The genius of Vince Offer's sales-pitch send-up of Eminem's Recovery -- and of most parodies, really -- is that it forces the record into a ridiculous context (a thing to "put on your hose," among other uses). And though the video may or may not actually help Marshall Mathers' sales figures, it did get us thinking -- when artists get "recontextualized," can it end up helping them out? We think so. Here's our top five of the best, the most brilliant, and why they'll make some money. Check it out after the jump.
05. "My Cubicle" - James Blunt parody Accompanying a reimagining of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" as "My Cubicle" by a guy with a voice remarkably similar to Blunt's, the video features a guy puttering around the office to lyrics like, "My job is stupid/My days are bored" -- which is far preferable to Blunt's bizarre obsessive-compulsive striptease in the original video.
Why it'll sell records: Like so many songs, Blunt's original is so catchy, yet so ruined by inane lyrics and smarmy sentiment. Set to clever lyrics you actually want to listen to, though. Maybe the song's catchiness will get embedded in the minds of everyone who hears it until they are forced to just go out and buy it, already.
04. "Black Betty / Ambulance" This one mashes up "Epic Beard Man," the viral YouTube video featuring some hothead starting a fight on a bus and getting slapped down, with Ram Jam's "Black Betty," using the hothead's famous cry for an "ambulance" as the hook. The joke wears off after about a minute, but it's hilarious while it lasts.
Why it'll sell records: Though the band has, to a large extent, been forgotten, it did have a lot of really good songs -- and "Black Betty" undeniably rocks. This video could turn a whole new generation on to the badassery that is Ram Jam.
03. Kanye interrupts Obama Although Kayne West's infamous Taylor Swift interruption could be spliced into anything to potentially hilarious results, this Barack Obama speech mash-up works particularly well -- Obama's "response" to the interruption is priceless.
Why it'll sell records: In show-business, as they say, all press is good press -- whether it leads to fame or infamy. Capitalizing on what will probably become West's most famous line of all time, this video, if nothing else, keeps him in the public consciousness.
02. Ke$ha + Star Wars Pretty straightforward concept to this one: Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" video plus, you know, Star Wars. What's great about this video is not only that it's so well made, but also that it stays remarkably faithful to the original.
Why it will sell records: If you can't get past Ke$ha's preposterous (and creepy) line about Mick Jagger in regular listening, this video will keep your riveted until the end of the song -- that's how great it is. And, like the James Blunt parody, by the time you get to the end, the tune will be so firmly stuck in your head, you'll have to go buy it.
01. Alanis Morissette's "My Humps" Probably the best musician-on-musician parody ever (and they're a rare breed to begin with, unless you count Weird Al), Alanis Morissette's reinterpretation of the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps" keeps the original's mind-numbing lyrics and sets them to a tune in the saddest of keys. Hilarity ensues.
Why it'll sell records: The Alanis cover may not do any favors for the Black Eyed Peas, but it certainly does for her. Not only is her version of "My Humps" oddly haunting, it also showcases the famously weepy singer as really funny. Seriously, who knew Alanis Morissette was funny?