Parody Assistance

"When is Weird Al gonna do 'Like a Surgeon'?"
Madonna

A great honor for anyone working on a parody is when the creator or anyone else involved with the original goes beyond granting the parodist permission (and even enjoying said work) and instead actually helping them out with their parody. This can be as simple as lending sets or as drastic as directly working with the parodist, such as singing in a duet.

Related to Adam Westing, an actor's Self-Parody of either his most famous role, his Old Shame, or his Typecasting. Also related to Approval of God, when a work's author approves the fandom's parodies (although that applies to Fan Works as well), and to Actually Pretty Funny, when a parody's target thinks the parody itself to be just that. See also Meme Acknowledgment.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Walter Williams, creator of the Mr. Bill sketches on Saturday Night Live, also directed the "Pizza Head Show" commercials for Pizza Hut in the 1990s.

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Artist Steve Dillon knew of the "Frankface" meme surrounding his habit of giving everyone a stone-faced glare and was evidently entertained enough by it that he deliberately perpetuated it by drawing that face as much as he could.

    Film 
  • George Lucas has done this a few times, from allowing original music from Star Wars to be used in parodies (such as Spaced) to actually appearing in parodies, as in Robot Chicken. Industrial Light and Magic even contributed effects to Mel Brooks' Spaceballs and "Jews In Space".
    • After the release of the first movie, Lucasfilm's lawyers wrote a cease and desist letter to MAD over their parody. George sent a letter of his own saying to ignore his own company and keep on making the parodies, as he was a MAD fan.
    • In fact, the Star Wars site supplied sound effects and quotes to fans to use in their homages and parodies. (Lucas has been seen wearing a "Han Shot First" shirt a few times, too.)
  • In The Brady Bunch Movie, several of the original Brady kids (and Ann B. Davis as Alice) made cameos (There were also reportedly two deleted scenes, one featuring Mike Lookinland "Bobby", and Susan Olsen "Cindy"). And, of course, Florence Henderson makes a cameo as Grandma.
  • When Mel Brooks made Young Frankenstein, he was able to film in the original studios, on the original sets, and using the original props of the classic movies he was spoofing.
  • In Beverly Hills Cop III, the Wonder World theme park's song, which spoofs the Disney Land song "It's a Small World After All", was written by "It's a Small World"'s original composers Richard and Robert Sherman.
  • A rather interesting reverse-assistance took place for Scary Movie 4. The Saw parody set was so well made that the filmmakers from the Saw films asked to use it after filming was complete!
    • The movie also played this straight by actually having Bill Pullman appear as a parody of his Peter Kirk character from The Grudge, one of this movie's main targets.
  • When Hot Shots! Part Deux moved from parodying Top Gun to Rambo instead, they managed to get Richard Crenna to basically reprise his iconic role as Colonel Trautman.
  • Pretty much true of anyone who actually turns up in person to collect a Golden Raspberry Award, most notably Halle Berry.

