5 Celebrities Who Were Big Fans of Their Own Parodies
For as long as there have been celebrities, there have been parodies of celebrities made by less attractive people. While spoofing famous people frequently leads to hurt feelings and cease-and-desist letters, from time to time, the targets of these mockeries surprise us all by embracing their fictional comedic doppelgangers, like how…
Arnold Schwarzenegger Credited ‘SNL’s Hans and Franz With Normalizing His Accent
Saturday Night Live’s “Hans and Franz” sketches famously starred Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Austrian bodybuilding cousins. They loved to pump people up and taunt “girly men” to the joy of ’80s television viewers and the unbridled rage of Steven Seagal.
Schwarzenegger never seemed to have any problem with the characters, even famously appearing in one of the sketches…
…and nearly agreeing to make a Hans and Franz movie. His appreciation for the characters, however, went far deeper than anyone ever realized. Schwarzenegger recently revealed that when he first tried to break into Hollywood, he was told he could never be a leading man with his (now signature) Austrian accent. But even after starring in feature films and dominating the box office, he believes that Hans and Franz was what “legitimized” his accent for American audiences. “I always said from that point on, it became much more accepted, the whole thing, and really became much easier for me,” Schwarzenegger stated.
Russell Crowe Saw ‘South Park’s Parody as an Apt Metaphor for His Life
South Park memorably held nothing back when it came to lampooning Russell Crowe, portraying him as a drunken, violent children’s show host who is Fightin’ Around the World. And when Crowe pulls out a guitar and starts to sing, his anthropomorphic tugboat sidekick pulls out a gun and takes its own life.
The storyline was inspired by Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s pseudo-friendship with Crowe and an awkward listening party he threw for one of his albums, which Parker described as a cross between “Bon Jovi and Hepatitis B.”
When the real, non-cartoon Crowe was asked about the episode during a 60 Minutes interview, the Oscar-winning actor surprisingly praised Parker and Stone, claiming that he could “learn from it.” Crowe explained how he saw the parody as “analogous” to his entire life, saying, “I did think the whole thing was a fight. I did think my whole career was a struggle.”
Which may not have been the point the show was trying to make with all those scenes of Russell Crowe randomly attacking innocent bystanders.
Yoko Ono Loved ‘The Rutles’ (Despite Being Portrayed as a Literal Nazi)
Eric Idle’s 1978 mockumentary The Rutles told the story of the “Prefab Four,” a legendary 1960s rock band that gave us songs like “Cheese and Onions” and “Ouch!”
However, The Beatles parody’s harshest (totally undeserved) burn was reserved for Yoko Ono, as the John Lennon-like character falls in love with an experimental artist who also happens to be a literal Nazi and whose “father invented World War II.”
Idle later recounted how George and Ringo were big fans of the movie, also claiming that “Lennon and Yoko loved it too.” Idle added: “That’s really good of Yoko to love it because she’s portrayed as Hitler’s daughter.”
Idle explained her remarkable response by pointing out, “You cannot be married to John Lennon without a fantastic sense of humor, which she has.”
Werner Herzog Congratulated Paul F. Tompkins on His Impression
The great Paul F. Tompkins is known for his stand-up comedy, numerous podcast appearances and work in There Will Be Blood, in which he both acted and gallantly loaned Daniel Day-Lewis his mustache.
One of Tompkins’ best recurring characters is his impression of legendary German director/personal friend to Baby Yoda, Werner Herzog, as heard on shows like Doug Loves Movies and Comedy Bang! Bang!
When the real Herzog was a guest on the show Studio 360, the host played a clip of Tompkins’ impression, in which he reads an existentially dread-filled Yelp review of Trader Joe’s.
Herzog was instantly amused, remarking: “The accent could be better, but it’s a very funny text. That’s good stuff.” He then offered Tompkins: “My congratulations.”
Doug McClure’s Kids Started Referring to Him as ‘Troy’ Because of ‘The Simpsons’
Several of The Simpsons’ recurring characters have been based on real people: from Bumblebee Man to Dr. Nick Riviera to Krusty the Clown — based on a clown named “Rusty Nails,” who was somehow not a serial killer. While anyone under 50 might not have picked up on this, Troy McClure is a parody of two real actors whose careers had washed up by the time The Simpsons started: Troy Donahue and Doug McClure.
You might remember the real McClure from such shows and movies as The Virginian and The Land That Time Forgot. (But sadly, not Calling All Quakers or Here Comes the Metric System.)
According to Simpsons writer Mike Reiss, Doug McClure happened to be watching the show with his family when he first noticed that “Springfield’s favorite has-been actor” shared his name. McClure asked his kids: “Are they making fun of me?” When they responded in the affirmative, he shot back: “Well, it’s pretty funny!” After that, McClure’s children even playfully began calling him “Troy McClure behind his back.”
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