DR. DEMENTO HITS
Star Wars Cantina," MJD produced a number of
other parody hits and radio bits, which have appeared over the years on The Dr. Demento
Show, the Premiere Radio Networks, and radio stations
around the galaxy.
MJD's interest in novelty songs
began in the early 1970s when he first heard The Dr. Demento
Show on the radio in Phoenix, Arizona. Demento played
funny songs like "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa" and
"Junk Food Junkie," comedy sketches like "Sister Mary Elephant,"
"Deteriorata," "Mr. Jaws," and "Star Drek," and of course,
parodies like Weird Al Yankovic's "Another One Rides The Bus"
and "It's Still Billy Joel To Me."
In 5th grade, MJD wrote some of his
first parodies with classmates. "White Christmas" became
"Brown Christmas" (an homage to the snowless holidays of the
Arizona desert). Jim Croce's "Bad Bad Leroy Brown" was
turned into "Fat Fat Leroy Brown" (including the amazing lyric,
"...Leroy Brown learned a lesson about messing with the wife of
a Jell-O Can"). And there were also some really stupid
parodies of Tony Orlando & Dawn songs. Yes, MJD had caught
parody fever, and there was no cure.
After appearing in school plays and
a few student films, MJD's bigtime showbiz career began in 1981 when he started
making wacky phone calls to Phoenix radio stations. He
started out doing celebrity impersonations and character voices,
such as Buckwheat, Dr. Ruth, Roseanna Roseannadanna, and Floyd
The Barber*, calling into morning radio shows before he went to
school. MJD did
frequent phone bits and skits with DJs
Todd Brandt, and Rick Kurtis
KZZP/Phoenix, and Paul Peterson and Shebel & Larsen at
BILL BONERTON PHONE CALL,
BUCKWHEAT ON BROADWAY
Then, MJD and his friends Rick Piester and
Steve Gram began to submit parody song tapes under the
band name "Heavo" to KZZP. These "wacky
weenie tapes" included
"Crack Up," "Makemup As Ya Go," "Chattanooga Johnny,"
"Johnny Don't Be A Bonehead." Brandmeier adopted a few of their tunes
as theme songs for his show, and they even got to perform
"Crack Up" live at a 1982 station breakfast concert.
Oh, boy, was that bad! Brandmeier also sent them to a recording studio
with Willie D. Loon to record a
high-quality version of "Crack Up" for use on his radio show at
MAKEMUP AS YA GO
MJD's next stop was
KASR, the campus
radio station at Arizona State University, to host a
Friday afternoon countdown show and eventually work as the station's
Program Director for a semester. It was
there, on a September day in 1984, that MJD met KASR movie reviewer
Rob "Iceman" Izenberg. They were both wearing grey pants.
In 1986, MJD brought Iceman
into KZZP to do movie reviews on the
Bruce Kelly & Co. Show. MJD had recently landed a job
at KZZP as a weekend fill-in DJ and Morning Show Producer. Soon,
MJD and Iceman (who would later be
known as "IceMark")
were cranking out parody songs, commercial spoofs, and comedy
bits for the
station on a daily basis,
writing, performing, and producing
satirical material about local
events, state politics, and pop culture.
Phoenix in the late 1980's was a hotbed of major news events,
political controversies, and subsequent parodies:
POPE ON 45
a little ol' Pontiff named Carl Wotija"
The 1987 papal visit inspired Iceman to sing
On 45, an
epic parody medley of holy hits
about Pope John Paul II. The medley includes these songs:
"Bad" by Michael Jackson, "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry, "I Wanna
Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles, "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZTop, "Born
In The USA" by Bruce Springsteen, "When Doves Cry" by Prince,
"Little Old Lady From Pasadena" by Jan & Dean, "Where's The Party"
(!) by Madonna, "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees, "Nasty" by Janet
Jackson, "Everybody" by Wang Chung, and "Stairway To Heaven" by Led
Zeppelin. The music track was provided
by Wayne Vlcan (producer of NuShooz), the rap was provided by Pope
John Paul II, and the
song was mixed and produced by MJD, who also provided
SUNS, SUNS, SUNS
Gorilla's an ape now, Gorilla's an ape"
It was KZZP van driver John Asaro who
came up with the idea for
Suns, Suns, one of several parodies in honor of the Phoenix
Suns' sizzling 1987 season. With a home-made music track
with Dave Olson on guitar, MJD on tambourine, and
Iceman on everything else, this was one of the most
popular parodies in local history. The vocals and
harmonies in this spoof of the Beach Boys "Fun, Fun, Fun"
were provided by the aforementioned trio, plus
Greg Schumacher and Kevin Ryder (soon of Kevin &
Bean). Listen for cameos by Phoenix radio legend Al McCoy,
Suns Coach Cotton
Fitzsimmons, and dingbat pop songstress Tiffany! (Another
IceMark parody called LakerBusters brought MJD to the
attention of KNBC-TV/Los Angeles sportscaster Fred Roggin, who later
hired MJD to produce parodies for his syndicated "Roggin's Heroes"
Iceman's searing vocal performance on
I Want Your Socks
makes this song MJD's personal favorite
about a footwear fetish, is
a take-off on George Michael's then-controversial
"I Want Your Sex." (The phrase "I Want Your Sex" was
so taboo that KZZP DJ's weren't allowed to say the title
when they played the song on-air!) Note the decept-o-rhyme
("You can even wear one on your---hand") in
the lyrics of this 1987 KZZP hit, which used a 12"
instrumental mix for the music, and includes MJD on
backup vocals and stereo barks.
be changing our lanes to the rhythm of KZZP."
Phoenicians were serenaded about their traffic
troubles in the lovely parody
Papago, a 1988 take-off
on the Beach Boys comeback hit "Kokomo." This song about the
newly opened I-10 freeway features a home-made
music track with Iceman on synthesized steel drum, Iceman on lead
vocals, MJD on flat lead vocals, and a chorus including backup singers Paul Talbot
and Kevin Ryder.
"Peace on Earth, good WHEELS toward men!"
When they weren't producing
parody songs, MJD and Iceman often created spoof spots and
parody commercials like
Bog. In this bit, in the spirit of "Johnny Gravel,"
the holiday season meets a monster truck rally.
THE GRAVEL GANG
I'm home! Home! Home! Home!"
KZZP Production Director Bud Latour (the voice behind
the hit 1990 single "People Are Still Having Sex")
did such a great impression of local drag-racing
commercial announcers that IceMark created a
skitcom around his voice. As
heard on this Kelly & Co. aircheck,
Gravel Gang features Bud
as Johnny, Iceman as Jenny, and MJD as Junior.
isn't life grand!"
Hal and Joni, the ever-perky spokescouple for Arizona grocery chain
Smitty's, were lampooned/skewered in this Kelly & Co. skitcom spoof.
The debut episode of
Twitties features MJD, KASR alumna Julie
Terracciano, and a spectacular G.E. Telephone sound effect.
Twitties: Khadafi, Part 2 finds Hal & Joni
matching twits with Moammar Khadafi, as played by Iceman.
"Plain or Peanut?" is MJD's favorite line of dialogue in the IceMark
"The prince of peace has the
papal pedal pushed to the floor!"
Another bog bit? Another pope bit? IceMark wrote and MJD
Bog '87, which includes incidental background music from
Robert Plant's "Lighten Up Baby" and "Big Money" by Rush! Note
the alliteration and blasphemy.
LEAVE IT TO BONO
I'm worried about the Bono!"
U2's frequent concerts in Arizona made Bono and the
band local heroes, prompting a skitcom spoof called
It To Bono.
Former KZZP Newsman Paul Talbot (later the inspiration for
MJD's Paul Talbert character at KROQ) plays Ward, MJD plays Bono and Wally,
Iceman plays June, and KZZP Engineer Robert Reymont
plays Eddie Haskell in the uncued "next time"
"Ow! My toupee!"
This comedy skit,
was inspired by then-Governor Ev Mecham's claim that
laser beams were being used to bug his office, which he thought
could be thwarted by turning on a radio. This "Star Wars"
spoof first aired on narrator Bruce Kelly's morning show in
and features MJD as the voices of Darth Mecham,
Attorney Jedi Obi-Bob-Wan Corbin, Carolyn SkyWarner,
William Solo French, and Ed2-Buck2. Iceman did the voice of Princess
Mofford. To create the home-made light sabre SFX, MJD
scraped aluminum shelf brackets across an electric
Not an IceMark production, 1986's
Rock Me Jerry Lewis was created and
KZZP Air Personalities Mike Elliott and Bud Latour. Listen for
MJD as a clumsy Jerry Lewis in this parody of Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus."
In 1986, Dr. Demento visited Phoenix to pay tribute to this popular
parody, and MJD appeared on the MDA Telethon on KPHO-TV5 with Mike
Elliott and Dr. Demento himself! There was also a Dr. Demento
concert, a ride in a limo with Mike and Dr. Demento in the sunroof,
a dinner at the Rusty Pelican, and an MDA Bowl-A-Thon with Jerry
Lewis in person. What a year!
Sitcoms and TV
always a favorite
topic for MJD and Iceman's parodies, and they frequently paid tribute to classic TV shows from the sixties
"Marianne Had Great Coconuts"
Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" is spoofed in
the name of Gilligan's Island in the smash hit parody
The music came from an instrumental 12" with
Iceman's DX7 on bass and theme song pennywhistle. The
dialogue soundbites from the TV show were razor-edited
into place by producer MJD without the use of
samplers. Iceman sang this song live for Bob Denver
at a KZZP event in 1987. This version is a 1998
remake, with actress Melissa Fahn replacing Iceman on
lead vocals (he does sing the chorale backups, though). In a letter to MJD, Gilligan's Island series creator
Sherwood Schwartz has called this "the best
parody about the show" he's ever heard.
MORE INFO, visit the
"La Isla Gilligan"
webpage here at MJD's
Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!
DRIVE ME BRADY
Got Her Meat From Butcher Sam"
In 1990's parody
Drive Me Brady, the Brady Bunch is honored with a
spoof of the Fine
Young Cannibals' song "She Drives Me Crazy." Iceman and MJD share the vocals over a music track
created by Greg Horn. The audio soundbites were pulled from only
two episodes of the sitcom. Note the use of the
"decept-o-rhyme" lyric about Marcia's nice
pair of, er, sisters. Eve "Jan" Plumb, upon
hearing the song played by Jonathon Brandmeier at
WLUP/Chicago, would exclaim: "Groovy!"
guest, two guest, three guest, couch!"
Well, this is a weird one. During the heyday of Johnny
Carson's popularity, IceMark paid tribute to Ed McMahon with
Hey-O, a bizarre take-off on the resurgently popular
song "Day-O." Former KDKB Morning Show DJ Bill
Andres provided the voice of Ed McMahon, with MJD and
Iceman on backups. Note the still-funny clips from The
By the end of the 1980's,
IceMark's parodies were syndicated to stations around the
nation, and the duo's songs (sometimes credited to "Guns
'N' Moses" or "The Floating Eyebrows" or "Led Slurpee")
became popular requests on
The Dr. Demento Show.
'em Barney, Murder One"
Eight years after his Floyd The Barber phoners to KZZP,
MJD returned to Mayberry with
Love Barney Fife,
IceMark parody of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The
Fire." This homage to The Andy Griffith
Show's beloved Deputy includes music tracked by
Greg Horn, and drops/SFX (including a syncopated
scissor) which were razor-bladed and mixed on the fly by
MJD. In addition to MJD's lead vocal, Iceman and Dave
Olson can be heard performing in the
chorus. Credited to Guns 'N' Moses, this song was
featured on MJD's July 1990 live interview appearance on the Dr.
Demento Show. MJD met Don Knotts twice: once at a comedy
benefit in Santa Barbara, and also at a Matlock party at
Spago in Beverly Hills.
Make my Slurpee."
