It's been almost 30 years since E.T. and his uncomfortably shaped finger ruled movie screens. But Paul, opening this weekend Stateside, is full of little E.T. jokes, most of them featured in the film's trailer.
There's just something about the little guy that makes you want to poke fun at him, whether it's his childlike optimism or his habit of getting drunk and playing dress-up. In honor of Paul, here are the 10 weirdest or funniest E.T. spoofs of all time.
Top image via Ted Rheingold on Flickr.
10. Saturday Night Live, "Alienses"
This one sort of falls under the category of "weirdest" rather than "funniest," but we sort of like it. Sigourney Weaver appeared on Saturday Night Live around the time Aliens was coming out, and she did an off-kilter Aliens spoof in which Ripley's crew of space marines shoots E.T. by mistake. Most of the amusement value in this skit comes from how gung-ho Weaver is to mock her new movie... and the fact that the E.T. they shoot is so clearly a cheap rubber model.
9. The Critic
The gone-too-soon cartoon about a drunken movie critic gave us this absolutely brilliant spoof called D.T.: The Drunken Terrestrial, in which the alien gets sloppily affectionate and burps up live cats. Awesome.
8. The Simpsons, "A Star is Burns."
The Simpsons has referenced or spoofed E.T. numerous times, but the funniest/oddest might be Mr. Burns' short film, in which he recreates the scene where E.T. reconnects with his spaceship — except that Mr. Burns is in the place of E.T.
7. Animaniacs, "Hooked on a Ceiling."
This Spielberg-produced show featured tons of weird E.T. references and nods. In particular, in this episode, Yakko, Wakko and Dot have to repaint the Sistine Chapel after they accidentally (sort of) whitewash over it. They mock tons of pop culture icons, before ending up with a version of Michelangelo's creation with Elliot and E.T. in place of Adam and God.
6. The Dukes of Hazzard, "Strange Visitor to Hazzard."
You could view this episode of the Dukes of Hazzard as either a spoof or an homage, I guess. The Dukes meet a diminutive alien who just wants to go home, and who has a hard time communicating. Of course, this being the Dukes of Hazzard, the solution to getting him home involves lots of car chases and brushes with Boss Hogg and stuff. Here's the end of the episode, where the little guy finally gets back to his ship.
5. Mad Magazine, "Q.T.: The Quasi-Terrestrial."
This is another one that might come under "weirdest." Mad Magazine's parodies are usually fairly tasteful — but this one takes the scene where E.T. gets drunk and Elliott feels it at school to, er, the next level. It's actually somewhat disturbing, so be warned. Also, at the end of the strip, it turns out that Q.T. is actually a sequel to Close Encounters of the Turd Kind, and it turns out Richard Dreyfuss has been subjected to abominable experiments for the past five years.
4. ET-X trailer
This spoofy trailer for a fake E.T. sequel is pretty amazing. E.T.'s people come back to Earth — but this time they're here for conquest. What really makes it is the scenes of the E.T. guys incinerating everybody with their glowing fingers.
3. Untitled E.T. Porn
I guess this is a spoof in the way that all porno versions of mainstream stuff are automatically parodies. And also, the idea of E.T. having sex with Abraham Lincoln is sort of intrinsically funny/horrible. You can watch a censored-but-still-NSFW clip of this video here, but be warned: It may put you off the idea of sex for the rest of your life.
2. Badi: Turkish E.T.
Long before anybody made "Sweded" versions of films, there were "Turkish" versions, except that these were mostly made by actual Turkish people, as far as we know. Possibly the most insane is Badi, the Turkish version of E.T. It's pretty much entirely played for laughs, with Badi checking out porn (in the clip above) and also following the kids to school, where their teacher drops dead of shock. Adults' reactions to Badi often involve a lot of Vaudeville running in and out of doors and bugged-out eyes. A lengthy review is here.
1. Robot Chicken.
Seth Green and Matthew Senreich's stop motion parody show has poked fun at E.T. a couple of times, but our favorite is probably this way-too-mean skit about what happens when E.T. finally gets home — and it turns out that he's not all that popular with the homies.
Additional reporting by Michael Ann Dobbs.