5 Reasons Why YouTube Song Parodies Go Viral

It seems that every hit song has a parody floating somewhere on YouTube. Some parodies never make it past the bedrooms where they were made, while others get five or even ten million views on YouTube. Many of us often ask why parody songs go viral. Here are 5 reasons why many people can’t get enough of them.

It’s A Catchy Song

Why would one song be parodied but not another? A catchy song is more likely to be parodied than a literary song off of a concept album. This explains why simplistic pop songs like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” are spawning more parody videos than any other song.

It Revolves Around What They Know

The beat and the title make LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” a prime target for parodies. Just have good writers, the beat, and fill in the blanks for “______ and I _____ It,” and you’ve got yourself a well-crafted parody. If it’s hilarious and goes viral, bonus points for you! Tell that to the PetersonFarmBros of Kansas, whose parody “I’m Farming and I Grow It” reflects the stereotypical life of a farmer to city folk in a peppy, humorous way. Other examples of how parodies go viral are the various incarnations of “S**t ______ Says.” Thank god no one makes those anymore.

You’ve Got a Celeb Backing It

What’s a better way of perpetuating a parody than to have a celebrity take a shot at it? So far, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” has been the subject of numerous send-ups with performances ranging from Jimmy Fallon to university baseball teams. Cookie Monster, of “Sesame Street,” has just been added to the list as the most recent character to take a hit at the catchy, number one pop single. When you’ve got celebrities having fun with a cheesy, catchy song, it’s infectious.

YouTube Has Opened Parodies To A Wider Audience

When you tried looking for parody songs or even cultural references of parodies pre-YouTube, you had two options: Weird Al Yankovic and Dr. Demento’s radio program. I couldn’t count the number of times I wished Weird Al would parody the latest Snoop Dogg song or Britney Spears single given the fact that he only released an album every 2 or 3 years. Now, with YouTube opening the opportunity for creators showcasing their talent at a lower cost, parodies have grown exponentially. The qualities of parodies range from crude web videos to carefully choreographed productions. This makes YouTube the great enabler of the parody genre.

Some YouTube Celebs Live Off Imitation

If you looked at the YouTube page of VenetianPrincess, you’ll see that many of her videos are parodies of hit singles. So far, it’s paid off for her, and she’s garnering nearly 900,000 subscribers and 380,210,200 views. She’s even gone so far as becoming at one time the world’s most subscribed female on YouTube, from February 2008 to August 2010. Whenever Rihanna or Lady Gaga drops their latest single, you can be sure that VenetianPrincess will milk it for what it’s worth.