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Our detailed play-by-play of an old commercial for Donald Trump steaks

Stakes: raised.


Dana Schwartz

Internet Culture

The holidays are a time of stress. Between hastily wrapping presents that were half-heartedly harvested (your sister would like a Home Depot gift card, right?), attempting to navigate a series of family meals that make you feel like the moderator of a Republican debate, it can seem like the very notion of a happy, peaceful Christmastime was nothing more than a hilarious prank the rest of the world has played on you.

But stress no longer. Like the mythical Red Velvet Man with White Trimming, I come bearing a gift. Naughty or nice, I pass no judgment. I give to all, young and old alike, the gift of the Trump Steaks commercial, featuring Donald Trump himself. A real commercial with Trump yelling about steak. For the next one minute and 45 seconds, just relax and let the spirit of Christmas wash over you. I’ll walk you through every beat.

0:00 — “When it comes to great steaks, I’ve just raised the stakes.”

We begin with some clever wordplay here! Worth noting, in addition to just stellar use of homonyms, that The Donald has the cadence of a 5th grader reading lines in a school play, or Jack Donaghy trying to be in TGS sketch.

0:10 — “The Sharper Image is one of my favorite stores.”

Oh, so this is an SNL sketch. My mistake.

0:11 — Having already exhausted every other normal hand gesture he knows, Donald attempts to use the Emeril “bam!”  


0:15 — “…that’s why I’m thrilled they agree with me.” 

Something about the way Donald delivers this line, with the emphasis slightly off, makes me feel like he learned these lines phonetically, like ABBA.

0:16 — We have some nice block letters that fly in, followed by a right-to-left swipe. 

Looks like someone’s been brushing up on his skills in PowerPoint!

0:35 — A slow zoom on a Google image search result for “steak” under some cursive text.


0:42 — Slow zoom on a second Google image search result for “steak.” 

The text below is not in the same cursive font used at 0:35.

0:50 — Third Google image search result for “steak”! 

This one has the text informing us “less than 1% qualifies!” Also, it should be noted, the original cursive text is back.

0:54 — “The Best of the Best!”

Whereas “less than 1% qualifies!” was all lowercase, Donald and Sharper Image decided to capitalize this fragment that dissolves onto the same picture of steak. Because fuck you, that’s why.

1:12 — “Now with the Sharper Image, you can enjoy the world’s greatest steaks, with family, friends, anytime—”

Do you hear the way Donald didn’t actually end his sentence? And how instead of showing his face, they end the phrase by cutting to another goddamn picture of steak and some poorly edited audio? We’re not saying Donald actually said “with family, friends, anytime you and your fuckable daughter or wives want to enjoy some steak,” then refused to do any more takes, but we certainly can’t rule that scenario out.

1:27 — “And as a gift, Trump Steaks are the best you can give.”

Merry Christmas. I bought you raw meat from an electronics store.

1:27 – Although the words “Trump Steaks” emerge onscreen in time with Donald’s voice, the tagline “THE WORLD’S GREATEST STEAKS” pop onto the screen as he says something completely different.

How avant-garde.

1:04 – Now the Google image pictures of steak are going rogue, just popping up wherever they like and gliding across the screen mid-sentence. 

Everyone involved in making this commercial stopped caring 45 minutes ago. 

1:36 – “I understand steaks. It’s my favorite food.”

Pronoun agreement aside, there’s something adorable about a grown man saying, completely earnestly, that his favorite food is steak—especially if he’s trying to sell you terrible steaks

Photo via Jagon331/YouTube

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