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Talladega Nights

Talladega Nights

Date: Sep 06 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Ricky Bobby is a nationally famous stock car driver played by Will Ferrell in his latest comedy, Talladega Nights. Ricky Bobby must overcome everything in order to beat his new rival, a race car driver from France.

This film, which also stars John C. Reilly, was filmed in North Carolina. This state is in the South, a region of the US that has a rich and unique culture. NASCAR is quite popular there. The humor in this movie is based on stereotypes about that region and about people who are into NASCAR. Without an understanding of this culture, some of the humor may be lost on an international audience. But not all of it.

Listen to Erin and Mason chat about NASCAR culture.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  I really, I really wanna go see Talladega Nights.

Erin:  I really do too. I think, sometimes Will Ferrell doesn’t always come through in his films, he’s not always funny, but this one looks hilarious ‘cause it’s making fun of Tom Cruise and Days of Thunder. It’s a classic! And it….awesome! I cannot wait.

Mason:  You’re gonna hate me. I totally never even thought that that is why he would say, “Help me, Tom Cruise,” like, in the previews.

Erin:  You didn’t get that?

Mason:  I didn’t make that connection at all.

Erin:  Ok, did you not see the whole NASCAR thing? And like…

Mason:  Yeah, but of course—but like, first of all I haven’t even seen Days of Thunder, because NASCAR and the whole car racing thing has no appeal to me, but the idea of making fun of it sounds awesome. That’s kinda…

Erin:  OK. I’m not into NASCAR either. Some people think it’s white trash or whatever.

Mason:  My roommate and her boyfriend are really into it. So I think I’m gonna go see it with them and like, it’ll be, you know, like, watching it with actual fans, so I get, like, I get both sides.

Erin:  Yeah. I don’t know that much about NASCAR, but I have been told by people that are fans of NASCAR that it brings in a lot of money.

Mason:  Like, the bulk of our country loves, loves this stuff. I mean, look at who the sponsors are. There’s, there’s not, You won’t see a car that doesn’t have, like, Budweiser on it, or, I think Nike’s probably got a car, like, any big, big brand business has a race car.

Erin:  No, I, I mean, I know that it’s definitely a part of our culture, it’s just not something that I have ever experienced.



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Neither Mason nor Erin seems to know much about NASCAR. All Erin knows about it is what she learned from Tom Cruise. She’s excited about Talladega Nights because it imitates Days of Thunder.

Mason points out that there is a lot of money in stock car racing. It is supported by many large corporations, who advertise on the sides of the cars. His roommate likes NASCAR.

Is stock car racing popular in your country?


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