I would pay an extra five dollars per book. Maybe ten. The man has some kind of voice. It’s one of those that sounds so velvety and rich that you almost can’t tell if he’s British or just very distinguished. (It’s both.) It’s one of the many reasons he’s so great as Al Swearengen on Deadwood. Running all that filth through those vocal cords is like shredding a guitar solo on a Stradivarius, but good. No one else should be allowed to say cuss words. They’re his now. Sorry, but those are the rules.
The voice is also a big part of what makes him so fun in the John Wick movies. He doesn’t really do much in any of them, if you look closely. Something like 70 percent of his screen time features him sitting on a piece of luxurious furniture with a drink in his hand, looking at a cell phone and saying something like “Oh, Jonathan, what have you done now?” And even just that, even just doing that one thing, makes his character one of the most compelling in the franchise. The man is a treasure. We should put his voice in a museum.
With that in mind, here’s an incomplete list of things I would like to hear Ian McShane say with that voice of his. Most of them are very stupid, at least at first glance. But promise me this: As you process them, stop for a second before each one and make sure you read them in Ian McShane’s voice. In your head. You’ll ruin it if you try to do it out loud. Your voice is not as good as Ian McShane’s. Unless you are Ian McShane. In which case… uh, hi. Hi, Ian McShane. Please read these into your phone and send me the audio file. Thanks.
“Barbecue chicken pizza”
“The dalmation shat in the gazebo”
“Cumulonimbus, I believe”
“Let’s have a soak in the jacuzzi”
“What we have here is a renegade barista”
“The vast and unforgiving cosmos”
“Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres”
“A boondoggle of epic proportions”
“Grotesque parade of charlatans”
“A dish of your spiciest salsa”
“A wicker basket filled with avocados”
“A round of strawberry margaritas”
“Slather it with donkey sauce, my good man”