The Fourth of July is only a day away, which means that it’s time to think about everything that makes America worth celebrating. Things that immediately come to mind for me are the movie “Dreamgirls” (always the movie “Dreamgirls”), the fact that Mac n’ Cheetos now exist (I tried them for the first time today and they are spectacular) and the super funny “SNL” sketch featured above.


In the sketch, the brilliant Maya Rudolph (whose new show “Maya and Marty” was recently featured on the blog) goes way overboard on a performance of the National Anthem, serving up enough drama and intensity to match the likes of Jennifer Holliday. And that’s saying a lot. (Look at me, bringing it back to “Dreamgirls.” I have a gift for it.) Overall the sketch is extremely fun and a perfect way to get into the “Amurrica” spirit on a day when it is most definitely needed.


Rudolph churned out many great moments like that in her time at “SNL”, from the “Bronx Beat” ladies she used to do with Amy Poehler to one of my favorite sketches of all time, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs” a prank show hosted by acclaimed poet Maya Angelou. To this day my Dad and I still ask one another if something was an “act of malice” or an “act of whimsy.” It’s a timeless and hilarious sketch that will stay in your mind once you’ve watched it. Trust me. I wouldn’t lie to you.


If you’re looking for something this Fourth that’s a little more serious and old-school, then I would suggest Ray Charles‘ soulful rendition of “America the Beautiful.” I grew up with Charles’ music playing in my Dad’s car and his version of this song always stuck with me. It captures American pride, but not the annoying kind that makes you want to roll your eyes and walk away. Again, trust me. I got’chu.


Thoughts on the clips shared above? Have a particular video that gets you in the patriotic spirit? Wanna know where to get the best illegal fireworks? I wouldn’t know, because I’m not an INSANE person and I like having all 10 of my fingers. For the first two though, leave your thoughts in the comments. And, before you leave to go shopping for cookout supplies (or to get some Mac n’ Cheetos, which I highly recommend), remember…


Stay classy.