In 2016, Dutch-American comedian Greg Shapiro developed a Donald Trump imitation for the Boom Chicago standup show Trump Up the Volume. In 2017, Dutch comedian – and fellow improviser – Arjen Lubach wanted to create a video for his weekly TV show Zondag Met Lubach, about the Trump inauguration. When they needed a Trump voice, they knew who to call.
Shapiro: “The producer (Janine Abbring) called me on Thursday, 19 January. She said ‘Trump is getting sworn in tomorrow. Would you be available to do a voiceover for this little video we’re making?’
“We recorded the voiceover on Saturday the 21st, it aired on the Sunday – and this thing went so viral. It went around the world and back. Friends from Australia were telling me ‘You have to see this!’ And eventually people were asking, ‘do you think Trump himself has seen the video?’ I don’t know. But I do know that this one video from the little Netherlands now has more views on YouTube than the official Trump inauguration video. So: well played, Netherlands.”
The official title of the video is “The Netherlands Introduces Itself to President Trump – in His Own Words.” But it has become known as the ‘Netherlands Second’ video. Most of the text had been written before Trump’s inauguration speech. But – based on Trump’s repetition of “America First, America First,” writer Diederik Smit added the line about “Can we say the Netherlands second” on the day of the recording.
The ‘Netherlands Second’ video inspired a series of copycat videos from different countries, starting with Germany and Jan Böhmermann on his TV show New Magazine Royal. His campaign was called ‘Every Second Counts.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Every_Second_Counts_(video_parodies)
The ‘Netherlands Second’ video was used as country marketing on Dutch trade missions. And there was a follow-up video in 2017, which helped the show Zondag Met Lubach win the annual Televizier Ring award.
CREDITS – From the YouTube video:
America First, Netherlands Second. The original!
“The whole world was watching for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States: Donald J. Trump. With a clear message for the rest of the world: ‘I am going to screw you over, big time.’ Because we realize it’s better for us to get along, we decided to introduce our tiny country to Trump. In a way that will probably appeal to him the most.”
Voice-over: Greg Shapiro
Host: Arjen Lubach
Text: Zondag Met Lubach ‘as good as news’
After the US election in 2020, Zondag Met Lubach made a follow-up video in which Donald Trump gives a tour of the White House on his way out.
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