Another country heard from

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First it was "The Netherlands Second". Now it's Switzerland making a bid:

[fbvideo link="" width="500" height="400" onlyvideo="1"]

In a more serious vein, it's clear that comic writers around the world have figured out how to caricature Mr. Trump's rhetorical style. And from an intuitive and common-sense perspective, it's clear what features they're focusing on: certain words and phrases, a certain kind of repetition, certain kinds of content. But I don't think that formal, computational and/or mathematical linguists have models that are really zero in on such features. We can estimate word and n-gram frequencies, we can tabulate exact and near-repetitions, we can look at word-embedding neighborhoods. but there isn't any formal framework that simulates the process of rhetorical caricature  — or for that matter rhetorical characterization.

Update — and now Portugal:

Here's a good term project assignment for an AI/NLP course:

Input: Wikipedia page for country X
Output: Voice-over script for an "X Second" video
Extra Credit: Assemble appropriate background images and clips and create the video

Update #2 — David Kendal in the comments points us to "Who Wants to Be Second", which (besides the Dutch and the Swiss and the Portuguese, also has entries from Belgium:



And Lithuania (third):

No doubt more are on the way, so plenty of training material for that AI project.

Update #2 — and now Luxembourg:





Maderia Island:


And Mars!

Also Mexico…

Update — and now Mordor:

[fbvideo link="" width="500" height="400" onlyvideo="1"]


  1. David P. Kendal said,

    February 4, 2017 @ 3:38 pm

    Jan Böhmermann of the German satire show Neo Magazin Royale (of Erdoğan-slandering poem infamy) is encouraging comedic talk shows across Europe to produce their own variants.

    There’s a full selection of those produced so far at

  2. D.O. said,

    February 4, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

    Only European countries so far. Sad. Ugh!
    I watched only Swiss one and it's not just lexicon and rhetoric. Accent and intonation are also very good. Better than Colbert and Noah.

  3. V said,

    February 4, 2017 @ 6:44 pm

    \i was about to link to but David P. Kendal already did.

  4. Bob Ladd said,

    February 5, 2017 @ 2:47 am

    Who's doing the voice in all these videos, and who's writing the texts? There are no obvious clues to non-native English, and from the way they pronounce place names or other relevant non-English words it's pretty clear they're not native speakers of e.g. Lithuanian or Portuguese.

  5. Vilinthril said,

    February 5, 2017 @ 9:24 am

    Someone involved with these mentioned on Twitter that they had a native speaker and Trump impersonator to loan out to other shows looking to produce such a video, so I'd suppose most of the voice work is done by the same guy.

  6. Dan Lufkin said,

    February 6, 2017 @ 11:07 am

    Belgium and Portugal have also joined in the fun (on Facebook).

  7. Dan Lufkin said,

    February 6, 2017 @ 11:26 am

    Whoops! Overtaken by events! Madeira's is pretty good.

  8. Catanea said,

    February 7, 2017 @ 2:25 pm

    Maybe the President is doing the voice overs himself under an alias, as a sort of sideline? That would explain why they seem so good, and why he is so tired.

  9. Victor Mair said,

    February 7, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

    Hearing ‘America First,’ European Nations Jockey to Be Second


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