In the age of YouTube, a pop video’s success can be judged by how many parodies it accumulates. But what happens when bands themselves get in on the act? We collected the best original music videos that parody other music videos – in other words, no Weird Al or ‘Bound 3’ – to see which stick to their targets.
10 ‘Dani California’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Helmed by American History X director Tony Kaye, the Chilis’ tongue-in-cheek ‘Dani California’ clip revisits the questionable fashions of rock’s golden eras, from prim ‘60s pop through flamboyant psych and glam and right up to lank-haired grunge headbanging.
9 ‘Girl All the Bad Guys Want’ by Bowling for Soup
At the height of nu-metal, this spoof of straight-faced, Fred Durst-directed videos by the brawny likes Staind and Limp Bizkit felt like a breath of fresh air. Whether its pop-punk japes hold up much better than the gloomy self-seriousness the band set out to criticise is debatable.
8 ‘Turn Around’ by Mikal Cronin
Given $5000 to shoot a video by the comedy network JASH, Mikal Cronin enlisted Kristen Schaal and Kurt Braunholer to recreate Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’ video shot-for-shot in this satirical clip.
7 ‘Girls Chase Boys’ by Ingrid Michaelson
This take on Robert Palmer’s ‘Simply Irresistible’ video, which saw the ‘80s star entertaining scantily clad women in heavy makeup, flips the gender roles to let the boys indulge in some sultry poses, hip-waggling line-dances and crotch-twizzling.
6 ‘I Luh Ya Papi’ by Jennifer Lopez
Like Michaelson’s effort, this wildly addictive J-Lo comeback video fires shots at videomakers’ misogyny, sending the singer and her crew into a world where the camera loves the guys’ ripped bodies as much as the guys themselves do.
5 ‘Just Lose it’ by Eminem
As well as revelling in celebrity-bashing – Madonna, MC Hammer, Bad Santa and Peewee Herman all get a kicking – ‘Just Lose It’ sees Eminem turn his mocking gaze on himself, restaging B-Rabbit’s rap-battle from 8 Mile before scrambling away to wander naked around the streets. Business as usual, then.
4 ‘Gangnam Style’ by Psy
‘Gangnam Style’ might be one of the most parodied pop videos ever – everyone from the North Korean government to NASA joined the fun – but as any K-pop loving fule know, the video is itself a parody, mocking the synchronised moves of polished K-pop stars by putting a middle-aged dude who looks like your seedy uncle centre-stage.
3 ‘I Feel Better’ by Hot Chip
This Peter Serafinowicz-directed clip imagines Hot Chip as a generic, well-combed boy band, whose pop party is interrupted by a mysterious figure in white who alerts you to the bizarreness of the whole situation.
2 ‘Just a Gigolo / I Ain’t Got Nobody’ by David Lee Roth
Having shed his (already thin) responsibility to seriousness with Van Halen, David Lee Roth submits to total chaos on this double-single, visiting the sets of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, Billy Idol’s ‘Dancing with Myself’ and an undisclosed Jacko shoot with the sole aim of winding up any health and safety officers in the vicinity.
1 ‘All the Small Things’ by Blink 182
It wasn’t the first of its kind, but Blink 182’s ‘All the Small Things’ – which won Best Group video at the 2000 VMAs – kick-started a trend for collecting the video tropes of recent years into one gloriously OTT gag-fest. Look out for nods to Britney’s ‘Sometimes’, Christina Aguilera’s ‘Genie in a Bottle’ and Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want it that Way’.