Do you think about comedy?
Silly videos on TV
Like "Great Day to be a Guy"
You might not like parodies
But they're funny as hell to me
All the way back to "If Shania Was Mine"
A Country Music parody artist for 20 years, Barry Poole (born December 18, 1964), or as he is better known, Cledus T. Judge, is known primarily for his humorous parodies of Country Music songs, often replete with humorous music videos. Essentially, he's the "Weird Al" Yankovic of country.
Judd started humbly on Razor & Tie with a self-titled album that got little attention. 1996's I Stoled This Record proved to be his breakthrough on CMT, with popular videos for "If Shania Was Mine" (Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine") and "She's Got a Butt Bigger Than the Beatles" (Joe Diffie's "Bigger Than the Beatles"), which helped the album sell gold even though none of the singles charted.
Judd continued to make hit videos through the early 2000s. In 2000, he moved from Razor & Tie to Monument Records. The label closed right after the 2003 EP A Six Pack of Judd, so he moved to Audium Records for a second EP, The Original Dixie Hick (a parody of the Dixie Chicks' Creator Killer moment at the beginning of the year).
Audium closed after 2004's Bipolar and Proud, so Judd moved to Curb in 2007 to release Boogity, Boogity A Tribute to the Comedic Genius of Ray Stevens, which had several duet partners teaming up with him to cover the country comedian's songs. He moved to E1 for the mostly-forgotten Polyrically Uncorrect in 2009, then joined Warner (Bros.) Records for his 2013 album Parodyziac!!
Besides his music, Judd appeared as a correspondent on Nashville Star and a contestant on Celebrity Fit Club. He has also doubled as a radio host since 2008.
In January 2015, Judd announced his retirement after 20 years. But he came back in 2018 with a new parody called "(Weight's Goin') Up Down, Up Down", based on Morgan Wallen's "Up Down".
- Cledus T. Judd (No Relation) (1995)
- I Stoled This Record (1996)
- Did I Shave My Back for This? (1998)
- Juddmental (1999)
- Just Another Day in Parodies (2000)
- Cledus Envy (2002)
- Cledus Navidad (2002)
- A Six Pack of Judd (2003)
- The Original Dixie Hick (2003)
- Bipolar and Proud (2004)
- Boogity, Boogity A Tribute to the Comedic Genius of Ray Stevens (2007)
- Polyrically Uncorrect (2009)
- Parodyziac!! (2012)
Tropes present in his work:
- Album Title Drop: The title track of Just Another Day in Parodies (Phil Vassar's "Just Another Day in Paradise") does not show up until the next album.
- And a Diet Coke: Done at the end of the "Coronary Life" video.
- Anti-Christmas Song: Cledus Navidad includes such gems as "Stephon the Alternative Lifestyle Reindeer", "Only 364 More Shopping Days 'til Christmas", and "Merry Christmas from the Whole Fam Damily" (which previously appeared on Just Another Day in Parodies).
- Artistic License Music:
- Averted in the "Paycheck Woman" video. Cledus's guitar playing appears to be real (although the song is mostly composed of G and D chords, which are usually easy for even an amateur guitarist).
- Zig-zagged and Played for Laughs in the "(Weight's Goin') Up Down, Up Down" video. Judd's guitar playing still appears to be real attempts at playing G and D chords, while his family members stand behind him with bored expressions, barely paying attention to their instruments at all (including a ukulele and hand drum, neither of which is actually in the song).
- Big Eater: The woman in "She's Got a Butt Bigger than the Beatles", and sometimes Judd himself, as seen in "Cledus Don't Stop Eatin' for Nothin'" (Brooks & Dunn's "Mama Don't Get Dressed Up for Nothin'") and "Bake Me a Country Ham" (Tracy Lawrence's "Paint Me a Birmingham").
- Big Fun: He cultivated this image on his first three albums. Starting with Juddmental, he began slimming down, culminating in a surprisingly buff image on Boogity, Boogity.
