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Who Is Tom Bodett Of Motel 6


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Gus Colin



When it comes to recognizable voices in the world of advertising, Tom Bodett’s deep, friendly baritone is hard to miss. For decades, Bodett has been the voice behind the iconic Motel 6 commercials, charming audiences with his warm and inviting delivery. But who is Tom Bodett and how did he become synonymous with this well-known hotel chain?


In this article, we will delve into the life and career of Tom Bodett, exploring his journey as a voice actor, his involvement with the Motel 6 campaigns, his accomplishments as an author, and more. Join us as we uncover the man behind the voice and discover the influence he has had on both the advertising industry and popular culture.


From his early life to his ongoing success, Tom Bodett’s story is one of talent, wit, and a touch of serendipity. Let’s take a closer look at the man who has brought warmth and hospitality to countless hotel guests across the United States and beyond.


Early Life

Tom Bodett was born on February 23, 1955, in Champaign, Illinois. Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, Bodett developed a strong sense of community and a knack for storytelling. His love for performing was evident from a young age, as he would captivate audiences with his humor and charismatic presence.


Despite his talent, Bodett’s path to success wasn’t always smooth. He faced financial challenges and setbacks that could have deterred his dreams. However, he persevered and found solace in his passion for writing and performing. Bodett’s determination led him to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, and his unique voice would become his greatest asset.


During his early years, Bodett honed his skills as a broadcaster and writer. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he studied theater and journalism. This provided him with a well-rounded education that would serve as the foundation for his future endeavors.


As fate would have it, Bodett’s first breakthrough came in the form of a radio show. In the late 1970s, he landed a job as a host and producer of the public radio program, “The End of the Road,” in Homer, Alaska. This experience allowed Bodett to refine his storytelling abilities and connect with listeners on a deeper level.


Little did Bodett know that this opportunity would lead to a life-changing encounter with the world of advertising. One day, while working at the radio station, he received a call from a representative at Motel 6, who was looking for a voice to represent their brand. Intrigued by the offer, Bodett auditioned and ultimately secured the role that would define his career.


With his distinctive voice and natural aptitude for engaging storytelling, Bodett became the voice of Motel 6, etching his name in the annals of advertising history. But his journey was far from over. As his popularity grew, so did his opportunities in various fields of entertainment and writing.


Stay tuned as we delve into Tom Bodett’s successful career as a voice actor and the impact he made through the Motel 6 campaigns.


Career as a Voice Actor

Tom Bodett’s career as a voice actor took off following his role as the voice behind the Motel 6 commercials. His deep, soothing voice instantly resonated with audiences and became synonymous with the brand’s commitment to providing affordable and comfortable accommodations.


Bodett’s distinctive voice, combined with his storytelling abilities, was a winning formula that appealed to a wide range of listeners. His warm and friendly tone made him relatable and trustworthy, qualities that are crucial in the world of advertising.


Outside of his work with Motel 6, Bodett lent his voice to a multitude of projects. He became a sought-after voiceover artist for numerous commercials, documentaries, and audiobooks. His voice became instantly recognizable and often served as a reassuring presence in the media landscape.


Bodett’s career as a voice actor also extended to the world of animation. He provided voices for characters in popular animated shows, bringing his unique blend of charm and wit to each role. His versatility as a voice actor allowed him to showcase a range of emotions and embody different personalities in his performances.


One notable example of Bodett’s animated work is his role as the narrator in the animated TV series “The Simpsons.” His deep, soothing voice added an extra layer of humor and warmth to the iconic show, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.


As technology advanced, Bodett embraced the digital age and expanded his presence online. He started his own podcast, aptly named “The Bodettcast,” where he engages in fascinating conversations with guests from various walks of life. The podcast allows him to showcase his storytelling skills in a longer format and connect with his audience on a more personal level.


Throughout his career, Tom Bodett’s voice has become more than just a tool for advertising. It has become a comforting presence, a familiar friend that reminds us of the importance of hospitality and the value of a warm welcome. Bodett’s contributions as a voice actor have left an indelible mark, solidifying his place as a true legend in the industry.


In the next section, we will explore Bodett’s involvement with the Motel 6 campaigns and how his voice became synonymous with the brand’s identity.


