Stephen Hawking’s synthesized voice is perhaps just as famous as his brilliant mind.
The theoretical physicist and cosmologist has “spoken” using the same Intel-made computer system for the past two decades. Now, however, Hawking says he’s ready for a replacement.
In a spoof video, the English scientist sifts through audition tapes from celebrities vying to provide Hawking’s new voice.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his pitch with a rap, proclaiming his own voice “dope as hell” while Hawking’s is “mad robotic, if I’m being honest.”
Actor Liam Neeson tells Hawking, “Listen to my voice. It’s deep. It’s sexy. It’s got a tinge of … physics.” Rebel Wilson and Anna Kendrick give it a go, as does Bill Gates.
Even Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed Hawking in the 2014 film The Theory of Everything, aims for a second chance at Hawking-related fame, though he didn’t go the flattery route. “The man literally has one topic of conversation: Black holes,” Redmayne says.
British charity Comic Relief produced the video for Red Nose Day. Since March 24, the day of the event, the charity has raised about 73 million pounds, or nearly $91 million, to support “people living tough lives” in the U.K. and certain parts of Africa.
Hawking was diagnosed with ALS — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — in 1963, at age 21. Although his physical abilities deteriorated, he still retained some ability to speak.
But in 1985, when he caught pneumonia, doctors were forced to cut a hole in his neck and place a tube in his windpipe. The tracheotomy saved Hawking’s life but stole what was left of his voice.
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