Tom Bodett Quotes to Keep In Your Inspiration Arsenal

, Staff Writer
Updated February 16, 2022
Retro Microphone Vintage With Tom Bodett Quote
    Retro Microphone Vintage With Tom Bodett Quote
    RatreeFuang / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

You may know Tom Bodett from his work on NPR, his numerous radio programs or as the spokesman for Motel 6. However, he also has a lot to say off-air about everything from traveling the globe to living life anywhere.

Tom Bodett Quotes About Himself

While he’s not usually the subject of interviews, Tom Bodett has occasionally opened up about his life when the spotlight is on him.

  • “I come from very common stock, and I've always been uncomfortable with pretension and all the forms it can take, including disingenuous broadcasting.” - Actually, Motel 6 Doesn't Leave the Light on for You

  • “Like most Alaska immigrants, my roots continue to petition for equal time.”

  • “Somebody says, 'Do a Tom Bodett, a folksy kind of thing,' and it sounds like something out of 'Hee Haw,' very insulting. They turn wry humor into disparaging sarcasm, and you get what amounts to insulting advertising.”

  • “My work is still very much light-hearted, positive outlook, laugh at yourself. But it isn't going to be the laugh-a-minute kind of thing that my early work was.”

  • “I’m not an impersonator. I’ve only got one voice and only do one guy and his first-person essays.”

  • “Mine is not a story to tell struggling writers.”

  • “I know how to make adults laugh pretty well. I don't know if kids think I'm that funny.”


Tom Bodett Quotes About Motel 6

Those familiar with ads for the motel chain Motel 6 know that Tom Bodett has been their spokesman since 1986. However, he also has things to say about Motel 6 when he’s not advertising for them.

  • "I'm Tom Bodett for Motel 6, and we'll leave the light on for you." - Motel 6 commercial outro

  • “I'm happy to report you still get nothing you don't need at Motel 6, and, therefore, you don't have to pay for it. I don't need valet parking. If I can drive the old crate 300 miles to the hotel all by myself, I can certainly handle the last nine feet to the parking space.” - “Actually, Motel 6 Doesn't Leave the Light on for You”

  • “I'm real. I believe what I'm saying. If Motel 6 wasn't the type of operation they say it is - and I stay at them when I travel - I wouldn't do their commercials. That comes through on the radio, and that's what it's all about.”


Quotes About America and Travel

In addition to promoting Motel 6, Bodett has a lot to say about travel in general, particularly about Alaska where he spent 23 years of his life.

  • “People feel vulnerable when they travel. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of or talked into something they don't want. Staying at Motel 6 makes you feel smarter. In fact, I think it actually means you are smarter, but I have no hard data to support that.” - "Actually, Motel 6 Doesn't Leave the Light on for You"

  • “Americans are generally very self-sufficient and I think generally averse to pretension, just as I am.” - "Actually, Motel 6 Doesn't Leave the Light on for You"

  • “That’s what the American odyssey is really about: Leaving home. Leaving home and coming home, and trying to understand the difference.”

  • “In the America I see from here, anything is possible – especially the impossible.”

  • “John Muir, the famous naturalist, wrote in his journal that you should never go to Alaska as a young man because you’ll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live. And there’s a lot of truth to that.”

  • “Kids in Alaska don't know they're growing up on the Last Frontier. It's just what they see on the license plates, and it's something tourists like to say a lot because they've never been around so many mountains and moose before.”


Tom Bodett Quotes on Life

Tom Bodett’s life has carried him across the United States and through several fields of media. His words are great advice for anyone regardless of experience.

  • “They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” - “As Far As You Can Go Without A Passport: The View From The End Of The Road”

  • “The difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist laughs to forget but a pessimist forgets to laugh.”

  • “You can make a new friend but you can't make an old one.”

  • “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

Quotes For Adventurous Souls