Back in 2016, the Tribune ran an article titled “Da classic Chicago accent is almost entirely gone from TV, movies.” That, however, was before The Bear took it on. Here’s our grading of actors using Chicago accents in movies and TV shows, based on whether they sound Chi-caw-go or faux-cago.

John Goodman as Dan Conner in Roseanne and The Conners: A 

Goodman is from St. Louis, so how did he deliver an authentic Great Lakes accent as patriarch of an exurban Chicago family. (Lanford, Illinois, is said to be based on Elgin.) Fun linguistic fact: the Great Lakes, or Inland North, accent spread to St. Louis after Route 66, then Interstate 55, linked it to Chicago. St. Louisans would rather sound like northern urbanites than Ozark hillbillies. Thus St. Louis became a “linguistic island” in the Midland dialect region. That’s why Dan called his wife “Rose-ayen.”

Oliver Platt as Uncle Jimmy in The Bear: A

I thought Uncle Jimmy’s accent was the real deal until I realized he was played by Oliver Platt, who isn’t from Chicago — or anywhere, really. Platt’s father was U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Zambia, and the Philippines, so he grew up all over the world. Yet he perfectly reproduces a Chicago accent, Baby Boom vintage. He pronounces the significant vowel sounds — the raised ‘a’ and the elongated ‘o’ — without ever stretching them into caricatures. He don’t do dat dese, dems, and dose t’ing. That’s a blue-collar South Side characteristic, which wouldn’t suit his character. Masterful dialect acting.

David Eigenberg as Lt. Christopher Platt in Chicago Fire: B+

Eigenberg overdoes the Chicago accent a bit, even though he doesn’t have to. Born in New York, but raised in Naperville, Eigenberg naturally speaks with a strong local accent. (All you “Chicago isn’t Naperville” snobs can stuff it. Anymore, the Chicago accent is heard more often in the suburbs than the city, which has been overrun by transplants.) Just listen to him in this WGN interview, in which he talks about honoring “first respahhnders.”

Jennifer Beals as Lt. Teresa Colvin in The Chicago Code: B+ 

Beals grew up on the South Side, with an Irish mother, so she knew how to do a Chicago cop: terse, stringent, with hard-bitten consonants. Her Chicago authenticity almost made up for Jared Wysocki, who sounded like a Midwesterner trying to do an Australian accent.

Chandra Russell as Officer Turner in The South Side: B

“I think the thing that I love the show doing the most is the accents,” South Side creator Bashir Salahuddin said. “People don’t realize that Chicago is really just Mississippi North…You hear it in that accent with characters like Stacey, characters like the twins.” And in the outspoken Officer Turner, who grew up at 76th and Damen. Her speech is full of Mississippi, as well as the Midwestern elements that make the South Side Blaccent unique to Chicago.

George Wendt as Bob Swerski in “Bill Swerski’s Superfans” on Saturday Night Live: B

Wendt grew up in Clearing, where they still say “youse,” so he would have heard plenty of guys who sounded like his Bears-obsessed, beer-obsessed, Polish-sausage obsessed football fan. Even linguistics professors were impressed. ”When I heard ‘Da Bears’ it was just magnificent,” Lee Pederson of Emory University, a Chicagoan by birth whose doctoral dissertation examined the pronunciations of Chicagoans, told the Tribune. ”That skit rings true to me. I think it`s thoroughly accurate.” The Superfans put the Chicago accent into the national consciousness, and, ironically, contributed to its demise. According to a one linguist, Chicagoans became so self-conscious about being mocked for saying “Da Bearsss” that they began toning it down, especially among younger generations.

Dennis Franz as Lt. Andy Sipowicz in NYPD Blue: B

Franz, who grew up in Maywood, sure sounded like a cop, only a Chicago cop, not one of New York’s finest. “You’re gonna take care o’ dis right here,” he told a witness. “Now move your ay-ess.” If he’d starred in a show called CPD Blue, he’d get an A-plus here. New Yorkers had a right to be salty, but if Penny Marshall could play a Midwestern girl with a Bronx accent in Laverne and Shirley, Franz could play a New Yorker with a Midwestern accent. The best Chicago accent ever heard on TV came from a character who shouldn’t have had one.

Louis Mustillo as Vince Maronto in Mike & Molly: B-

Mustillo grew up in Buffalo, the ancestral home of the Chicago accent, so he didn’t have to reach too far to play the randy boyfriend of Molly’s mother. Plus, he’s Italian, and Italians have the strongest local accents in any city. You should have heard my friend, the late Frank Coconate. Mustillo obviously overdid the accent for comic effect, but it’s not that far from what you might hear in a Beverly tavern during a Bears game.

Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues in The Blues Brothers: C

Aykroyd put on a stronger Chicago accent than co-star John Belushi, who grew up in Wheaton. Maybe he felt he had to try harder, since he’s from Ontario. “It’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocksss. It’s a model made before catalytic converters, so it’ll run good on regular gay-ess,” he tells his brother Jake, describing the Bluesmobile. Aykroyd does a good job of capturing the quality of “final obstruent devoicing,” in which consonants are pronounced without vibrating the vocal cords. Hence a plural ‘s’ that sounds like ‘sss’ instead of ‘z.’ (The Superfans do the same when they talk about “Da Bearsss.”)

Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Richie Jerimovich in The Bear: C

Moss-Bachrach’s isn’t terrible, but it sounds more like a generic urban accent than a Chicago accent. He gets some details right, pronouncing the city’s name as “Chi-caw-go” for example, but he’s weak on the vowel sounds, saying Ma as “maw” instead of “maa.” Also, he’s trying too hard. It’s obvious from his expression that he’s struggling to do an accent. Jeremy Allen White has a streak of two shows playing a Chicagoan without attempting a Chicago accent — Shameless and The Bear. That may be the right choice.  

Jason Beghe as Sgt. Hank Voight in Chicago P.D.: D-

Just what is Beghe, a New Yorker, trying to do here? He sounds gruff. He sounds like a tough guy. He doesn’t sound like a Chicagoan, though. His accent would work just as well on Philadelphia P.D. or Kansas City P.D.

Noel Fisher as Mickey Milkovich in Shameless: F

No one on Shameless succeeded with the Chicago accent, but Fisher, who is from Vancouver, gets the Arthur Fonzarelli Award for playing a Midwesterner with an East Coast accent. At one point in the show, he said “For Gawd’s sake.” Even fellow Canadian Dan Aykroyd was on a mission from “Gahhd.”