Posts tagged as parody

From Screen to Stage: The Rise of the Parody Musical

At a small midtown studio, the producers and cast of UNAUTHORIZED! met to rehearse That 80’s Time Travel Movie, a musical based on the 1985 Robert Zemeckis classic Back to the Future. I arrived around hour four as the group workshopped a number called “Forgetting You.” It’s a realization duet that follows the second act’s opener and hits like an upbeat male version of “For Good” from Wicked, heartfelt but comedic. Chris Barnes, who wrote the book and lyrics, directed actors Matt Rogers and Pat Swearingen, Marty McFly and Doc Brown respectively. The show’s composer, Ryan Mercy, provided an accompaniment as Barnes fine tuned movement and performance.

“This would be [...]

Check Out Weird Al’s Incredible Attention to Detail in This Comparison Video

As if you needed any further proof that Weird Al is the best, here's a new video that compares eight of his parody videos side-by-side with the original, which clearly shows that Yankovic's just as good at skewering artists' music videos as he is good at skewering their songs.

Nathan Fielder Reveals Himself as the Mastermind Behind Dumb Starbucks

Over the weekend, the internet was abuzz with news of a new Los Angeles coffee shop called "Dumb Starbucks," a near-fully functioning Starbucks that 1) was blatantly not affiliated with the company and 2) used the company's name and logo "for marketing purposes" but adds the word "dumb" in front of everything to protect the business under parody laws. Dumb Starbucks, which had its windows tinted to prevent passersby from looking inside, didn't charge money for coffee and pastries, instead giving away free cups of coffee featuring the Dumb Starbucks logo.

Since it opened Friday afternoon at 1802 Hillhurst Ave in LA's Los Feliz neighborhood, the legally questionable establishment attracted [...]

Sacha Baron Cohen Is Writing World's First Spy Spoof Ever

Sacha Baron Cohen is working with Cedar Rapids scribe Phil Johnston on a parodical take on James Bond films. In their version the serious spy type "is forced to go on the run with his long-lost brother, a moronic soccer hooligan." Cohen said he isn't necessarily going to be in the movie but it sure seems like he would be. The question is: Which role would he play? The more frightening question is: Would he play both brothers? Either way, it will be nice to see him play a British person again.

Comedy's Love/Hate Relationship with Garfield

When I was younger, there was no greater pairing than the holiday season and Garfield. I’d watch wide-eyed as he'd float down 5th Avenue in the Thanksgiving Parade; I’d pop in our VHS recording of A Garfield Christmas, and I’d adorn our tree with Keepsake ornaments of that lovable fat cat dishing out Christmas cheer. But this love affair with Garfield was over as quickly as it began, and soon I was off to bigger things like Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, and Webelos.  But I never forgot about Jim Davis’ cartoon cat, and considering the rise of strange, dark, and incredibly funny material the internet has created about Garfield, [...]

Finding Joy in the Saddest Depths of Capitalism with Kasper Hauser

The San Francisco comedy group Kasper Hauser has a knack for the absurd. For instance, their name is derived from that of a mysterious 19th century feral child from Germany. But beyond the far flung fringes of the unusual exists a sharp grasp of the delicate balance between comedy and tragedy. Since 2000, Kasper Hauser's four members — Dan Klein, James Reichmuth, John Reichmuth and Rob Baedeker — have been writing and performing comedy that adequately represents where they are existentially, both as a group and as individuals. They have just released SkyMaul2: Where America Buys His Stuff, their second parody of the popular SkyMall airline catalog. I talked [...]

Weird Al on the Interconnectedness of Parody and Nostalgia

"Parody is, almost by nature, disposable. And yet, people like it so much. Especially if you hear it at a certain point in your life, and then hear it like a decade later, there's nostalgia attached to it. I'm sure people like a lot of my early parodies, but I think their enthusiasm at hearing it at a concert has as much to do with their personal attachment to the song as it does to the song itself."

Weird Al in a new lengthy interview with Vice, in which he breaks down the making of his album Mandatory Fun, his recent Fox News interview, when Beyoncé [...]

