‘You don’t talk white enough,’ veteran telemarketer Langston (Danny Glover) advises his young deskmate in an early Sorry to Bother You scene. Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) is new to telemarketing company Regal View, and having a hard time getting the hang of the company’s sales pitch. He’s selling encyclopedias no one really wants, and can’t make it through one call without being hung up on. Langston gives him a word of advice: ‘I’m not talking Will Smith–white,’ he says. ‘I’m talking about the real deal.’
Langston clicks on his headset and begins talking to a potential client — except instead of Danny Glover’s deep croak, it’s an upbeat voice, one that sounds like a gingham Vineyard Vines button-down became sentient while sitting on the deck of a lake house, sipping a beer kept chilled in a Georgetown koozie. David Cross, who plays Stanfield’s white voice, describes his vocals thusly in a featurette for the film: ‘If you could put a Brooks Brothers jacket and a pair of dockers on a voice, that’s what we’ve got.'” says Hunter Harris.