For the most part, people tend to think of song parody videos as a 21st century phenomenon, only recently becoming a viral hit across the globe. In actuality, the history of song parody videos date back much farther than expected, and have very much influenced the works of artists such as Phil Collins, David Lee Roth, and others.
Song parody videos are truly a genre of their own. Usually, a song parody video is a video in which the music from the original song remains constant in both the original and the parody, but the lyrics in the parody are altered to create a more comical version of the song. One can only parody a song if the original song has truly become iconic, and almost universally recognizable. If one was to watch a song parody video without ever hearing the original song, it is impossible for the joke to be understood by the viewer. A great aspect of song parody videos is that there are no typical producers; anyone with a creative mind and a camera can put together a song parody video, ranging from the likes of Seth Rogen and James Franco, two highly wealthy A-list actors, to mippey5, a man who makes song parody videos for the fun of it.
While the genre of song parody videos might not have an extremely important purpose, society loves to see such iconic songs transformed into a completely different topic. Imitation is the funniest form of flattery. It is awesome when some jokesters can make an impact on the social media scene by poking a little fun at mega music stars. Very rarely do we compare pop star sensations with amateur comedians, but song parody videos allow that comparison to be made. The audience of song parody videos tends to mostly be the younger generations, as they are expected to be up to speed with the latest and greatest songs. Song parody videos can only relate to those who know what the video is parodying. Perhaps the most famous creator of song parody videos is Weird Al Yankovic.
Weird Al is one of the few, if not the only artist who has made a living off of creating song parodies. His ability to take classics and twist them into something completely absurd is hilarious on two levels. One, it is already relatable to the viewer, as they surely know immediately what song is being parodied from the music alone, which allows for a side by side comparison in terms of lyrics. Two, the parody tells a completely different story and message than the original song, often hilariously outrageous that it sometimes even takes away from the original song. Weird Al has mastered this technique.