Brow Beat

John Oliver Wants to Change the National Anthem to “All Star” by Smash Mouth, for a Good Reason

Donald Trump has made America a laughingstock, and not just among late-night comedians. Last Week Tonight returned to television on Sunday, and host John Oliver, whose job it is to make fun of Trump, pointed out all the ways that the president has made the United States a punchline abroad in the worst possible way. “Is anything about Trump funny anymore?” he wondered aloud. “Somehow the world’s most objectively laughable human has become a comedy graveyard where laughter goes to die.”

Oliver examined the damage Trump has done to the United States’ reputation since assuming office by sifting through Trump’s many foreign policy flubs, from his “shithole countries” remark to his ignorance about NATO. Trump’s “I am the only one that matters” approach to diplomacy is, unsurprisingly, not good for anyone—including, as Oliver pointed out, Trump himself. “You need allies to get anything done,” said Oliver. “Foreign affairs is like sex: If you loudly announce that you will always come first, you’re going to have trouble finding partners.” After all, it’s going to be hard for the president to contain North Korea when he still hasn’t appointed an ambassador to South Korea.

Oliver closed the segment by asking other countries to remember that while Donald Trump is, embarrassingly, somewhat representative of America as a nation, he’s not the only thing that’s representative of America as a nation. It’s also the country that gave the world Star Wars, Batmobile beds, and videos of people filming themselves while wearing T. rex costumes. That mix of great and terrible, Oliver argued, is a fundamental part of American identity—which is why he proposes changing the national anthem to “All Star,” an objectively silly song that becomes oddly moving when sung by the NYC Gay Men’s Chorus.