Today in one of my classes my classmates brought up a good point: We know our cultural through parodies. Jokingly they brought up, Weird Al’s Amish Paradise and who actually might know what song it was originally. However, this isn’t the first time this has come up in the past couple of days. Yesterday on the way to MIRF I mentioned to my passenger that whenever I heard the latest Goyte song, Somebody That I Used to Know, I hear several parodies as a mash-up in my head (See List Below).
We see parodies constantly of things we love from songs to movies to books. Our culture has various shows dedicated to it even: Robot Chicken, Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, and even shows wholly dedicated to making fun of a whole genre, like one of Cartoon Networks latest addition to Adult Swim , Children's Hospital. We even make mockumentaries, like The Office. Everything in our culture is up for grabs when it comes to teasing and poking fun. Is it because we’re looking for more versions of something we love so we don’t get bored with them?
If that was the reason, then we would just do what Japan does: make alternate reality versions of their popular cultural icons. Series like Sailor Moon or Case Closed have not only manga series with alternate realities, but anime versions and live action ones as well. We do this to an extent with our more nerdy culture. Star Trek, which has different TV series, but also have novel versions and comics that don’t necessarily concede with each other. The comic book industry (DC and Marvel being the most well known) is also notorious about for it and tend to have multiple alternate versions going on at once: one with the heroes as teenagers, one with them fighting a civil war, one with them as zombies and even unofficial versions with them as pre-schoolers. This obviously isn’t the reason for making of parodies. Those of us who can’t get enough of blue aliens getting seduced by ship captains or laser eyes that burn foes, makes sure that we have so much that we couldn’t possibly get bored any time soon.
So is the need/want for parodies go deeper? As children don’t we mock the different children and make grotesque their features? Is this just an extension of our childhood cruelty that comes out now in normally a more socially acceptable, less hurtful way? I suppose we could think of it like that, but that’s a bit cruel for my taste. We could also see it as people trying to jump on the fame band wagon (just look at all the youtube hits the parodies have). Or is that the best way genre of comedy? Is it the only way to connect over boundaries?
Or is it just darn amusing?
Feel free to let me know your theories or share your favorite parodies!
Some Song That I Used to Love
The Star Wars That I Used to Know
Some Study That I Used to Know
Other Parodies Worth Watching:
We’re Trekkies and We Know it (My Personal Favorite)
REBECCA BLACK + STAR WARS Friday Parody 'Primeday'