‘Hunger Games’: Parodies And Pop-Culture Call-Outs Aplenty

With 'The Starving Games' entering the cinematic arena, Hobnobbing rounds up other noteworthy spoofs and references.

Well, it was only a matter of time. Unless you’ve been hiding out in District 13, you probably heard the news that “The Hunger Games” has won itself a parody in the form of the feature film “The Starving Games,” which will not only spoof the dystopian drama but other blockbusters including “The Avengers,” “Sherlock Holmes” and the final “Harry Potter” film. “Switched at Birth” actress Maiara Walsh will tackle the role of “heroine” Kantmiss Evershot, while “Pretty Little Liars” actor Brant Daugherty will play Gale’s (currently unnamed) counterpart.

Of course, this is hardly the first time spoofers and tastemakers have taken aim at the film franchise. As “The Hunger Games” continues to grow in popularity, so does its profile within pop-culture. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the most noteworthy parodies and callouts. (And be sure to chime in with your favorites in the comments!)

Joel McHale Takes Aim at the MTV Movie Awards
Call us narcissists, but we’re going to start with ourselves! “The Soup” host Joel McHale gamely suited up as Jennifer Lawrence’s inept archery trainer Lester Boonshaft for a sketch during this year’s MTV Movie Awards. And the odds were undeniably in his favor (despite his total lack of skill with a bow and arrow). McHale will once again help pay tribute to “The Hunger Games” when his NBC series “Community” returns to the airwaves for its fourth season, Entertainment Weekly reports.

“SNL” Sends Up a “Hunger Games Reporter”
You know you have a thing on your hands when the sketch-comedy show catches you in its crosshairs. In an episode hosted by “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara, the actress played a reporter embedded in the titular games, blowing tributes’ covers left and right. “It is a total blast! They should call it the Funger Games!” she enthused. We agree! All together now: BOOM HUNGER GAMES!

Between “30 Rock” and a Hard Peeta
NBC clearly has a crush on Katniss, because the Peacock can’t stop name-dropping the tribute and her cohorts. In an admittedly brief shout-out, Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon bemoans the book’s new movie tie-in cover to her temporary BFF. “Let me imagine what Peeta Mellark looks like and how his arms smell of bread,” she says. (Thanks to @jj_watching for this recommendation!)

The Hillywood Show Hams It Up
This sister production team made their name lovingly skewering everyone’s favorite sparkling vampire, but they sank their teeth into a new YA phenomenon with their parody of “The Hunger Games” set to Jimmy James’ earworm “Fashionista.” Cinna would be so proud!

Lana Del Rey Plays ‘Games’
Video games, “Hunger Games” — practically the same thing! The Internet got two-times the parody with a revamped version (courtesy of Second City’s Holly Laurent) of crooner Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games” music video that was fit for the Capitol. Sample lyric: “This district smells like rat piss/My name is Katniss.” So catchy!

Feeling ‘The Hunger Pains’
It’s one thing to produce a three-minute parody clip, it’s a whole other thing to write an entire tongue-in-cheek novel based off of Suzanne Collins’ best-seller. That’s devotion! Or something! But that’s what the folks at Harvard Lampoon (they of the “Twilight” spoof “Nightlight”) did, in addition to producing a chuckle-worthy promotional tape featuring Kantkiss Neverclean.

The Muppets Game The DVD System
For the home video release of Kermit and co.’s latest film, the studio creatively cut together bites of the film to resemble a never-before-seen “Hunger Games” trailer. “They just want a good show, that’s all they want,” Kermit explains. Haven’t we heard that somewhere before?

Clearly we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of “Hunger Games” references in pop culture. Leave your favorites in the comments below and tweet me @amymwilk with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!

Earlier “Hunger Games” columns:
» ‘Hunger Games’ Already Devoured? Read This Next!
» Why Is ‘Hunger Games’ On Banned Book List?
» When ‘Pitch Perfect’ Met ‘Hunger Games’
» ‘Catching Fire’ Soundtrack: A Wish List
» ‘Catching Fire’ Ignites: The Scenes We’re Anticipating Most