Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Frankenstien, Mummy, and Goons, Oh, My! Parody Challenge

By Janie Reinart

Embed from Getty Images

Trick or treat! It's almost Halloween. Here's a neat trick to try. Treat yourself to writing a parody. A parody is a humorous imitation of an original classic:

1.  Song 

                                    Let It Go Parody, Teachers of Coosa Christian
                                                       for school talent show

2.  Poem

Parodies of poems by Karen Jo Shapiro

Karen Jo Shapiro rewrites John Masefield's poem Sea-Fever.

"I must go down to the beach again, where there's water, sand, and sky,
And all I ask is my red toy boat with a string to pull it by…,"

John Masefield's Sea-Fever
"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;"

3.  Story

By Margaret Wise Brown

"If you run away," said his mother, "I will run after you. For you are my little bunny."

"If you run after me," said the little bunny, "I will become a fish in a trout stream and I will swim away from you."

"If you become a fish in a trout stream," said his mother, "I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you."

Change one word in the title and run with it. Change the first line just enough to make it recognizable. Check out this petrifying parody. 

By Michael Rex

"If you run away," said Mother Mummy, "I will get you! For you are my rotten little mummy."

"If you try to get me," said the little mummy, "I will turn into a serpent that lurks at the bottom of the sea."

"If you turn into a serpent," said Mother Mummy, "I will become a sea monster that will wrap around you and never let go."

Ready for another spooky take on a famous story. Keep the same rhyme and rhythm as the original.

By Margaret Wise Brown

"In the great green room
There was a telephone
And a red balloon
And a picture of--

The cow jumping over the moon
And there were three little bears sitting on chairs"

There's that one word title change again.

By Michael Rex
"In the cold gray tomb
There was a gravestone
And a black lagoon
And a picture of --

Martians taking over the moon
And there were three little mummies rubbing their tummies"

This time also look at the pen name of this monstrous parody.

By Ludwig Bemelmans
"In an old house in Paris
That was covered in vines
Lived twelve little girls
in two straight lines.

In two straight lines
They broke their bread
And brushed their teeth
And went to bed."

"In a creepy old castle
all covered with spines
lived twelve ugly monsters
in two crooked lines

In two crooked lines,
they bonked their heads
pulled out their teeth
and wet their beds."

 Here is your challenge. Write a parody. Share your parodies with us in the comments.

1. Select a song, poem, or story.
2. Change the first line just enough to make it recognizable.
3. Keep the same rhyme and rhythm as the original.
4. Have fun playing with words.



  1. Oh, Janie, this looks like fun for student writers, too. Thank you for some spook-tacular fun.

  2. Love it, Janie! In a mushy old pumpkin, all covered in webs, lived twelve squishy worms, in two slimy lines. You've made my day fun with play. :)

  3. I LOVE that video! Hilarious! And so perfect for kids from the Tween years on up. I love all parodies, but I think it's good to figure out what's allowed and what may be challenged if you're planning to sell something to a publisher.

    I've written what I thought was a parody of a Seuss story and was told by an intellectual property lawyer that I needed to change much more to make it virtually unrecognizable except for keeping the infamous Seuss rhythm. There have been cases where the Seuss estate sued authors. It can be a little complicated, so it's always good to check. That said, I think this is an excellent way to flex your creative muscles just for fun!

    1. Julianne, Good point. Weird Al Yankovic always asked permission from the composers to parody their songs.

  4. How clever the parody of Madeline is! I love it. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Carol,
      I was amazed by the talent. It was so much fun to read both the original and the parody side by side.

  5. This is a fun exercise! Thanks for creating it! Here's my quickie parody (as my day job is keeping me on my toes right now):

    “Be that word our sign of parting, child or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
    “Get thee back into thy bed-est and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black costume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust near my door!
    Take thy cheek from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
    Quoth the Toddler “Nevermore.”

    1. Suzie you made me laugh out loud. Then I had to read it out loud a few more times! Fantastic ❤️

  6. Awesome! Fun stuff! Clever, clever people.

  7. I find that video so hillarious, kids would be so amazed to watch it. I find the parody of meladine so cleaver. Thanks for sharing this here.