There was no shortage of spectacle at the Republican National Convention’s opening night, from Melania Trump’s apparently plagiarized speech to Rudy Giuliani’s compelling demonstration of his outside voice. Let us not allow these to distract us, though, from the real star of the show: Donald Trump’s smoke machine.

What a thing! And in some ways, how perfect: A moment of unearned grandiosity that quickly fades, but probably leaves a stink.

Trump, of course, is hardly the first person to use a smoke machine to juice an entrance. He’s joining some esteemed ranks. How does he compare with the previous greats? Judge for yourself.

The Undertaker (But Also Every Other WWE Star)


Josh Groban

Prince of Pop

Prince of Darkness


Mark Messier

The Miami Hurricanes

That One Scene From Close Encounters

That One Scene From Beaches

Yuge Weddings

Then again, Trump really is in a class all his own

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How Trump’s RNC Entrance Ranks in the Smoke Machine Pantheon