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You Are The Weakest Link, Goodbye!
March 27, 2001 6:46 AM   Subscribe

You Are The Weakest Link, Goodbye! Yes, the "Rudest Person on Television" is about to hit American airwaves as NBC desperately tries to catch up to "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and "Survivor". This little BBC profile of Anne Robinson explains it all for us unsuspecting Yanks. Is "YATWLG" about to be the next hot meme?
posted by briank (38 comments total)

 
No. I'd be surprised if America took to the abrasive Ms. Robinson. Interesting to see if her often-noted inability to pronounce foreign words will trip her up when it comes to asking questions in American English. And as for her 'trademark wink'...
posted by Mocata at 6:50 AM on March 27, 2001


And BBC News shows us their never-ending inability to handle copy-editing as NBC Entertainment exec Jeff Zucker is referred to as Jeff Sucker at least twice in the story......or maybe they know something we dont. ;-)

You'll recall last week the Beeb re-named Coke CEO Douglas Daft as "Donald Daft".
posted by briank at 6:51 AM on March 27, 2001


I don't know, I didn't like the show, and hopefully with could get along with all your base belong to us for now. I'm just upset that Fishing with John isn't even being mentioned anywhere. Sigh, the greatest show ever made.
posted by tiaka at 6:51 AM on March 27, 2001


I smell a huge backlash. I think Americans tend to dislike pretention if there is not the slightest hint of a self effacing nature.

Then I think of Alec Trebec. Then I think that he's Canadian. That's normally when I stop thinking.
posted by Dagobert at 6:53 AM on March 27, 2001


Interesting to see if her often-noted inability to pronounce foreign words will trip her up when it comes to asking questions in American English

Like anyone here will notice that she mispronounces foreign words. We don't even pronounce English words correctly.
posted by briank at 6:56 AM on March 27, 2001


That's what I mean - she's never going to be able to get her head round the correct US pronunciation of, say, St Louis.
posted by Mocata at 7:09 AM on March 27, 2001


And what would the correct pronunciation of St. Louis be?
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:23 AM on March 27, 2001


I just can't see an American game show succeeding where the basic premise is to tell the contestants how stupid they are. Yes, that's what the people at home are thinking, but all the quizzes I've ever watched while in the US treat the most brain-addled bozos as if they're just forgetful geniuses.

But I really really want to watch it happening.
posted by holgate at 7:37 AM on March 27, 2001


Judge Judy and talk tv demonstrate that there's an American audience to watch stupid people being humiliated for being stupid. If they get "nice people", the show will be over. But if they get jerks who "deserve" to be abused, the audience will eat it up.
posted by bjennings at 7:47 AM on March 27, 2001


she's never going to be able to get her head round the correct US pronunciation of, say, St Louis.

Nah, I think she'll get St. Louis ok. It's Des Moines that'll throw her for a serious loop.
posted by dnash at 7:59 AM on March 27, 2001


And what would the correct pronunciation of St. Louis be?

Why "Sahn Loo-ee", of course.

It's Des Moines that'll throw her for a serious loop

and "Deh Mwahn"

Of course, back home in Maine we pronounce Calais as "Callus", so Anne may be right at home.
posted by briank at 8:18 AM on March 27, 2001


ohmy. I had read hateful screeds directed at Ms. Robinson, and I had whimpered as if in reaction to nails on chalkboards upon seeing the frightful ads for this show, but never had I connected the two.

it all makes sense now.

my contribution to the funny-place-name subthread: Cairo, Georgia. pronounced "Kay-ro". yup. heh.
posted by Sapphireblue at 8:31 AM on March 27, 2001


Cairo, huh? Just like the one in Illinois.
posted by dfowler at 8:34 AM on March 27, 2001


Bellefontaine, Ohio: "Bellfountain"

Chili, NY: "CHY-lye"

Novi, MI: "NO-vye"

Puyallup, WA: "Pyu-ALL-up" not "Poo-YAL-up" like it's spelled
posted by kindall at 9:04 AM on March 27, 2001


The place name that always irks me is a street here in Chicago. Goethe. But they pronounce it "GO-thee"!! (soft "th" like "theater")
posted by dnash at 9:12 AM on March 27, 2001


Hi, first post. Robinson got into big trouble over here when she stated her opinion about the Welsh and Wales on a show called 'Room 101' - guest select a number of things they'd like to see consigned to history's dustbin. A bit of a misinterpretation of the original Orwellian idea, but there you go, it's light entertainment.

So, the Welsh are among her worst nightmares. A group of ex-pat Welsh lawyers have vowed to make life difficult for her over in the States. She's not making many friends.

I don't like the show, by the way.
posted by hmgovt at 9:17 AM on March 27, 2001


Also here in lovely Washington State:

Humptulips: "Humptulips." Bless 'em.

But to veer slightly back on-topic, the ads for this program are some of the most excruciating I've ever endured. I would never--nay, could never--watch this show, for exactly the same reasons that I experience near-physical pain when I run across "Judge Judy." Carefully engineered condescension and humiliation is not my cup of tea.
posted by Skot at 9:22 AM on March 27, 2001


I'll be surprised if any such mispronunciations will get on the air here. TV producers in the UK are generally given far more control over their own shows than they are in the US. Here the network suits hover over and micromanage every little detail of every program, largely for reasons of ego. (If you've ever wondered why so many US TV shows feel generic, as if they've been written by committee, it's because they are.) Any major screwups Anne makes are probably re-taped immediately, if for no other reason than to eliminate any risk of NBC looking bad.

