Hey, Gurl! I Love Randy Rainbow
It's hard for me to put emotions into words, so when I try to express my appreciation and admiration for Randy Rainbow, well . . . my tongue gets all tangled up.
Suffice it say, his YouTube videos make me laugh, especially through the tough times.
Randy's "Coronavirus Lament"
A satirist who primarily expresses himself through song parodies, Randy writes, produces, and performs the videos he publishes through YouTube.
His website, www.randyrainbow.com, touts him as an "American comedian, actor, singer, writer and satirist best known for his popular series of musical parodies and political spoofs, which have garnered him international acclaim."
And it's true. Randy Rainbow is an international internet sensation with over one million followers on Facebook and, as of this writing, over 407,000 followers on YouTube. His musical video parodies are so good, in fact, they earned him a 2019 Emmy nomination.
Recognition for Randy
In 2019 Randy Rainbow received an Emmy nomination in the "Short Form Variety Series" category.
Some of the best Randy videos from the nomination period include
- "He's in Love and We're All Gonna Die," which spoofs Trump's admiration of brutal dictators like Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin.
- "A Very Stable Genius," a parody of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Very Model of Modern Major General," pokes fun at Trump's 2018 self-styling on Twitter: "not smart, but genius .... and a very stable genius at that!”
- And in "Those Were the Good Old Days," Randy longs for a time when scandals were less frightening and less overwhelmingly frequent: "manageable scandal/ the kind that I could handle/ without a lot of vodka and a Xanax haze." I feel that, gurl.
Before Trump's presidential campaign and presidency, Randy's YouTube videos mostly poked fun at celebrities like Mel Gibson, Kirk Cameron, and the Kardashians.
Sometimes he roasted figures in the political world: Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Anthony Weiner, to name a few.
In the video below, for example, Randy pretends to date Weiner, the former New York congressman infamous for his sexting scandals.
It's classic Randy— laugh-out-loud funny and a little touching, too, as despite Weiner's sexts (all but one tastefully blurred) and tone-deaf dialogue (all from real Weiner interviews), Randy persists in thinking he's found True Love.
Randy at His Best
As the rise of Trump has made the world scarier, Randy's videos have evolved, too, from skits like "Mitt Romney, Kiss Me! " and "Randy Rainbow Works at Chik-fil-a" into satirical song parodies aimed at some of the most disturbing events in U.S. history.
Whether the topic is Trump's mental health, impeachment, or the COVID-19 pandemic, Randy addresses each serious matter with insightful wit and exceptional musical talent.
In each video, he invariably plays the same character: an idealistic, slightly vain gay man who is both likeable (make that lovable) and sympathetic.
For instance, in "Trump's Favorite Things" (a parody of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music), Randy tries to lift the President's spirits during the Mueller investigation.
"When anything bothers me or my entire family's about to be charged with treason, I try to think of nice things," Randy tells Trump. "I mean, there are so many things that make you happy." And then he rattles off a hilarious list.
Most are jabs at Trump's personal tastes: "big fake tits . . . five dollar spray tans with undereye rings . . . giant hamburgers with extra covfefe."
Most of the items on Randy's list are jabs at Trump's personal tastes: "big fake tits . . . five dollar spray tans with under-eye rings . . . giant hamburgers with extra covfefe . . . big fat-ass buckets of fried chicken wings."
Other of Trump's "favorite things" reflect how unqualified and ill-suited he is to be President of the United States of America: "destroying the First Amendment . . . white nationalists . . . tyrants and traitors and climate deniers . . . siding with Saudi Arabian kings . . . KGB play dates and absolute power."
It's a humorous mix that evokes laughter without downplaying Trump's alarming behavior, in other words, stellar satire that somehow makes my heart a little lighter even as Trump and his cronies shake the framework that keeps our democracy from tumbling down.
Randy Cheers Up Trump During the Mueller Investigation
Some of Randy's satirical videos are straight-up song parodies comparable to a music video. The song starts when the video does and continues uninterrupted until the end.