1990 "Stairway To Heaven" parody
7-Eleven had its
origins as a song about the Phoenix Open Golf Tournament (Fairway
To Heaven), but the
more nationally-appealing topic of convenience stores
emerged victorious. The lyics were written by Iceman
and MJD at the Pizza Hut near ASU, and the recording features Greg
Horn's music, MJD's vocal, and actual
at the 7-Eleven convenience store on Thomas and
Scottsdale in Arizona. The vocals
were recorded at KZZP, Greg's NoiseLab Studio, and Y-95
(three different studios!). The parody was a big hit on the
Dr. Demento show, and was featured (along with Iceman's
senior prom photo) in a 1991
As the Kelly & Co. Morning Show
wound down at KZZP, MJD and Iceman formed an
independent comedy service called Screwball
Productions, and began providing custom parody songs on a
freelance basis to KZZP, Y95/Phoenix,
and the Dr.
Dave Comedy Service. They were also hired in 1989 as writers for
Scott Shannon at Pirate Radio/Los Angeles,
who moved them to Hollywood to work on his morning show.
It only lasted for two months, and MJD's wallet got stolen at
the Oakwood Apartments, but IceMark still delivered some
fabulous parodies, like these:
"My best friend's a
A parody of the B-52's smash "Love Shack,"
features vocal performances by MJD as Fred Schneider (who loved the
spoof), plus Nola Enge and Christine "Noelle" Baker ("Slide
rule...busted.") sharing female leads. This song, written with
the help of John Mammoser, was produced using a 12" EP at KZZP's
studios, but aired initially on Pirate Radio, which explains the
regrettable "vibrator" reference.
had seven inches...of rain."
Another Pirate Radio parody,
Fishbeck was produced
at KZZP with a guest vocal from then 'ZZP DJ Kevin
tune, a spoof of Motley Crue's "Dr. Feelgood,"
paid tribute to local L.A. weatherman George
Fishbeck, whose voice can be heard in soundbites from
his Channel 7 forecasts.
For more information about
IceMark's Parody Technique, please see ICEMARK PARODY SCHOOL below.
In 1990, Iceman
joined Bruce Kelly at Y95/Phoenix, and MJD moved to
Los Angeles to become full-time Director of Comedy Networks for the Premiere Radio Networks.
There, he produced five parody songs per week for national morning show airplay.
Some of MJD's biggest hits were created at Premiere's 22nd-floor studios
you can't take it, order Moo Goo Gai PAN."
In November of 1990, rapper Vanilla Ice's
hit "Ice Ice Baby" became the vehicle for
MJD's first big solo hit
Rice Baby. Gary Thomas was the rapper, while MJD was the deejay
(and backup shouter); MJD also played the Yamaha PSS-480
keyboard koto over the 12"-instrumental music
track. Within weeks of its national release on the
Premiere Radio Networks, this Chinese food homage
ranked number one at KIIS-FM/Los Angeles and other
radio stations around the country. It even appeared
in a HIDEOUSLY produced music video on Rick Dees
"Into The Night"!
"I am sitting on the sofa,
there's a TV in the corner."
In late 1990, MJD produced a tribute to "I Dream Of Jeannie" by doing a parody of
Suzanne Vega's strange single "Tom's Diner."
Jeannie's Diner (sung by MJD's Los Angeles neighbor
MarilynWhitelaw) became a sensation: it received national
radio airplay, appeared in a music video on NickAtNite, and ended up
being included on a Suzanne Vega compilation CD called "Tom's
FOR MORE INFO, visit the
webpage here at MJD's
Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!
WICKED GAME SHOW
a wicked category, when you pick 'Potpourri.'"
The popularity of TV's
"Jeopardy" inspired MJD
to write, produce, and sing lead on this 1991 Premiere parody of Chris
Isaak's "Wicked Game" called
With its Alex Trebek samples, a phenomenal guitar
solo by Sean Grimes, and backups by Marilyn Whitelaw, Sean, and MJD,
this parody is MJD's personal best.
guess I should have got that PhD."
Another "Jeopardy" parody? Yes.
Jeopardy is a parody of The Beatles song "Yesterday," with
MJD doing lead vocal chores over a karaoke track. The best
part of this song is the humming at the end.
THE RHYTHM OF
THE COFFEE POT
and sugar, cream and sugar."
Premiere staffer Will
Kohlschreiber lent his voice to
The Rhythm Of The Coffee Pot, a morning-time coffee tribute
produced by MJD to the tune of the Cascades song "Rhythm Of The
Falling Rain." Note the stirring stirring sound effects.
