Tension was high Monday night as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed Hurricane Sandy and its approach into the East Coast. For most viewers, though, it wasn’t the mayor’s speech that was most captivating — it was his sign language interpreter.
The woman, later identified as Lydia Callis, was an instant hit across the web for her dramatic expressions and theatrical gestures during the speech. A flurry of tweets and a GIF-filled Tumblr quickly went viral as a result of the now pseudo-infamous interpretation.
Viewers across social media applauded her not only for her outstanding interpretations, but for giving everyone a reason to smile during a grim, stressful time. Hurricane Sandy will go down as one of the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history, with estimates close to $20 billion.
Here’s a bit of what the Twitterverse had to say:
My mother-in-law, who is an ASL interpreter says @mikebloomberg‘s signer Lydia Callis is “amazing” and “crystral clear”. Animation helps.
— Daniel Bentley (@DJBentley) October 31, 2012
No making fun of Bloomberg’s sign-language translator. Seriously. Only love. She’s doing her job both very well, and with STYLE.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 29, 2012
I really want Lydia Callis (Bloomberg’s sign language interpreter) next to Charles Barkley on Inside the NBA. Can someone make this happen?
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) October 31, 2012
Shush, everyone, Lydia Callis is signing. (Also, that Bloomberg guy is talking.) twitter.com/ditzkoff/statu…
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) October 30, 2012
Callis even passed the ultimate threshold for solidified Internet fame by getting a parody video dedicated to her shared on YouTube.
Watch the video up top and try not to grin, at least a little bit. Did you see Callis in action? Tell us what you thought.