Saturday, November 14, 2009

Conan O'Brien Screeched In

Many of you have heard of the Newfoundland tradition of "Screeching" people in: meaning to make one an honorary Newfoundlander. Perhaps a few of you have even been screeched in yourself. There is a pretty specific ritual that is performed each time, it may vary somewhat from community to community, but real screech ins all take place on the Rock. It doesn't count otherwise. Also a shot of Newfoundland Screech is required. There will be a few Newfoundland sayings to repeat, a few questions to be answered, perhaps a jig to be danced, and you have to kiss a cod. It is possible the screechee will have to complete all these tasks while they are wearing a sou’wester. It is silly. It is embarrassing. But it is a lot of fun.

The liquor helps.

If you want hint of how the ceremony might play out you can look at this video of Natasha Henstridge screeching in Conan O'Brien. While she doesn't get the ceremony anywhere close to correct, it is a funny little bit, and it is great to see her bring up her Newfoundland roots. However there were a few things she mentioned I was not aware of, and I was wondering if any Newfoundlanders out there in the void might be able to enlighten me. Natasha says that Newfoundlanders do this for luck, for wedding anniversaries and such. Indeed the reason she says she has chosen to screech Conan in is for luck on the birth of his first child. Pardon?

Can anyone confirm or deny this? I never heard of us doing this to our own for luck, or celebration? Have you? I thought this was something we did for tourists- make them feel welcome and make them laugh a little. What say you folks? Have you ever heard of this?

Have a look at the clip though, it will put a smile on your face.



Thanks to my cousin Ron for showing me this, I am sure I would have missed it otherwise.

11 comments:

Geoff Meeker said...

Yes, the video is hilarious. But you are right. The locals NEVER do the Screech In thing for our own family celebrations. It's strictly a tourist thing and was contrived for that purpose.

Krista J. said...

As soon as I finished watching it, that's what I said: we don't do it to ourselves...and my husband said: it doesn't count if it's not here on the Island...

But Conan kissed a cod, that counts as funny I guess...

Karen said...

I just posted this at the Rock, didn't know you had posted it here. I've never heard of screeching anyone in other than toursits. And she says it's moonshine....not quite.

rcashin said...

I agree that it was slightly out of context, and slightly out of order - but I thought she did a good job, it was okay to use it to celebrate a pending birth or whatever, and Conan was funny!

It's supposed to be a fun thing ... no better way to suck the fun out something than by making strict rules about it. So I say, way to go Natasha :) And Conan !! :)

rcashin said...

btw ... I moved to Ottawa in the 80's, along with a bunch of my university class ... and I'm pretty sure we 'screeched in' some of our 'mainlander' friends, in Ottawa. I doubt we were the only ones who have done that.

Anonymous said...

i still think its funny and nice that she mentioned us and showed conan the tradition

nadinebc said...

I don't mind that she did this at all, I was just confused by a few of her statements, I just wanted to know if was true, it just something I had not heard before.

Conan really had fun with it.

Steve said...

This is funny! I'm gonna have to steal this one, Nadine. Stay tuned, you will soon see it on my site.

nadinebc said...

No problem. I have been surprised by people's reactions.

BayGirl said...

I saw this posted on a friends Facebook profile today. My reaction was the same. We do what to who now and why? I have never heard of this being done for any of the reasons Natasha gave, and I agree with Krista's husband...it doesn't count if it isn't on the Island anyways. However, it did make for a few minutes of entertainment and it was nice to see the Newfoundland roots proudly displayed :)

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