An open topic for this weekend, inspired by something I did last weekend. For our anniversary, Marian and I spent a day in Manhattan -- musuems, good restaurants, that sort of thing -- and the highlight was getting tickets last-minute for a matinee of "The Drowsy Chaperone," a new musical that's still in previews. The book was written by two of the writers of "Slings & Arrows," if that helps suggest the tone. The basic idea is that a middle-aged gay theater fan is sitting in his crappy apartment one afternoon when he puts on the soundtrack album of a long-forgotten 20s musical, which is then performed for us, with frequent breaks for the fan to explain why, say, a certain character didn't seem quite so racist in the 20s, or why the leading lady was known in real life as "The Oops Girl."
What's great about it is that it simultaneously functions as a musical parody and as a great musical. If you're into this sort of thing (hand raised here), there's tap-dancing, big production numbers, slapstick, etc.
Which brings me to the open question: what's your favorite parody that also works as the thing it's parodying? For me, the easy winner would be "The Princess Bride," which is brilliant whether you take it straight or not (Inigo and Westley goof around, then have an Errol Flynn-level sword fight), but I've also become very partial to "Galaxy Quest," which plays on one level as the best "Star Trek" movie since "Wrath of Khan."
It can be a movie, a TV show, a book, a play, whatever. Nominate and explain away.