We love “Downton Abbey” as much as the Dowager Countess loves feathery hats. But we also recognize that its stuffy setting and genteel dialogue make it an easy target for parody. And pop culture has obliged by giving us a number of spot-on spoofs of the oh-so-addictive Edwardian soap opera.
So pour yourself a cup of tea and get ready for this weekend’s “Downton” season finale by checking out eight hilarious parodies of the show. Some of these might even make the Dowager crack a smile! (Or… maybe not.)
“Breaking Abbey” (“The Colbert Report”)
“Downton” stars Hugh Bonneville, Rob James-Collier, and Jim Carter were game to poke fun at themselves in this ingenious mash-up of two of our favorite shows: “Downton” and AMC’s meth-trade thriller “Breaking Bad.” Here, Lord Grantham (sporting a Walter White goatee) solves Downton’s money woes by “brewing the black chamomile crank.” Is there anything better than hearing Bonneville talk about “kicking it with mad b----es and benjamins”? We don’t believe there is. (Warning: This clip contains some very un-“Downton”-like language.)
“Upside Downton Abbey” (“Sesame Street”)
“Downton’s” PBS neighbor opted to go cute rather than nasty with this gentle spoof. In it, a Muppet Dowager Countess asks Mr. Carson to fetch her some tea… only to have it spill out immediately, since everything at this estate is upside down. Good thing Carson is there to throw a switch and transform the home into “Rightside Upton Abbey.”
Downton Abbey Dogs (Dogster)
The canine-lovers over at Dogster took the “Downton” cast and found the perfect pooch pairing for each of them. We’re partial to Mr. Bates as a basset hound:
Now they did cheat a little when pairing up the Dowager Countess with a Persian cat… but it is kind of perfect, isn’t it?
"Downton Arby’s" (Yahoo!)
Not to toot our own horn, but this Yahoo! sketch might be the funniest take on “Downton” we’ve seen online. “Arby’s” starts with a stroke of brilliance, relocating the aristocratic Crawleys to a low-rent Arby’s franchise, but keeps the family’s trademark haughtiness. We love the sight of Lady Sybil fraternizing with (gasp!) a fry cook and the great Richard Kind, as Lord Arby, giving us lines like “And an extra horsey sauce you shall have.”