Donald Trump memorably announced his race for the presidency Tuesday.
As part of the launch, he played Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World." The actual Neil Young was furious and immediately announced that Trump had no permission to use the song, noting that he's a Bernie Sanders supporter. David Crosby chimed in that "Neil will have him dismembered as soon as possible, which will be no loss at all."
Could there have been a Trumpier start to a presidential run?
Trump went on to kick off a season of goofball rhetoric with a braggadocious promise to help outgoing President Barack Obama find a good place to golf ("I have the best courses in the world"), a crude swipe at the entire Mexican-American demographic ("When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you") and a bizarre pledge to usher in a new, undead version of our national mission ("Sadly the American dream is dead…I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before").
The 45-minute speech had more highlights – more on those in a moment – and led to an explosion of online commentary.
Following it all, I posted the following on Twitter:
"Please help me complete this sentence: 'The funniest thing about Donald Trump is…'"
The ensuing responses made for a pretty fair approximation of a Trump's Greatest Hits list. For posterity's sake I'm listing some of the best here.
One note: To make this a representative list, about 70-80 percent of the entries would have to be about Trump's hair. To avoid repetition, we'll cut that number down some. Anyway, here goes. America speaks. The funniest thing about Donald Trump is:
1. "This pic."
2. "The hair, obviously the hair."
3. "He looks like someone turned Conan O'Brien upside down."
4. "It's like that earwig thing from Wrath of Khan."
5. "His commitment to overcomb any obstacle."
6. "When he takes his wig off, he's Sepp Blatter."
Ed. Note: Good catch.
7. "His hair is like cotton candy. If cotton candy were made of piss."
8. "The uncanny similarity between this moth and his hair."
A great many people brought up the resemblance, which I believe was first noted by The Daily Mail, between Trump's iconic mane-over and the South American Flannel Moth caterpillar. It's maybe the best "separated at birth" ever. Worth noting, as well, about the Flannel Moth:
9. "Per Wikipedia, 'This is a very toxic caterpillar that you should never touch.'"
10. (Retweeting the caterpillar pic): "Anyone else thinking Flock of Seagulls?"
11. "He bought a compass so his brush would correctly comb his hair forward."
12. (Retweeted the classic Time.com graphic "The Secret to Donald Trump's Hair.")
That Time.com graphic was really an outstanding piece of journalism. One hopes they consulted MIT physicists to check the feasibility of their design model.
13. "A tossup… between his hair and his thinking he has a chance of being elected President."
14. "The potential headlines & jabs: 'Trump: he can do to America what he did to Atlantic City!'"
Recall this excerpt from Gawker about the closing of the Trump casino in AC. Trump's shoreline paradise makes Gary, Indiana, seem like Paris or The Hague:
"A few hours before its scheduled 6 a.m. Tuesday closing time, the Trump Plaza was even emptier than the night before.
'It's dead,' said Jessie, a 22-year-old parking attendant at the casino. 'You don't feel the warmth it used to have.'
Upstairs on the floor, employees gathered in the center near the gaming tables, hugged each other and chatted. A cocktail waitress used a napkin to wipe away tears as she carried a drink tray around to the slot machines, but only a few players remained at the slots. None that I saw ordered drinks.
Two men gambled at the one open blackjack table until the last minute. The house won both last hands with two straight blackjacks."
15. "That he derides poor people with 'If I can do it, you can,' while carefully avoiding the fact he was handed 10 million to start."
Ed. Note: Trump's inheritance was actually a little bigger than that.
16. "He teaches seminars about how to be successful. Lesson #1: be Fred Trump's son."
17. "How he claims to be a great businessman but has bankrupted like 10 different companies."
The real number is four, according to most reports.
18. "I have to go with the investigators he sent to Hawaii. Are they still there?"
Trump said at the time he sent his Mystery Machine crew to the islands, "I can't believe what they're finding." Not many others did, either, as it turned out.
19. "He's talking about @Oprah as a running mate."
Trump dropped a number of bombshells yesterday, including this one: He announced he was thinking of adding the talk titan to the ticket. Oprah has yet to comment.
20. "His idea about building a wall of Mexico and charging them for it."
The Great Wall was another outstanding plank of Trump's announcement speech. We can only hope it will be called the Great Wall of Trump.
21. "He thinks 'bigly' is a word."
Iran is taking over Iraq, "and they're taking it over bigly" was another phrase used in Trump's remarks – his prepared remarks – during yesterday's announcement.
22. "This pic, [which] makes me proud to be Scottish."
How could we forget the time Scottish pro-turbine protesters waylaid the Donald with a demonstration of static electricity?
