The problem with being the best is that people are always trying to jump on the bandwagon. As Lou Dobbs will sure tell you, both within and beyond our borders, there are those who desperately want the world to believe that they're as American as childhood obesity. And, despite their genetic and geographical handicap, some are pretty damned convincing. For the sake of protecting this great nation, and everything we hold dear, we present the top eight offenders.
At first glance, the star of TV' House might look like an average American. His accent is flawless, and he' got that whole "hopeless cynicism with a dash of smug superiority" attitude down, which is as American as a bald eagle flying out of an apple pie at a baseball game. But beneath that gruff, quintessentially American exterior, you'll find an English intellectual who was raised in Oxford and educated at Cambridge.
We can only assume he majored in "being a phony," because it seems like this guy' got everyone fooled. According to his IMDb page, the show' co-producer Bryan Singer said Laurie was exactly the sort of genuine American actor that the show needed. "See," Singer reportedly said after watching Laurie' audition, "This is what I want: an American guy." Well, they don't make American guys in England, Mr. Singer. All they make over there is tea, powdered wigs and mayonnaise salads-things a real American like Dr. House would no doubt hate. Then again, House basically hates everybody, so maybe that' not such a big deal.
This might sound a little excessive, but it' our firm belief that Jack Bauer is the only thing standing between us and certain death at the hands of terrorists. The guy who plays Jack Bauer, on the other hand, was born in London and is, according to his passport, Canadian. Or, as real Americans tend to call them, "not American enough."
Sutherland' grandfather, Tommy Douglas, founded Canada' New Democratic Party, which is so liberal that it' actually to the left of their Liberal Party. Sutherland's grandfather is the guy who gave Canadians universal health care, while Sutherland' most well-known character is the guy whose idea of health care is stitching up his own wounds using the bootlaces and jawbone of the terrorist he just killed. If you need proof of Sutherland' Canadian roots, you can find his name on the Canadian Walk of Fame. (You know who else is on the Canadian Walk of Fame? Motherfucking Nickelback. Let that sink in and then try to watch an entire episode of 24 without weeping.)
What would Jack Bauer think of the weak liberal Canadian actor who plays him? Whatever it is, it would probably be whispered through clenched teeth and involve a complaint about running out of time while running around with a gun drawn.
We here at Cracked like to start every day by watching Batman Begins seven or eight times (it' the new coffee), taking comfort in the knowledge that Gotham (and, it naturally follows, the rest of the world) is safe in the hands of the Dark Knight, played to perfection by the unquestionably badass and dream-hauntingly intense Christian Bale. Imagine our surprise, then, when we caught an interview with Bale discussing some movie unrelated to Batman (and therefore not worth mentioning). He spoke the entire time with some ridiculous, made-up-sounding accent, and it wasn't just a bad joke or a publicity stunt; it turns out Christian Bale was born in Wales and was raised mostly in England.
Batman is ... is from ... Wales? This can't be. In Rescue Dawn, he couldn't shut up about how much he loved flying planes for America. And we trusted him, dammit! Wait, wasn't Bale also the title character in American Psycho? Is there no decency in Hollywood?
Frankly, we just don't feel safe anymore, knowing Batman is secretly Welsh. What's next? An Australian Green Lantern? The Incredible Icelandic Hulk? Where does Batman's allegiance lie? With the fictional Gotham or Wales, wherever the hell that is?
The early '90s were a confusing time for young American comedy fans. First, we discovered Saturday Night Live sucked compared to this crazy underground show called Kids in the Hall. Then, we found out the Kids in question were Canadian, that those hot chicks from the sketches were probably Canadian, too, and consequently had to brainwash ourselves into thinking that Saturday Night Live was funny again. It was OK, because this fucking hilarious guy named Norm MacDonald was doing "Weekend Update," Mike Myers was brilliant as long as he wasn't doing "Coffee Talk," and you could always count on Phil Hartman, who was so talented he even managed to salvage a sketch called "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer." (By-the-by, Hartman' estate better be getting royalties for those Geico commercials.) Plus, even if it wasn't Saturday night, that white Jim Carrey dude from In Living Color was making some pretty funny movies, and this guy Tom Green was the first funny person on MTV.
Then our reality came crashing down around us. Mike Myers said the word "aboot" in one of the few sketches where he wasn't doing a Scottish or British accent, so we asked around and found out the sickening truth: Every funny person in the world was from Canada. From that day forward, we decided that we would swear off the art of comedy (which is why there' no joke in this paragraph) and focus all our energies on the one true American art form: rock and roll.
As you'll find out on the next page, though, this too was fraught with difficulties. (Nice segue, huh?)
