Philly traffic anchor pays homage to Beyonce with 15 punny phrases

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A Philadelphia traffic reporter managed to work in 15 Beyonce puns into a traffic report — and the now-viral clip even attracted the attention of the Queen B’s mom.

Sheila Watko, who anchors traffic segments on NBC-owned WCAU, had been planning the segment for a while, but a major accidents forced her to delay the punny report for two days instead of airing it the day Beyonce released her “Renaissance” album, July 29, 2022.

Instead, she ended up using the puns on Aug. 2, 2022.

According to her co-anchors, the entire segment was not scripted, which is common for TV weather, traffic and sports reports, so Watko was apparently relying on her knowledge of Beyonce’s catalog. She was partially prepared for the puns, however, so it’s likely she had already explored ways to incorporate the references into a typically traffic report.

After meteorologist Bill Henley tossed to her, Watko got down to work with her mission.

“Thank you, Bill, I always appreciate it when you ‘say my name.’ Now, if you’re just waking up, I hope that you had some ‘sweet dreams’ … but traffic is getting ‘Heated,’ and it’s starting to ‘Break My Soul’ just a little bit,” she said.

After the “Sweet Dreams” reference, Watko acknowledged an off-camera groan from one of her colleagues with a laugh.

After the report, which also included references to “heated,” “break my Soul,” “all up in your mind,” “listen,” “beautiful liar,” “countdown,” “formation,” “to the left, to the left,” “partition,” “bills, bills, bills,” “Bey,” “crazy in love” and “XO,” she tossed back to co-anchors Erin Coleman and Keith Jones.

Coleman lamented not hearing “put a ring on it,” in the report, technically getting the 16th Beyonce reference in, albeit a more direct one. Watko then realized, on air, that she could have used a reference to “single ladies” hitting the I-95, working in a reference to another lyric in the same song.

Jones then praised Watko by saying “You know what, though, you ‘run the world.'”

“Love it!” said Watko, fist-bumping Jones.

The clip eventually made its way to Tina Lawson, who is Beyonce’s mother, who re-posted the clip.

That, in turn, got another mention on NBC 10’s morning news.