It was probably inevitable that Fun.’s chart-topping “We Are Young” would inspire a parody or two; after all, that’s generally what happens when a song seizes #1 on the Hot 100 and doesn’t let go for six consecutive weeks.
But that doesn’t mean that the guys in Fun. have to be happy about it.
“I get an e-mail about every other day being like, ‘You’ve gotta see this parody.’ [And] I’m not going to go Coolio on the situation and say I’m not into parodies, but I’m going to say, chances are, it’s not funny,” frontman Nate Ruess said. “Maybe I have a high standard for what’s funny, but I’m just going to go with ‘We Are Not Young,’ you probably are not funny. Like, that level of comedy that I just did was the exact same level of comedy that they’re doing.”
Snap. Ruess is referring, of course, to Coolio’s displeasure over “Weird Al” Yankovic’s parody of his song “Gangster’s Paradise” — the excellent 1996 send-up “Amish Paradise” — which he claimed was recorded without his permission and “desecrated the song.” (Thankfully, the two sides subsequently squashed their beef.) And though they may not be thrilled to have their biggest hit become an Internet piss-take, Fun. are willing to grin and bear it — after all, it just goes with the territory these days.
“I think the bottom line is … we’re happy the song is culturally relevant enough to be a parody. That’s a huge milestone for us,” Antonoff said. “We really haven’t actually seen [the parodies], to be honest, but no matter how good they are, it’s cool that someone actually did it. It’s an honor to be made fun of.”