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Parody Assistance
Art by Don Rosa

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 Type Casting. 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 
  • In Code Geass, Emperor Charles makes a big speech in the early show about the inequality of mankind. Some joker of a Japanese fan took the manga version of the speech and edited it so that it was instead a speech extolling how awesome breasts are. Norio Wakamoto, Charles's seiyuu, found out about it and made an official recording of it in the Emperor's voice.

    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 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!
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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: 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, and 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.
  • 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 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.

    Magazines 
  • Chris Houghton, who has drawn for the Adventure Time comics, also drew the cover for MAD issue 520, which included two riffs on Adventure Time.
  • 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.

     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 McNeille contributed to "Ricky", Toni Basil stated she'd gladly do the Lucy there)
  • 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): after Cledus' house blows up, 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 (which is styled like a badly-dubbed 1970s martial arts film) for mispronouncing her name.
    • "Christ-Mas" ("This Kiss" by Faith Hill): Faith doesn't participate, but 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.
    • "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".
    • Phil Vassar mumbles a line at the end of "Just Another Day in Parodies": "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 reprises his part from the original song.
    • "Paycheck Woman" ("Redneck Woman" by Gretchen Wilson): Gretchen appears at the beginning.
    • "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" ("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 (Minnesota) 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.
  • The B-52's revoiced a parody of Love Shack as Glove Slap for a Simpsons episode.
    • Fred Schneider of The B-52's later 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.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Other 
  • Stan Freberg received permission to used the Dragnet theme for the parody St. George and the Dragonet, as Jack Webb as a fan of Freberg's comedy records.

    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.
  • Several seasons of Red vs. Blue were sponsored by Bungie.
  • 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.

    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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 them are Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, Ahmed Best, and even George Lucas himself for Star Wars sketches; the main cast from the Scooby-Doo live-action films; and Frank Welker playing Megatron, Soundwave, and Doctor Claw, just to name a few.
  • Blizzard gave South Park a number of their in-game assets for the creation of "Make Love, Not Warcraft"
  • 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 the current voice of 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.
  • 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.

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