Mistaking a Parody for the Real Thing

Well, then they weren’t paying attention or they’re stupid. Because it isn’t Rob Reiner making the film, it’s Marty DiBergi. And it has Patrick McNee and Billy Crystal very recognizably playing people not themselves, not to mention the slightly-less recognizable in 1980 Howard Hesseman, Fran Drescher, and Ed Begley, Jr. The average movie goer might not recognize them, but movie critics most definitely should.

OTOH, I did see the album in the campus record store before I’d heard of the movie, and my reaction was nearly identical to Nigel’s. “It’s reduced heavy metakl to the pure essence. There’s nothing. but black!”"

To this day, because of that commercial, I still call ambulances “meat wagons”. (and I had that slot car)

This wasn’t a parody, but a Greek restaurant in the Netherlands hung a portrait of Filipina actress Cherie Gil thinking it was soprano Maria Callas. Ms. Gil had played the singer in a 2010 Philippine production of the play “Master Class”.

Sort of. It was a satire. Full stop. Verhoeven has said so, and it matches every literary definition of a satire. It’s also, specifically, a parody of Heinlein’s work and of jingoistic military science fiction in general. Parody in this case is a tool of satire, in much the same way that Colbert parodies right-wing pundits in the service of satirizing conservative media.

We went through this about a month ago, and RealityChuck insisted, IIRC, that it’s not a satire. That’s factually incorrect.

Whether it’s a good satire is, of course, a matter of opinion; but denying it’s a satire is a bit like denying it’s science fiction.

Here’s an article that talks about both its satirical and parodical qualities; here’s another.

And back on topic, here’s a fun article about when people took The Onion way too seriously.

I never watched the movie, but I was surprised to find out that it was a parody.

This book came out in 1977. In it, Novello (aka Fr Guido Sarducci from SNL) corresponds with the high and mighty under the pseudonymn Lazlo Toth. A number of recipients apparently did not realize the whole thing was a joke and responded indignantly. I remember one answer in particular that ran something like “I did not respond to your earlier letter because I did not think it worthy of a reply!” Hmmmph! :angry:

Much of the text is available on the Internet, and it is hilarious!

I understand he’s followed it up with a similar book titled From Bush to Bush, which I haven’t read.

There were three Lazlo Toth books: The Lazlo Letters, Citizen Lazlo, and From Bush to Bush Amazon.com: Don Novello: books, biography, latest update

Now on my bucket list!

Regarding #3: Someone wrote a letter to my local newspaper and quoted from that story! Whoever reviewed the letters must not have known that The Onion is satire.

There was also a story that enough people thought was “real” that Snopes even got involved. TL : DR - Obama’s 19-year-old son, the product of a one-time fling with a truck stop waitress, showed up at the Democratic convention.

I remember watching that in first run. I genuinely thought it was a real commercial…till I heard the audience applauding at the end. I realized I had been had and laughed. Some people apparently aren’t so discerning…

In an early SNL episode, they had a parody commercial for a correspondence school for diplomats and ambassadors. The technician at the NBC station in New York cut over the feed with a different commercial. Lorne Michaels was so pissed he nearly quit the show.

The parody was fairly obvious in the WWII propaganda film style clips (‘do you want to know more…’) and the chipper and superficially attractive semi-fascist setting.

The “outdated and ineffective” weaponry was largely a product of the power armor described in the book being beyond the budget of the film.

Not to hijack but…
I’m not really sure what people mean by “outdated”. Lack of power armor not withstanding, the Mobile Infantry are basically space-mobile light infantry armed with smallarms and man-portable nuclear missiles, deployed via orbital dropships and supported by tactical bombers fighting an overwhelming number of space cockroaches. Really no better or worse than the Colonial Marines in Aliens.

I’m not really sure what would be considered appropriate weaponry and tactics for fighting an endless hoard of giant bugs.

I remember when the “commercial” Belushi did to promote the US Army was immediately followed by a real Army recruitment ad. Much laughter ensued in my household!

Take off and nuke them from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

These are multi-million dollar installations. You can’t make that kind of decision. No offense.

I saw it in the theater opening weekend and I thought Scream was supposed to be a self-aware parody of sorts. I was surprised when people took it seriously at all.

A recent look at Paul Verhoeven from Wisecrack. It also covers Total Recall and Showgirls.

The ad rep for the DoD saw the sketch in dress rehearsal, but it was in a different place in the show, so he let it go by. Unfortunately, he left before the live air show, not realizing that they frequently rearranged the running order of the sketches. So the sketch with Belushi aired right before the Army commercial.

After the kerfluffle from that gaffe, they put the commercials on cassette as opposed to reel-to-reel, so they could more easily rearrange them in the show.

But yeah, the Belushi sketch was funny!

“Gunfire has all the colors of the rainbow!” :rofl: