After the success of last year's amazing "Let's Go To The Mall" video from the beyond-brilliant "Slap Bet" episode, the "How I Met Your Mother" writers are going back to the Robin Sparkles well with next week's episode, which will feature another vintage '80s-style (but from the '90s, because the '80s didn't get to Canada until 1993) video, titled "Sandcastles in the Sand." friend Joe Adalian at Variety has some details about the video (including spoilers for some of the cameos), as well as the complete audio of the song. I've refrained from listening to it because I think it'll be much funnier in video form, but for those who can't wait to listen, have at it. (Please refrain from discussing either details from the Variety article or the lyrics in the comments here.)
Now, earlier in the week I was introducing Hulu to a friend who doesn't spend much time watching streaming video (i.e., she has a life), and after showing her how to find the latest episode of "The Office," we wound up watching, in quick succession, four of my favorite "Saturday Night Live" digital short music spoofs: "Lazy Sunday," "Natalie Raps," "Dick in a Box" and "Iran So Far." (Probably should have shown her "Roy Rules" while we were at it, but it didn't occur to me. Plus, like I said, my friend has a life.)
Originally, I was thinking of doing this post as a ranking of the best TV music spoofs, but I didn't have the heart to choose between Natalie Portman telling the little girl in the Amidala costume to suck her euphemism and Justin Timberlake demonstrating the three steps, or between Andy and Chris agreeing that Google Maps is the best and Robin rapping about Canada Day.
So, instead, to keep this post from just being an excuse to link to all the videos and audio above (not that there's anything wrong with that, and let's not forget "Ted Mosby Is a Jerk"), a few random observations:
- I guess being a rock (or rap) star remains the ultimate dream in Hollywood, no matter how successful you are in other fields. The "HIMYM" guys have their own band (and perform the show's theme song), and I'm sure Andy Samberg considers going on stage at a Timberlake concert to be the greatest moment of his career to date.
- As I've said before, making a song parody requires great musical chops as well as great comedy chops. Weird Al and the guys from Spinal Tap are all very strong musicians, and part of what makes all the above songs so funny is how catchy they are. "Iran So Far," in particular, sounds exactly like a song I might hear on the radio today, give or take the object of Samberg's lust.
- YouTube (and now copycat sites like Hulu) have obviously made these videos an easy marketing tool for the shows in which they appear, but at what point does the trend take a downward turn? Are we going to get tired of Robin Sparkles or yet another sexually inappropriate Digital Short, or is it simply a matter of them remaining popular as long as they're good?