Steve Guttenberg shows us how a Kiwi accent is done

Back in September, The Dominion Post claimed on its front page that I have an ‘accent’ that is holding me back. It was a statement which the editor-in-chief subsequently apologized for, and which she had removed from the online edition—you can judge for yourself here if the claim was a falsehood. Still, despite having lived here for 37 years and having grown up here, I thought I had better take lessons from the great actor, Steve Guttenberg, on what a New Zealander sounds like, since evidently I was still too foreign for a newspaper reporter.
   Head to around 49 minutes for Steve in the persona of Lobo Marunga, from Auckland, in The Boyfriend School, which aired in New Zealand as Don’t Tell Her It’s Me. Forget Sir Ben Kingsley in Ender’s Game.

   My thanks to all those on Twitter and Facebook who complained to the newspaper back in September. The plus side is turning fictions like this into what they should be: a source of humour and entertainment.

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4 thoughts on “Steve Guttenberg shows us how a Kiwi accent is done

  1. Fascinating. A rather obscure movie in a decade that I don’t particularly remember for accents outside the U.S., that’s considered by Mystery Science Theater 3000 (well, Mike Nelson, I guess) to be bad.

  2. It’s not a great movie by any dramatic measure—just one of those feel-good ones that aired here very, very late at night. I can imagine what MST3k had to say about it.

  3. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), it’s referenced pretty obliquely. They list two quotes, and the one Mike says during “Alien from L.A.” seems to be the more memorable one:
    “Okay! Alright! Alright! Yeh, well, when I got up to watch it, you were there crying over ‘Don’t Tell Her It’s Me’!”

  4. Online, I find the occasional reference to Lobo Marunga, even a YouTube video once with some kids quoting him. It is obscure, even here. (Kiwis are more likely to talk about Sir Ben Kingsley’s attempt at a New Zealand accent in Enders’ Game.)

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