Motel 6 Campaigns

Tom Bodett’s association with Motel 6 began in the mid-1980s when the brand was seeking a fresh approach to their advertising. Bodett’s deep, friendly voice and his ability to tell captivating stories made him the perfect fit to represent the chain’s commitment to affordability and quality.


The Motel 6 commercials featuring Bodett’s voice became instant hits, resonating with audiences across the country. His laid-back, no-nonsense delivery combined with a touch of humor created a memorable and relatable persona. The commercials often featured Bodett narrating anecdotes about the simplicity and comfort of Motel 6 stays, making viewers feel like they were part of the experience.


One of the most famous taglines associated with the Motel 6 campaigns was Bodett’s iconic line, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” This simple phrase became synonymous with the brand and exemplified the welcoming and hospitable nature of Motel 6’s approach to customer service.


Over the years, the Motel 6 campaigns featuring Tom Bodett’s voice continued to evolve. He became a recognizable figure in the commercials, lending a sense of familiarity and trust to the brand. In many of the advertisements, Bodett would appear as himself, reinforcing the genuine and down-to-earth image Motel 6 aimed to portray.


What set the Motel 6 campaigns apart was not just Bodett’s voice, but the underlying message they conveyed. By showcasing the affordability and comfort of their accommodations, the commercials appealed to budget-conscious travelers who sought a reliable and straightforward lodging option.


Bodett’s involvement with the Motel 6 campaigns extended beyond the commercial realm. He became a brand ambassador, representing the values and principles that Motel 6 stood for. His genuine passion for the brand and its commitment to providing quality service helped to foster a strong and loyal customer base.


The success of the Motel 6 campaigns can be attributed in large part to Bodett’s talent as a voice actor. His ability to engage an audience and convey a sense of trust and familiarity played a significant role in solidifying Motel 6’s position as a leading budget hotel chain.


Next, we will explore Tom Bodett’s accomplishments as an author and his continued impact on the world of writing.


Authorship and Writing Career

While Tom Bodett is widely known for his work as a voice actor, his talents don’t stop there. He is also an accomplished author with several books to his name. Bodett’s writing career showcases his wit, humor, and keen observation of human nature.


One of Bodett’s most notable works is his book, “The End of the Road,” which was published in 1989. Drawing upon his experience hosting the radio program of the same name, the book takes readers on a humorous and insightful journey through small-town Alaska. Bodett’s storytelling talents shine as he captures the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the people and places he encountered during his time in the Last Frontier.


In addition to “The End of the Road,” Bodett has published several other books, including “As Far as You Can Go Without a Passport” and “Williwaw!: A Novel.” These works further exemplify his ability to craft engaging narratives and offer a unique perspective on life’s experiences.


Bodett’s writing style is often characterized by a warmth and authenticity that resonate with readers. His ability to inject humor into everyday situations and his keen eye for human interactions make his works relatable and enjoyable. Whether he is recounting his own experiences or crafting fictional stories, Bodett’s storytelling skills shine through, inviting readers into his world.


In addition to his books, Bodett’s talent as a writer has also been showcased in his numerous essays and articles published in newspapers and magazines. His wit and insightful commentary on various topics have garnered him a loyal following of readers who appreciate his unique perspective.


Beyond his creative writing, Bodett has also proven himself as a skilled writer in the business world. He has worked as a contributing editor for various publications, offering his expertise and perspectives on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to customer service. His ability to communicate effectively and engage readers has made him a sought-after voice in the business and hospitality industries.


Tom Bodett’s writing career has allowed him to expand his creative outlets and connect with audiences in a different way. Through his books, essays, and articles, he continues to captivate readers with his humor, insight, and ability to tell a compelling story.


Next, let’s delve into the personal life of Tom Bodett and discover the man behind the voice.


Personal Life

While Tom Bodett is best known for his professional accomplishments, he also leads a fulfilling personal life outside of the spotlight. Despite his fame, Bodett remains down-to-earth and committed to his family and community.


Bodett is a devoted husband and father. He met his wife Rita while attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and they have built a strong and lasting partnership. Together, they have two children and have created a loving and supportive family environment.


