Parody

NASA Johnson Center does a "Gangnam Style" space parody — and it's surprisingly good

NASA Johnson Center does a "Gangnam Style" space parody — and it's surprisingly good

In this era of the viral video, people seem unwilling to just let an original work stand on its own, instead creating spoof upon spoof in hopes of replicating that success. Think "All the Single Ladies" — or any Beyoncé video, really — and the mind-numbing Gotye redos

Or the latest, "Gangnam Style," made famous by K-pop artist PSY and beloved for its quirky and easy-to-imitate dance moves, unknowable lyrics and outrageous sets. It's basically begging for parody.  

 The video is complete with outlandish spacecraft, zero-gravity scenes, astronaut cameos, nerdy-smart lyrics and a requisite well-suited Asian.

I've witnessed a rendition captured by a camera phone in a casino by my middle-aged seat mates on a flight home from Las Vegas. I've done it with workout buddies in the park before dawn.

I've seen it converted into a Christmas song and accompanied by an USCM rock band in Okinawa, the vulgar thrusts unbecoming of men in uniform, with creative wordplays consisting of everything from "Working Farmer Style" to a pre-election "Mitt Romney Style" to a tone-deaf "Sewerman Style" interpretation, meant to serve as a PSA for Londoners. 

All inevitably come off as embarrassing attempts to capture the magic and energy of the real thing, the humor in it only truly appreciated by those who were present. 

But here's a version that I can get behind: A parody called "NASA Johnson Style," created by the students at Houston's Johnson Space Center

The well-produced video is complete with outlandish spacecraft and laboratory sets, zero gravity scenes, shots of outer space, cameos by real astronauts, nerdy-smart lyrics and a requisite well-suited Asian — and it's definitely worth a watch. See it above. 

NASA, Gangnam style, parody, video, December 2012
NASA Johnson Space Center students are the latest to make a "Gangnam Style" spin-off.  ReelNASA/YouTube
News_Johnson Space Center_NASA_by Raniero Tazzi
Space Center Houston is the perfect backdrop for the video, which is complete with laboratory shots, astronaut cameos and rocket images. Photo by Raniero Tazzi
NASA, Gangnam style, parody, video, December 2012
News_Johnson Space Center_NASA_by Raniero Tazzi