"No dice, son, be here at eight."
One of MJD's favorite vocal performances can be heard on
Wakin' Up Blues, another going-to-work song for morning
drivetime airplay. MJD also provided the "Boss" voice, and
produced the sound effects over a karaoke track of the Brian Setzer
version of "Summertime Blues."
haven't got a clock to punch."
At the Premiere Radio Networks, MJD also did parodies for country radio
Garth Brooks's cover of Billy Joel's hit "Shameless" became
with MJD singing lead (and lady soul backup) on this somewhat
wistful ode to the nation's Bush-era economic woes.
In 1991, Iceman reunited with MJD in
Los Angeles at Premiere Radio Networks,
where Iceman remains today as their parody song producer
IceMark: The Sequel worked on dozens of songs together,
including these gems:
in the Hair Club For Men,
Captain Picard got you in, Rogaine."
Eric Clapton's "Cocaine" became 1993's
Rogaine in this
parody about a popular remedy for baldness. Bill
Filipiak created the music track, and MJD provided
Natalie and Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable"
MJD's frighteningly accurate impression of the late
I PAINT THE EGGS
paint the eggs with safe non-toxic dye."
One of three Barry Manilow spoofs in the IceMark
Paint The Eggs is an Easter
Bunny tribute to the tune of "I Write The Songs." Iceman performed the backup vocals.
KIND OF LOVE
favorite letter is You."
Bill Filipiak provided the voice of Sesame Street's
fuzzy blue monster in
Grover Kind Of Love, a brief
spoof of Phil Collins' cover of "Groovy Kind Of
Love." Iceman played the music, MJD produced,
and then we all ate dinner at Pennyfeather's on La Cienega.
rack of ribs, tips over the car."
It was Iceman who penned
a Flintstones tribute aired on the Premiere Radio Networks.
MJD sang the Sinatra-esque vocal.
he put on his deflector shield?"
The lengthiest of their numerous Star Trek send-ups,
Get Spocked parodies the
1992 Def Leppard song "Let's Get Rocked." Premiere's James Arnold Taylor sang the lead, with
Iceman and MJD on backups. MJD manually mixed in
original show dialogue, SFX, and syncopated music from the series
soundtrack. The violin section amazes to this day.
retired from "The Tonight Show" in 1993, Iceman and MJD, with the help of producer Dick Schroder, created
this tribute to the tune of Pink Floyd's "Money."
Voice actor James Arnold Taylor played Carson to MJD's Ed McMahon.
EGG FOO YOUNG
Ow, Ow, Ow!"
It was Iceman who wrote the brilliant lyrics to
The Egg Foo Young, a 1992
Chinese food tribute to the tune of Billy Joel's
"Only The Good Die Young." MJD provides the
lead vocal, and the music (after Iceman's piano intro)
came from a karaoke CD. This was one of IceMark's last great
Premiere in 1992 to join the Kevin & Bean morning
show at KROQ in Los Angeles. As morning show producer and air personality,
MJD contributed character voices (such as Paul The
55-Year-Old-Intern, Bob Hope,
and Stefan), creative
jingles, comedy skits), and other bits
to the show. Here are just a few highlights.
PAUL THE 55-YEAR-OLD INTERN INTERVIEWS ANTHONY KIEDIS
Beginning in 1992, MJD began portraying Paul The
55-Year-Old-Intern on the KROQ Kevin & Bean Morning Show.
The cranky character (inspired by the voice of Jonathon
Brandmeier's newsman/sidekick Paul Talbot) provided entertainment reports and
"man-on-the-street" interviews with celebrities and
Here's a 1993 KROQ recording of MJD as
interviewing Red Hot Chili Peppers' lead
singer Anthony Kiedis
their hit song "Soul To Squeeze."
PAUL ON 45
in a Depeche Mood."
On 45 was recorded in 1993. With Iceman
providing the music, this medley of alternative
covers was an enormous KROQ hit, and inspired
Cheese project. The song appeared on the station's Christmas Album
that year, and MJD performed the song live for 12,000
fans at the 1994 KROQ Weenie Roast Concert.
