“This book is mainly about making money”write Henry Beard and Douglas Kenney in the introduction to The torpor of the rings (1969), “and the reader will discover in its pages much of the character and some of the low moral integrity of the authors.” Playing Devil’s advocate for a moment, no parody has ever brought two friends so close: Beard, whom Kenney once described as “the world’s oldest teenager,” was studying at Harvard when JRR’s work fell into his hands Tolkien. Fascinated by how what he perceived to be an unspeakable tome seemed to please everyone around him so much, he proposed to the other more verbose editor of Harvard Lampoonthe campus humorous magazine, write an entire novel making fun of The Lord of the rings. She discovered not only that Kenney hated Middle-earth even more than he did, but that the result, which they dubbed The torpor of the rings (Bored of the Rings), was good enough to be published beyond college. Both used the success of the book to found National Lampoon, a natural extension of the header where they met that, over time, would become the undisputed pillar of the American comedy of the seventies. The amazing thing is that The torpor of the rings it was translated into several languages and even new editions continue to be published todaymore than half a century after its conception.
Beard and Kenney’s classic buffoon is further testimony to how Tolken’s work is still as alive as the first day in the collective unconscious. In our interview with her and her partner Charlie Vickers, Morfydd Clark – the actress who plays Galadriel in The Rings of Power– talked about how the British author “has influenced fantasy literature, obviously, but also music, art and the way we tell stories in general”. Let’s add to that list humor, which could be the sincerest form of flatterywell The Lord of the rings It has been inspiring all kinds of parodies for decades. For example, the BBC broadcast in 1980 a radio series, Hordes of the Thingswhich was so close to The torpor of the rings like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, since its creators, Andrew Marshall and John Lloyd, were regular collaborators of Douglas Adams. Narrated by none other than Patrick Magee, whom you probably remember from his work under Stanley Kubrick, Hordes of the Things was really a satire of early 1980s England dressed up as an epic adventure, with references to contemporary political events and, well, obvious parallels between Margaret Thatcher and Sauron.
Peter Jackson’s films acted as napalm on this comic will to take the colors out of Tolkien, as demonstrated by Jack Black and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the 2002 MTV Movie Awards. Her recreation of the Council of Elrond, where she played Arwen and he an elf with a rather embarrassing problem, was so successful that he himself Jackson insisted that he appear as an extra in the extended edition of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), but it doesn’t end there: the filmmaker very recently made a special appearance in another television parody, this time devised by Stephen Colbert (believe it or not, one of the most knowledgeable people alive about Tolkien in the world). planet) as part of a series of special programs taped in New Zealand.