Tuned In

JPTV Jr.: This One's for Mom and Dad

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Hola! Soy James!

I’m not sure if you need to be a parent to find this TV Funhouse Dora the Explorer parody funny. But if you’re a parent of a Dora-aged child, it’s likely you’re too beaten down by propagating the species to actually stay up for Saturday Night Live. So thank God for YouTube, Mommy and Daddy’s Little Helper.

It’s not surprising this comes from the mind of Robert Smigel, the best thing on SNL in good seasons and bad. But much of the credit goes to the Dora show itself: a lot of the elements (the absurdly long pauses, the loud, hectoring voice, the computer-mouse pointer, the labored multiculturalism) are lifted straight from Dora and get laughs before Smigel even really starts parodying them. Seriously, I think you could run an actual, straight Dora episode before an SNL audience and they’d crack up through the entire thing. (Laugh it up, suckers. Some day you’ll have kids, and this will all be visited on you.) The cat Mittens makes a nice stand-in for Boots, Dora’s insistent yes-monkey. (“Say map! SAY MAP!”)

Props as well to Becca Lish, who voices the title character Maraka and has Dora’s earnestly bossy bark down pat (“Don’t question it! Just do it!”). Lish is apparently a voice-acting veteran of such shows as PB & J Otter and Little Bill (as well as Daria and Celebrity Deathmatch), so she knows her genre.

Have you watched the video — el video — yet? [Long pause.] Don’t question it! Just do it!