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Alexa can now respond in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson — here's how to set it up

It costs $1 to activate his voice (plus tax), but then you can have Samuel L. Jackson read you the news, the weather, tell jokes and more.
Image: Willie Geist
Samuel L. Jackson during an interview with NBC's Willie Giest on June 11, 2019.Mike Smith / NBC

You can now hear the voice of Samuel L. Jackson respond to some of your questions when you talk to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. It’s a feature that was announced during Amazon’s big hardware event back in September, but it just rolled out last week.

It’s pretty easy to set up, but you have to pay $1 to get started, and it doesn’t completely replace Alexa’s voice with Samuel L. Jackson’s for everything. Instead, it just allows you to ask Alexa to “ask Sam Jackson” for something, like the weather, or to tell a joke. It’s pretty limited in scope. But Amazon often experiments with new ideas, then doubles down if they’re successful, so celebrity voices could someday help Amazon make a few extra bucks from Alexa.

Here’s how to set it up:

  • Start by saying “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson”
  • You’ll hear a 30-second introduction.
  • Alexa will say it costs $1 plus tax and if you’d like to buy the voice.
  • Say “Yes.”
  • Choose whether you want explicit or clean language.

That’s it. Now you can ask Alexa to give you some responses from Samuel L. Jackson.

Amazon has a full list of commands you can browse but here are a few. Also, note that you can say “Alexa, ask Samuel,” or “Alexa ask Sam Jackson” or “Alexa ask Samuel L. Jackson.”

  • Alexa, ask Sam Jackson what’s on my calendar.
  • Alexa, ask Sam Jackson to tell a joke.
  • Alexa, ask Sam Jackson the weather.
  • Alexa, ask Sam Jackson to sing jingle bells.
  • Alexa, ask Samuel for the news.

If you need to change the explicit language settings because your uptight aunt is coming over for dinner, you can do it on your phone:

  • Open the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android phone.
  • Tap the menu button on the top-left.
  • Choose Settings.
  • Select “Voice Responses.”
  • Choose “Celebrity Voice” on the bottom
  • You’ll see an option to allow explicit content. Turn it on or off if you want to.