Is parody dangerous?


Ulyanovsk cadets
Benny Benassi
Satisfaction Challenge

How to Cite

Troitskiy, S. (2021). Is parody dangerous?. The European Journal of Humour Research, 9(2), 92–111.


This article arose from the scandal which broke out in Russia in 2018, when Ulyanovsk cadets made an amateur video clip parodying the Benny Benassi’s musical video (2003). Soon, this video had more than a million views. But official Russian media sharply reproached the cadets’ performance, and even Russian authorities discussed the video. The Russian Internet community issued a lot of videos in support of the cadets. The reaction of Russian media on the cadets’ parody was mainly strong and not always adequate. I am interested in the reasons behind the fear of parody because, in my opinion, the official discourse had nothing to fear. My analysis is based on the Russian theories of parody and the medieval cultural experience. Can parody be dangerous? Why did the official media overreact?


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