10. Bo Burnham
US satirical singer-songwriter I first heard of back in '08 with I'm Bo Yo. My fave is a song from the perspective of God for lines like 'who needs a thousand metaphors to figure out you shouldn't be a dick?' and 'No one entertains the thought that maybe God does not believe in you'. Deep, huh?
09. Lenny Henry
Lenny Henry's been a household name in the UK since the late 70s, when he was hosting popular Saturday morning kids' TV show Tiswas (short for the less catchy 'Today is Saturday, Watch and Smile'). He has done some funny spoofs over the years like 50 Cent, Beyonce, and Michael Jackson. And, being squeaky clean and on the Beeb, chances are you can even play them in front of your Gran without raising too many eyebrows. My favourite is this send up of Snoop Dogg:
08. The Lancashire Hotpots
UK comedy folk band with songs like I Fear Ikea - 'it's a good ten mile walk if you just want a shelf. Hang on, you want me to go in warehouse and pick it meself?', I'm Going To Poundland, - and the cheery hit You Could Get Hit By A Bus Tomorrow. My fave is Ebay 'Eck. :)
07. Goldie Lookin' Chain
The GLC are local boys, and the majority of their songs probably only really appeal to local people. But, they did score a number three hit back in 2004 with Guns Don't Kill People, Rappers Do. Other songs deal with the realities of life in South Wales, like, At The Job Centre - 'some people been going there for ages, their file's like the bible but it's got more pages' - and Nan Rita - 'she thinks she's got teeth in but she's forgotten, she thinks she's Britney Spears but looks like Dot Cotton'. One of the main members, Rhys Hutchings, is now a Labour councillor in Newport (the next town over), so we now have more than accents in common. Check out this rap summary of controversial fly on the wall reality show, Newport Bouncers.
06. Kevin Bishop
Apparently he's in an American comedy show these days (Super Fun Night?) but I don't watch much US TV so I don't know what it's like. His Channel 4 stuff like The Kevin Bishop Show and Star Stories is some of favourite pick me up TV though. Spoof songs weren't a major part of his sketch show, but there were still plenty of music related shenanigans. Like Fred West Side Story - brought to the stage 'by a lapse of judgement which could only happen in London's West End' (Fred West is one of the UK's most notorious serial killers) - and British Secondary School Musical. I also recommend the Daily Mail DVD skits, in addition to this pimped out 'yoof' version of Songs of Praise.
05. Dr Syntax
Okay, so Dr Syntax isn't a comedian exactly. He's actually a pretty well known figure on the underground UK hip-hop scene. But he also writes lyrics with the most cutting social commentary and amusing wordplay. Particularly on tracks like Subcultures, Subcultures Part II - 'I started chilling with some hippie types, in an eco village that's a little like a building site. I found out they're all posh kids in disguise, and all stay with Mummy back in Surrey when it's Christmas time' - and Hire Me - 'I went to uni twice but that's irrelevant, did it for the hell of it, middle class decadence'. Check out My House - it's funny 'cos it's true.
04. Lonely Island
US institution with huge hits like YOLO, and songs that deserved to be huge hits like Jack Sparrow (ft. Michael Bolton). Their funniest track, to my mind, is Mother Lover. The line 'they will be so surprised, we are so cool and thoughtful' gets me every time.
03. Katy Brand
UK comedienne who featured spoof songs as a regular part of her ITV vehicle, Katy Brand's Big Ass Show. There were loads of good ones, from Adele to Lady Gaga, to The Saturdays to Miley Cyrus. My favourites are her takes on Kanye West - 'the language I'm speaking to you in, English, was invented by me as a baby along with all the other languages, religions, and all that scientific stuff' - and Coldplay - 'when I sing this song, you know it's earnest, dull and long ... still I sing this song as the band plays blandly on, but I'm singing it from the heart like I'm a serious bloke and this is serious art'. Just pipping them to the post is a UK version of Usher's 'Love In This Club'.
02. Weird Al Yankovic
No list of spoof song artists would be complete without Weird Al, who I don't think needs any introduction. My faves include Handy, First World Problems - 'tried to fast forward commercials, can't I'm watching live TV ... my house is so big I can't get Wi-Fi in the kitchen' - and White and Nerdy. Video embedding position goes to Amish Paradise -
01. Epic Rap Battles of History
I was a latecomer to these but I absolutely love this series created by Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Aahiquist. They basically pit two well known historical figures - or else equally well known celebrities - against each other and ask the audience to determine which character won the rap battle. I'm always re-listening to Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates, Rasputin vs. Stalin, Hitler vs. Darth Vader - 'You can't rap against the dark side of the force, why even bother? So many dudes been with your mom, who even knows if I'm your father?' - and Adam vs. Eve: 'ditch the fig leaf, get yourself a pine needle' vs. 'I wasn't listening, are you still flapping those lips? I was just thinking, yo, did I give up a rib for this?' My all time favourite is Elvis vs. Michael Jackson, it even follows them over their careers.