January 12, 2007

Cut a hole in the box

On Dec. 16, SNL aired a funny-but-juvenile skit called "Dick In A Box" staring Justin Timberlake and SNL cast member Andy Samberg.

The problem, of course, is that no one watches SNL anymore.

But thanks to YouTube, the skit has been viewed over 11 million times.

A young woman from Philadelphia who calls herself "Bunny" has tried to one-up the Justin Timberlake performance with her own box-related ditty titled "My Box In A Box."

Bunny told me that Timberlake feels threatened by her version. She also said Donovan McNabb should remain the Eagles starting quarterback, no matter how well Jeff Garcia does. And she came up with a great idea for the USC Song Girls — they should make a video called "My Cans In A Can." Below is my full interview with Bunny:

Thanks for taking my questions, Bunny. If that is your real name. Which it isn't. Say, is your name Melissa Lamb?

That's my twin sister's name.

Justin Timberlake said he's not sure how he feels about your song. Do you think he feels threatened that people like your version better?

JT is very, very threatened. His sketch was OK but it was funnier the first time (when Mr. Show did it with 3 + 1 - 1) and the third time when I did it ;)

Do you think it was appropriate for Britney to show the world her box?

Yikes. No.

It must be nice to have your song played on the radio. And on YouTube. And on iPods. And cell phones. But how does that make you any money?

It's so cool people are listening to it! I heard today people are making ringtones out of it. And apparently they are playing it at college parties. But I'm making NO money on this thing. Thought I might make $ on Revver — but nobody really watched it there. And there's a tip jar on my site but it's been kind of empty lately. My Box is on eBay now.

What are you going to do with the money you make on this project?

Uh ... not really rolling in cash right now from this. But it's been fun. If I do make money, I'm going to shoot a new video! Of course!

What do you think you'll be doing in five years?

Yikes, I don't think that far in to the future. Trying to not get "boxed" in by a five-year plan.

What was your favorite box to open this past holiday season?

Well the Eagles win was fun.

If the Eagles beat the Saints on Saturday, do you think Jeff Garcia should become the permanent starter and not just a guy keeping Donovan McNabb's seat warm?

McNabb's our starter. The guy was on his way to league MVP when he got hurt. But it'd be great to hang onto Garcia next year.

Should the USC Song Girls put their butts in a box?

Hmmm, their cans in a can? Something tells me that might be a YouTube hit as well.


Tom said...

+1 Mr. Show love. I miss you, me.

AUalumna05 said...

Nice video, and the song is too funny. I'm going to have that song stuck in my head the rest of the day now.

manawar said...

No kidding; same here. I shouldn't have listened to it. It will drive me crazy by the end of the day!

Josh said...

If by "too funny," AUAlumna05 means "not funny at all," and "derivative," then, by all means: too funny.

It's so funny that it ceases to be funny before it begins. It runs out of funny. There is no funny residue remaining.

And she can't sing, either.

WFY said...

No boiling gnocchi questions?

Grand Marnier said...

Old Man Josh, why are you hating on "My Box in a Box"?

ed002d said...

Of course it was derivative -- it was a parody. And a good one, I thought. Surely, Josh, you appreciated the Rocky homage on the steps of the art museum.

Josh said...

Oh, please. The entire original joke is funny -- to the extent this it is -- because there's a certain humor to hearing "dick" in a love song. Forty-five times later, it loses the humor value, and barely retains any kitch.

I looked up "parody" at dictionary.com to see why this derivative, as opposed to clever. It's first definition answered the question for me:

"a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing" (emphasis added)

Making a parody of a parody is better defined as a "rip off." Would it have been clever if the song were titled, "Cock in a box"? "Penis in a box"? "Wang in a box"? Let me know when I come up with something original. "Shlong in a box." "Schmuck in a box." "Dick in a package." "Dick in a container." So how is it somehow clever when we substitute "cock" with "box," and tweak a lyric here or there?

ed002d said...

Just curious: What serious piece of literature or writing would you say "Dick in a Box" was a parody of?

The Ham said...

I can appreciate and understand Josh's point. The original "Dick in a Box" was clearly a parody of the hyper-earnest, faux-sentimental and overtly libidinous hip-hop treacle for which Usher/Omarion/insert other abdominally overexposed R&B artist here is widely known.

So "Box in a Box is indeed a parody of a parody. But if I may deconstruct it here, I don't think it is trying to derive its humor through imitation of the initial "dick" joke. It attempts to draw humor from (1) the slangy wordplay on the term "box" and (2) perhaps less intentionally, the low-budget but imaginative reproduction of the original glossy visual style.

I personally thought she executed those two elements well, though other "Dick in a Box"-type references fell a little flat. I was amused but not overwhelmingly so.

dl004d said...

Good point, Jason. "My Box In A Box" is a cute play on words in a way that Josh's examples ("Dick In A Container") are not.

Mike B. said...

I thought it was a parody of Let's Make a Deal?

Josh said...

Sort of gives an entirely new meaning to, "I'll take what in Box Number Three!"

LarryYehudah Roven said...

The truth of the matter is that "My Box in a Box" is a wonderful video irrespective of the reality that it was motivated by the "Dick in a Box" routine. The lyrics offered something at least wonderfully clever and just work in expressing a juicy, (no naughty references intended), concept with personal flavor and charisma. These 2 women have talent possessing genuineness with a hit of pzazz! I hope they continue working together in the future and wonder what they might come up with next.