- Bumbling Dad: The subject of "Where's Your Mommy?", his take on Toby Keith's "Who's Your Daddy?":Where's your mommy, little baby / You got a dummy for a dad
- Buxom Is Better: "Double D Cups" sings the praises of busty women.
- The Cameo: Besides instances of the original artists in the videos:
- "Skoal (The Grundy County Spitting Incident)" has the Godwinns Twins, Brian James, and Hillbilly Jim, and obscure comedian T. Bubba Bechtol as the auctioneer.
- Vince Gill appears in drag in "Wives Do It All the Time" ("Guys Do It All the Time" by Mindy McCready).
- Lisa Stewart (wife of former Little Texas keyboardist Brady Seals) appears in the video for "Coronary Life".
- Andy Griggs, Montgomery Gentry, and Tracy Byrd appear in "Where's Your Mommy?"
- Nadya Suleman, aka Octomom, plays the wife in "Honeymoon".
- Two Foot Fred, a comedian and warmup act for Big & Rich, appears in several of Cledus's videos.
- Clumsy Copyright Censorship: The video for "(Weight's Goin') Up Down, Up Down" censors several fast-food brand names due to demands from CMT (although one scene is still obviously filmed in front of a KFC, with several logos visible on the products).
- Country Rap:
- "Gone Funky" (based on Alan Jackson's "Gone Country") is about three displaced country artists who turn to rap. Later on the same album, he does a rap cover of John Anderson's "Swingin'".
- Also played with in "Hip Hop and Honky Tonk".
- "Man of Constant Borrow" and "All I Want for Christmas Is Two Gold Front Teef" add hip-hop elements to the production, including a rap breakdown on the former.
- Credits Gag:
- "In Another Size" is credited to "Waite Gaines with Patricia Earwood", the former a parody of Garth Brooks' alter ego Chris Gaines and Garth's longtime wife Trisha Yearwood. Judd's ex-wife, Kim Winters, takes Trisha's part.
- In a parody of the "Shut up and sing" controversy involving The Chicks, the credits to The Original Dixie Hick are redacted, "except Wes Hightower, who is proud to be from Texas."
- "(Weight's Goin') Up Down, Up Down" is credited to "Cledus T. Judd featuring Ohio Kentucky West Virginia Line".
- Don't Try This at Home: Spoken at the beginning of "Every Light in the House Is Blown".
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- His first release, "Indian In-Laws", doesn't match the source material ("Indian Outlaw" by Tim McGraw) as closely as his later parodies do, with several distinct musical variations from the latter (most of the solos are changed or skipped, the verse structure is different, there's a Truck Driver's Gear Change not present in the original, and the ending is omitted entirely). Also, the B-side is a rap version of John Anderson's "Swingin'", something that he never did again.
- His first two albums had parodies of songs that were several years older than their release date. The first had parodies of "Hotel California" by Eagles (1977) and "We Are the World" by USA for Africa (1985), which also rank among his only non-country parodies; the second had parodies of "Jackson" by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash (1963), "Cadillac Style" by Sammy Kershaw (1991), "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by the Charlie Daniels Band (1979), and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Elmo & Patsy (1978). By 1998's Did I Shave My Back for This?, his parodies were mostly within a year of the original song's release (although even that album had a parody of Joe Diffie's 1994 hit "Third Rock from the Sun").
- The albums from Juddmental backward also stand out for their use of Kim Winters on female vocals, most prominently when he parodied a male-female duet. Winters had somewhat of a Stylistic Suck nature to her much like Judd himself, but later songs requiring female vocals had more normal sounding ones.
- Also on the first four albums, many of the songs he targeted tended not to be big hits in the long run, as he spoofed several now-obscure songs such as "Refried Dreams" by Tim McGraw, "For a Change" by Neal McCoy, and "You Have the Right to Remain Silent" by Perfect Stranger. Around Juddmental he seemed to get a better hold on what would make for a good target. Polyrically Uncorrect is a bizarre exception; the title track is a parody of Gretchen Wilson's "Politically Uncorrect" (a very low-charting song from a good five years prior) and the album also parodies "Murder on Music Row", an album cut from 2000.
