Watch the ASL Interpreter Who Stole the Show During Irma Press Conference

September 09, 2017Sep 09, 2017

Floridians don't have much to smile about right now. Hurricane Irma, which mercilessly blew through the Caribbean islands earlier in the week, is bearing down on the them.

For those on the coast, the forecast is dire. Nearly 6 million people have been told to evacuate their homes. 

So when they were given a chance to laugh, they took it. As Governor Rick Scott issued warnings about the storm, all eyes focused on the theatrical American Sign Language interpreter next to him. 

Gov. Scott remained calm as he told his people to evacuate now, but that wasn't conveyed by the interpreter. 

"Tongue sticking out, eyes popping, and eyebrows rising up and down like a storm surge, the interpreter’s hands flew along in time with Scott’s message, offering a dramatic visual that upstaged the governor’s calm delivery," described one writer

People on Facebook couldn't help but respond to the interpreter's theatrical performance. One impressed viewers went as far as to call him the “only good thing about” about Irma. 

“I don’t understand sign language, but I get this guy’s warning. He’s great!!!!!” said another person on Facebook.

Looking at him, it's questionable whether he's actually using ASL; it certainly crossed the minds of some commenters. Other people on Facebook were less than impressed by him, accusing him of being overly distracting. 

But ASL educators stood up for the unnamed interpreter. They explained that using dramatic facial expressions is the “grammar” of ASL. It's also how the severity of a situation is expressed. Just like a tone of voice would indicate a mood, the dramatic facial expressions cue the watchers to the nature of the situation.

"Eyes popping conveying the difference between “some flooding” and “severe flooding,” for instance," said the New York Post

What did you think of his interpreting? Do you fall with the people who smiled or the people who thought he was too much? Let us know in the comments. In other Harvey news, a Hollywood actress is making people smile with her selflessness. 

Next: Famous ‘Frozen’ Actress Plays the Heroine, Saving Imperiled from IrmaSep 09, 2017