Jon Hamm, St. Louis boy made good, knows how to lean into his accent.
What is Jon Hamm? An actor, yes, one prodigious of talent and strong of chin, but also a tireless cultural ambassador for his hometown of St. Louis, a mission that, as demonstrated in a recent interview, includes nailing a pitch-perfect St. Louis accent.
As a guest on ABC's LIVE with Kelly and Ryan last week, Hamm was asked by host Ryan Seacrest about the St. Louis accent, to which the actor first said that he "never leaned into." However, ever the icon, he then immediately launched into a story about his recent trip to St. Louis to celebrate the retirement of a friend's mom, the receptionist at his high school, who was leaving her post after 31 years.
Just listen to Hamm imitate her accent.
"She has a pretty great St. Louis accent, because everything she likes is Ahsum, just so Ahsum," he says, hitting the first vowel in that strangely perfect blend of southern and midwest earnestness. His eyes even twinkle a little bit. The secret sauce is that the accent is kind of a mood, which Hamm clearly gets. It's like the audible equivalent of a gooey butter cake, something that shouldn't reasonably exist and yet is still somehow perfect on its own merits.
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