Political Parody As a Weapon Part LIX

Political Parody As a Weapon Part LIX; Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. Previously, in Part LVIII, Joe Biden’s achievements as The Worst President in the World were listed. Today, there will be some punching down at an oversized target.

On the second Tuesday in January of 1974, television viewers were treated to a midseason replacement situation comedy set in the 1950s that featured two teenage boys fumbling to undo the hooks of a brassiere on the rest room radiator in a drive-in restaurant. Thus started the run of the half hour situation comedy “Happy Days”, which ran for 11 seasons on ABC and created numerous spinoffs both successful (Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley) and less so (e.g. Joanie Loves Chachi, Blansky’s Beauties), and was itself a spinoff form a vignette from the “Love, American Style” series (entitled originally “Love & the Television Set”, later syndicated as “Love & the Happy Days”).

The first two seasons of the series found each episode opening with a jukebox playing Bill Haley & the Comets and their hit “Rock Around the Clock”, and featured the Eisenhower Administration coming of age experiences of teenagers Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard, who even then was a Hollywood veteran) and Potsie Weber (Anton Williams). One of the minor characters was a duck-tailed motorcycle-riding high school dropout mechanic named Arthur Fonzarelli who went by the nickname “Fonzie”, and as the ratings faltered in Season Two, producer Garry Marshall retooled the series to put him in a leather jacket and made him the star, creating a cultural icon (while also giving up the expression “jumped the shark”).

As the 1970s was a decade of great turmoil in the world and in the US, there was a great deal of nostalgia for earlier and seemingly simpler times, and the 1950s setting of “Happy Days” in the first two seasons allowed for each episode to highlight music from the early days of rock & roll music as well as other popular music of the era. Episode 10 of the first season featured Richie and Potsie along with buddy Ralph Malph in a rock band hired to play a frat house gig even though they could only play two songs- “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley and “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin. It is on this latter hit that today’s song parody shall focus.

Bobby Darin was a successful songwriter when he shared the publishing credit on Splish Splash with rock & roll disc jockey Murray the K, as it was written when he wanted to be a rock star. After this and “Queen of the Hop” were rock & roll hits, though, Bobby Darin decided he would rather appeal to another audience, and decided he would try to be a crooner like Frank Sinatra, and started to imitate his style with hits like “Mack the Knife”, “Beyond the Sea” and “Artificial Flowers”. While he enjoyed commercial success in this and other endeavors, he was denied the longevity of the career when he died of heart complications at age 37.

Starting out in one place and then deciding to go in a very different direction came to my mind as I watched the disastrous Pennsylvania senatorial debate on Tuesday. Without focusing on John Fetterman’s obvious mental and physical limitations as a result of his stroke in May of 2022 (and Gisele Fetterman has earned her spot next to Jill Biden in hell for allowing and enabling this abuse of her cognitively impaired spouse) , the highlight of the fiasco for the democrat was watching the extreme left wing panderer and fraud try to deny his previous opposition to fracking in Pennsylvania, characterized in many media outlets as a flip flop.

Given this massive reversal on a previously announced energy policy and the tendency of history to repeat itself (e.g. immediately before the debut of “Happy Days” in January of 1974, OPEC throttled the US oil supply with its embargo), as we once again are all shook up, it seems appropriate to borrow the song that Richie, Potsie and Ralph could perform (as well as Bobby Darin) to memorialize John Fetterman’s debate performance:

Flip, Flop on the Senate debate
On a late October Tuesday night, yeah
In the tank, just like money in the bank
Thinking everything was alright

Well, he stepped out the stage, put his eyes on the screen
But Doc Oz and the moderators treated him mean

and then
A-Flip Flop, he wanted them to stop
Well how was he to know there was a question they would ask

They was a question about fracking, and prior interview attacking
Utter and a stutter, lying and denying, yeah

Good night, he started it right
Opened up attacking Doc Oz
Chop chop, as each word he’d drop
About abortion as his number one cause

There was inflation and his record on crime
And how he chased a black man with a shotgun one time
A-well-a, flip flop, because now he wants to frack
or is he putting P A voters on, yeah

He was backtracking on fracking, not passing on the gassing
Reversing and a-cursing, flipping and a-flopping, yeah

Yes, he was a- flipping and a-flopping
He was a-lying and denying
Yeah, he was a-fighting by gaslighting, whoo
He was rearranging and a-changing, ha
He was backtracking on fracking, not passing on the gassing
Flip, flop yeah

Yeah, flipping and a-flopping (One time)
He was a- flipping and a-flopping (Whoo, whee)
He now didn’t favor stopping
Yeah, he was a- flipping and a-flopping

#Parody #Ridicule #Alinsky #Biden

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