Real Time host Bill Maher closed his show on Friday by skewering US media’s use of British accents as a sign that something should be taken seriously, describing it as less a sign of anglophilia than a signal of an American inferiority complex.
“Our reliance on the British accent to convey gravitas is kind of our way of admitting that we know we’re not really a serious people,” he said. “Come on. We drink wine out of a box. We invented Mormonism. Our best-selling author is Bill O’Reilly. Most Americans don’t know that the Big Bang Theory is also a theory.”
As a nation, Maher argued, the US is defined by childish things like superhero movies, the denial of climate change, the Palins, and “pajama jeans.”
“For people who want to wear pants, but don’t want to feel overdressed at Walmart,” he cracked.
Consequently, he said, Americans shoehorn British accents into as many things as possible — even movies where there’s no plausible way for any character to be English, like Marlon Brando playing Kryptonian Jor-El with the accent in Superman, or Jennifer Connelly in Noah.
“Her 600-year-old husband is putting 3 million animals on a house boat,” Maher said of Connelly’s character, Naameh. “But she’s using a British accent because she doesn’t want to sound silly.”
Watch Maher’s commentary, as posted by Crooks and Liars on Friday, below.