Clio, as I hope my Thalia’s Musings readers know, is the Muse of History. It’s quite evident that Clio and Thalia have both bestowed their blessings on Azie Dungey, creator and star of the historical comedy webseries Ask A Slave.
Ask A Slave is a comedy web series based on the actress’ experiences working at Mount Vernon portraying one of George Washington’s slaves. All questions and interactions are based on true life events. Watch Lizzie Mae, housemaid to President and Lady Washington, respond as modern-day Americans say the darndest things about history!
Lizzie Mae is fictional, but her awesomely snarky answers to modern Americans’ questions are based on extensive historical research. Sometimes her guests are as fictional as she is. Other times she interviews real historical figures like Seneca chief and dignitary Red Jacket, and abolitionist Tobias Lear. Lizzie Mae’s interviews challenge stereotypes about life in colonial America, especially in regard to race relations, in an engaging, entertaining way. I always laugh and I usually learn something when I watch them.
So, if you’re a fan of quirky web comedy videos and/or American history, check out Ask A Slave! Here’s the first episode to get you started:
And here’s one more shot of the lovely Azie just because:
But today I’m fangirling about StarKid’s latest production, Twisted: The Untold Story Of A Royal Vizier. It parodies both Wicked and Disney’s Aladdin, as indicated by the promo poster. It’s as affectionate and irreverent a parody as any of StarKid’s other works. Ja’far (not to be confused with the copyright-protected Jafar) gets the Elphaba treatment as the virtuous scapegoat for all the kingdom’s problems. His “scheming” is really applied poli sci, his “sorcery” is advanced science, and his “evilness” is a desire to rid the streets of criminals who steal bread from simple hard-working bakers. He also shares an unexpectedly poignant romance with Scheherazade of One Thousand and One Nights fame. Aladdin, tragically orphaned at 33, is a perfect satire of a douchy hipster trustfund baby who’s too cool to work for a living like everyone else. The Princess is every 16-year-old rich white privilege-checking Social Justice Warrior on Tumblr who dreams of saving the world but has a lot to learn about how it actually works. Since her name is never mentioned, I’m sure she is not the licensed Disney Princess Jasmine.
Want a quick sampler? Watch the opening number, with its profanity-laced classic Disney-style crowd song (the villagers do not greet Ja’far with “Bonjour”):
Or the balcony scene, which references pretty much every Disney moral panic conspiracy theory of the 90s:
Or this title-dropping gallery of Disney’s most fabulous villains: