Amazon Alexa is a helpful virtual assistant. She can tell you the weather, order your favorite products, play songs, and more. But sometimes you need that a little something extra to spice up your otherwise boring day, and Alexa offers fun skills and features that can make your day more fun.
Amazon added Samuel L. Jackson as a celebrity skill in December 2019, allowing users to ask Jackson questions through Alexa. In response to user feedback, the company added the “Hey Samuel” wake word in September 2020, allowing users to bypass Alexa altogether. Amazon also expanded Jackson’s vibrant library with around 30,000 more phrases, but now the skill costs two bucks instead of just one dollar.
However, Jackson cannot help with lists, reminders, skills, and shopping — you still need Alexa for those tasks. You also can’t change Alexa’s default voice to Jackson’s. If you’re good with those two caveats, here’s how to set up and talk to Samuel L. Jackson using Alexa.
Getting started with Samuel L. Jackson
Before you can have conversations with Jackson, you need to be “introduced” by Alexa. Here’s how:
Step 1: Say “Hey Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson.”
A 30-second exchange between Alexa and Jackson will play. Afterward, Alexa will inform you that the skill will cost $1.99 (plus tax).
Step 2: Say “Yes” if you want to purchase and enable this skill. Amazon will apply the charge to your default credit or debit card.
Step 3: Alexa will ask if you will allow Jackson to use profanity. Say “Yes” or “No.” If you say “Yes,” Jackson will acknowledge his newly uncensored dialect with a fun statement.
Step 4: Confirm that you want to use the “Hey Samuel” wake phrase alongside your established Alexa wake phrase. If you don’t, the wake phrase can be enabled at any time by saying “Alexa, enable Hey Samuel.”
From here, Alexa will say that the skill will take a few minutes to set up. Once it’s active, users can simply say “Hey Samuel” to use the skill. Jackson does not replace Alexa. Note: You can also purchase the skill in the Alexa skills store and set it up in the Alexa app. Additionally, you can visit the Amazon site and enable the skill.
Things to talk about
The “Hey Samuel” wake phrase does not work in the Amazon Alexa apps, the first-generation Echo and Echo Dot, or wearables. According to Amazon, the skill will be available on Fire TV and Fire Tablets “at a later time.” To access the new skill on unsupported devices, you need to go through Alexa. Here are some examples:
- “Alexa, ask Samuel to sing Jingle Bells.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel to roast me.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel what it was like making Star Wars.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel what his favorite book is.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel how he got the part of Nick Fury.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel what his favorite movie line is.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel what his favorite drink is.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel to tell me a joke.”
- “Alexa, ask Samuel if he’s having a good day.”
On devices that support “Hey Samuel,” here are a few examples:
- “Hey Samuel, what’s the weather?”
- “Hey Samuel, tell me a joke.”
- “Hey Samuel, tell me a story.”
- “Hey Samuel, what can you do?”
- “Hey Samuel, what’s in your wallet?”
- “Hey Samuel, are you mad?”
- “Hey Samuel, what’s your favorite word?”
- “Hey Samuel, play some music.”
- “Hey Samuel, set a 10-minute timer.”
For instance, ask Jackson about what’s in his wallet, and he responds with a highly-agitated tone saying it’s “none of your (profanity) business!!” Ask Jackson to give you some advice, and he tells you to stop looking into the mirror. Gee, thanks.
Amazon provides a longer list of examples you can try.
To curse, or not to curse
Samuel L. Jackson is renowned for his lively dialog. According to the Amazon Alexa app, his responses may contain “coarse language.” If you initially allowed explicit content but now find it too harsh around younger ears, you can clean up his vocabulary within the Amazon Alexa app for mobile. Here’s how:
Step 1: Open the Amazon Alexa app for mobile and tap More located at the bottom.
Step 2: Tap Settings.
Step 3: Scroll down and tap Voice Responses.
Step 4: Tap Celebrity Voice.
Step 5: Tap the Toggle next to Explicit Content to turn this feature on or off.
Currently, explicit content cannot be enabled or disabled in the Windows 10 app.
Want more? Here’s how to change Alexa’s voice to a different language or accent.