February 8, 2005 |
The music swelled, sounding the familiar first notes of the vintage charity hit "We Are the World." Then the lyrics kicked in -- a torrent of bad taste, ethnic slurs and cruel insults about the killer south Asia tsunami. The parody, aired during morning drive time on New York radio's WQHT-FM, lasted three short minutes.
April 6, 1995 |
Comedians often say that ethnic humor--especially done in exaggerated accents--is tough to pull off. That may be so even for that most glib of legislative quipsters, Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-N.Y.), whose parodied imitation of Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito has caused such a fuss he has apologized.
July 25, 1998 |
Welcome to Salmonella, a sepia-toned Sicilian village circa 1912 where sidewalk vendors peddle Spaghetti-on-a-Stick, the priest dons stilts for the annual olive-ripening festival parade and the town's motto is "Home of Warm Mayonnaise." Or, step into the Las Vegas casino, where the Democratic National Committee backs its donation truck up to a loading dock and hopelessly addicted gamblers play curious games of chance--like guessing how many fingers a dealer will hold up. Three?
November 9, 1993 |
In 1989, Luther Campbell, leader of the rap group "2 Live Crew," wrote his own version of the late Roy Orbison's 1964 classic, "Oh, Pretty Woman." Initially, the two songs sound the same. A pretty woman is spotted walking down the street. But where Orbison's lyrics conjure up a fantasy of longing and fulfillment, the rapper tells a more brutal tale. On second glance, the pretty woman turns out to be "a big hairy woman."
October 12, 2012 |
By now, "Gangnam Style" has become part of the pop culture lexicon. The infectious song by South Korean singer Psy broke the Guinness world record for "most likes" on YouTube. The video has been watched nearly 425 million times and has inspired flash mobs and parodies by lifeguards, Ivy leaguers and hot moms. If you haven't heard of "Gangnam Style," you've probably spent the last month orbiting in outer space. Or perhaps you live above the 38th parallel, in North Korea. North Korea is as isolated and backward as South Korea is wired and technologically advanced.
December 3, 1995 |
Hollywood's recent onslaught of movies about spies, vampires, high school and "the 'hood," as well as the film noir frenzy whipped up by last year's "Pulp Fiction," may be about to jump-start another generation of a popular genre: the spoof. "Plump Fiction," Bob Koherr's directorial debut, shoots holes through Quentin Tarantino's claim to fame while also parodying "Natural Born Killers" and "Reservoir Dogs."
April 24, 2007 |
Activist groups dropped a federal lawsuit against Viacom Inc. on Monday after the parent of Comedy Central acknowledged it made a mistake in asking YouTube to yank a parody of the cable network's "The Colbert Report." Although the video in question contained clips taken from the television show, the groups argued that their use was protected under "fair use" provisions of copyright law, and thus Viacom shouldn't have asked YouTube to remove the item.
August 9, 2006 |
It used to be if you wanted to see your favorite political/celebrity gaffe/crime satirized, you had to wait for the "Saturday Night Live" skit, which could take weeks. (Of course, it beat waiting for your next issue of National Lampoon or Mad magazine, but that's ancient history.) Now, of course, there's the Internet, so if you're not too fussy about lighting or sound quality or anything approaching good taste, you can have your satire served as it should be -- piping hot and instant.
April 23, 1998 |
Night has cast a bluish hue on the frigid waters, and a young woman on a raft gazes longingly at her beau, his lips quivering as he struggles to stay afloat. "Titanic" star Leonardo DiCaprio, you presume. Nope, it's deejay Rick Dees in the latest commercial for KIIS-FM. With more than $1 billion in box office receipts and 11 Academy Awards, "Titanic" has become a worldwide icon, making it good fodder for advertising parodies.