    Live Action TV 
  • When The Drew Carey Show was going to do an episode making fun of sci-fi conventions and the fans who go to them in costume, they wanted to have a couple of characters dress up as aliens from Babylon 5. The creators of B5 agreed... and sent their own makeup people to do the alien makeup effects. (It helped that both series were produced by Warner Bros.
  • Chris Ballew, lead singer of The Presidents of the United States of America, showed up on Bill Nye the Science Guy to sing "Farm Food", which spoofed the POTUS song "Peaches".
  • Anneka Rice of Challenge Anneka made a cameo appearance in the KYTV spoof Challenge Anna.
  • In 1992, a series of advertisements parodied Inspector Morse, with Mel Smith taking John Thaw's role as the Inspector. In the last advertisement, he tracked down and arrested the perp... who was played by John Thaw.
  • Saturday Night Live: in addition to the "Conspiracy Theory Rock" example in the Western Animation folder, there have been sketches where the hosts (usually movie or TV stars) reprise their famous characters for a parody sketch. Examples include:
    • Jon Hamm as Don Draper for both a Mad Men parody called "Two A-Holes At An Ad Agency in the 1960s" note  and a short film called "Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women."
    • Daniel Radcliffe as a washed-up Harry Potter who's still living in Hogwarts' years after graduating.
    • David Duchovny as Agent Mulder in an X-Files parody cold open about a beast man attacking cast members.
    • Zac Efron in a High School Musical parody where he comes back during graduation and tells the graduating class that the real world is not like High School Musical.
    • John Malkovich as Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont in a Dangerous Liasions stage show parody that takes place in a hot tub.
    • John Malkovich again in an Of Mice and Men parody that had two guys who acted like Lennie instead of the Lennie and George pairing.
    • Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro were also good sports when they appeared on "The Joe Pesci Show" on SNL.
    • Sarah Michelle Gellar played Buffy in a sketch where, rather than living in Sunnydale, she lives in New York and has Seinfeldian plots.
    • A parody mash up of The Love Boat and Star Trek: The Next Generation had Patrick Stewart and Bernie Kopell playing their respective characters - Stewart as the bald captain and Kopell (the Doctor from the Love Boat) parodying Deforest Kelley's cameo in the pilot episode of Star Trek TNG as an elderly Dr. McCoy.
    • Martin Freeman as a character that was simultaneously Tim and Bilbo in a sketch set in an office in Middle Earth, with a boss who dresses like Gandalf but talks like David Brent.
    • A Twin Peaks parody featured Kyle MacLachlan as a version of Dale Cooper who's having so much fun playing detective that he doesn't want to find out who killed Laura Palmer—so he ignores Leo Johnson's repeated confessions.
    • Adam Driver portrayed his character Kylo Ren in a The Force Awakens-meets-Undercover Boss parody.
    • Scarlett Johansson played Black Widow in a trailer for a Black Widow movie as a fluffy romantic comedy.
  • Parodies of Jeopardy! and/or Alex Trebek are often accompanied by Alex himself.
  • Jimmy Fallon's parody of Breaking Bad on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, "Joking Bad", features cameos from Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Bob Odenkirk, the last actually playing the same character he does on the show.
  • In the 1989 series of UK game show The Krypton Factor, the Observation round, in which contestants' perceptive skills were tested by showing them a comedy sketch with six intentional continuity errors for them to spot, featured in the first episode a spoof of Treasure Hunt UK in which "treasure hunter" Anneka Rice and her studio-bound assistant (and former newsreader) Kenneth Kendall appeared as themselves.
  • The Big Bang Theory had an episode where the characters celebrate May 4th, Star Wars Day, and Sheldon has a dream sequence where a recently deceased character plays Obi-Wan as his Spirit Advisor. Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic gave support and helped them with building a Dagobah set as well as lightsaber effects.
  • Seminal British Saturday Morning Kids Show TISWAS note  had a regular skit with Lenny Henry as "Trevor McDoughnut", a parody of famous ITV newsreader and noted Stoic Trevor McDonald who would act as The Comically Serious while getting Covered in Gunge. The actual Trevor McDonald apparently thought this was Actually Pretty Funny and made at least one cameo appearance on the program... and then he got Covered in Gunge as well. (Everyone got Covered in Gunge on TISWAS. It was what they did.)
  • The Hollywood Squares has had a few parodies made aimed at them over the years, and given the show's comedic bent, it's natural the crew would want to parody themselves. Perhaps the most notable of these would be a series of skits from the final season of In Living Color! called the East Hollywood Squares with all-black celebrities; in this case, the skits were hosted by the original Master of the Squares himself, Peter Marshall.

    Magazines 
  • MAD has done this a few times:
    • In the 70s, Jack Davis was drawing official Sesame Street art and working for MAD, so naturally he did MAD's Reality Street and Mafia Street spoofs.
    • Chris Houghton, who has drawn for the Adventure Time comics, also drew the cover for issue 520, which included two riffs on Adventure Time.

