Cutthroat competition! Dramatic backstories! Tight-fitting costumes!
The ingredients that make the Olympics a global sports leviathan also make it an irresistible mark for satirists. The games and the media's coverage of them have been an endless source of material for generations of comedians, from Monty Python and "Saturday Night Live" to "South Park" and "The Simpsons." You could argue that the best spoofs are as much a part of our memories as the Olympics themselves. Here's a survey of some of our favorites.
1. "I’m Not That Strong A Swimmer"
Widely regarded as one of the best "SNL" sketches ever, this clip features Martin Short and Harry Shearer as brothers who hope to break in to the sport of men’s synchronized swimming. This skit, also featuring Christopher Guest as the brothers' pink-sweatshirt-wearing choreographer, launched a series of Guest mockumentaries including “Waiting for Guffman” and “Best in Show.”
2. Little Chocolate Donuts
This "SNL" sendup of the Bruce Jenner Wheaties ad opens with an image of John Belushi dressed in an undersized track outfit. He goes on to clear seven feet in the high jump and out-hustle a field of sprinters, then credits a steady diet of “the donuts of champions.”
3. Silly Olympics
The race for Runners with No Sense of Direction. The Marathon for Those with Extremely Weak Bladders. The Steeple Chase for People Who Think They’re Chickens. A Monty Python classic.
4. "The Simpsons" Go To Vancouver
Homer discovers the glory of curling, and recruits Marge as his partner. He calls it the perfect sport. “It’s got bowling for me and sweeping for you!”
5. Cartman’s Olympic Nightmare
On the eve of the Beijing Games, "South Park's" Cartman dreams about the opening ceremonies, and the Chinese taking over the world.
6. The "Laff-A-Lympics"
Heavens to hilarity! Or not. The Laff-A-Lympics wasn’t the funniest OIympic parody, but this Saturday morning cartoon sendup featuring some of Hanna-Barbera’s most popular characters remains an indelible memory for many children of the 1970s.
7. "Blades of Glory"
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder play rival figure skaters who are banned from singles competition, then set aside their feud to team up as a same-sex doubles pairing.
8. Space Olympics
Andy Samberg sings the theme song for the star-crossed 3022 Space Olympics. “Brace yourself ‘cause there’s no gravity!”
9. "An Improbable Story Fraught With Adversity"
"Daily Show" correspondent Rob Riggle roasts the Olympic profile with a cliché-ridden "story of hardship, struggle and, finally, triumph” -- about himself.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Chasing the Dragon - Profile of Rob Riggle|
10. "Twenty Twelve"
A BBC comedy that follows the team tasked with making the 2012 London Games happen. The mockumentary doesn’t start airing in America until later this month, but it looks hilarious.