Parody Music

Back when I was a DJ at WLCV radio, I broadcast the Dr. Demento show every week for several years.

Here are some of my favorite parody bands, specifically only counting artists who base their music on other people’s music and lyrics, not just general comedy musicians (who will come later) or cover bands (also later).

These are “my” bands. The bands that helped shape who I am, roughly in order of how much they mean to me.

Dave Mattingly: The Musical, Part 4

  • Big DaddyBig Daddy
    • Known For: Monster Mash-Up
    • Memories: Writing a parody is tough enough; staying true to the original music and tweaking the words. But Big Daddy keeps the words, and puts in the music from a completely different song, which completely blows me away. My favorite is their working stiffs mash-up of the Money for Nothing lyrics set to the Sixteen Tons music. Brilliant!
    • Favorite Songs: Money for Nothing, Safety Dance, Whip It, Once in a Lifetime
  • Allan ShermanAllan Sherman
  • Carla UlbrichCarla Ulbrich
    • Known For: The Guy Who Changes the Light Bulbs
    • Memories: There was a time that I wasn’t sure Carla’s health would let her keep going, but she turned it in fuel for comedy, and became known as The Singing Patient. Her album Sick Humor and her book How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This are among my favorites. I usually call her “pancake girl” thanks to her Name song.
    • Favorite Songs: I Got Tremors, A Name is a Name, The Force is the Force
  • Tim CavanaghTim Cavanagh
    • Known For: 99 Dead Baboons
    • Memories: When I saw Tim at a DPMA (Data Processing Management Association) meeting in the ’80s, I was the only guy in the audience shouting out requests. The meeting emcee gave out door prizes “worth well over $1,000,” so Tim brought out a bag of prizes worth “well over $7.” He gave out a rubber dog toy (“Do you have a rubber dog?”), and when I caught up with him after the show, there was still a prize in his bag, which he gave to me. An autographed box of prunes.
    • Favorite Songs: I Wanna Kiss HerPistons, Dead Russian Leaders, Bible Outlet

Go back to Part 3: Alt Rock or on to Part 5: A Cappella.