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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

This Week In Web Videos: PoolJumpers


Ever wonder what’s the best parody video on the Internet? Well wonder no more. Unless you disagree with me and don’t think this is the best one out there. Then, I guess you can continue to wonder. Either way, do yourself a favor and watch PoolJumpers.

Parody videos are the holy grail of web sketch, because, if done right, their zeitgeisty relatability helps them spread fast and hard. Since it’s 2010 premiere, The Birthday Boys’ classic PoolJumpers is the benchmark for what works…really…really well. We know it’s a little old, but the fact that it hasn’t been profiled in this column pains us and, let’s get real, funny is goddamn funny, no matter what the calendar says.

Here are three reasons to watch this week’s throwback pick.

1. Perfect mapping

The key to strong parody is understanding what exactly you’re parodying, beat by beat. The best way to ensure an audience is in on the joke is to study the real thing, in this case: a nostalgic, Lords of Dogtown type retrospective doc preview. It’s all about nuance. Leave behind the details and you got nothing, no matter how good the jokes are.

2. Ultra-relatable topic

Parodies are only funny when viewers can vividly imagine the thing being made fun of. Everyone has jumped into a pool while catching a ball. At some point in their lives. Ev-er-y-one. It’s simple and visceral and honest. That’s why it hits so hard.

3. Movie trailer format

Lots of people think the fake movie trailer device is hackneyed. I am not one of those people. If done well, it’s one of the most powerful tools in parody. Say what you will about lack of originality. The preview format’s endurance speaks for itself and does wonders heightening the effects of both mapping and relatability. Take that, haters!

  • Casey

    I completely agree! My UCB Sketch teacher used this video as a model for parodies. Its detailed adherence to the genre and simplicity is what makes it hit so hard.