MJD's Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!MJD's Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!MJD's Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!



Before "The 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 Jonathon Brandmeier, Todd Brandt, and Rick Kurtis at KZZP/Phoenix, and Paul Peterson and Shebel & Larsen at KRQ/Tucson.

[coming soon]

Then, MJD and his friends Rick Piester and Steve Gram began to submit parody song tapes under the band name "Heavo" to KZZPThese "wacky weenie tapes" included "Crack Up," "Makemup As Ya Go," "Chattanooga Johnny," and "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 WLUP/Chicago.

[coming soon]

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.  Indeed, Phoenix in the late 1980's was a hotbed of major news events, political controversies, and subsequent parodies:

"He's a little ol' Pontiff named Carl Wotija"
The 1987 papal visit inspired Iceman to sing
Pope 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 background vocals.

"The 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, 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" series.)

"They're darnable."
Iceman's searing vocal performance on I Want Your Socks
makes this song MJD's personal favorite IceMark collaboration.  This parody, 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.

"We'll 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 Santa Bog.  In this bit, in the spirit of "Johnny Gravel," the holiday season meets a monster truck rally.

"Honey 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, The Gravel Gang features Bud as Johnny, Iceman as Jenny, and MJD as Junior.


"Oh, 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 The Twitties features MJD, KASR alumna Julie Terracciano, and a spectacular G.E. Telephone sound effect.   The 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 canon.

"The prince of peace has the papal pedal pushed to the floor!"
Another bog bit?  Another pope bit?  IceMark wrote and MJD produced Pope Bog '87, which includes incidental background music from Robert Plant's "Lighten Up Baby" and "Big Money" by Rush!  Note the alliteration and blasphemy.

"Ward, I'm worried about the Bono!"

U2's frequent concerts in Arizona made Bono and the band local heroes, prompting a skitcom spoof called
Leave 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" tag.

"Ow!  My toupee!"
This comedy skit,
Ev Wars, 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 1987, 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 deGausser magnet.

Not an IceMark production, 1986's Rock Me Jerry Lewis was created and performed by 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 shows were always a favorite topic for MJD and Iceman's parodies, and they frequently paid tribute to classic TV shows from the sixties and seventies:

"Marianne Had Great Coconuts"
Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" is spoofed in the name of Gilligan's Island in the smash hit parody song La Isla Gilligan.  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.
 FOR MORE INFO, visit the
Last night I dreamt of the Minnow...
"La Isla Gilligan" webpage here at MJD's Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!

"Alice Got Her Meat From Butcher Sam"

In 1990's parody
They 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!"

"One 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 Tonight Show.

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.

"Book 'em Barney, Murder One"
Eight years after his Floyd The Barber phoners to KZZP, MJD returned to Mayberry with
We Love Barney Fife, a 1989 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.
Don Knotts Autograph!

"Oooh, Make my Slurpee."

IceMark's 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 SFX recorded 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 Esquire magazine article.

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 TRS-80!"
A parody of the B-52's smash "Love Shack,"
Radio 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.

"They had seven inches...of rain."
Another Pirate Radio parody,
Dr. Fishbeck was produced at KZZP with a guest vocal from then 'ZZP DJ Kevin Ryder.  This 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 overlooking Hollywood:

"If 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 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 Album."

 FOR MORE INFO, visit the
I am sitting on the sofa...  Tom's Album
"Jeannie's Diner" webpage here at MJD's Intergalactic Comedy Hacienda!

"What 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
Wicked Game Show.  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.

"I 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.

"Cream 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."

"I haven't got a clock to punch."
At the Premiere Radio Networks, MJD also did parodies for country radio affiliates.  Garth Brooks's cover of Billy Joel's hit "Shameless" became Jobless, 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 extraordinaire.  At PRN, IceMark: The Sequel worked on dozens of songs together, including these gems:

"You're 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 the vocals.

"Read the classifieds..."
Natalie and Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" duet became
Unemployable, featuring MJD's frighteningly accurate impression of the late great crooner.

"I paint the eggs with safe non-toxic dye."
One of three Barry Manilow spoofs in the IceMark canon,
I Paint The Eggs is an Easter Bunny tribute to the tune of "I Write The Songs."  Iceman performed the backup vocals.

"My favorite letter is You."
Bill Filipiak provided the voice of Sesame Street's fuzzy blue monster in A 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.

"Big rack of ribs, tips over the car."
It was Iceman who penned and produced Bedrock, Bedrock, a Flintstones tribute aired on the Premiere Radio Networks.  MJD sang the Sinatra-esque vocal.

"Did he put on his deflector shield?"
The lengthiest of their numerous Star Trek send-ups, Let's 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.


Johnny Carson 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.

"Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow!"
It was Iceman who wrote the brilliant lyrics to
Order 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 parodies together.

MJD left 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, Lt. Sulu, Shakespeare Man, and Stefan), creative production (promos, jingles, comedy skits), and other bits to the show.  Here are just a few highlights.


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 rockstars.  Here's a 1993 KROQ recording of MJD as Paul interviewing Red Hot Chili Peppers' lead singer Anthony Kiedis
about their hit song "Soul To Squeeze."

"I'm in a Depeche Mood."

Paul On 45 was recorded in 1993. With Iceman providing the music, this medley of alternative covers was an enormous KROQ hit, and inspired MJD's later Richard 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.

"Free Turkey!"
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 live
I'll 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.

In 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 www.thisisbobcd.com
Hey, I tell ya!

MJD performed 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
"Shakespeare Man" 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
Phaser Rock

"Phaser Rock" 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 www.sloganmasters.com

MJD continues to create and produce comedic musical projects through his record label, Coverage Records.


One of his latest creations, lounge singer Richard Cheese, has sold more than 100,000 CDs since 2000:

"Good evening!"
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

 official "Richard Cheese" website at www.richardcheese.com.

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 contact MJD.

P.S.  Please feel free to send us money, because we never made a dime off this parody stuff.


 Read more about MJD at our "Coverage/Reviews" webpage.


Cramline - 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.

Decept-O-Rhyme - 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 controversy.

Drops - Soundbites taken from an external source and dropped in to place within a parody, usually in beat with the music.

E before you I - Enunciate before you impersonate.

RhymeGuide - 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, click here.

ICEMARK PARODY SCHOOL - How to make sure your parody is a hit.

1) When 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 from memory.

2) Make 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 concise.

3) Don't 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 neighborhood.

4) Try 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 embarassing.

5) Sing 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."

6) Don't 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.

7) When 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!

8) When 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 IceMark RhymeGuide writing tool, click here.]

9) Make 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.

10) Just 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.

11) If 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 thing  when the song is over ("backsell").  We usually offer a 10-second intro, and a good 20-second fade-out of music.

12) There is no #12.

13) 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).

14) 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 bank.

15)  Don't contact MJD or IceMark about helping with your parody.  Do it yourself, you lazy bastard!

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*MJD's success with Floyd The Barber on KZZP inspired several embrassingly stupid and therefore never-recorded parody song ideas, such as M-A-Y-B-E-R-R-Y (to the tune of "O-H-I-O" by The Pretenders) and Floyd Strut (to the tune of "Stray Cat Strut" by The Stray Cats).  Here are some other Andy Griffith parody ideas that haven't seen the light of day:

  • Andy (to the tune of "Angie" by the Rolling Stones)
  • Andy's The Sheriff (to the tune of "I Shot The Sheriff" by Eric Clapton)
  • That's Fife (to the tune of "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra)
  • I Want Andy (to the tune of "I Want Candy" by Bow Wow Wow)

These will also never be recorded.