     Music 
  • Happens with "Weird Al" Yankovic a lot.
    • His music video for "Fat", a parody of Michael Jackson's "Bad", uses the subway set for a parody from Moonwalker called "Badder", which Jackson granted Al permission to borrow.
    • "I Lost on Jeopardy!" ("Jeopardy" by the Greg Kihn Band) has Art Fleming and Don Pardo (the host and announcer from the original 1960s version) reprise their respective roles in the video for it, and even Greg Kihn himself appears in the end, as the man who drives the car.
    • Madonna asked a friend in conversation why "Weird Al" hadn't come out with a parody of "Like a Virgin" called "Like a Surgeon" yet. The friend was a mutual friend of Al's manager, who passed the idea onto Al. It's the only artist parody Al has ever done where the parody idea came from the original artist.
    • Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits agreed to allow Al to parody "Money for Nothing" on condition that Knopfler himself play his guitar parts from the original song in the parody.
    • He has similar success with his unfocused pastiches, in which the song evokes the artist's style without having the same tune. Examples include Ben Folds playing piano on "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?", Dweezil Zappa playing guitar for the Frank Zappa-esque "Genius In France", The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek contributing to "Craigslist", and Taylor Hanson playing piano on "If That Isn't Love". (and while Tress MacNeille contributed to "Ricky", Toni Basil stated she'd gladly do the Lucy there)
    • James Brown arranged for Al to use the same stage set and backup performers from when he performed "Living in America" in Rocky IV for the parody version "Living with a Hernia".
    • Similar to Mark Knopfler listed above, Imagine Dragons helped Al compose "Inactive", a parody of their own "Radioactive", by making sure the opening of the song recreated the original as close as possible.
  • George Harrison appeared in The Rutles.
  • Country Music parodist Cledus T. Judd often involves the original artist in videos of his parodies.
    • "She's Got a Butt Bigger Than the Beatles" ("Bigger Than the Beatles" by Joe Diffie): Diffie opens the video by saying, "Folks,I just want you to know that I had absolutely nothing to do with the making of this video."
    • "Every Light In the House Is Blown" ("Every Light in the House" by Trace Adkins): In the video, Trace hits Cledus with a fire extinguisher and shouts, "That's what you get for making fun of the way I dance!"
    • "Did I Shave My Back for This?" ("Did I Shave My Legs for This?" by Deana Carter): Deana beats him up at the beginning of the video for mispronouncing her name.
    • "Christ-Mas" ("This Kiss" by Faith Hill): Steven Goldmann directed both Faith's video and Cledus's shot-for-shot parody of the same.
    • "Coronary Life" ("Ordinary Life" by Chad Brock): Chad plays the doctor in the video.
    • "More Beaver" ("Me Neither" by Brad Paisley): Brad plays lead guitar.
    • Billy Gilman can be heard shouting "That's not funny, Cledus!" at the end of "My Voice", a parody of his own "One Voice".
    • Phil Vassar mumbles a line at the end of "Just Another Day in Parodies", a parody of his own "Just Another Day in Paradise": "Aw man, I'm not mad at you, Cledus. You're nice. Nice hair, I like that."
    • "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Pop" ("I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" by Barbara Mandrell and George Jones): George sings guest vocals.
    • "Paycheck Woman" ("Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson): Gretchen appears at the beginning of the video.
    • "Garth Must Be Busy" ("God Must Be Busy" by Brooks & Dunn): Ronnie Dunn, one-half of Brooks & Dunn, sings guest vocals.
    • He appears to have a really good relationship with Toby Keith, as Toby appeared in the video for "How Do You Milk a Cow" (a parody of "How Do You Like Me Now?!") and sang guest vocals on "I Love NASCAR" ("I Love This Bar"). Toby's go-to director, Michael Salomon, also directed the video for "Where's Your Mommy?" ("Who's Your Daddy?"), and Toby wrote a song on Bipolar and Proud.
  • In 1995, a Twin Cities DJ recorded a parody of Shania Twain's Breakthrough Hit "Any Man of Mine" titled "Any Gal of Mine". Twain herself provides a spoken-word intro at the beginning.
