Just weeks after being referenced on the HBO hit series The Last of Us, New Bedford got another mention on national television this past Sunday night – although this time, it was the butt of an unfortunate joke.

AMC premiered its new series Lucky Hank on Sunday, March 19, starring Bob Odenkirk of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fame. Odenkirk stars as William Henry “Hank” Devereaux, Jr., the chair of the English department at the fictional Railton College.

In the episode, Hank’s co-workers are voting on whether or not to “de-chair” him as the head of the department, and when he is given the opportunity to make his case, he is referred to as “the accused.”

That leads to a joke about the 1988 film The Accused, based on the 1983 Big Dan’s rape case in New Bedford.

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“Would the accused like to say anything in his defense before the vote?” asked Emma Wheemer, the character running the meeting.

“The accused?” the character Billie asks.

“It was a good flick,” said the character Paul Rourke.

“Jodie Foster, she won an Oscar for that film,” Wheemer said. “We watch it in my gender analysis film class.”

“New Bedford Chamber of Commerce hated that movie. It killed the Moby Dick tours,” said the character Finny.

Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media
Tim Weisberg/Townsquare Media


You really have to know the backstory of The Accused to understand the reference; the movie itself takes place in Washington state. Kind of a deep cut for an unfunny joke.

Despite taking that shot at the Whaling City, there is a bit of a local connection to the series. Peter Farrelly serves as executive producer and director of the pilot; Farrelly and his brother Bobby grew up in Cumberland, Rhode Island before going on to Hollywood and making films such as Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin and Shallow Hal.

In 2018, he directed the film Green Book, which won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

The Lucky Hank joke isn't the only time AMC has used New Bedford as a punchline. Last year, the city hosted the filming of a new AMC series Invitation to a Bonfire before the network abruptly pulled the plug on the series.

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