SNL skit mocks Buffalo broadcast news stations
blog by S.J. Velasquez • September 26, 2011 @ 10:55am
Some Buffalonians are in denial about our nasally accents and exaggerated vowels. I’ve had a few friends insist, “We talk like they do on TV!”
Well, that begs the question, “What TV station?” Because if you’re watching any of the local broadcast stations, you’re going to hear a whole lot of hard “A” tendencies and throaty “N” sounds that sound much like the words coming out of your own mouth. We can’t hide anymore. The truth is out.
This past weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a skit featuring fake Buffalo news station WDHX. While the apparent joke was about the satellite delay, the true humor was in the actors’ lampooning of the Buffalo accent. Anchors Tom Flint (played by SNL host Alec Baldwin) and Vivian Knowles (Abby Elliott) exchanged delayed conversation with Denise Fineman (Kristen Wiig), a correspondent reporting from Costa Rica.
I think Baldwin oversold the accent a bit. At times, he sounds a little too influenced by Midwestern talk, channeling more of a Sarah Palin and less of a Janet Snyder. (On a side note, I just managed to name the two women in media I despise most.) Still, he nails it with the over-pronunciation of “Welcome back,” “I’m excited,” and “Oh my geoddd. Do you see that? De-neese!” Baldwin is no stranger to the sound of Buffalonians chatting. Not only did he grow up outside of Syracuse and is a avid supporter of Western New York’s own Wegmans, but he’s on the advisory board for Buffalo’s Road Less Traveled Productions.
Abby Elliott put in the effort to sound like a Western New Yorker, but she just ended up sounding like a broadcaster. And that’s never a good thing, even if you’re a broadcaster.
The true star was Western New York’s own Kristen Wiig, who grew up just outside of Rochester. She hit her Buffalonian vowels perfectly—so perfectly that many locals will probably try telling me that she didn’t have an accent at all, that she talks like they do on TV.