After hearing about Tyrese Gibson altering the national anthem I immediately was reminded of an old SNL sketch called 'Comedy Killers' that appeared way back when the show had some of its greatest episodes. That week, the show was hosted by Roseanne Barr and this sketch was a Jeopardy-like game show for comedians in which they had to guess the inappropriate joke that would kill the room. This led the opportunity for Roseanne to address her infamous national anthem incident from San Diego. Here is part of the script from the sketch:
Chip Bodecker: Uh-huh. And I understand you have a doozy of a comedy killer story for us?
Lori Turkin: Oh, yeah. Well, you know, I'm pretty big down there in San Diego and everything. So, this one time, they asked me to come and sing the National Anthem at a Padres game?
Chip Bodecker: Uh-huh?
Lori Turkin: Anyway, I thought it would be sort of funny to do a wise guy rendition of it, you know?
Chip Bodecker: Uh-huh. And, did the audience like it?
Lori Turkin: No. No, they hated it.
Chip Bodecker: Did they laugh?
Lori Turkin: Oh, no. They just hated it.
Chip Bodecker: So, the National Anthem is a real comedy killer?
Lori Turkin: Well, in my experience, I'd have to say yes.
Nice that she could own up to it and put a comedy twist at the same time. You can read the entire sketch here since I could not locate the video. The whole sketch is pretty funny.
Now we turn to Tyrese, years later, who thought it would comical to change some words of the Star-Spangled Banner. Instead of saying "the flag was still there" he said, "Our Lakers were still there." Now aside from the patriotic implications, you are inserting a team (Lakers) into a spot in a song where an inanimate object (flag) is in the song. The story of the song is about how America withstood the bombarding of the British during the War of 1812 and how the American spirit prevails over a land of people who are free. What in the name of Kurt Rambis does that have to do with a basketball game.
I am not going to get all conservative redneck on Tyrese here, I just want to state how ignorant doing something like this is. Yes, this is America and you (supposedly) can say whatever you want, but this was a subject better left alone. The gall of him to assume he could just tweak something to play to a home crowd while he is promoting a movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It is one of those situations where it really has no value to anyone to do it, and it should be interesting to see how he responds. So far it has only been in twitter form. Considering he plays an Air Force Technical Sergeant in the Transformer movies, you would think he would develop some kind of patriotic understanding. From this picture though, it seems he was not in his right mind for this to being with, just look at the way he is posing in this picture as he sang:
You should never look like you are trying to get a girl in the front row to sleep with you when singing your country's anthem. This of course will blow over in time, but it does not excuse the stupidity of Gibson in this instance. Just days after we observed Memorial Day, a day for all the men and women who have died so people like Tyrese can make millions and live in luxury and freedom, it was simply bad form. But at least he did not pull a Carl Lewis: