Worst Irish Accent Ever? - Macleans.ca

Worst Irish Accent Ever?

Brando’s Irish sounded like a parody of a parody of a bad accent

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and in honour of that, I’ll pose this question: what’s the worst Irish accent you have ever heard in a movie, TV show or something else? I find it interesting that when histories of bad accents are written, there usually aren’t that many Irish accents on the lists (though Sean Connery in The Untouchables is usually there), even though the movies have probably had more ridiculous Irish accents than any other. Maybe we’re all so used to terrible Irish accents that they don’t stand out quite as much as, say, Dick Van Dyke’s Cockney accent.

Still, as usual when it came to terrible accents, Marlon Brando managed to make something special of his insane Irish brogue in The Missouri Breaks. Like many of Brando’s accents, it sounds like a parody of a parody of a bad accent. In his essay on bad accents, Joe Queenan wrote: “It is my earnest belief that in using that diabolically wee Irish accent, Brando was attempting nothing short of a linguistic revolution: speaking, not as he imagined a nineteenth-century Irish gunslinger might, but as he imagined a nineteenth-century Irish gunslinger — and, indeed, all Irish people — should.

What’s your own choice for the K.O. Kelly Memorial Accent Defamation Trophy?