- Food Songs Are Funny: "Bake Me a Country Ham", a parody of Tracy Lawrence's "Paint Me a Birmingham".
- Gasshole: The subject of "____ Is Funny" (the blank being a farting noise).
- In-Joke: In "Gone Funky", the cover of a fictional single release from one of the characters is visible for a few seconds. The credited label on the fake cover is Cross Three, a label that Judd was signed to very early in his career.
- Last Note Hilarity:
- On "Please Take the Girl": "Is it Tim McGraw or John Anderson I'm trying to imitate?"
- He deliberately mangles the last long note on "Skoal (The Grundy County Spittin' Incident)" then exclaims, "That was horrible!"
- "Cledus Went Down to Florida" ends on Shave And A Haircut.
- "Christ-Mas" ends with bells playing "Joy to the World" (the Christmas carol, not the Three Dog Night song).
- "She's Inflatable": "That Diamond Rio song had way too many syllables!"
- "How Do You Milk a Cow" ends with "Old McDonald Had a Farm", then transitions into a few bars of the Green Acres theme.
- "Just Another Day in Parodies" ends with a few bars of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer".
- "My Voice", which artificially deepens his voice at the end, ends on the "oom papa mow mow" from "Elvira" by The Oak Ridge Boys.
- "Tree's on Fire" ends with the "Smoke on the Water" riff.
- "Man of Constant Borrow" ends with Diamond Rio's backing vocal getting the Broken Record treatment.
- The guitar riff at the end of "Hell No" keeps going higher and higher and higher, exaggerating the actual riff of the source song ("Hell Yeah" by Montgomery Gentry).
- Later Installment Weirdness: Many of his 21st-century albums downplay the Stylistic Suck considerably, while also dropping his "obese redneck" persona in favor of a more straightforward style.
- Long List:
- In "Gone Funky": "Well, he's fed up with Travis, Garth, Tim McGraw, Collin Raye, Billy Ray Cyrus, John Michael Montgomery, and Joe Diffie."
- "It's a Great Day to Be a Guy" opens with his wife giving him a long list of chores.
- "I Love NASCAR", when listing the sponsors: "Like, uh, let's see: Havoline, Target, Sharpie, Caterpillar, Nextel, Mountain Dew, Dupont, Lowe's, Home Depot, Kodak, M&M's, UPS, Tide, Alltel, Gillette, Kellogg's, Viagara, DeWalt, and uh, Budweiser."
- Musical Gag:
- He coughs before the last chorus of "If Shania Was Mine" and asks of the backing vocals, "Now was that Mutt Lange or Dwight Yoakam?" In the video, David Ball butts in with "At least he's not pickin' on me this time."
- "Jackson (Alan That Is)" interpolates Johnny Cash's "Jackson", the source of the parody, with the opening riff of Alan Jackson's "Chattahoochee".
- "I'm Not in Here for Love (Just Yer Beer)" has him randomly blowing off-key notes on a harmonica during the first verse.
- The solos in "Every Light in the House" and "Coronary Life" feature a lot of intentionally missed notes.
- The piano/fiddle riff on "Just Another Day in Parodies" ends on a descending scale at the end instead of the right notes.
- "How Do You Milk a Cow" opens with "The Farmer in the Dell" played on a xylophone, interspersed with mooing and cowbells. Also, the second half of each verse includes a synthesized dance beat blatantly not in the original song.
- "What the *$@# Did You Say" has a comically out-of-place tuba line in the second verse.
- The guitar riff at the beginning of "My Cellmate Thinks I'm Sexy" interpolates the "William Tell Overture".
- "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Pop" randomly throws in pop and rap elements.
- After the Truck Driver's Gear Change on "Bake Me a Country Ham", Cledus artificially pitches up the vocal track to make him sound even more like Tracy Lawrence.
