By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch
Youtube/Zondag Met Lubach
U.S. President Donald Trump said it loud and clear in his inauguration speech: “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first.”
The comment sparked fears of a new protectionist and nationalist era in the U.S., but also raised another vital question (at least on the European comedy scene): Who’s going to be second, then?
China, maybe? It’s the world’s second largest economy and all. But, nope, the Chinese, engaged as they are in building and defending global trade, have shown little interest in mounting the Trump ladder’s second rung. Russia, then? Nah, Putin and company are currently preoccupied with the status of their wartime footing and with oil supply and demand. So no slick “We’re No. 2” presentation from Russia, either.
With those superpowers shunning a spot on the silver level of the global medals stand, the Netherlands decided to rise to the occasion. In a spoof video, first aired on satirical news program “Zondag Met Lubach,” Trump is implored to put “the Netherlands second,” mock-beseeching the U.S. leader to visit Holland in language he’d understand.
“We’ve got a great, great, great dependency on the United States. It’s huge. If you screw NATO you’re gonna make our problems great again. They’re gonna be huge, they’re gonna be enormous. It’s true. Please don’t. We totally understand it’s going to be America first, but can we just say: The Netherlands second? Is that OK?”
You can watch the video here:
The video quickly went viral and has racked up more than 20 million views since it was posted to YouTube on Jan. 23.
But the appeals for second place didn’t stop there. Late-night shows across Europe rose to the Dutch challenge, teasing Trump over his wall plan, his hands and his skin tone.
Rekindling memories of grim historical episodes, the Germans used references to past wars and the Nazi era in their introduction video: “Germany hosted two world wars in the last 100 years. They were the best world wars in the world, and we won both of them — bigly. Anyone who says anything else is fake news. After the war, we totally rebuilt Germany. We built a great German wall, just built it, and we made the Russians pay for it.”
Returning to a lighter tack, the Danes teased out a reference to the size of Trump’s hands in their welcome video for the new U.S. president: “You have the Statue of Liberty. We have the Little Mermaid. But don’t let the name fool you, OK? The Little Mermaid is actually pretty huge. Not little, but huge, OK? Like your hands are huge. The HUGE Little Mermaid, like your hands, OK?”
(The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen — a national symbol that honors the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen — is, in fact, pretty small.)
All of the videos have been compiled on a website called Every Second Counts , with 13 countries so far battling it out to rank just behind Trump’s America. You can also watch their videos below: