Serious Literature "Ruined" by Seeing Parody First

I’ve recently started reading The Mists of Avalon . But, everytime there’s a scene with Viviane, The Lady of the Lake, I think, “Oh, yeah, that’s the ‘watery tart’ who lobs the scimitar.” Then I chuckle to myself and it’s hard to get back to the story. Darn Monty Python and the Holy Grail !

Anybody else have this happen?

Imajica had this character that was described in genie-like ways, but I saw Disney’s Aladdin not too long before I read it. Made it difficult to take the thing (he or she, not sure) seriously as a sex object. But then I think it would have been difficult to take seriously anyway, since I am not into gender-bender romances.

I made the mistake of seeing The Life of Brian and then reading the Bible. Big mistake… The whole new testatment was spoiled for me. :wink:

Yeah. I kept hearing the Blessed Virgin shouting “He’s NOT the Messiah! He’s a very naughty boy!”

Not literature, but I’ve never been able to watch It’s a Wonderful Life because it’s been parodied by everyone under the sun every Christmas I’ve been alive.

Same with A Christmas Carol. There is just no way I could take either seriously even for a second.

I actually read “The Greatest Gift” – the story “It’s a Wonderful Life” was based on – long before I saw the movie.

I’m also one of the few people who read Lord of the Rings solely to be able to get the jokes in Bored of the Rings.

I read Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson a while back. Oliver Cromwell is mentioned quite often, and every time his name appeared, the Monty Python song about him inevitably started running through my head. It got quite frustrating.

OK, so I HAD read the LOTR trilogy first, but it was only a couple of weeks later that I read ‘Bored of the Rings’. While I was swept up in the movies and subsequent rereadings, I never could take Frito, Spam, and Goodgulf quite the same way again.

Same with DOON, but then again I never could take DUNE seriously after the movie.

The Simpsons episode where Marge stars in Oh! Streetcar! I think the mood at the end of the movie was spoiled when I started singing “You can always depend on the kindness of strangers, to pluck up your spirits and shield you from dangers!”

MAD magazine corrupted more of my movie, music and television tastes than literature, but it did a number on more than a few ‘classic’ poems: Jabberwocky, Xanadu, Casey at the Bat, Charge of The Light Brigade, etc.

If I were to visit the past I may struggle for the right serious expression when confronted by Klaus Barbie, having seen Rat Race.

Well, also because of Monty Python, I’ll never be able to read Kant.

I know a bunch of people who’ve had Citizen Kane spoiled because they saw a parody before they saw the real thing. Amazingly I avoided that.

I have a long list of songs that I can’t listen to without hearing the Weird Al version running in my head.

Does that count?

Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker (who would later go on to co-write Airplane!, Police Squad!, The Naked Gun etc.) started their film careers with the little-known The Kentucky Fried Movie. This contained a series of comedy sketches with absurdist and sight-gag humour, as well as the lengthy kung-fu parody Fistful of Yen. I thought it was a fairly generic spoof until years later when I saw Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon and recognized it as the source material.

I ended up concluding that Enter the Dragon was a schlocky pretentious piece of crap while Fistful of Yen was far more entertaining.
You have our gratitude.

The last time I watched A Streetcar Named Desire, during the scene where Blanche tries to get the paperboy to kiss her, I was moved to sing:

“Will this bewitching floozy
Seduce this humble newsie?
Oh, what’s a paperboy to… doooooo?”

And, though it isn’t actually a parody, I have been known to sing songs from the Disney version of “Beauty and the Beast” during appropriate scenes in Cocteau’s Belle et la bête.

No songs, but there are a number of scenes and little details in the Universal Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein that Young Frankenstein have made it impossible for me to watch without smiling.

Although not literature, and not a true parody, I advise against seeing Dr. Strangelove before seeing Patton: Gen. Buck Turgidson is essentially Patton’s nutty twin brother.

I had forgotten how much Mad magazine influenced me as a kid. I had read their parody of Brian’s Song before seeing the film, and my roommates were horrified when I broke out laughing during the scene in the hospital - it was difficult to explain that all I could see was the doctors huddling behind sandbags waiting for the explosives they’d packed up James Caan’s ass to cure his terminal hemmorroids to go off.

I also never see a night scene with wet streets without flashing back to the guy hosing down the street wearing a “Official Making The Street Look Like It Just Rained Co.” jumpsuit, or hear thunder without thinking that Ka-Tack, Ka-Tack, BALOOOM!!! was the best sound effect I’d ever read. That magazine was great!

The end of Fistful of Yen is what gets me. It’s a parody of the end of Wizard of Oz, which I’ve seen a bazillion times, but ever time I see WoO, I remember the parody and have to grin.


I used to read the comic strip *Peanuts *when I was growing up, and there was one strip that I always remembered because I didn’t know what it meant. In the first panel, Lucy walks up behind Linus, who is sitting in a beanbag watching TV.

Lucy: “What are you watching?”
Linus: “Citizen Kane.”

Second panel

Lucy (walking away): “‘Rosebud’ was his sled.”

Third panel

I carried that memory around for over a decade, not understanding it in the least. I finally got around to seeing Citizen Kane until I was like 21. Let me tell you, the movie is a LOT less enjoyable when you know the secret of the movie. If I ever meet Lucy, I’m gonna smack the living crap out of her.