A typical issue of Mad magazine
will include at least one full parody of a popular film or television show. The titles are changed to create a play on words; for instance, The Addams Family
became The Adnauseum Family
. The character names are generally switched in the same fashion.
These articles typically cover five pages or more, and are presented as a sequential storyline with caricatures and word balloons. The opening page or two-page splash usually consists of the cast of the show introducing themselves directly to the reader; in some parodies, the writers sometimes attempt to circumvent this convention by presenting the characters without such direct exposition. Many parodies end with the abrupt deus ex machina
appearance of outside characters or pop culture figures who are similar in nature to the film or TV series being parodied, or who comment satirically on the theme. For example, Dr. Phil
arrives to counsel the Desperate Housewives
, or the cast of Sex and the City
show up as the new hookers on Deadwood
The parodies frequently make comedic use of the fourth wall
, breaking character
, and meta-references
. Within an ostensibly self-contained storyline, the characters may refer to the technical aspects of filmmaking, the publicity, hype, or box office surrounding their project, their own past roles, any clichés
being used, and so on.
Several show business stars have been quoted to the effect that the moment when they knew they'd finally "made it" was when they... Read More