- The "whoa whoa whoa oh oh" interludes in Eric Church's "Springsteen" become "row, row, row your boat" on "Cledus T."
- No Budget: Parodied in the Emergency! spoof credits at the beginning of "Coronary Life": "Lisa Stewart as Nurse Trixie also as The Grieving Wife due to budgetary restrictions."
- NOT!: At the end of the "Skoal" video, the Godwinns twins say, "Hey Cledus, that was so much fun, let's do it again!" The video then rewinds and the last chorus of the song plays again. After that, the twins make their request again, and Cledus yells "Not!" while slamming their faces into the mud before the footage starts looping.
- Parody Assistance:
- Joe Diffie opens the video to "She's Got a Butt Bigger Than the Beatles" by saying, "Folks, I just want you to know that I had absolutely nothing to do with the making of this video."
- Richard Fagan, one of the writers of "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)", also co-wrote the lyrics for "Stoled: The Copyright Infringement Incident", one of two parodies that Judd did of that song. This is the only time that the writer of the original song also had a hand in Judd's parody (and, for that matter, one of only two times that he parodied a song more than once).
- "Every Light In the House Is Blown", a parody of Trace Adkins' "Every Light in the House", features Adkins at the end of the video, spraying down Cledus with a fire extinguisher and shouting, "That's what you get for making fun of the way I dance!"
- Deana Carter beats up Cledus at the beginning of the video to "Did I Shave My Back for This?" ("Did I Shave My Legs for This?").
- Chad Brock appears as the doctor in the video of "Coronary Life" ("Ordinary Life"), which also features a cameo from obscure early-90s singer Lisa Stewart.
- Brad Paisley played lead guitar on "More Beaver", a parody of his "Me Neither".
- Billy Gilman can be heard shouting "That's not funny, Cledus!" at the end of "My Voice" ("One Voice").
- Phil Vassar mumbles a line at the end of "Just Another Day in Parodies" ("Just Another Day in Paradise"): "Aw man, I'm not mad at you, Cledus. You're nice. Nice hair, I like that."
- George Jones appears on "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Pop" ("I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" by Barbara Mandrell and George Jones).
- Toby Keith 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"). He also wrote "Starkissed" on the album including the latter.
- Gretchen Wilson appears in the video for "Paycheck Woman" ("Redneck Woman").
- Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn sings duet vocals on "Garth Must Be Busy" ("God Must Be Busy").
- Potty Emergency: The subject of "Gotta Pee", a parody of Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be".
- Pun: "How Do You Milk a Cow" uses two. During the bridge, he calls the song "an udder disaster", and in the final chorus, he quotes a common one: "How do you milk a cow / I no longer care / I'm getting sick and tired / Of smelling dairy air".
- Rake Take: In "It's a Great Day to Be a Guy": "Best balls I hit was when I stepped on a rake."
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Averted with "Coronary Life". While he did have heart problems before the song came out, they were complications from an extra heart valve, not a heart attack.
- Record Producer: Judd has always produced his own albums, with assistance from co-writer Chris Clark since the third. The only exceptions are the standalone single "Everybody's Free to Get Sunburned" (produced by Scott Rouse) and three tracks on Parodyziac! which were produced by Rex Paul Schnelle instead.
- Running Gag:
- His first four albums put "No relation" under his name, to indicate that he was not related to The Judds.
- Starting with "If Shania Was Mine", he made it a running gag that he was trying to court Shania Twain. This gag ended with his parody of her 1998 hit "Honey, I'm Home", titled "Shania, I'm Broke".
- The "Where's Your Mommy?" video has a running gag of pointing out when shots of the baby are and aren't real. One even has "Fake baby and oddly, fake Cledus."
- Shout-Out: Often employed in his videos.
- "Christ-Mas" is a shot-for-shot parody of the "This Kiss" video (which has Faith dancing on flowers, swinging from oversized cherries, and riding a rocket) the surroundings become candy canes, ornaments, and a toy rocket. (This is because both the original and parody video were directed by Steven Goldmann.)
