I've been thinking a lot about parodies lately. They're a precarious thing to get right. It isn't too hard to just make someone laugh, but I like them to be better than that. They need to be more lasting.
First, they have to have intelligence behind them. Whether it's about politcs or a movie, people need to show (one way or another) that they know the topic. Just having bad acting isn't enough.
Then they need to be good enough that someone who likes what's being parodied can still enjoy them. This kind of ties in with the intelligence: it's so witty and well put together that you can't help but like it.
Don't forget about originality, either. It should be a given, but sometimes people just fall for the obvious way of doing things. If it's unexpected, it'll make you laugh more.
Naturally, I have a particular parody in mind most lately. Twilight the Musical by Gliff Productions. I've seen a few Twilight parodies, and this one outshines them all by far. The first part was a little slow for me, but the second part is just hilarious. It isn't finished yet, though, so I'm waiting eagerly for Part 4b (which is supposed to come out soon.) These guys have a strong grip on their material (the book and movie, as well as the Midnight Sun draft), always sticking in some subtle detail. Maybe it's all those layers that I like so much.
They also have some good cinematography for a fan project and acting that suggests real talent. Parodies mostly have their own kind of "bad acting," but I'd like to see some of the TTM people acting seriously. I think they could handle it. There are actually a couple of instances of real acting, which is even harder to pull off right in a parody. Griffin Lewis (director/editor/music/Edward) in particular does this. So stop by for some laughs with thought behind them: http://www.twilightthemusical.com