Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Petry, Clara-Franziska. “The Pop Music Parody in US-American and German Late-Night Shows.” Kieler Beiträge Zur Filmmusikforschung 15 (December 2020): 212-35.

Parodies of pop music are popular features of late-night TV shows in both the United States and Germany, and their self-referential, autopoietic mode of communication makes parodies a commercial strategy for pop music itself. Such parodies especially flourish on YouTube. For example, the (illegal) YouTube upload of the 2005 Saturday Night Live sketch Lazy Sunday, a parody of The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, became an early hit for the platform. Since its premiere, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has regularly featured pop music parodies, and has regularly uploaded sketches to its official YouTube channel. The 2015 sketch Wheel of Musical Impressions featuring Ariana Grande and Jimmy Fallon is emblematic of this trend and is built on an unusual parody conceit: instead of altering the lyrics to the songs being parodied, Grande and Fallon alter their vocal timbres to mimic other famous pop singers. In Germany, comedian Jan Böhmermann fills the same pop music parody role as Fallon as host of ZDF Neomagazin Royale. His 2015 music video Ich hab Polizei parodies American gangsta rap by presenting the German police in musical and visual trappings of the genre. Another Böhmermann parody, Eine Deutsche Rapgeschichte, goes further in its parody of German hip hop with numerous references to popular German rap songs and rappers. As a global phenomenon, these late-night show pop music parodies rely on insider knowledge for their appeal and at the same time construct a canon of pop music through performance.

Works: Saturday Night Live: Lazy Sunday (217-18); Jimmy Fallon and Ariana Grande: Wheel of Musical Impressions (220-23); Jan Böhmermann: Eine Deutsche Rapgeschichte (227-29).

Sources: Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five: The Message (217-18); Traditional: Mary Had a Little Lamb (220), The Wheels on the Bus (220-21); The Weeknd: Can’t Feel My Face (221); Advanced Chemistry: Fremd im eigenen Land (227-28); Absolute Beginner featuring Samy Deluxe: Füchse (228); Fanta 4: Die da (229); Zugezogen Maskulin: Endlich wieder Beef (229).

Index Classifications: 2000s, Film

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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