Rocking out to "When the Levee Breaks," you get the unmistakable feeling that Zep were undoubtedly spit out of some backwoods Louisiana marsh with electric guitars in their hands and Kentucky Bluegrass in their lungs. But, then you start to notice their skinny bodies and, alarmingly, even skinnier jeans. You realize that parts of their fourth album sound like they've been transcribed from a Tolkien novel. You learn that they claim that they dropped the "a" from "Lead Zeppelin" because they were worried "thick Americans" would think their name was pronounced "Leed Zeppelin." Then there' the fact that all Zep's members speak in a barely discernible cockney accent. Suddenly it hits you: By God, "Going to California" was about an 11-hour transatlantic, transcontinental flight!
Meanwhile, Michael Bolton' an American. Kenny G is an American and Barbra Streisand is an American. Well, at least we'll always have our all-American folk singers, Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
One of the great living protest songwriters, Young often aimed his potent pen and crazy, old gypsy lady voice at the American government-or, when the government was being good, at entire swaths of the American continent. He even started the classic rock equivalent of rap' East Coast-West Coast battle when he criticized southerners for being racist in his song "Southern Man," and got a "Fuck you" from Lynyrd Skynard in the lines "I hope Neil Young will remember, the southern man don't need him around anyhow" from their hit "Sweet Home Alabama." Proud racists everywhere can stop worrying, because Young isn't from anywhere "around" Alabama. He' from Toronto and currently resides in something called Manitoba, presumably in a hut made from antelope carcasses fused together with dried mud.
You can't blame Skynard for thinking they needed to tell Young to hit the bricks. A quick survey of the titles in his discography come up smelling as all-American as Hulk Hogan' ball sweat. There' "After the Gold Rush" (we weren't aware there was a Canadian one), "Harvest" (of hockey pucks presumably) and his urgent message to Americans to maintain their rocking, "Keep on Rocking in the Free World," which, last time we checked, meant us.
Showing that we're not as dumb as Young might have thought, our proud nation has spent the ensuing 30 years buying American with our FM dials. These days, the only people who listen to Neil Young' southern protest songs write for Rolling Stone. Meanwhile, every American citizen is required to know the words to "Sweet Home Alabama," and proudly sings along when it gets its requisite twice-hourly airplay on the local Clear Channel classic rock station. Looks like we're not as dumb as you thought, eh Neil? Who cares what the part about loving the governor is about, it' catchy. Now you heard what Skynard said at the beginning of the song: Turn it up!
For nearly 100 years, this grand old personification of the United States has encouraged young men to go off and get killed in a war for the good of their country. But did you know that the image of Uncle Sam, first depicted in a U.S. Army poster in 1917, was based on a similar English recruitment poster created three years earlier? Our greatest American icon is nothing more than a cheap knock-off of some British guys named Lord Kitchener and John Bull. Nothing says "American independence" quite like a total rip off of an icon native to the country we fought so hard to distance ourselves from.
Truth be told, Uncle Sam doesn't even really compare to Lord Kitchener. He doesn't have Kitchener' awesome mustache, and his costume looks especially ridiculous when you stand him next to a man wearing the full uniform of the British Army. But the kicker is that Lord Kitchener was a real personÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢'ÃÂ¬"he was England' War Secretary from 1914 to 1916. We'd like to give Uncle Sam the benefit of the doubt, but the fact of the matter is that real peopleÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢'ÃÂ¬"even dead peopleÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂ¢'ÃÂ¬"trump imaginary people every time.
Nobody is as fond of telling people that they're on a mission from God than good red-blooded Americans like the Blues Brothers and President George W. Bush. But where do you think they got the whole, "Don't question my crazy beliefs because God is never wrong, now check out this sick party trick" thing from? Jesus of Nazareth, of course. And, while his James Dean-like violent death, Elvis-like popularity in the South and David Blaine-like air of mystery all seem to point logically to the stars and stripes, about the only thing that' certain about Jesus is that he wasn't actually born in America. Believe it or not, he was born in the Middle East! That means (gasp) Jesus wasn't even a handsome young white man! If Jesus ran for mayor in your town, there' almost no chance you'd vote for him. In fact, we'd be willing to bet that if Jesus were on a plane with you, you'd keep an eye on him every time he got up to go to use the bathroom, just in case.
Luckily, it only took us a couple of minutes of research to find a suitable replacement: known to perform miraculous feats that defy the laws of the physical universe, an iconoclast who hangs out with "hoes" just like Jesus, born of a virgin (according to an interview with his mother that appeared in Sports Illustrated), and most importantly born inside the boarders of this great nation, ladies and gentleman meet your new, All-American Messiah!
Sometimes the stories after the stories are even stranger.
For as much as people love them, the 'Star Wars' movies have gotten rather awkward from time to time.
Bawitdaba, pass the green beans.
Going for that 16th minute.