Brow Beat

Colbert Staged a Reading of Downton Abbey With American Accents. It Sounded As Bad As You’d Expect.

On Wednesday’s Late Show, Stephen Colbert conducted a little experiment. For Americans, he said, Downton Abbey often seems almost like a fairy tale—in no small part because of its actors’ elegant British accents. Would the show have the same allure if, say, Lady Mary Crawley sounded like she’d been plucked from California?

Colbert decided to find out by having Michelle Dockery (Mary), Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley), and Allen Leech (Tom Branson) act out an actual scene from the show, but with American drawls. The result? Let’s just say we’re not holding our breath for an American Downton any time soon.