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'SNL' Spoofs Bloomberg's Sign Language Interpretor, Lydia Callis

'SNL' Spoofs Bloomberg's Sign Language Interpretor, Lydia Callis

11/05/2012

Saturday Night Live found a humorous silver lining from the tragic Hurricane Sandy in the form of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s animated sign-language interpreter, Lydia Callis.

The show’s cold open featured longtime cast member Fred Armisen as Mayor Bloomberg addressing viewers from a mock press conference. By his side was his trusty sign language interpreter, Callis (Cecily Strong). As Armisen spoke, Strong gave Callis her typical lively facial expressions, but then added her own comedic twist. When firefighters were mentioned she motioned like she was manning a giant hose, and when Armisen-as-Bloomberg joked that he would arrest President Barack Obama if he brought his motorcade to New York, Strong-as-Callis mimed like she was being handcuffed and taken away by police.

SNL then spiced things up by giving New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Bobby Moynihan) his own sign language interpreter, “Roxy Affucinelli,” played by Nasim Pedrad. “Affucinelli” had blown out air and was obnoxiously chewing gum as she matched Moynihan-as-Christie’s tough New Jersey swagger with her own physical iterations, puffing out her chest and pursing her lips as she gave every phrase an arrogant brush of the hand.

Not everyone, however, found the skit funny. Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, felt the skit took it too far in making fun of sign language, tweeting, "Millions of deaf people use sign. Why poke fun/fake it? Poke fun at ME but not the language. Would they do that to Spanish or Chinese? FAIL."

Check out the full video below and decide for yourself how you feel about the sketch:

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Read more: Saturday Night Live, SNL, Hurricane Sandy, New York City, Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Lydia Callis, Fred Armisen, Cecily Strong, Barack Obama, Chris Christie, Bobby Moynihan, Nasim Pedrad, Roxy Affucinelli, Marlee Matlin, Academy Award, Sign Language, Spanish, Chinese, Twitter, New Jersey

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