WATCH: CNN’s John Berman Opens New Day With An Homage to Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire


Well, this is not something you see every day…

John Berman opened Thursday’s New Day by parodying Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire.  It wasn’t quite in song, but the CNN anchor listed a myriad of issues facing President Joe Biden on the day of his first press conference in a clever rhyming pattern that impossibly left the viewer both wanting more and eager for him to stop.

After welcoming viewers and establishing the time and date at the very top of the 6 AM hour, Berman paused for a beat, steadied himself, looked at cohort Alisyn Camerota, then asked “ready?”

What followed was a Peabody award-worthy moment that effortlessly combined a handy list of the news of the day, delivered in an easily digestible format referencing pop culture ephemera from a yesterdecade.

“Vaccination, immigration, economic stimulation. Gun violence, voting rights, Biden has a dog that bites,” Berman rhymed. “No, the president didn’t start the fire, as Billy Joel wrote in one of his few bad songs. But these are all subjects he has to deal with in his first formal news conference in just a few hours.

The list of topics did not include other harder-to-rhyme words like “filibuster” and the CNN anchor neatly explained how when the press conference was scheduled, that Biden wanted to talk about economic relief and vaccination goals, “but it’s a reminder it’s about the unexpected, the challenges you can’t predict. So this White House event will be fascinating to watch today.”

Berman is correct to note that We Didn’t Start the Fire is not one of the top songs in the Billy Joel oeuvre, and so the CNN anchor gets bonus points for the ironically detached show opener.  We can only assume that Berman considered rapping the above rhyming scheme but was talked out of it when Camerota refused to beatbox.

Watch above via CNN.

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