These days the hallmark of a huge hit song is the amount of cover versions and parodies it generates over the internet. “Blurred Lines” is rife with a whole plethora of parodies, starting from those done from late night talk shows, to those referencing other beloved shows, and others that either stuck to the concept or flip the concept.
Talk Show Parodies. My favorite thus far are those that have the artist himself appear, as shown in the couple of clips below.
Jimmy Kimmel. Jimmy Kimmel claimed he was supposed to be part of the original video, and this segued to him and his late-night-show bandmember Guillermo comically trying to squeeze themselves in the frame to Robin and Pharrell’s consternation.
Jimmy Fallon. Just earlier this week, Robin made an appearance with Jimmy Fallon, and just like another much parodied viral hit (Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”), they gave the song the “classroom instruments” treatment. It gave me visions of how this song would sound being played in an Oktoberfest. Check the awesome results below.
Celebrity Clip Parodies. Some had the idea of playing this song against film clips of other celebrities, or splicing a famous politician (notorious for a sex scandal)’s speeches to the tune, or interspersing images of a celebrity in the video. Here are some notable results.
Cosby Show. I’m sure the “Hey, hey, hey” chorus and the wacky dancing made one see if they can play the song to the “Cosby Show”theme. It did work wonderfully. It’s unfortunate that due to copyright reasons, the clip cannot be played in the Philippines, but for US residents, you can play the parody here. For others, this crudely edited version featuring all versions of the Cosby opening credits would have to do.
The Muppets. Similar to the Cosby parody above, they also did it with clips from Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. Pharrell’s voice sounds kinda good on Grover (speaking of which, there is a similar parody done to another recent Pharrell collaboration–Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”).
Bill Clinton. Someone found that words in Bill Clinton speeches can form the lyrics to the song and spliced them all together, to hilarious effect below. Brilliant job, I say.
“Blurring Pains”. This one doesn’t really use the song, but interspersed Robin’s dad Alan Thicke’s face in the video while they play the theme to Growing Pains.
Gender Flipping Parodies. There are a myriad of parodies out there, like one featuring senior citizens, and video-game based parodies from Pokemon and Super Mario Brothers, but my favorite parodies are those that flip the genders, with the boys as sex objects and the girls fully clothed. Below are my favorites.
Good Boy. This is a European video (I think Netherlands, if I’m not mistaken), and the first that I saw that flipped the genders. The guys aren’t buffed, but are good looking in the real-world sense, with a bonus that at least two of them (especially the dark-skinned guy) are packing very well in their boxer briefs…
Version with Elliott Yamin. The actual lead singers here are Julia Price and Taryn Southern. The original version does not feature footage with the American Idol Season 5 third placer, but since he’s credited, he’s spliced in Julia Price’s channel below. Elliott is fully clothed, by the way. Like a lot of the gender flipping parodies, the guys are generally out-of-shape here.
Mod Carousel. This is a literal gender flip that got the most buzz. It got buffed guys for a change, but they are heavily made up and moved feminine, while the ladies take dominant stances (even in skirts).
Women’s Rights. This is obviously a political ad, but something that I subscribe (if I were a a US citizen). At least it has good looking, fit guys in this video.
Lame Lines. Now, here’s a feminist twist that can serve as an answer song to the original. But then again, at least there are fit, good looking guys here, even if they are douche bags. In my opinion, it’s better made than the Mod Carousel version. Great creative rap there.
Tan Lines. Here’s a more comic take. It has buffed guys (in board shorts) but the twist is that the fully clothed girls preferred a skinny guy who has tan lines.
Gay Parody. My idea of a gay parody would probably be something like an Andrew Christian advertorial. There was an attempt below, but my issue with it is similar to my issue with the Mod Carousel video–the unclothed guys are just too feminine for my taste.
I originally wanted to include the National Dance Day video choreographed by Adam Shankman but they apparently switched songs to Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” instead. Wonder if there were issues with using the rights to the song especially that it became extremely popular? Anyway, one famous rival seems to be inspired by the video to come up with his own. See below:
“Tunnel Vision” by Justin Timberlake featuring Timbaland. Justin seemed to have decided to fuel his long-standing rivalry with Robin by releasing this video. Notice how they show the words “I know you want it”? Well, it is more “artistic”, but melodically it doesn’t really hook you, and the models (generally obscured) are not as stunning or appealing. I suppose that is why after putting out the video, Justin swiftly then promoted another song, the retro-funkier and more accessible “Take Back the Night” that would be featured in his next album (two albums in less than a year–generally not practiced in this day and age) and not promote this track.
Well, that’s it for my essay on “Blurred Lines”. Hope you readers enjoyed the journey as I have making it.