23. "Each and every installment of TRUMP or MONKEY? on Letterman."
They were classics. I pretty much always chose wrong.
24. "That he said he 'has a great relationship with "the blacks."'"
Yes, according to Trump, he's always been tight with "the blacks."
25. "That he apparently hired paid actors to participate in his presidential launch event."
26. "He's preferable to the other Republican candidates."
27. "There are actually worse candidates in 2016 GOP field."
28. "When he asked when have we beaten Japan at anything."
Another highlight of Trump's announcement speech. Bloomberg commented:
"'Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories any more,' Trump said. 'When did we beat Japan at anything? he asked, citing auto sales but apparently forgetting World War II."
29. "That he has the same interior decorator who furnished Saddam's palaces?"
30. "That he starts out with more potential than the former three-term Governor of New York who beat Mario Cuomo."
A poll says it's true. That's more of a joke about America, perhaps.
31. "He has the same fav/unfav numbers among Rs as Jeb Bush."
Not quite true, but Jeb is close.
32. "He still hasn't provided us with his birth certificate."
During the birther controversy, Trump hilariously produced a "certificate of birth," not realizing it's a hospital document that is something different than a real birth certificate.
33. "The way he reacts when called by his real name, #FuckFaceVonClownstick."
The exchange between Trump and Jon Stewart, who'd given Trump the name "Fuckface Von Clownstick," remains one of the highlights in The Daily Show's history. Trump made the joke a million times worse by violently reacting on Twitter, calling those who thought the name funny "losers" and blasting Stewart for being a self-hating Jew named Jon Leibowitz. "What's so funny about Fuckface Von Clownstick?" Trump wailed.
What's so funny? Fuckface Von Clownstick is funny! #FuckfaceVonClownstick
34. "His name in Jeffrey Epstein's little black book."
Trump does appear in the noted sex offender's infamous personal diary, and it's been reported that he may have been a witness to some of Epstein's crimes against young girls. A Trump spokesperson said: "Mr. Trump only knew Mr. Epstein as Mr. Trump owns the hottest and most luxurious club in Palm Beach… Mr. Epstein would go there on occasion." Trump himself added about the late Epstein, whom he called a "terrific guy": "It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
35. "If Donald Trump did get elected, there'd be hell toupée."
Click here for rimshot.
36. "His selling of the Stone Cold Stunner."
That was a classic – and Trump, it should be admitted, did a great job. He has great potential as a politics-wrestling crossover act.
37. "He made his presidential announcement with a piece of food on the outside of his mouth."
There was considerable debate online yesterday about the mysterious thing in the corner of Trump's mouth during his announcement. It looked either like a recently excavated tuberculoma or a ball of freeze-dried spit. As @ReelQuinn commented, "The Manson murder photos aren't as horrifying as Trump's dry mouth spunk."
38. "He failed at owning a professional football team."
One fun side-benefit of a Trump candidacy? We get to relive the glorious past of the New Jersey Generals! "A number have told me this, that they have great respect for what I did with the USFL," Trump has said. We can only hope he's asked to identify these individuals in the debates.
39. "Dunno about the funniest, but the weirdest thing about Donald Trump is his yarmulkes fetish."
As noted on Rolling Stone yesterday, Trump does have a thing about yarmulkes. "The only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day," a former colleague has recalled him saying.
Here are a few other Trump milestones mentioned on Twitter yesterday:
40. That time Trump used the Amtrak crash to self-promote: Emergency personnel were still sifting through the wreckage when Trump fired out a series of promotional tweets, including a since-deleted message noting that "The only one to fix the infrastructure of this country is me!"
41. That time Trump retweeted the line, "If Hillary can't satisfy her husband, how can she satisfy America?"
42. That time Trump pivoted from Obama's birth certificate to Ted Cruz's Canadian heritage: "It's a hurdle nobody else has," he said, also complaining that Cruz stole the line "make America great again" from him, forgetting of course that he himself stole it from Reagan.
43. The time Trump rolled out a Trump fragrance line called "Empire." It was his second cologne, after the creatively named "Donald Trump" line.
44. That time Trump said he'd use his "superior negotiating skills" to deal with ISIS.
45. The time Trump insisted Mitch McConnell, then Senate majority leader, "may be the next Speaker."
46. The time Trump was tricked into retweeting a photo of famed British serial murderers Fred and Rose West, then characteristically threated to sue about it.
47. Because remember, Trump threatened to sue Bill Maher for failing to pay him if he proved he wasn't the spawn of "his mother having sex with an orangutan."
No doubt there are more highlights to come. This is going to be one bizarre campaign season.