  • Forbidden Broadway Vol. 3 had the real Carol Channing interrupting an impersonator of herself to provide advice.
  • Fred Schneider of The B-52s guested on Richard Cheese's parody of "Love Shack".
  • Ramonetures are a band who cover Punk Rock In the Style of... instrumental Surf Rock. When they tackled the X catalog for the album Johnny Walk Don't Run Paulene, they had the assistance of X members Billy Zoom and DJ Bonebrake replicating their original guitar and drum parts.
  • The Dead Kennedys' In God We Trust, Inc had cover art by Winston Smith, depicting Jesus crucified on a cross made out of dollar bills. Smith has parodied this image for other bands' albums twice: One was Dread Kennedys' In Dub We Trust, which replaced the crucifix made of dollars to one made of canibus leaves. The other was Duckmandu's Fresh Duck For Rotting Accordionists, which replaced Jesus' head with that of a duck and added an accordion strapped across his chest.
    • Another Dead Kennedys-related example: Jello Biafra makes an appearance on Blowfly's "Holiday In Cambodia" parody, "R. Kelly In Cambodia". The song was released on Alternative Tentacles, the record label owned by Biafra.
  • Paul Hardcastle's 1985 Vietnam War inspired classic 19 ("none of them received a hero's welcome") drew a cricket themed parody by The Commentators (basically impressionist Rory Bremner) entitled N-N-Nineteen Not Out ("none of them received a standing ovation"). Several years later, Hardcastle admitted to having co-produced the parody, much against his label's objections.
  • For Red Nose Day, Coldplay brought the cast of Game of Thrones for "The Musical" of the series. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) singing "the first romantic ballad about incest on Coldplay's career", Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) doing "Rastafarian Targaryen", Peter Dinklage crooning on how Tyrion Lannister is "a man for all seasons", and others, including Iwan Rheon's "I Am" Song for Ramsay Bolton ("I am a real bastard, and a little more mean...").
  • Alanis Morissette appeared in The Late Late Show singing a parody of "Ironic" - which even mentions how there are no ironies in the original song.
  • For their song "Irresistible", Fall Out Boy decides to make the video a riff on *NSYNC's famously goofy "It's Gonna Be Me" music video. Not only did they get Wayne Isham, who directed the original video, but also Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone themselves to cameo in it.
  • The Sesame Street disco album Sesame Street Fever has an original Title Track which, as the name suggests, is a parody of "Night Fever" from Saturday Night Fever. The lead vocalist is Robin Gibb.
  • Elio e le Storie Tese parodied Patrick Hernandez' "Born To Be Alive" with their own "Born To Be Abramo". Not only Hernandez shows up in the song and sings a couple verses, he also appears in the video (at about 1:35), one of his rare appearances.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Other 
  • Stan Freberg received permission to used the Dragnet theme for the parody St. George and the Dragonet, as Jack Webb was a fan of Freberg's comedy records.
    • Additionally, when Freberg saw how Jim Henson was having puppets lip-sync to his records on his '50s show Sam and Friends, he not only gave full approval, he also cameoed in one episode to complain about them using his records (only for Kermit to whack him with a baseball bat).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • TAKA Michinoku's gimmick is a parody of The Great Sasuke's original Masa Michinoku gimmick. Despite this, TAKA was allowed to work on the shows of Sasuke's Michinoku Pro Wrestling promotion.
  • Following the decline of FMW, IWA Japan and the rest of the garbage circuit, Kikutaro took up a gimmick of parodying wrestlers who managed to retain their popularity. All Japan teamed him up with Abdullah the Butcher and New Japan had him beaten by Jushin Thunder Liger but it really crossed into this trope when Mick Foley brought him out as "Ebessan Jack" to challenge Samoa Joe at Ring of Honor's third anniversary.
  • IWA Puerto Rico debuted a wrestler known as El Sensacional Carlitos in 2005, a parody of the island's famous Colón family. In 2008, WWC, the company owned by the Colón family patriarch, hired Carlitos and paired him up with Carlito Caribbean Cool, the most famous Colón still active on the island.

