Caller: How Do You Do Such Great Impressions with a Cochlear Implant?
Dec 4, 2015
RUSH: Ed in Atlanta, you’re next. It’s Open Line Friday, and great to have you here. Hi.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Since you got your cochlear implant, you’ve spoken on occasion about how you can’t really hear music anymore, that it’s just so much noise and that voices all sound alike to you, so much so that you can’t even tell the difference between a man’s and a woman’s voice.
RUSH: On the phone.
CALLER: Oh, on the phone. Well, my Open Line Friday question is, how is it that you can do such a good impression of Barack Obama when you’ve never really heard his voice without the implant?
RUSH: You’re the first guy that’s commented on it. I’m just mimicking what I hear. I can hear Obama’s speech patterns. I mean, I was a voice student — I still am, especially of my own. I mean, I know how it feels when it’s working and when it’s not. I know when I’m speaking incorrectly, like from my throat, when I shouldn’t be. But when I can see somebody on TV speaking and turn the volume up loud enough and there’s no other noise in the room, I can get an idea of speech patterns, and then whatever I hear — I don’t have any idea the way I hear Obama is the way he actually sounds, so all I can do is mimic what I hear. I guess you’re telling me it’s pretty close.
CALLER: So if there’s no phone involved, you can tell the difference between a man’s and a woman’s voice?
RUSH: Well, now, see, here’s the thing. Since your name is Ed —
RUSH: — I know you’re a guy. So it all comes together, your voice is that of a man. If I didn’t know your name and if I didn’t know what you were calling about or whatever, it was just a voice, your voice would have to really, really be low for me to be sure you were a guy. But more than that, I cannot distinguish — every woman’s voice sounds identical to me on the phone doing this program. There’s not a smidge — every woman that calls here — except a 10-year-old kid. I’m talking about adult women, every one sounds identical to me.
CALLER: So what does my voice sound like to you? Do I sound like Stephen Hawking or something?
RUSH: (imitating caller) No. You sound like a union thug that’s really ticked off at me and if I don’t say the right thing here I might be in some trouble.
CALLER: (laughing) Okay. I think I understand now. I didn’t know the phone was a critical component of that. So when you hear Barack Obama speaking on television, you can hear his inflections and things like that, so you’re able to impersonate him?
RUSH: (imitating Obama) Uh, exactly right, that’s right. Uh, uh, and I — I know that — that people think he’s brilliant ’cause the way he speaks. And people think people are brilliant ’cause the way they speak, they say “uhhh”, a lot ’cause that’s how you make people think you’re thinking when you’re talking, uh, so, yeah.
CALLER: Okay, did I make the host look good?
RUSH: You made the host look great, absolutely. What do you want, iPad or iPhone? (laughing).
CALLER: Well, I already have one of each.
RUSH: I’ll bet you don’t have an iPad Pro.
CALLER: No, I don’t.
RUSH: You want one?
RUSH: Black, gold, or silver?
RUSH: Wise choice, 13-inch screen, black border screen pops, nobody’s ever seen a TV with a wide border, right? Don’t hang up. Snerdley will get your address and we’ll FedEx the thing out to you.