Minnesotans with an ear for enunciation can listen in as hot dish, Caribou Coffee and meat raffles got some time in the spotlight Thursday when “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” hosted something it called “the Minnesota accent battle to end all Minnesota accent battles.”
The “Late Show Accent-Off” pitted Duluth comedian Maria Bamford (“can de-ice a windshield in less than 20 seconds”) against Minnesota native and “Late Show” writer Ariel Dumas (“knows Joe Mauer’s cousin”).
The two sounded off in a rapid-fire (and occasionally unintelligible) exchange in which they covered staples of Minnesota life — heading to Hinckley or up to Grand Marais for the holidays and hitting black ice on the way to the mall, dontcha know.
The accent — with its drawn out vowels and flat sound — has a tradition of comedic uses on YouTube and television. Occasionally, Minnesotans have taken issue with an interpretation, such as when actress Frances McDormand played a Brainerd police chief in the Coen brothers film “Fargo.”
Did they get it right? You be the judge.
Benjamin Farniok is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for Star Tribune.