PAUL DUETS "I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS" WITH TONY BENNETT
In 1993, MJD took the KROQ stage as 55-year-old
intern Paul Talbert for an Acoustic
Christmas Concert performance with the legendary Tony
Bennett. This sweetened version of their
Be Home For Christmas Duet has appeared
on two Kevin & Bean Christmas Albums. MJD as Paul,
dressed in a Santa Claus outfit to conceal his true identity, did not know the words as he
sang on stage with Tony; the correct lyrics and
harmonies were added later, as was the Ralph's Grocery Store plug.
Obviously, this moment was the pinnacle of MJD's KROQ career.
THIS IS BOB
the 1990's and early 2000's, MJD portrayed the voice of Bob
Hope on KROQ, who called the Kevin & Bean Show for no apparent
reason. These hilarious call-in phone conversations
became the basis for a CD entitled This Is Bob: The Best of MJD as Bob Hope on
Kevin & Bean.
FOR MORE INFO, visit the
"This Is Bob" website at
dramatic readings of alternative rock song lyrics as
Shakespeare Man, which was based in part on a Monty Python's
Flying Circus sketch. MJD performed the character at
the 1992 KROQ Acoustic Christmas Concert and at the 1993
KROQ Weenie Roast Concert.
FOR MORE INFO, visit the
webpage here at MJD's
Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!
Inspired by a George Takei appearance on Late Night With
David Letterman, MJD does one of the world's best (and only)
impersonations of Star Trek's Lt. Sulu, who appeared on the
Kevin & Bean Morning Show throughout the 1990's and 2000's.
FOR MORE INFO, visit the
webpage here at MJD's
Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!
Seguing out of KROQ, MJD launched
his own jingle production company and advertising agency, now
called SloganMasters. From 1993 to 2004. he
produced parodies, jingles, and other music projects for
television networks like NickAtNite, TVLand, Fox-TV, Warner Brothers,
NBC, and CBS. He also worked on parody songs
for the Disney TV series "House Of Mouse." You can check
out some of these works at
MJD continues to create and
produce comedic musical projects through his record label,
One of his latest creations,
lounge singer Richard Cheese, has sold more than 100,000 CDs
MJD has performed as lounge singer Richard Cheese since
2000. He has made several cheesey appearances on the
Kevin & Bean Show, and performed with his Lounge Against The
Machine band at several Kevin & Bean events and the KROQ
Acoustic Christmas Concert in 2001.
FOR MORE INFO, visit the
Thank you for listening
to MJD and IceMark's songs, skits, and radio comedy stuff. If you
have liked what you hear, or you remember a song or bit that
you would like to hear on this website,
Please feel free to send
us money, because we never made a dime off this parody
Read more about MJD at our "Coverage/Reviews"
- A humorous lyrical meter scansion in which too many
words are intentionally sung in a bar, cramming them
together as if the lyricist was too stupid to write
the phrase more concisely.
- A humorous lyrical rhyme scheme in which the
obvious, expected rhyme is replaced with a
surprising, unexpected, deceptive rhyme, usually with
the purpose of retaining decency and avoiding
- Soundbites taken from an external source and
dropped in to place within a parody, usually in beat
with the music.
before you I - Enunciate before you impersonate.
- A handy chart showing a myriad of word prefixes, to
which are affixed the suffix with which is to be
rhymed. To inquire about purchasing the IceMark
RhymeGuide writing tool,
- How to make
sure your parody is a hit.
selecting a song to parody, pick a popular song with
lyrics that everyone knows. We prefer number one hits
that still get frequent airplay on radio. Make sure that
there's a memorable chorus, and a catchy "hook"
that people remember. Current songs are usually
preferable, but make sure they will have staying power;
otherwise, you'll have parodied a song that has faded
sure your parody is short; leave them wanting more. We
suggest a maximum of two verses and two choruses, and if
the song is up-tempo, you might have room for a bridge. The slower the song, the fewer verses you can use. But no
matter what, make your songs closer to one-minute than
three-minutes; we've broken this rule a few times in the
past, but nowadays, less is more. Keep it tight, nice, bright, and
make local references in your lyrics. Stores, landmarks,
and other things in your neighborhood are completely
unknown to people outside your hometown. If you want the
majority of people to get your jokes, you have to be
universal and appeal to the "lowest common
denominator" audience. Think national (or international), not
to make your music and your singers sound like the
original artists. The closer you sound to the original,
the funnier your parody will be. This is especially
important if you are lampooning the song itself. Bad
singing is only funny for a few seconds, then it's just
your lyrics clearly and succinctly. This is absolutely
vital to make sure people get your jokes, even if it
means sacrificing the quality of your impression. "Enunciate
before you impersonate."
