How to Write a Parody
In order to use parody,
- Examine an original work. Look for anything you find strange, subject to criticism, or funny.
- Create an imitative work which highlights these characteristics.
For example, in the book Catcher in the Rye, the main character Holden Caulfield has a particularly strong personality.
Catcher in the Rye
Holden Caulfield complains frequently and calls adults “phonies” for their fake personalities.
Complainer in the Rye
Holden Complainfield complains to each person he meets and always makes sure to call them phonies.
In this parody, attention is drawn to Holden’s overly critical nature by hyperbolizing his knack for complaining and calling others phonies.
For a second example, consider Iggy Azalea’s song “Fancy.”
Iggy emphasizes her partying, a large ego, and a penchant for cussing.
The parody begins “I’m so classy” and focuses on classiness, poise, and a nice vocabulary.
This parody would draw attention to the lack of classiness and politeness in the popular Azalea original.
Parodies can be used to imitate, make an audience laugh, and criticize certain elements of a piece.
When to use Parody
Parodies are used to call attention to a person or original composition by mocking or making fun of its problems or issues. Movies, television shows, advertisements, comedy skits, books, poems, plays, and songs can all be parodic. Because parodies are comedic, they allow us to criticize something while softening the blow with a little comedy and laughter. Although they often target politicians, celebrities, and other people they should not be so rude that they cause more harm than enjoyment and improvement. Parodies can be used by comedians to call attention to political problems and to call for change by criticizing what is not working. Parodies should not be used when in polite situations. It would be considered rude, for instance, to parody a teacher while in class.