The actor who gave the world the Wilhelm Scream died in 2003, but there’s one iconic disembodied voice that is still very much with us: Elwood Edwards, the voice of AOL.
In 1989 Edwards was asked by Quantum Computer Services to record a tape of himself saying four phrases: “welcome,”, “file’s done,” “you’ve got mail,” and “goodbye.” Then Quantum changed its name to America Online, every man, woman, and child in America got a mailbox full of AOL install discs, and soon “you’ve got mail” entered into pop culture immortality. But notoriety didn’t translate into a voiceover career for Edwards, and in 1994 he moved to Akron, Ohio to work for a local news station.
Now Edwards is the editor and graphics supervisor for Cleveland’s WKYC Channel 3. That’s where comedian Jim Breuer found him, and in a behind-the-scenes video Breuer got Edwards to tell the story behind his famous voiceover track. Breuer’s next task: track down the voicemail lady.