I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug yesterday, so it was the perfect time to read a parody of the book and movie. The Harvard Lampoon's parody, The Wobbit, is exactly what you would expect, clever, a little crude, and a poke in the eye at fantasy and pop culture. It won't be for everyone, but it is quite clever.
Aaron Sorkinshield and his gang of Little People set out to recapture the Academy Awards that were stolen from them by Puff, the lonely Magic Dragon. Dumbledalf, a senile wizard who seems to be in the wrong story since he talks about Hairy, wands, and leaves a lightning bolt mark on a door, finds Billy Bagboy, a wobbit, to accompany the Little People on their quest. (Did you know "wobbits wobble but don't fall down"?)
Although the journey and adventures in The Wobbit remain faithful to the book, the characters met along the way do not. There are Internet trolls who cause problems with Google, YouTube, and searches. There's the Elvisking who lives in a castle known as Graceland, and croons songs such as "You Ain't Nothin' but a Half-Elf." Richard Nixon is a character with a famous V trademark. But, my favorite part of the adventure is the Elf Cult of Celebritology, housed in Livinwell.
Ah, Celebritology, the ancient two-month-old religion founded by the Master of the Old Phony House, L.Ron. Billy and the Little People were star-struck when they met two of the most famous members of the Elf Cult of Celebritology. John Travoltwhros piloted a secret spaceship. And, then Tom Cruiseneanor "slid onto the scene in a dress shirt and tighty-whities, having just finished rubbing his naked body on an ottoman for three hours."
The Wobbit, as I said, can be a little crude and raunchy. At the same time, it has funny sections, such as the part about Celebritology. The Harvard Lampoon staff doesn't hesitate to poke fun at fantasy, television, books, and politics. They manage to attack everything from Downton Abbey to diets to fans of Joss Whedon while remaining true to the plot of The Hobbit. In other words, they succeeded brilliantly in insulting everyone, just what a parody sets out to do.
The Harvard Lampoon website is www.harvardlampoon.com
The Wobbit by The Harvard Lampoon. Simon & Schuster. 2013. ISBN 9781476763675 (paperback), 151p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.