So, as I was reviewing the many comments on my blog, the blogs of others and Twitter which have shown an amazing amount of support for Plagiarism Week ’09, it saddens me in a way that this week is coming to an end. Well, not exactly. Look, I’m having fun with this but we all know that I need to get back to regular blogging sometime soon. Cause yanno, putting together all of these different blogging styles and regular feature is time consuming as a hell, Which is going to make some of you out there pissy because I’m not getting to everyone’s blog and ultimately someone will feel left out. And I know that nobody would like *that* but it’s simply inevitable.
But I’m just going to roll with the punches if anyone gets upset by it… seriously. Nothing else I can do at this point, right? I’m doing this for fun and if someone doesn’t like the way I’ve gone about it, they can seriously suck my left tit.
Have we gotten that all out of the way? Everyone? Good. Moving right along…
I was thinking back to how I obtained such a passion for imitation and parody. Perhaps it was from when I would watch episodes of Saturday Night Live in the early 80s and was always so seriously in awe of the commercial parodies. Or the title screens for “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood” which were so dead on to the original. It was fifth grade when my friend Ethan introduced me to the music of “Weird Al” Yankovic that I was totally hooked. I mean, “Eat It” sounded almost exactly like, yanno, “Beat It.” Well, it was actually still quite a bit far off. But at least it seemed like he was making an effort to replicate the sound.
And I continued to watch SNL. I saw Dana Carvey perfect his George Bush impression. So much so that the real Bush would appear on SNL when Dana was hosting to riff with him. To me, that was the pinnacle of success: when the person you were imitating saw it as such a wonderful copy that he would laugh alongside you and everyone else.
I continued to be methodical about it. I was Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” in a high school skit, and I studied the tapes I had intensely to get the facial expressions and voice just right. I wanted to do it 100%. And since then, I’ve immitated logos and catch phrases for t-shirts for the youth group with which I volunteer. I suppose I just love imitation to that extent.
I think everyone does imitation. People copy. Let’s get real: *nobody* has a style of writing, talking, or being that he hasn’t gotten from somebody else, right? Whether it’s using a specific weekly blog meme that someone else has, or deciding to use a phrase originally heard from someone else, or pronnouncing the word “aluminium” differently because someone else already has and it sounded cool, there’s always that sense of derivation from someone else. I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of as long as you give credit where credit is due.
With that said, it’s time for…..
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU DO OR SAY OR WRITE
WHICH YOU’VE TAKEN FROM SOMEONE ELSE?
As embarrassing as this may sound, my snarky comedy style (and yes, I’m writing the word “snarky” as Shiny, not as Hilly) has a lot to do with Matthew Perry’s delivery on Friends as Chandler Bing. The ability to say something funny, to me, gets even funnier when you can say it cleverly enough while (a) keeping it on topic to the conversation at hand and (b) not cracking a smile when you deliver your line. Which is why I use facitiousness a lot in my delivery — so much, in fact, that I’ve had people wonder if my funny statement is serious or not. (But usually by people who simply don’t get comedy.) I also owe a lot to Dennis Miller’s school of obscure reference in similie — which I use quite a bit as well.
What about you? Whom have you stolen your style from? Has it worked?
Imitation Plastic Synthetic Kisses,