Wow, the British can't even understand themselves1

Stephen is defeated by a Newcastle Accent

What the hell is Rich Hall doing here?

What is this word that appears in the thread title: themselves1

He’s a frequent panelist on Qi - in fact, I don’t know him from anywhere else.

Oh sorry, that was going to be “**U.S.A. Number 1 !!” **but I just didn’t have the space.

Just go to school!!!

Please, we’re just as bad - they have to do subtitles for “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.”

To be fair, he was defeated by someone’s version of a Newcastle accent, and it’s hardly surprising, there are many wonderful and varied English accents.

As his character Otis Lee Crenshaw he does a wonderful, romantic ballad about prison rape.

Yes. Despite what you’ve probably heard, Rich Hall is not actually from Newcastle at all…he’s from Virginia.

If this is the same dude who had the show Onion World on the early days of CC, I know him from there. He also apparently coined the word (and produced books of) Sniglets.

So that was a Virginian accent? It wouldn’t be the first time I couldn’t understand a Virginian.

Aye, it’s not actually a very good impression that Phil Jupitus is doing there – the only way you can tell that it’s meant to be Geordie is that he includes the word “canny” and ends the sentence with “like”. Which is, y’knaa, canny typical, like. I think Stephen just didn’t pick up on those clues, and then used that as cue to don his stuffy, pedantic old buffer persona for comedic purposes.

He certainly seems to understand actual Geordies perfectly well: both Ross Noble (from Cramlington) and Sarah Millican (from South Shields) have been on the programme several times without any obvious communication problems.

I remember him from Not Necessarily the News. guess he’s still around.

Rich Hall moved to the UK a good many years ago and has had a fairly successful comedy career there. I think he married a British woman, but I may be thinking of someone else.

According to Wikipedia, he was the inspiration for Moe Szyslak.

But we have the same range of accents with a much larger area and population.

I suspect you don’t quite have the same range. A small, immobile population over a period of centuries ensures wild diversity. Not sure that the USA has it to the same degree.

My wife grew up 5 miles away from me, my dad from 60 miles away. They both have different accents (with my dad’s family being almost unintelligible at times).
I knew where my wife was from just by the way she spoke.
My own neck of the woods (originally NE England) is certainly rich in accents and tens of miles can see big differences. Even different valleys can see big differences.

Still, it’s not as though the Brits are the only ones that can produce accents that are accessible only with difficulty even to other Brits. I’d say that close to 100 per cent of the people that start watching The Wire end up saying something about they can’t always follow exactly what’s going on. And one could hardly blame them.


Rich Hall has done some excellent documentarys over here on American subjects such as Westerns and Indians and the Deep South.

I love his presenting style.