is a parody
of oneself or one's own work. As an artist accomplishes it by imitating his or her own characteristics, a self-parody is potentially difficult to distinguish from especially characteristic productions (exempli gratia
: a situation in which a litterateur
's mannerisms are typically ponderous, sesquipedalian
, and Latinizing).
Sometimes critics use the word figuratively to mean the artist's style and preoccupations appear as strongly (and perhaps as ineptly) in some work as they would in a parody. Such works may result from habit, self-indulgence, or an effort to please an audience by providing something familiar. Ernest Hemingway has frequently been a target for such comments. An example from Paul Johnson's book Intellectuals:
- Some [of Hemingway's later writing] was published nonetheless, and was seen to be inferior, even a parody of his earlier work. There were one or two exceptions, notably The Old Man and the Sea, though there was an element of self-parody in that too.
Political polemicists use the term similarly, as in this headline of a 2004 blog posting. "We Would Satirize Their Debate And Post-Debate Coverage, But They Are So Absurd At This Point They Are Their Own Self-Parody".
Examples of self-parody
The following are deliberate self-parodies or are at least often considered to be so:
- Chaucer's "Tale of Sir Topas" in The Canterbury Tales shows "Geoffrey Chaucer" as a timid writer of doggerel. It has been argued that the tale parodies, among other romances, Chaucer's own Troilus and Criseyde.
- "Nephelidia", a poem by A. C. Swinburne.
- "Municipal", a poem by Rudyard Kipling.
- "L'Art" and "To Hulme (T. E.) and Fitzgerald (A Certain)", poems by Ezra Pound.
- "Afternoon of a Cow", a short story by William Faulkner.
- Pale Fire, a novel by Vladimir Nabokov in the form of a long, pedantic, self-centered commentary on a much shorter poem. It may parody his commentary on his translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin; the commentary was highly detailed and much longer than the poem.
- "Errantry", a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien that parodies his "Eärendil was a Mariner".
- The song "Chicken in Black", by Johnny Cash, parodies his persona as "the Man in Black". The accompanying video shows Cash robbing a bank dressed as a chicken.
- Several actors in Airplane!
- In the film The Running Man, the actor Richard Dawson parodied his performances as the host of the game show Family Feud.
- The later James Bond films have often been called self-parodies.
- In the film The Cannonball Run, Roger Moore plays a dentist, Dr. Seymour Goldfarb, Jr., who believes himself to be Moore in the James Bond role.
- Neko Majin Z, a manga by Akira Toriyama, parodies his successful manga Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z.
- Konami's Parodius series of video games, a parody of Gradius, features many characters from the company's many various series. Parodius is the only series that parodies the other games made by the same company; other companies have made games that parody themselves, but have not dedicated a full-fledged series to self-parody.
- Hideo Kojima often parodies his own works in the Metal Gear series of video games. The minor character Major Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was a parody of Raiden, the protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The characters Solid Snake and Raiden were also parodied in an early E3 2005 promotional trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. A sequel to this parody entitled Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser was shown at TGS 2005.
- The television actress and hostess Kelly Ripa has parodied her own work and public image on TV comedies.
- Many comedians, like Drew Carey, Jerry Seinfeld and Ray Romano, have parodied their own personalities and stand-up material on successful sitcoms.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger engaged in 130 minutes of intentional self-parody in the movie Last Action Hero, where he steps off-screen into the Real World. (In the Movie World, he notices a standee touting Sylvester Stallone starring in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.)
- Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents and Analyze This.
- Ricky Gervais in Extras.
- Julia Roberts in Ocean's Twelve: her character Tess Ocean unsuccessfully impersonates Julia Roberts.
- Adam West has often parodied his work from the old Batman TV series, including his role as Mayor Adam West of Quahog, Rhode Island, in the FOX television show Family Guy.
- William Shatner and his rendition of Rocket Man at the 1978 Sci-Fi Film Awards.
- The Stargate SG-1 episodes Wormhole X-Treme! and 200 were largely self-parodies filled with in-jokes that celebrated the show's 100th and 200th episodes, respectively.
- David Hasselhoff in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
- Alan Menken's song, "That's How You Know" from Enchanted is a self-parody of songs such as "Be our Guest" and "Under the Sea"
- A series of Geico car-insurance commercials involve testimonials from customers while celebrities re-iterate the stories their own way. Don LaFontaine presents the story as he would voice a movie trailer, and Joan Rivers periodically comments that she can't feel her face.
- Samuel L. Jackson in Snakes on a Plane blatantly showcases the attributes he is known for portraying, especially his use of profanity.
- Neil Patrick Harris parodies himself in the Harold & Kumar series of comedy films. His persona in the films is that of a partying womanizer. However, he came out as being gay prior to the release of Harold & Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay.
- Creed Bratton parodies himself on the NBC sitcom The Office.
- Paul Johnson, Intellectuals (1988), ISBN 0-297-79395-0
- Nancy Mason Bradbury, Writing Aloud: Storytelling in Late Medieval England (1998), ISBN 0-252-02403-6