Tom Bodett

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Thomas Edward "Tom" Bodett (play /bˈdɛt/ boh-DET; born February 23, 1955 in Champaign, Illinois and raised in Sturgis, Michigan) is an American author, voice actor and radio host. He is also the current spokesman for the hotel chain Motel 6, whose commercials end with the phrase, "I'm Tom Bodett for Motel 6, and we'll leave the light on for ya."



In 1986, Bodett was both building houses in Alaska and contributing content to NPR's All Things Considered show. A creative director at the Richards Group ad agency heard him on NPR and hired him to record a commercial for Motel 6. Bodett ad-libbed [1] the famous line "We'll leave the light on for you" and has been the spokesperson for the chain ever since then. The director, David Fowler, hired him because he "sound[ed] like the kind of person who stays there."[2]

Bodett hosted the public television program, Travels on America’s Historic Trails, in 1997.[3]

In 1999, Bodett started The Loose Leaf Book Company, a radio program that centered around author and book interviews, discussions, and dramatizations. He also published his first children's book, titled Williwaw![4]

In 2005, Motel 6 began using Bodett for their wake-up calls. The chain hoped to bring a more personal touch to people's day by using their spokesperson's voice.[5] Bodett was also featured on the first Motel 6 podcast, released for the holidays.[6]

Bodett resides in Dummerston, Vermont, where he currently is a member of the town's Selectboard.

Bodett was a regular columnist for the webzine Mr. Showbiz. He also did the voiceover for "Mime Time" and the "Good Idea/Bad Idea" segments featuring Mr. Skullhead on Animaniacs and a brief cameo in Pinky and The Brain as well as narrating the 1999 direct to video Animaniacs movie Wakko's Wish.

As a broadcaster, Bodett hosted two radio programs. The End of the Road from 1988 to 1990 and Bodett & Company in 1993.

He is currently a regular contributor to The Bob Edwards Show on XMPR and a member of the stable of panelists on Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, a National Public Radio news quiz show.


Bodett's work includes:


  1. ^
  2. ^ Williams, Kimberly D. "Actually, you can get the light." Advertising Age 78, no. 35 (September 03, 2007): 8-8.
  3. ^ Stump, Julia, and Bette-Lee Fox. "Video reviews." Library Journal 122, no. 19 (November 15, 1997): 87.
  4. ^ Maughan, Shannon. "Bodett Brings Kids' Books to the Airwaves." Publishers Weekly 246, no. 51 (December 20, 1999): 29.
  5. ^ Jayne Clark. "This is a new recording: Souped-up wake-up calls." USA Today. 30 December 2005.
  6. ^ "Motel 6 Continues to Leave the Light On, Begins Reaching Consumers Through New Medium – Podcasts. "PR Newswire 16 December 2005.

External links