Masterpiece Theatre - Parodies


  • A series of film, theatre, and television show parodies were shown on Sesame Street as "Monsterpiece Theater", hosted by Alistair Cookie (an alter ego of Cookie Monster) in reference to Alistair Cooke. The theme music for Monsterpiece Theater (composed by Sam Pottle) was similar to the theme composed by Mouret.
  • On the 1976 Captain and Tennille TV variety show, a weekly parody sketch spoof of “Masterpiece” was featured called "Masterjoke Theatre" with a different celebrity guest each week playing the host Allistar Banister who before each part of the "Masterpiece" story put on a Groucho Marx-style glasses with mustache disguise.
  • On Saturday Night Live, Dan Aykroyd, playing the high-bred but low-brow Leonard Pinth-Garnell, hosted "Bad Theatre", in which horrible, pseudo-intellectual skits were presented.
  • Disney Channel had a show titled "Mousterpiece Theater" hosted by George Plimpton featuring classic Disney cartoons.
  • During the first two seasons of the NBC comedy Mama's Family, Harvey Korman appeared at the beginning of each episode as Alistair Quince, who would soberly introduce the program in the style of Masterpiece Theatre. These monologues were cut out of the later syndicated reruns and the subsequent DVD release of the first season.
  • On In Living Color during Season 5 a sketch called "Parody of Masterpiece" aired in which Jamie Foxx and David Alan Grier recited the lyrics of popular gangster rap songs of the early 1990s by artist such as Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. Cast member Marc Wilmore was the host imitating James Earl Jones
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Storyteller" opened with the character of Andrew Wells introducing the episode in the style of Masterpiece Theatre.
  • In the film Heartburn (1986), Rachel (played by Meryl Streep), at two points in the story, is watching a Masterpiece Theatre style program, wherein she imagines that the Alistair Cooke-esque host (played by John Wood) is narrating the story of her own life.
  • Tracey Ullman's television special Tracey Ullman: A Class Act (1992) starts out with the famous opening fanfare from the series and a set made up to look like Masterpiece's with Tracey Ullman "standing in for Alistair Cooke."
  • The sitcom My Name Is Earl had an alternative reality themed episode called "Bad Karma" in which Jason Lee (Earl) introduces the episode in a set made to look like that of Masterpiece Theatre. While there Lee shows the viewers that he really is on a set and not in a real room. This is on the Season 1 DVD as a Bonus Feature.
  • The South Park episode Pip is based on Great Expectations. The episode is hosted by Malcolm McDowell a la Alistair Cooke.

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Famous quotes containing the word parodies:

    The parody is the last refuge of the frustrated writer. Parodies are what you write when you are associate editor of the Harvard Lampoon. The greater the work of literature, the easier the parody. The step up from writing parodies is writing on the wall above the urinal.
    Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961)