Comedian fakes his accent to a college class and gets mixed reviewson November 29, 2012 @ 1:49 pm (Updated: 8:25 am - 12/2/12 )
Jose Barrientos thinks people may equate IQs with accents. That wasn't, however, the reasoning behind his prank that fooled just about everyone in his public speaking class at Los Angeles City College.
"At first I was doing it just be silly, but then I realized I should be filming it," Barrientos told the Ross & Burbank Show.
So he filmed all three speeches: The first speech, in which he shared an object and talked about himself (he brought in a pinata;) the second where he talked about his idol, (as young boy in Mexico he looked up to David Hasselhoff;) the third speech was the history of Cinco de Mayo (a holiday that is observed, but not traditionally celebrated in Mexico.)
He noticed that when he used an accent, people would speak slower and louder in an effort to help him understand better. It made him feel like maybe people thought he just wasn't that smart and that opposite was maybe true for someone with a British accent: Americans tend to think of those people as smarter.
Barrientos called the fourth, and final speech, "the reveal." It was supposed to be about effective communication. During the speech he talked about how difficult it was to communicate when you had an accent, but he'd found the solution.
The answer to his problem was a can of Red Bull he called the "magic elixir" that would make his accent disappear.
"It slowly crept up on them. When they did realize (what had been going on,) 50 percent were angry and 50 percent thought it was funny."
When the video finally made it to YouTube, Barrientos said he received some hate mail too. One of them said 'you're making Mexicans look stupid.'
"I said, 'I put Mexicans on YouTube. What have you done for Mexicans?'"
Sure it was funny, but without trying to make a social statement - he did. As an American with an American accent, the silly things he said about riding donkeys and Mexican-American holidays, just didn't make as much sense with an American accent.
His class will probably think twice the next time they talked to someone with an accent.
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