do parodies of songs that have already been parodied. There are millions of songs to choose from, so be
original. And, avoid using comedy songs as parody fodder;
they were already funny once, it will be an uphill battle
making them funny a second time for a different reason.
writing lyrics, don't take "poetic license"
with your rhymes. If the original song lyrics rhyme
"love" with "above," try to make your
couplet rhyme, too. Don't take the lazy way out with non-rhymes
like "home" and "tone," and don't
even think about mismatching plurals ("trucks"
does NOT rhyme with "duck"). And, if the
original song has a series of consecutive rhymes ("Hey
Spock, I Rock, Don't Mock, My Wok"), you MUST
duplicate your rhymes in the same places. If they can
come up with a triplet or a quadruplet, so can you. There
is ALWAYS another rhyme out there. Also, don't be a wussy
and add "too" at the end of a line just so you
can rhyme the easy "ooh" sound. You big baby!
rhyming lyrics, don't succumb to the "Yoda talk"
copout. If you can't find a rhyme for the line "He
went into the Oval Office," don't just flip it
around and sing "Into the Oval Office, he went." That's super-lame. Instead, find another way to express
the same thought without constructing awkward phrasings. There is ALWAYS another rhyme out there. [To inquire about purchasing the
RhymeGuide writing tool,
your lyric structure closely match the original structure.
Listeners are expecting to hear the same kinds of words,
the same number of words, and the same syllables in the
same positions. Meter, timbre, scansion, pacing,
emphasis, and breathing are all important factors to
duplicate in your parody. Also, try to match the song's
feeling and attitude, line by line, verse by verse,
chorus by chorus. If the first verse is angry, make your
first verse angry. If the chorus is full of shouts, make
sure your chorus is, too. If the song is sung in
a first-person narrative, your parody should be, too. Don't change the literary and/or linguistic diagram of
the original lyrical language; if the original lyric has
8-syllables and reads, "Yesterday, I went to the
store," don't corrupt the vernacular subject/object
structure with a change-up like "Yesterday, went to
the pet store." The best parody changes the fewest
words while delivering the biggest surprise.
like a joke punchline, put your funniest lyrics at the
end of verses. Save your best and most important lines
for the chorus, so that people can sing along with (and
repeat) your funniest lines. But, more importantly, make
sure EVERY LINE is good, funny, and important.
you expect radio airplay, don't use any obscene words, or
at least bleep them ahead of time. Also, try to make sure
there is an instrumental intro, and a generous fade or
instrumental cold ending "outro" at the end. This will allow deejays time to
talk about ("sell") the
title and artist over the beginning of your parody, and do the same
the song is over ("backsell"). We usually offer a 10-second intro, and a good
20-second fade-out of music.
There is no #12.
Sprinkle your song with a few apropos sound effects and
punctuating musical elements. This adds a level of
texture and cleverness to your parody. If you use
soundbites, make sure they are recorded clean and stand
out without overpowering your lyrics. Don't overdo it,
though. And, prepare to get sued if you copy them from a
copyrighted source (i.e. movie dialogue).
Don't expect to make any money from your parodies,
because the original artists will RARELY authorize your
use of their music, and even if they do, you don't
collect publishing royalties on their music. It's just a
big stupid hassle, and it's probably wiser if you just
write some original songs and then get them stolen on the
internet. Or, you could parody "Public Domain"
songs (i.e. "La Bamba" or "Old MacDonald"
or "Jingle Bells") and laugh all the way to the
15) Don't contact MJD or IceMark about helping with
your parody. Do it yourself, you lazy bastard!
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