In addition to his family life, Bodett is an active member of his community. He engages in various philanthropic endeavors and has advocated for causes close to his heart. Whether it’s supporting local businesses or volunteering his time to make a difference, Bodett’s dedication to his community shines through in his actions.


When he’s not working or giving back to his community, Bodett enjoys indulging in his hobbies. He has a passion for the outdoors and takes every opportunity to immerse himself in nature. Bodett has been an avid pilot for many years, finding solace and adventure in flying airplanes. This love for aviation has allowed him to explore the wonders of the sky and experience the freedom it offers.


Despite his success and busy schedule, Bodett manages to maintain a balanced life and nurture his personal relationships. He values the importance of family, community, and self-care, and strives to find harmony in all aspects of his life.


Now that we have delved into the personal life of Tom Bodett, let’s explore his lasting legacy and the contributions he has made to the world of advertising and entertainment.


Legacy and Contributions

Tom Bodett’s legacy is one that spans multiple industries and has left a lasting impact on the world of advertising, entertainment, and literature. Through his memorable voice, engaging storytelling abilities, and relatable persona, Bodett has solidified his place as a beloved figure in popular culture.


Bodett’s contributions to the advertising industry are significant and enduring. His work as the voice of Motel 6, particularly his iconic tagline “We’ll leave the light on for you,” has become ingrained in the public consciousness. The commercials featuring Bodett’s voice resonated with audiences, helping to establish Motel 6 as a trusted and reliable brand in the hospitality industry.


Beyond his work with Motel 6, Bodett’s talent as a voice actor has been recognized and celebrated. His voice has been a familiar presence in commercials, documentaries, and animated shows, capturing the attention and hearts of listeners across generations. Bodett’s ability to bring characters to life through his voice has made him a sought-after talent within the industry.


Bodett’s contributions as an author and writer have also left a lasting impact. His books, such as “The End of the Road,” have garnered praise for their humor, insight, and ability to connect with readers. His storytelling talent and unique perspective have made him a respected voice in the literary world.


Furthermore, Bodett’s wit and charm extend beyond his professional life. His involvement in his community and philanthropic efforts display his genuine commitment to making a positive difference. Bodett’s dedication to his family and his engagement in various causes exemplify his values and demonstrate the importance of giving back.


Overall, Tom Bodett’s legacy is one of warmth, authenticity, and talent. His contributions as a voice actor, author, and community member have left an indelible mark, shaping the industries he has worked in and touching the lives of those who have experienced his work.


As we conclude our exploration of the life and career of Tom Bodett, we recognize the enduring impact he has had and the inspiration he continues to provide to aspiring voice actors, writers, and individuals striving to make a positive impact in their own communities.



Tom Bodett has made an indelible mark on the worlds of advertising, entertainment, and literature. His deep, friendly voice and engaging storytelling abilities have captivated audiences for decades. From his iconic role as the voice of Motel 6 to his success as an author and community advocate, Bodett’s legacy is one of talent, authenticity, and a genuine connection with people.


His contributions as a voice actor have shaped the advertising industry, with his memorable commercials and iconic taglines becoming embedded in popular culture. Bodett’s voice has been a source of comfort and assurance for travelers seeking affordable accommodations and a reliable place to stay.


His success as an author further showcases his storytelling skills and ability to connect with readers. Through his books, Bodett offers readers a glimpse into his world, sharing his wit, humor, and poignant observations. His writing has left a lasting impact, earning him a dedicated readership and further cementing his status as a multifaceted creative talent.


Beyond his professional accomplishments, Bodett’s dedication to his family and community demonstrates the importance of staying grounded and giving back. His philanthropic efforts and engagement in local causes reflect his genuine care for those around him, and his commitment to making a positive difference in the world.


In conclusion, Tom Bodett’s journey from a small town in the Midwest to becoming a household name showcases the power of talent, perseverance, and authenticity. His unique voice, warm personality, and ability to connect with audiences have made him a beloved figure in advertising, voice acting, writing, and beyond.


As we reflect on his contributions, Bodett serves as an inspiration to aspiring voice actors, writers, and individuals seeking to make an impact in their communities. His legacy will continue to resonate for years to come, reminding us of the power of a welcoming voice, an engaging story, and a genuine connection.