Sunday, June 9, 2013


It has been rare in the world of art for a painting to become some famous that it spawns parodies. DaVinci's Mona Lisa and Munch's The Scream have been parodied, but the one that seems to lend itself to parodies is Grant Wood's American Gothic. Maybe it is the subject matter of the farmer and his spinster daughter (Not his wife as many believe) that people find funny, which was what Wood wanted in the first place. This brings to mind the old question of "Can You Parody a Parody?" I wonder if possibly American Gothic is the most parodied and referenced painting in history.

I began thinking about this thanks to Pam at Go Retro. She posted this ad for Nabisco, on her Facebook sight, that featured an American Gothic couple. So, I decided to do a little research into this. If found some more than I needed, but two of my favorites are available for use. The Music Man number "Iowa Stubborn" and The Rocky Horror Picture Show number "Dammit Janet" feature chorus members dressed as the American Gothic duo. Unfortunately, these are unavailable on You Tube. However, You Tube does have the 60s commercials for General Mills Country Corn Flakes, both in black and white and color, as well as the opening to Green Acres. Also check out his great skit from Saturday Night Live about the painting of American Gothic.

Not long after American Gothic was first presented to the public, photographer Gordon Parks created this photo version. Here are a few others:

An 80s slasher movie staring two Hollywood legends.

This a ad for Viagra. Click to enlarge (Pardon the pun) for the full effect.

The Simple Life ad reminded me of something. On the original Desdinova blog, I made jokes about how I was going to marry Paris Hilton. Apparently this would upset a former radio personality, here in Springfield, that was one of my favorite targets.  According to a person, who worked in the same building, he especially got upset when I said that he should go to jail instead of Paris Hilton. Rumor has it he cried. Really? A grown man cried over THAT! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Like I said, I only touch the surface of this subject. If you Google "American Gothic parodies," you find whole blog dedicated to the subject.  

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