5 Harry Potter Spoofs in Film and TV

Monday, March 12 by Gregory Wakeman

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JK Rowling's Harry Potter series is so ridiculously popular that there has been a host of parodies which have poked fun at Ron, Harry and Hermione and their various antics. This has ranged from sketch shows to mainstream comedies, with some being extremely successful and others failing miserably. To separate the good from the bad here is a list of five Harry Potter spoofs from film and television and don't forget that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

"Scary Movie 2"

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One of the most X-rated versions to look at the "Harry Potter" universe. The Wayans Brothers "scary" franchise showed Marlon Wayans' Shorty Meeks character reading "Harry Pothead" which also included a picture of Harry smoking a dubious cigarette on the cover. This, of course, eventually devolved into his being smoked by the trees themselves, in a decidedly un-Potter moment. Don't hold your breath for JK Rowling to take this idea and flesh it out, as she's looking to move on from her "Potter" stories.

"The Simpsons"

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As the greatest comedy show of the last 23 years "The Simpsons" has poked fun at every realm of pop culture and has abused "Harry Potter" on a number of occasions. But it is normally in a loving way with the best case coming in "The Haw-Hawed Couple" when Homer reads Lisa the Angelica Button book at bedtime even changing the death of Headmaster Greystash after he fears that his 8 year old daughter couldn't handle his demise.

"Clifford the Big Red Dog"

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As a children's show, Clifford normally focuses its narrative on stories which are child friendly, which of course Harry Potter is. Charley, the friend of Cliffords owner, becomes obsessed with Peter Poundstone and even attempts to create diorama using magic. Silly Charley, why doesn't he just show off the giant dog?

"Futurama"

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Al Gore was a recurring character on Matt Groening's follow up to "The Simpsons." His 1992 book Earth in the Balance addressed the need to examine current ecological issues and according to Futurama writers in the future he decides to cash in on the success of H.P by releasing "Harry Potter and the Balance of Earth." Which of course makes a substantial amount more money than his 1992 piece.

"Comic Relief"

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2003's UK fundraiser performed a spoof story entitled "Harry Potter and the Secret Chamberpot of Azerbaijan" that featured Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Miranda Richardson, Jeremy Irons, Alison Steadman and Ronnie Corbett, with the sketch being preceded by a message from JK Rowling. French and Richardson would later star in several of the real Harry Potter films. With so much star power, this spoof didn't see a whole lot of attention outside of the UK, but that's not to say it's not worth searching out.