‘The Simpsons’ added some Westeros flair to Springfield in an amusing 2012 couch gag based on the opening credits of ‘Game of Thrones.’
You’d have to live somewhere east of Essos to have missed the hoopla surrounding the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (Sundays, 9 EDT/PDT).
But if you’re looking for more evidence of the fantasy drama’s pop-culture dominance, consider all the parodies and callbacks in other shows over the seasons.
Those skits, from gentle jabs to Valyrian-steel slashes, offer humorous relief from the onslaught of battles, bastards and beheadings.
So, to help stem the grief as your favorite characters are eviscerated in coming weeks, we rank the most amusing tributes to “Thrones”:
10. “The Viewing Party Combustion” (“The Big Bang Theory”)
This 2016 “Big Bang” episode takes a cue from “Thrones” cruelty, as Howard meanly tricks Stuart, who’s even lower on the nerd totem pole, into dressing up as Jon Snow for a “Thrones” viewing that Howard falsely advises him is a costume party. It’s authentic — this Comic-Con crew would worship “Thrones” — visually funny and illustrates a connection between the shows: Jon is forever sad, while Stuart is forever a sad sack.
9. Honest Trailers “Thrones” summaries
Honest Trailers, famous for breaking down films and TV shows into the ridiculous parts of their sum, picks apart “Thrones” via the sonorous tones of that classic trailer-narrator voice. Considering the language and the plenitude of flesh, covered by the slimmest of black bars, we’ll leave it to you to seek out the laughter in Volume 1 (Seasons 1-3) and Volume 2 (Seasons 4-5), both NSFW.
8. Kit Harington’s secret “Thrones” audition tape (“Jimmy Kimmel Live”)
Jon Snow may be dour, but Kit Harington can have fun, as he “auditions” to play Arya, Hodor and the Night King, goes topless with pixelated plastic breasts to play Daenerys (the opposite of tasteful nudity) and, for some desperate reason, tries a far-from-Hogwarts Harry Potter (another topless flash) in a July 2017 episode of the talk show.
7. Straight Up “Game of Thrones” (“Key & Peele”)
Now this is how you do a binge-watch recap! Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele catch up viewers in 2015, ahead of Season 5, by playing valets who re-enact Ned Stark’s beheading, the “four-for-one” murders at the Red Wedding and Tywin Lannister’s death on the bathroom throne, enhanced by their own improvised sound effects. The “cold-blooded” atrocities stir joyful enthusiasm, and they’re so taken by events they eventually dive through the Moon Door. In their own word, they “Killt!” it. (Warning: Language that may be considered offensive.)
6. “The Simpsons” couch gag
Both “Thrones” and “Simpsons” survey the landscape in their opening credits (“Thrones” changed credits for its final season) and this “Simpsons” tour of Springfield from a 2012 episode takes on a Westerosi tone. The Simpson home, Moe’s Tavern and the Kwik-E-Mart rise from the ground on motorized gears, with Grandpa embedded in a Weirwood tree and three-eyed ravens flying above the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, which likely mutated them. It closes with an imposing view of a massive couch, the “Simpsons” version of a 700-foot-high ice wall.
5. “Game of Thrones” Sequels, Prequels and Spinoffs! (“Saturday Night Live”)
“Saturday Night Live” is no stranger to “Thrones” takes. 2013’s “Game of ‘Game of Thrones'” is hilarious, but we chose the most recent, an April 6 sketch that celebrates Hollywood’s ability to beat any successful format into the ground. Some standout ideas: a CW-style soap about Jon Snow’s affair with a zombie wight, complete with “Riverdale” graphics; an animated “Arya” who looks like “Daria” but draws blood with a sword instead of sarcasm; and the best acronym ever, “GoT: SVU,” in which “Law & Order” stars Mariskay Hargitay and Ice-T investigate a murder in Fleabottom (Dire Wolf produces. Nice touch.).
4. Game of Chairs (“Sesame Street”)
With so many raucous and ribald offerings, thank goodness for this palate-cleansing 2015 visit to Jesteros, where rulers are chosen through a game of musical chairs and the vibe is less “You win or you die” than “You sit or you go home pouting.” The sketch works as a children’s counting game, a visual joke with Iron Thrones made of sporting goods and a delightful opportunity to see “Mommy of Dragons” Daenerys as a Muppet. We also meet a new character, Grover Bluejoy. House Henson, maybe?
3. Red Wedding (“Robot Chicken”)
Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” takes on the infamous Red Wedding from the perspective of the one guy in the band who thinks he’s there to play music instead of butchering the Stark clan. In this 2014 sketch, the doofus questions the wisdom of playing “The Rains of Castamere.” (“Isn’t that kind of a downer? Its like, ‘Congrats on your marriage! Here’s a song about the Lannisters slaughtering their enemies.'”) Copious bloodshed ensues, but it somehow seems cute rendered in claymation.
2. “Game of Thrones The Musical” (Red Nose Day U.S.)
This 2015 “Thrones”/Coldplay mashup gets off on the right foot with Chris Martin mistaking Kardashians for Targaryens (Mother of Tabloids!). The star-studded charity sketch features an uptempo Red Wedding ditty; Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) singing “Rastafarian Targaryen”; Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) performing a moody ballad about torture; and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) serenading Ygritte (Rose Leslie, now Harington’s wife) with “Wildling” to the tune of “Wild Thing.” No less an expert than Clarke compares the musical to Titanic (the ship, not the movie). As the tagline says, “You sing or you die!”
1. Seth Brings Jon Snow to a Dinner Party, (“Late Night with Seth Meyers”)
Compared to Jon Snow, Debbie Downer is Pollyanna. In this 2015 sketch, guests at Seth’s Manhattan dinner party celebrate the arrival of spring, but Jon casts a pall over the feast, warning “Winter is coming.” He further bludgeons the festive mood with “small talk” about his father’s beheading and brother’s stabbing.
Jon partly redeems himself by acting out the “Thrones” series – complete with faux eye-gouging and Joffrey poisoning – for the awestruck guests. Still, he must rank as the worst dinner guest ever — or at least in the top five.
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