I don't know whether Americans will take to her or not, but I do know that NBC is running an ad campaign that seems to have been designed to repel potential viewers. They barely hint at what the show is actually about; all we're told is that it's something that kicked Millionaire's ass in Britain and features a rather severe woman with beady eyes repeating "You AHR the weakest link, goodbye!" over and over and over. Oh, and that it's a catchphrase that you'd better learn right now if you want to be cool. Worst of all, they started running the ads a solid month before the show starts, guaranteeing that by the time it gets on the air, people will already be sick of it. Bleah.
posted by aaron at 9:32 AM on March 27, 2001



Offtopic: Charlotte, Michigan: "shar-LOT"

Then again, there probably won't be any questions about Charlotte. What would they ask? Where is the Candy Ford-Mercury dealership located? What is the county seat of Eaton County, MI?


Slightly Less Offtopic: If the show doesn't fly (ala FOX's Greed), how will they break the news to Anne Robinson that she's been dropped from the NBC schedule?

Uh, Anne, you're the weakest link. Goodbye.

Or the weakest link at NBC the XFL? First the olympics debacle, then the XFL . . . why such difficulty judging the American viewer?
posted by iceberg273 at 10:13 AM on March 27, 2001


Another strangely pronounced city name:

Miami, Oklahoma: My-am-uh
posted by thatothrgirl at 10:22 AM on March 27, 2001


The whole "reality TV" phenom is based on the central supposition that people do indeed like to watch other people be humiliated and embarrassed either by their own stupid actions or by the consensus of their cohorts. Would anyone give a skinny rat's ass about Survivor if they weren't all trying to stab each other in the back?

But, as iceberg notes, NBC has not had very good luck trying to suss out the current viewing vibe.

Frankly, I can already imagine the SNL parodies with Anna Gasteyer as Anne Robinson, and Dubya & Gore as contestants.
posted by briank at 10:28 AM on March 27, 2001


Would anyone give a skinny rat's ass about Survivor if they weren't all trying to stab each other in the back?

Y e s.
posted by rodii at 10:50 AM on March 27, 2001


Well now that's just sad...
posted by briank at 10:53 AM on March 27, 2001


I'm just upset that Fishing with John isn't even being mentioned anywhere

FWJ r0x0rz my s0x0rz!

No, but really, I love that show. I'm especially fond of the narrator.
posted by aramaic at 11:41 AM on March 27, 2001


More funny place names:

Rutherfordton, NC: Pronounced "Roof-er-ton."
Cherryville, NC: Pronounced "Churr-vull."
posted by norm at 11:50 AM on March 27, 2001


Bois D'Arc, MO: "bow'-dark"
El Dorado, AR: "ell-door-ay'-duh"
posted by daveadams at 12:04 PM on March 27, 2001


Or any place in the Boston area:

Billerica = "Bricka"
Medford = "Mehfuh"
posted by anapestic at 12:13 PM on March 27, 2001


My main concern with Weakest Link is where the tryouts are going to be... I need to win that money, and I can think of no one I'd rather take it from than a pretentious Brit.
posted by anildash at 12:30 PM on March 27, 2001


anapestic --

I don't think I've ever heard someone say "Bricka"; seems to me it gets said "Bill-a-ricka". But then there's always "Tooks-bree" and "Wuhsta"
posted by briank at 12:37 PM on March 27, 2001


Nevada, MO: Nuh-VAY-duh
Norfolk, NE: NOR-fork
posted by cludwig at 1:11 PM on March 27, 2001


YATWLNWCATBOGG: You Are The Weakest Link, Now We Control All Three Branches of Government, Goodbye!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:34 PM on March 27, 2001


Newark, Delaware.
posted by aaron at 2:22 PM on March 27, 2001


Washington, DC: Warshington.

said by only certain people, can't figure out exactly who they are though.
posted by chaz at 2:35 PM on March 27, 2001


Back in Washington state and my personal favorite - Touchet, pronounced TOO-shee.
posted by NsJen at 5:37 PM on March 27, 2001


Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales is probably pronounced in quite an amusing way.
posted by Mocata at 6:02 AM on March 28, 2001


Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales is probably pronounced in quite an amusing way.

In fact, it's pronounced "You-are-the-weakest-link-goodbye", which brings this topic full circle.
posted by briank at 7:18 AM on March 28, 2001


I thought it was pronounced "Mangrove Throat-Warbler."
posted by kindall at 11:54 AM on March 28, 2001


the commercials scare me. I didn't even know it was a game show by the looks of it when they first aired em..I thought it was some new scary sitcom..erm...

thank you. I doubt I'll watch unless I'm really bored :

and I heard that people in Houston, Tx are supposed to pronounce it: OOS ton, but I pronounce it like HUGHS ton

eh. I was never big on pronounciation of cities anyway :P
posted by aekastar at 11:12 PM on March 28, 2001


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