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Friday, February 21, 2014

Serving Up Downton Abbey

Sean “Diddy” Combs is pictured in a screenshot from the “Downton Diddy” spoof. (Funny or Die/YouTube)

It’s said that parody is a form of flattery, and as season four of “Downton Abbey” wraps up this week, we offer some spoofs of the beloved BBC series.

There are many online parodies of “Downton Abbey,” including one by Sean “Diddy” Combs, “Downton Diddy,” which is a favorite of writer Julian Fellowes and the actors.

Here & Now also made its own spoof last year. Hear that here.

‘Downton’ Parodies

  • “Downton Diddy” by Sean Combs



So last question: What to do on Sunday night? The Olympics and this season's "Downton Abbey" both come to an end at the same time. But at least till next year, "Downton Abbey" lives on in "Downton Abbey" spoofs.


YOUNG: Is nothing sacred? Apparently not. We've gathered some of our favorites. There's "Downton Arby's," which takes Anna and Mr. Bates to the fast food chain.


MATT WALSH: (As Mr. Bates) I intend to marry you.

ANNE GREGORY: (As Anna) And does his Lordship know about your intentions?

WALSH: (As Mr. Bates) He does. And he has pledged to gift us with our own Arby's Airport Express.

GREGORY: (As Anna) Oh, Mr. Bates.


YOUNG: "The Colbert Report" did a mash up of "Downton Abbey" and "Breaking Bad" called "Breaking Abbey." Here's Carson, the butler, and Thomas, the valet, played by real actors Jim Carter and Rob James Collier. They get Lord Grantham's meth lab cooking.


JIM CARTER: (As Charles Carson) It's a shame that in order to save Downton Abbey, Lord Grantham has sunk to brewing the black chamomile crank.

ROB JAMES COLLIER: (As Thomas Barrow) Oh, stop acting so high and mighty, Mr. Carson. The village tea tweakers can't get enough of His Lordship's Earl Blue. Apparently, they think it's the shizzle-nizzle.


YOUNG: And this season "Downton Abbey" introduced American jazz singer Jack Ross, an African-American, who becomes lily white cousin Rose's forbidden love interest. But did you know that rapper Sean Diddy Combs was really the first black character in the series? Or so, he says. In his spoof, he appears as Lord Wilcott, inserting himself in many scenes, including this one in which he responds as the gay valet Thomas flirts with him, placing a hand on his cheek.


SEAN COMBS: (As Lord Wilcott) What's wrong with you?

COLLIER: (As Thomas Barrow) I'm sorry, sir.

COMBS: (As Lord Wilcott) Good God. Have you lost yourself, man? I can't love you, not when I love Sybil, and Mary, and Mrs. Patmore, and the dowager countess and a couple other maids. How can I have room for you? Hold on. Just put your hand on my face one more time. OK. That's enough. I think I have room for you. I love you, Thomas. I'm Lord Wilcott, and I love everybody.


YOUNG: By the way, "Downton" writer Julian Fellowes and the cast say that's their favorite. They obviously did not hear the HERE AND NOW player's version. We'll link you at hereandnow.org. Meanwhile...


MARY-JESS LEAVERLAND: (Singing) Did I make the most of loving you?

YOUNG: Did you know you can sing to the theme? Lyrics were written by Don Black, who wrote the Oscar-winning song "Born Free." Here is Mary-Jess singing his lyrics to "I'll Make the Most of Loving You." [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The correct song title is "Did I Make The Most Of Loving You"]


LEAVERLAND: (Singing) Did I give you all my heart could give to end this this night...

YOUNG: I'm not sure how I feel about this, Jeremy.


YOUNG: All I could think of is "Born Free." But anyway, what are some of us going to do in Sunday night, the competition between the closing ceremonies and "Downton Abbey's" closing curtain.


You know, you're leaving out what I'm going to be doing, which is watching "House of Cards," so...

YOUNG: Oh, right.

HOBSON: ...I want to throw in a third one there.


YOUNG: From NPR and WBUR Boston, I'm Robin Young.

HOBSON: I'm Jeremy Hobson. This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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