The new Americans took the Jimmy Kimmel Live! stage while being announced by the Los Angeles Kings hockey team's PA announcer Dave Joseph. Each made an entrance as the house band played Neil Young's "Coming to America." The audience cheered each new citizen in what can best be likened to a home NBA team's starting lineup introduction.
Kimmel then introduced Paisley as a multi-Grammy winner. Paisley sang a bizarre yet charming song that begins as intentionally cliché as possible ("Congratulations citizens / We're happy that you're here / Come on in and take a load off / Grab yourself an ice-cold beer") before celebrating some over-the-top freedoms, from eating "a sticka' butter" at the county fair and wearing crocs with a pair of socks to dressing your dog up like Lady Gaga.
Additional gags include Paisley deadpanning "Are you getting all this? It's in the Bill of Rights" during an interlude and a ripping guitar solo based on "My Country Tis of Thee." By the song's end, streamers and confetti fell from the ceiling and an American eagle mascot joined the fun. In all, it's a clever take on every "'Merica" meme and a celebration of our nation's diversity.
Before the skit, Kimmel pointed out that every week, immigrants from across the globe take the oath of citizenship. Due to volume, citizenship ceremonies are so common and mundane that, Kimmel says, he wanted to offer a follow-up celebration because "becoming an American should be more exciting than a trip to the DMV."
Paisley's intentionally silly song proves once again that beyond being one of Nashville's best songwriters (and a band mate of Peyton Manning's), he's one of the funniest people this side of Hollywood.
This story originally ran on Aug. 7, 2019.