When you think of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” America’s national anthem, you may think of sporting events and patriotic occasions both celebratory and solemn. But you probably don’t think of comedians singing it.
That doesn’t mean funny people cannot or could not have the musical chops and gravitas to pull it off on a large stage.
Rob Delaney proved once more that you can separate the talented singer from the funny person when he sang the national anthem before Friday’s nights Dodgers game in Los Angeles. Delaney gives a great straight performance. Everything before it, however, is quite silly and amusingly awkward, from the pre-game interview on the field to the public address announcement to the lack of fans in the stands. C’mon Dodgers fans! Here is Delaney’s performance Friday.
Delaney isn’t the first comedian to sing it straight, though.
Jack Black is known for crafting and rocking out silly with his band, Tenacious D, but there’s less tenacity or temerity to his rendition that rang through the halls before this 2011 WNBA game with the L.A. Sparks.
And then there’s Stephen Colbert, who prefers to two-part harmonize the anthem. Take these two examples. One, with Jack White to dedicate part of the High Line park in New York City in 2011.
In 2012, Colbert sings the national anthem to kick off his “Rock Me Like a Herman Cain South Cain-olina Primary Rally” at the College of Charleston In Charleston, S.C.
If you’re looking for a funnier take on the anthem, then, you’ll have to go outside the lines.
Leslie Nielsen in the first Naked Gun movie back in 1988 found himself as “Police Squad!’s” Frank Drebin on the field at a Dodgers game pretending he was Enrico Palazzo to sing the anthem.
More recently, Maya Rudolph pretended to be a contest-winning supermarket employee who earned the right to sing at the 2006 World Series and puts her all into it. All of what, you may ask?
But if you do think of a comedian singing the anthem, the conversation invariably still turns to Roseanne. For better or worse. Her 1990 performance at a San Diego Padres game lives on in infamy.
She recently explained the backstory with enough distance and perspective, from an interview last year with SiriusXM Radio’s Ron Bennington.
The other, with