Dare to be Satirical

This week, Janet is asking for the best satire songs. It's a market dominated by ”Weird Al” Yankovic, but I'll try to include a few funny tunes and spoofs from sources other than the star of the cult hit UHF.

Geek that I am, I'll lead with the Star Wars Gangsta Rap. I'm not sure if it's become a forgotten internet classic, soon to be forgotten along with the likes of Banana Phone or the original numa, but this is cool and clever enough that it should be remembered. “Yoda, why ya bein' a playa hata?”

Yes, ”D*ck in a Box” may be the latest SNL digital short making the rounds from The Lonely Island's Andy Samberg, but it was Lazy Sunday and “A Day in the Life of Natalie Portman” that made the biggest initial impact on the world wide web. I wish I could find a video of the SNL sketch that's inexplicably been popping up in my subconscious the last few days, though it's been years since I've seen it. Does anyone else remember ”Unforgivable”, a collection of spoof duets between living singers and old recordings of deceased ones? John Goodman freaking rocks as Elvis in that one, and I always crack myself up when I remember “Tammy Wynette”(Melanie Hutsell) complaining that she isn't dead and this is how rumors get started, only to have “Natalie Cole”(Ellen Cleghorne) sing all her words right back to her, including the offputting “cut it out, bitch”. Of course, in linking to my references just now, I learned that Wynette actually did die a few years later, so I guess it's not all that funny anymore. Hrm.

I'm sure there are plenty of songs that made me laugh over the years, but for now I've run out of ones not from Weird Al, so here are my favorites in chronological order:

Dare to be Stupid doesn't spoof any specific song, though it borrows from the style of Devo. Featured prominently in The Transformers: The Movie, it was probably my first real exposure to his work, though at the very least I had heard classmates singing Eat It and Another One Rides The Bus before then.

Smells Like Nirvana on the other hand is a parody, of Smells Like Teen Spirit, one of my favorite songs of all time. The video and the song are faithful in their attention to details from the original, while at the same time putting Al's signature touch on it. I have to admit, his version does make more sense...

Weird Al studies originals and pays strict attention to details, but he also has a range and is just as comfortable belting out a grunge song as he is with something hip hop like Amish Paradise. Note that while rapping he manages an Amish affectation to his voice.

My Science Fiction geekiness is resurfacing. I probably know more of the words to The Saga Begins than I do from the original American Pie. Who am I kidding? I probably have this one memorized. American Pie came on the radio the other day, and as I was singing along in my car I realized I was singing the spoof version about halfway into it.

Finally, we have another hip hop lampoon, White & Nerdy, Al's most recent hit, an internet sensation and, if I were a betting rodent, which I am, a tune that's going to make almost everybody's list.

Well, that's all for now. Remember humor, like music, is subjective, making my selections here twice so. Come on, fhqwhgads...



Blogger Darrell said...

These things always slip past me, and I hadn't seen "A Day In The Life Of Natalie Portman" before.

I was happier for having not seen it.

Suddenly my world is short one Natalie Portman and now has two Juliette Lewises.

1/11/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Sharon GR said...

I completely forgot "Lazy Sunday." True dat!

Come, on, fhqwhgads...

1/11/2007 10:29 PM  
Blogger Rhodester said...

Okay, Darrell is officially nuts.. the Nat Portman video is just about the funniest damn thing I've ever seen on SNL. A few months ago I looked everywhere I could think of online and it didn't seem to be out there, so leave it to MCF to track it down. I have it on disc but it's a tivo recording, so as far as I know it can't be transferred to a file of some sort.

Thanks for linking it! I've been wanting to show it to a few people.

1/11/2007 10:43 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

I'm thinking maybe Darrell missed that it was satire and took it seriously, kind of like that time he linked to the "official" Spider-man 3 trailer with the Hobgoblin. She's still worth several dozen Juliette Lewises in my book, especially since the gangsta rap bit was an act and she can turn it off. Lewis can't turn off drooling moron. ;-)

BTW, I recently discovered that video hidden on the V for Vendetta DVD as an Easter Egg in case anyone's looking to own it. There were plenty online though.

1/11/2007 11:47 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

I'm thinking maybe Darrell missed that it was satire and took it seriously

Oh, I knew it was satire ... it just burst my bubble. Alas, Natalie is no longer on the pedestal I had her on. (And, to think, she'd survived Closer on the pedestal just fine.)

1/13/2007 5:30 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Just to elaborate a bit:

She's the modern Audrey Hepburn. I guess there were things I never wanted to see her do; kinds of comedy I never wanted to associate with her.

Of course, it's fans like me who want to limit her potential who were probably the ones that the skit was aimed at, so to hell with what I want. ;)

1/13/2007 5:34 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

That Natalie Portman video is classic, as is Lazy Sunday. Some SNL parody type songs definitely stand the test of time in my mind. Wicked Awesome, a spoof of NKOTB was another great one.

As for Unforgettable, I TOTALLY remember that. I think I even have it on tape somewhere, if I look hard enough. :)

1/13/2007 10:32 PM  

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