Under a number of banners, including Schmoyoho, Songify This, and Auto-Tune The News, The Gregory Brothers have made a specialty of transforming current events into sweet, ear-soothing pop music. Their version of Monday night’s first presidential debate between former Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton and real estate mogul Donald Trump is already here, and it’s as tuneful and danceable as one might hope. Even better, the Gregorys have recruited a couple of new wave-era rock legends—singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein of Blondie—to act as moderators, taking the place of NBC anchor Lester Holt.
Harry obviously takes her role seriously and lays down the law in the first few seconds: “You know the rules. Whoever sings the best is the next president. And whoever loses has to be content with their incredible wealth.” Neither Trump nor Clinton wants to accept the latter fate, so they both bring their A-game to this musical duel. Occasionally, to keep the candidates grounded, Harry interjects with this refrain: “Why should we vote for you? / What magical things will you do?” Meanwhile, Stein communicates through only through his guitar, which is helpfully subtitled. Eventually, Harry abruptly shuts the debate down while Stein wordlessly communicates his plan to light his stars-and-stripes guitar on fire. That’s American democracy in 2016.