    Video Games 
  • After a trailer for Final Fantasy XV featured Noctis and company driving around in a car, memes began to sprout up of Noctis and crew driving past or admiring other things. The game's director liked it, and Square Enix released a transparent PNG of the most common shot of the car and crew to help out with the meme.
  • Capcom has provided assistance for the Ultimate Assist Me series by supplying funds so the creators wouldn't have to pay for the costs out of their pockets like they normally do. Also, at the end of Retro Assist Me, Yoshinori Ono makes a cameo.
  • Red vs. Blue was discovered quite early on by Bungie. Rather than shut them down for copyright infringement, Bungie gave Rooster Teeth official permission to keep making the videos, and to this day Rooster Teeth continues making humorous content, not just for Halo, but for several other Microsoft-owned franchises as well.
  • After My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic recieved a cease and desist from Hasbro, Lauren Faust decided to join the development team, offering to design them original characters to use for a new game.
  • The developers of XCOM: Enemy Unknown assisted the Long War Mod creators in adding additional soundpacks for the soldiers, something that had stumped the modders until the devs stepped in.
  • Hyakutaro Tsukumo, the composer for several Thunder Force games, composed the soundtrack for Broken Thunder, a Fan Sequel. Unfortunately, it's strongly speculated that this is why he was left out of the soundtrack for Thunder Force VI.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Schoolhouse Rock actor Jack Sheldon has done this many times.
    • Saturday Night Live's Schoolhouse Rock parody "Conspiracy Theory Rock" had Jack Sheldon reprise his role as the main singer.
    • The Simpsons episode "The Day the Violence Died" contained a parody of "I'm Just a Bill" with Sheldon singing it, as well.
    • Sheldon lent his voice to Family Guy's parodies of SHR, as well.
      Singers: Vagina Junction, what's your function?
      Sheldon: Takin' in sperm and spittin' out babies!
    • Johnny Bravo had an episode titled "The Sensitive Male" where Johnny tries to get a date with a girl who likes sensitive guys. A man (voiced by Jack Sheldon) comes along and, in a parody of "Schoolhouse Rock", offers Johnny lessons on how to be a kind and sensitive guy.
  • In The Simpsons episode "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", The B-52s parody their own "Love Shack" as "Glove Slap", while later episodes featured Jackson Browne and the Baha Men parodying their own respective work.
    • In the episode "Angry Dad: The Movie", not only did Nick Park voice himself in the setup to the Wallace & Gromit parody Willis & Crumble in Better Gnomes and Gardens, the stop motion animation team included Teresa Drilling, a regular member of the Aardman Animations crew who was a key animator on The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
    • "Steal This Episode" contains a gag where the government hires Judas Priest to get Homer into their custody for digital piracy, with member Rob Halford singing a piracy-minded version of "Breaking the Law".
    • The layout artists from The Ren & Stimpy Show worked on the R&S parody scene in "Brother from the Same Planet".
    • "Sideshow Bob Roberts" has a scene where Bart plays with a Flintstones toy phone, which features Henry Corden as the voice of Fred Flintstone.
    • "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII" includes a Coraline parody in which Neil Gaiman voices Snowball II.
  • Family Guy has had several actors lend their voices to parodies of shows or movies they were in. Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross reprised their roles as Elise and Steven Keaton in a Family Ties parody, Mark Hamill was Luke Skywalker in a Star Wars parody, Frank Welker voiced Freddy in a Scooby-Doo parody, among others.
    • Especially notable is the live-action re-enactment of the All Just a Dream Wham Shot from Dallas, complete with Patrick Duffy and Victoria Principal reprising their roles!
    • George Lucas backed Family Guy's Star Wars retellings as he's a fan of the show.
      • Subverted in the case of Carrie Fisher, who initially refused to be part of the parody, assuming she'd be asked to play Leia again. However, she got on board when she was told that she'd still be playing Angela, which was her normal role on the show.
  • The Bob's Burgers episode "The Belchies" features a song in the end credits that's a send-up of "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" sung by Cyndi Lauper.
  • The Futurama episode "Deep South" is set in Atlanta, Georgia, which is now a submerged city filled with mer-people. Helping to explain this is Donovan, parodying his own song "Atlantis" as "Atlanta."
  • Robot Chicken gets a surprising number of actors and actresses to reprise their famous roles for skits that parody their films. Among some of them them are:
  • Blizzard gave South Park a number of their in-game assets for the creation of "Make Love, Not Warcraft". More audaciously, they did filming on the Burning Crusade alpha server. Those people in the background jumping around and doing whatever? Real players blissfully unaware of what was being filmed near them.
  • MAD gets some Parody Assistance in a few episodes. For example, Tara Strong lends her voice to a unicorn in the sketch "My Little War Horse" and "Adjustment Burro", Raven in "Teen Titanic" and Bubbles in "2 Broke Powerpuff Girls", and they got Will Freidle to reprise his role as 2011 Lion-O in "ThunderLOLcats".
  • The Rugrats episode "Sour Pickles" contains a Rocky and Bullwinkle parody that features June Foray as the expies of Rocky and Natasha.
  • The Duck Dodgers parody of Samurai Jack was directed by creator Genndy Tartakovsky (who also makes a voice cameo) and features Mako as the voice of the Aku parody.
  • In addition to the Jack Sheldon example above, Johnny Bravo also featured a cross-over episode with Scooby-Doo, with all the original voice cast.
    • They also got Joseph Barbera as a story consultant and character designers Iwao Takamoto and Ed Benedict to do the character layouts and background designs.
  • Freakazoid!: For the Jonny Quest parody "Toby Danger", they got original cast members Don Messick and Mike Road to voice the parodies of their characters.
  • Hanna-Barbera layout artist Ed Benedict, one of John Kricfalusi's biggest influcences, worked on the two Yogi Bear shorts that he made.
  • Art Babbitt, one of the key animators on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, animated on the Merrie Melodies short Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs which is a parody of the former.
  • The Wander over Yonder episode "The Cartoon" featured a parody of fellow Disney series Gravity Falls with Jason Ritter, Kristen Schaal and Alex Hirsch voicing the expies of their respective characters.
  • For the premiere of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Canterlot Wedding", which was based heavily on the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, The Hub aired special bumpers featuring Tori Spelling, who co-hosted E!'s coverage of the wedding.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ParodyAssistance