I grew up in Queens, attended high school on Long Island, graduated from NYU, and currently reside in Brooklyn. In my 31 years of New York living, I have very little success and few skills to speak of, but if there’s one thing I’m pretty good at, it’s spotting shitty attempts at New York and New Jersey accents.
For most of my life I suffered from a Queens/Long Island hybrid speech impediment. Basically I sounded like a douchebag for a very long time. The tank tops I chose to wear instead of shirts with sleeves didn’t help the situation either, as evidenced by this clip from a Manhattan Cable Access show I hosted a few times during the summer of my 20th year in the boroughs.
I never tried to get rid of the accent—I was blissfully unaware that it was there in the first place. But fortunately, at some point, without any conscious prodding, my body started to reject the accent, and now, after years of vocal sickness, I’m left with something I can hear recordings of without cringing. Other family members and friends have not been so fortunate—they still carry the disease. But, thankfully, they will die one day and take that dreaded accent with them.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the following films and actors, whose failed attempts at New York and New Jersey accents will live on long after my tank tops have decomposed.
Check out the list of “The Worst Attempts at New York and New Jersey Accents in Film” over at Portable.TV.
(Thanks to Will McLaughlin, Eric Ablett, Mauro Flores Jr, Matt Perez, Marc Perez, Rob Miraglia, Greg Burke, Steve Rosenstein, David Hale, Anthony L. Fisher, Mercer Morrison, and Jae Yim for reminding me just how bad things could get.)
Due to an editing mix-up, the following hyperlinks didn’t make it into the published version.
- Steven Segal – Out for Justice
- Raphael – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The Cast of Deuces Wild
- Dennis Quaid in Frequency
- Eric Roberts – The Pope of Greenwich Village
- Tom Wilkinson – Batman Begins