Digital Music Writer, PEOPLE
Philadelphia newscaster Sheila Watko has delivered another hilarious, pop-culture-themed viral traffic report!
Hours after Taylor Swift‘s Midnights was released in the earliest minutes of Friday morning, the NBC10 reporter gave viewers a local traffic update complete with a flurry of references to the superstar musician’s latest album.
"Lets start down the shore," said Watko, 32, at the start of the segment — before packing 19 of the album's 20 song titles into her report. "Right now there's no 'Snow on the Beach,' also no traffic on the Garden State Parkway. So that's the good news. Unfortunately, I do also have to bring you the bad news, that's kind of 'The Great War' of working in the traffic center — I'm the traffic 'Anti-Hero.'"
She then warned viewers of construction delays on a popular interstate highway and said, "Make sure to give yourself a little extra time, you don't want to be thinking, 'Ugh, 'Would've Could've, Should've' left a little earlier and avoided getting stuck in this backup."
Following laughs from off-screen staffers at the news station, Watko continued, “This is not a ‘Glitch,’ Lucy. Looking great out there, ‘Sweet Nothing’ in both directions. This is our ‘Karma’ for dealing with that earlier construction [on a local highway, and] for dealing with an earlier vehicle fire. And if we take a wide look at the area, you’re gonna see that most of our map is actually ‘Bejeweled‘ with these green roads.”
She added, "But this map is very fickle. After 6 o'clock, we're gonna get a lot of 'High Infidelity,' gonna see a lot more red on this map … Right now, a camera shot like this, looking clear, that just 'Hits Different.' It looks great. But give this about 20 minutes, delays are gonna be 'Bigger Than the [Whole] Sky.' This map is gonna be looking so red, it'll almost be 'Maroon.'"
Watko then shifted to discuss the traffic in South Philadelphia, as a Smashing Pumpkins concert and several sports games were set to go down that night. "There's gonna be a lot of traffic right around the stadiums. It'll be like a 'Labyrinth' in this area," she said. "Make sure you leave yourself extra time to find parking. If you don't, 'You're On Your Own, Kid.'"
“‘Dear Reader’ — or, viewer, please give yourself extra time to find parking,” she cleverly said before throwing in a “Vigilante S—” reference and concluding with a direct reference to the elephant in the room: “There’s no ‘Question…?’ that it’s red October. However, I am in a ‘Lavender Haze’ today because the ‘Mastermind’ Taylor Swift, she released Midnights!”
This isn’t the first time Watko has combined her pop star fandom with traffic reporting. Following the release of Beyoncé’s Renaissance in July, she incorporated 15 of the former Destiny’s Child member’s song titles into an August broadcast — which went viral and received fanfare from Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson.
She’s also previously delivered multiple Philadelphia Phillies-themed reports, one using Jason Derulo’s song titles in July and another Swiftian one to celebrate the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) last year.
Alongside a viral tweet featuring the Midnights-themed clip, one fan wrote, “she did it again, my biggest idol.”
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Digital Music Writer, PEOPLE