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Parody vs Spoof Essay

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People are often confused about the word or the concept of a “Parody”. They often thought that it is synonymous to a “Spoof” because they share the same features that are commonly misunderstood. But there’s a difference between the two; and this paper aims to redefine, disambiguate, and clear the concept of a “Parody” from the concept of a “Spoof”. This paper will explain the concept of a “Parody” in general, using music videos specifically from YouTube to have a concrete example of a “Parody” in order to have a firm grasp of the concept.

What is a “Parody”? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, a “Parody” is: a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule; a feeble or ridiculous imitation. While according to Britannica Encyclopedia: In literature, parody is when a person closely imitates an author’s style or work in order to ridicule or to provide comic effects.

The word comes from the Greek “Paroidia”, meaning “a song sung alongside another.” Parody differs from burlesque by the depth of its technical penetration and from travesty, which treats dignified subjects in a trivial manner. True parody mercilessly exposes the tricks of manner and thought of its victim yet cannot be written without thoroughly appreciating the work that it ridicules.

Basically, a parody is an act of imitation of an original work by slightly altering its original style and content but still able to obviously show the original work in order to make the parody effective for the audience; its purpose is to critically ridicule, mock, and show the folly and absurdity of the original work through exaggerations and humor. It’s an implicit comment on the original work by showing his comments not by directly telling it in the parody. What appears serious in the original work is shown ridiculously because through comedy, all of the things that are not accepted by the society will blur because of the humor and laughter. Thus satire comes in if the parody goes beyond the style or content of the work and attacks the author or the maker of the original work.

Here’s a good example of a music video parody by The Key of Awesome!, entitled What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction Parody! Key of Awesome #57. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7CHfqg0wd8 A parody of the music video of a boy band named One Direction and their song called “What Makes You Beautiful”. In here, We can see that the maker of the parody retained the concept of the music video and just altered the lyrics and show the folly and absurdity of the original music video through humor. It’s a little bit satirical because of some of the lyrics were pertaining to the boy band itself.

Now that we have define what is a “Parody”, next is that we need to define what the concept of a spoof is. Spoof is defined in the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as: to make good-natured fun of. Thus, it means that a spoof is just for fun sake. In music videos, a spoof is something that incorporates the concept of a original work and alters it but doesn’t comment or critically pertain on it. It’s just a plain comedy version of the original and irrelevant to the concept of it.

Here’s a good example of a spoof. A parody entitled “Hipon” (Payphone Parody) by Sir Rex Kantatero ft. Shehyee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mguMEXQIrHs; a spoof of the music video of a song called Payphone by Maroon 5. It’s evident that people are confused by the concept of a parody and a spoof; even though the title states it’s a “Parody” but it is an example of a spoof. In here, we can see that the maker of the spoof incorporates the tune of the original work but alters the concept and the lyrics of it. He just makes fun of the tune and basically added humor on its lyrics and video. The new concept of the video was completely irrelevant to the original and doesn’t contain any critique about the original one.

Satire is still a very broad concept, but I will not go on there. What’s important is that we have already differentiated the concept of “Parody” and a “Spoof”. Yes they are both copy or an imitation of an original work and contains humor but what makes a “Parody” different from a “Spoof” is that it still obviously incorporates the concept of the original and has a little altering and it’s purpose is to critically comment on the original work. Whereas a “Spoof” it’s just a plain comedic version of the original. It doesn’t contain the concept of the original work and any critical comment pertaining on the original one.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Dentith, S.(2011). Parody: The Art that Plays with Art Modernism modernity 190-192. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Kenny, K. (2009) ‘The performative surprise: parody, documentary and critique’. Culture and Organization, 15 (2). Kreuz, R. J., & Roberts, R. M. (1993). On Satire and Parody: The Importance of Being Ironic. Metaphor & Symbolic Activity, 8(2), 97.

satire. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/524958/satire

parody. (2012). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/444489/parody

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Parody vs Spoof. (2016, Dec 19). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/parody-vs-spoof-essay

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