- "First Redneck on the Internet", a duet with Buck Owens, uses the Hee Haw "Sa-lute!" at the end.
- The opening of the "Coronary Life" video is a parody of the opening to Emergency!
- Singer Name Drop: In a variant, many of his parodies name-drop the original artist (for instance, "Every Light in the House Is Blown" has "I was hoping maybe Trace could float me a loan"). Also played straight on other songs, such as "Cledus Don't Stop Eatin' for Nothin'" and "Cledus T."
- Something Completely Different:
- Cledus Envy, Bipolar and Proud, and Parodyziac! all have one serious song each: "Leave You Laughing", "Funny Man", and "104 Amanda Street", respectively.
- "Wife Naggin'" on Just Another Day in Parodies is one of only two times that he ever parodied an album cut (specifically, The Chicks' "Sin Wagon").
- As is often the case with Christmas albums, Cledus Navidad is somewhere between this and Oddball in the Series: only four new songs, three covers (Mac McAnally's "Stephon the Alternative Lifestyle Reindeer", Ray Stevens' "Santa Claus Is Watching You", and Elmo & Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" in a Southern rock style — by extension, this also makes it the only song that he has both parodied and covered), two parodies of older songs ("Tree's on Fire" and "All I Want for Christmas Is Two Gold Front Teef", parodies of "Ring of Fire" and "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" respectively), and one reissue ("Merry Christmas from the Whole Fam Damily", previously found on Just Another Day in Parodies).
- After his own real-life baptism, he co-wrote "Three Feet of Water", a serious baptism-themed song on Brantley Gilbert's The Devil Don't Sleep.
- Song Parody: His bread and butter, although like most parodists he has original material as well.
- Stylistic Suck:
- For the first few albums, he sang in a nasal off-key voice and often had the instruments miss notes intentionally. This was toned down around Juddmental.
- Guest vocalist Daryle Singletary does this on "Ricky Tidwell's Mama's Gonna Play Football", intentionally singing low notes that are way out of his range by exaggerated use of vocal fry.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In "Hell No": "Something's wrong here in Music City / Everything just sounds so shhhhhhhhhhell no!"
- Symbol Swearing: "What the *$@# Did You Say" (about poor cell reception). The offending word is a burst of static.
- Take That!:
- "Cledus Went Down to Florida" does ones to Jeff Foxworthy, but they're In-Universe (the story of the song is Cledus losing an opening gig for Garth Brooks to Jeff Foxworthy, due to Jeff sabotaging a car that Cledus stole) and he gives a "Just Joking" Justification at the end.
- "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Pop", "Hell No", and "If This Is Country Music" lament the corporate and pop-leaning nature of 21st-century country music.
- That Poor Cat: The cat causes the title incident in "Tree's on Fire" (a parody of "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash), and can be heard yowling after the second chorus.
- Toilet Humor: "Refried Beans" (a parody of "Refried Dreams" by Tim McGraw) has the titular food causing intestinal trauma.
- Visual Pun:
- When Cledus hollers for a Greyhound (meaning the bus) in the video for "Cledus Went Down to Florida", a lady walks by with a Greyhound dog.
- Several people in the "Double D Cups" video are drinking from red Solo cups, playing off the fact that the song is a parody of Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup".
- Vocal Evolution:
- Early on (except for "Indian In-Laws" and "Swingin'"), he usually sang in a slightly off-key, affected nasal twang that one critic described as "Junior Samples on helium". Over time, he began using his normal voice more often, and even returns to the more twangy delivery managed to stay in key.
- Parodied on "My Voice". In the parody, his voice gets deeper and deeper throughout the song (the last verse by way of studio tweaking), and he laments that he can no longer sing in the childlike upper range.
- X-Ray Sparks: Happens near the end of "Every Light in the House Is Blown".
- You Need a Breath Mint: "Breath" is about a person with bad breath:I can smell your breath, it's gagging me to deathSomething must've died inside of youWhat you oughta do is chase a Cert or two with Listerine