For Kate Winslet, it wasn’t winning an Academy Award nor starring in one of the highest-grossing films of all time that legitimized her career as an actor. It was a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Kate McKinnon takes hits from a pretzel-shaped vape pen. That would be “Murdur Durdur,” a dead-on parody of Winslet’s HBO’s limited series, Mare of Easttown, which premiered on SNL’s May 8 episode.
Not only has Winslet seen the sketch, in which McKinnon pays homage to her Delco accent as a Pennsylvania cop, but she loves it as much as you do. “I have never felt so validated as an actor in my entire life as I now do because of ‘Murdur Durdur,’” she told Entertainment Weekly. Apparently the entire Winslet clan has brandished its seal of approval. “Every now and then in our household, we’ll be like, ‘Oh, should we just quickly watch it?’ And we’ll crowd around the iPhone crying with laughter,” Winslet said.
Winslet, who is nominated for best lead actress in a limited series at the upcoming Emmys, also recommended a British Mare of Easttown send-up on Channel 4’s Gogglebox. “This is almost as hilarious as ‘Murdur Durdur,’ and I encourage everybody to Google ‘Gogglebox Mare of Easttown,’ and there’s about a seven-minute segment that covers episode five that is so screamingly funny,” she explained. “We watch ‘Murdur Durdur’ as a family, and then we’re like, ‘Oh, quick, let’s just watch Gogglebox as well.’”
Prior to Winslet’s recognition of the sketch, ‘Murdur Durdur’ had already become a hit, earning more than 3.6 million views on YouTube and a shout-out from Mare star Jean Smart, who called the parody “hysterical.” That was a source of relief for SNL writer Sudi Green, a Newark, Delaware, native who recognized some of her own speech patterns on the show. “I just knew that I could write that accent and write those jokes, those words that would fit those beautiful o’s and u’s and dropped consonants,” she told Vanity Fair of the sketch.
McKinnon, who reflected on her performance to V.F., is also no doubt breathing easy. “Philly is one of those weird ones that just sort of fit in my mouth from the moment I heard it,” she recalled. “I wasn’t trying to do an impression of [Winslet] per se, because I am not a shining angel on earth—I was just trying to embody all that is bizarre and perfect about the Philly accent.”
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