Jimmy Fallon Turns to a Life of Joke Crime in 'Joking Bad'

Last night, Jimmy Fallon continued his march to the Tonight Show with this incredible Breaking Bad parody, as Jimmy realizes he only has six months left…at Late Night. He decides to dive into the high-stakes world of black market joke selling, where he encounter Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk, Colin Quinn, and a certain one-eyed pink teddy bear. It's a bit spoilery if you're not at least caught up with last year's Breaking Bad, but is worth watching to see Steve Higgins say "bitch" a whole bunch.

Talking with Matt Besser About 'Freak Dance,' improv4humans, and the Upcoming UCB Book

Freak Dance, the musical/dance movie parody written and directed by UCB's Matt Besser and co-directed by Neil Mahoney, follows a rich ballerina named Cocolonia who meets a ragtag group of street dancers named Funky Bunch, Sassy, Barrio, and Egghead who are forced to save their run-down studio after it gets shut down by the fascist building inspector for not having an egress (the original UCB theater was shut down for the same reason in 2002). While there are plenty of slickly shot dance scenes featuring winners from America's Best Dance Crew and So You Think You Can Dance busting their moves, the comedy is provided via UCB [...]

The Muppets Takes A Parody Trailer Victory Lap

Every great series of parody trailers needs its grand finale, and The Muppets is no exception. The latest gets in shots at Pus in Boots, Twilight, Happy Feet and Paranormal Activity. Seriously, the advertising for this movie has been Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce good. I like to imagine Jon Hamm drinking scotch and saying sternly, "They aren't just puppets. They're promises. The promise of an escape, from the pain of being misunderstood, from being strung along…[ten minute stare out the window]…from becoming puppet versions of ourselves."

'Nathan for You's Dumb Starbucks Episode Is Finally Here, and He's Selling His Parody Art on eBay

Nathan for You's Dumb Starbucks episode aired last night, but before opening up the store Fielder had to prove — for legal reasons — that he had a history of making parody art. To do this, he first hooked up with the LA coffee shop owner he originally intended to help to write some parody songs, but soon after he decided to pursue a parody art career on his own, which you can check out in the above clip. Fielder also announced today that the show is auctioning off his parody art pieces on eBay for charity, so if you've always dreamed of a "T.G.I. Fart" sign hanging on [...]

David Wain and His Parodies of Exuberance

There are many ways to go about parodying a form, however from Mel Brooks’ smug send-ups to Nathan Fielder’s biting critique of the types of non-fiction programming available on modern TV, most of these attempts hardly come from a place of love. With Brooks and his ilk such as the Zucker/Abraham team, nothing is treated as too sacred to be made a mockery of with a oft-insensitive joke. Fielder is so mean-spirited in his treatment of the laymen he claims to attempt to be helping that my tricks-averse girlfriend cringed her way through one episode of Nathan For You with me before shooting me a look of severe disapproval and [...]

Citizens Untied: Parody in the Age of Corporate Media

For 20 years now I’ve been locked in a test of wills with corporate publishing, trying to produce books that are just as funny as TV and movies. That should be possible, right? One would think. Sometimes I win (international bestseller), sometimes they do (they commission books, then don’t pay me). I tell myself it’s David versus Goliath…but it’s probably just Joe Versus the Volcano.

Comedy being 90% confidence, there’s often a rough equivalence between a media’s swag, and the quality of comedy found in it. But weakness and decay can yield fruit as well — Garrison Keillor on the radio, for example, or The Onion rising from the ashes of [...]

The Muppets Parody Trailers Live to Fight Another Day

We've missed you so much, Muppets parody trailers. We don't even mind that this time, you're only an ad for the March 20 DVD release of a movie we've all already seen. And we definitely don't mind that you're making us seriously consider what an all-Muppet Hunger Games would be like. I mean, Miss Piggy would be the clear sole survivor, but who would be her biggest competitor? Kermit is not cut out for violence; he'd be gone in a second unless he Peeta Mellark'd his way through on Miss Piggy's coattails. Animal's got the rage but not the cunning. My money's on Gonzo for second place – [...]