A majority of his work (some of his best), however, are song parodies framed by, and sometimes interrupted by, actual news clips into which Randy seamlessly edits himself as a media personality or reporter.
One of the best of these is a 2018 parody of the song "Be Our Guest" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Titled "Just Be Best," the video responds specifically to two uncomfortable fails by the First Lady: 1) her Be Best campaign, which she plagiarized from Michelle Obama and 2) her visit to a detention center on the U.S.-Mexican border wearing the infamous I Really Don't Care, Do U? jacket.
As Randy offers Melania advice on how to cope with being "the most bullied person in the world," he also pokes fun at the Trump administration in general, its hypocrisy, arrogance, self-centeredness, divisiveness, and just plain awfulness when it comes to treating others with respect.
Another trademark of Randy's is his pink cat-eye sunglasses with rhinestones. At some point in his videos, he invariably puts them on, often to read an interview question. (There's a drinking game there somewhere.) And he almost always wears them when he's in the guise of one of his own backup singers.
Fans can buy their own pair from Randy's official site, which has Randy's signature glasses as its logo. They are practically de rigueur for audience members at his live shows.
Humorous Post-Video Voice Over
Another trademark? The post-video voice over. At the end of each musical parody, just when you think it's over, Randy's voice sounds along with his interview subject's. At the end of "The Coronavirus Lament," for instance, Trump's voice saying, "You'll be fine" can be heard followed by Randy's, "Gurl, get tested!" At the end of "Be Best," Melania's voice chirps, "Be best!" Randy replies, "That's enough, sweetie."
Gurl, Bish, Sweetie
Randy's terms for the big names he satirizes go a long way toward taking them down a peg, just as his pink glasses poke a hole in his own gravitas.
He often calls the President gurl and sweetie, sometimes bish, and occasionally Donald Jessica Trump. In "Be Best," Randy calls Melania "the First Lady of the United States of America (if you don't count Mike Pence)," and in "Social Distancing," Pence is referred to as dance captain of the coronavirus taskforce.
I'm smiling just writing this. The videos are even better.
What makes Randy so popular?
Why is Randy so popular? For me, it's primarily down to three reasons:
1) While he's satirizing others, he never forgets to poke fun at himself.
During his faux interviews, Randy invariably puts on his pink cat-eye glasses, masterfully deflating his character's sense of self-importance. Likewise, he pretends not to know the meaning of words or deliberately mispronounces them to fit rhymes.
He also takes digs at his own singing and himself in general. In "Stand By Your Man," his voice humorously shifts to falsetto to avoid the low notes. In "Andy," he calls himself a "Cuomosexual" for developing a crush on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo because of his inspiring daily press briefings.
Stand by Your Man
2) He's got talent.
Randy writes his own scripts and song lyrics, and is a master of comic timing, videoediting, and the humorous rhyme. This is particularly apparant in brilliant scripts like "Be Best," "Cheeto Christ Stupid Czar," and "A Very Stable Genius."
He's also a phenomenal singer, and performs all parts, including backups, for his song parodies.
3) Underneath the sight gags, the zingers, and the comic rhymes is Truth with a capital T.
As with all good satire, Randy's video parodies poke fun at human nature by unmasking our foibles. The intended effect is salutary.
Although Trump is often Randy's target, no one is safe, including himself and the viewer.
Randy on Social Distancing
In the recent musical video "Social Distance," for example, Randy mocks himself and those who complain about quarantining during the COVID-19 pandemic by facetiously likening staying at home watching Disney Plus and online shopping to sacrificing for one's country like, say, a Vietnam veteran. "There are lives to save," he sings, "so I must be brave/ I'll defeat the enemy by bingeing This Is Us."
Look for the Rainbow
Fans can access Randy's work through Facebook and his YouTube channel, as well as through other social media platforms like Twitter.
They can also download MP3s of his work on Amazon, including the album Hey, Gurl! It's Christmas and individual songs like "An Old-Fashioned Wedding" and "Born This Gay."
Need more Rainbow? Randy's one-man show tours the country (or used to before COVID-19). Tickets as well as souvenirs are available on his website.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2020 Jill Spencer