We thought the day would never come, but, now that it has, I feel oddly... serene. Yes, after about a gazillion (read: 14) seasons, it has been announced that American Ido l will end after Season 15 in 2016. Though, in my opinion, that cancellation is LONG overdue — I'm thrilled I don't have to hear those opening chords for another 15 years as my mom watches downstairs — the show has undoubtedly left behind a hell of a legacy. And much of that legacy will live on in a multitude of parodies.
That's right. The series has permeated pop culture so deeply that television and film is filled with plenty of American Idol parodies. Many of these were especially in the zenith of the American Idol days, circa Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. With both memorably bad auditions made up of delusions of stardom and those easily imitated judges, Saturday Night Live and similar sketch shows were on top of the mockery. And it didn't stop there.
So as we approach the end of an era, of both American Idol and its parodies, let's reflect on some of the good times. Here's a handful of American Idol parodies that you may have forgotten about.
Saturday Night Live Takes on Mary Roach
People were quick to poke fun at the 2005 audition of Miss Roach, then 18 years old. If you've already long forgotten about her, don't worry, this SNL parody with Maya Rudolph features a side-by-side comparison. There's a plot twist, though: Roach is an aspiring comedian, and her warbling voice and wonky moves were very, very intentional. Joke's on them... I guess.
Saturday Night Live Takes on William Hung
An easy joke, but an inevitable one. Here, a young Jimmy Fallon shows America what a REAL Idol audition looks like. It is, um, painfully familiar.
MAD TV Critiques the Stars
Michael McDonald as Cowell is hilar, but that's merely a footnote on the sketch about "has-been" musicians trying out in some kind of celebrity American Idol, all to the tune of "99 Red Balloons." Just to give you an idea about how old this show is, it sadly features both Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, who have both long since passed.
Impressively enough, Courtney Love is still around.
Family Guy Has Stewie's Big Audition
Family Guy has stuffed in more than a few Idol references during its run, jam packing them into several little cut scenes. This one's great though, with Stewie having a particularly rough audition, and Cowell barring no barbs during his assessment. Sure enough, Stewie does not react well to this.
The Simpsons Make Strong Ties with Idol
There was an entire Simpsons episode in which Cowell takes in Moe as his protege, but this short was actually aired during an episode of Idol. In it, the Simpsons feed Cowell to the lions... literally.
American Dreamz mocks the American Idol Phenomenon
Less direct but still important, the film was a satire of the show AND politics and, suffice to say, it didn't do really great in theaters. Look close and you'll see little parodies of Cowell and OG Idol Kelly Clarkson.
The Cast of Drawn Together Competes
All I can say is that it's NSFW.