Parody blooms on Twitter

Twitter is becoming the place for parody with a cast of characters that includes an elusive cobra, a tipsy Queen of England, a profanity-spewing US politician and a maladroit BP spokesman.

The latest entry in the Twitter comedy sweepstakes was @BronxZoosCobra, a Twitter feed which purported to be that of the Bronx Zoo's escaped Egyptian cobra that amassed more than 200,000 followers in less than four days.

The venomous snake may have been captured in the Reptile House on Thursday but not before delighting its legions of followers with its adventures in New York City and its witty tweets.

"Leaving Wall Street. These guys make my skin crawl," the snake hissed on one of its first days of freedom.

Continuing its tour of the Big Apple, @BronxZoosCobra reported it was "On top of the Empire State Building! All the people look like little mice down there. Delicious little mice."

For doubters in the Twittersphere, it provided an explanation on just how a serpent tweets.

"A lot of people are asking how I can tweet with no access to a computer or fingers," @BronxZoosCobra said. "Ever heard of an iPhone? Duh."

Among the many followers of the tweeting cobra was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who referred to the snake on his @MikeBloomberg Twitter account on Wednesday.

"Today President Obama and I toured NYC's Museum of Natural History. We saw a 94 foot whale, but not @BronxZoosCobra," Bloomberg said.

The @BronxZoosCobra also spawned a host of other Twitter accounts including one from a honey badger at the Bronx Zoo - @BronxZooHBadger - which claimed to be stalking @BronxZoosCobra around the city.

Reptiles are not the only comedians on Twitter.

There are scores of accounts impersonating celebrities and politicians, some, deservedly, with only dozens of followers while others have tens of thousands.

An account that has drawn more than 161,000 fans is @Queen_UK, which affectionately pokes fun at the Queen of England, portraying her as a benevolent leader with a taste for gin.

In between lampooning Britain's politicians and the weather, she also targets England's traditional rivals, the French.

"Sarkozy on the phone. He's sent two planes to Libya to assist in the evacuation. Good of him to make the entire French Airforce available," she tweeted recently.

On a rare sunny day in London, she fired off: "In celebration of British sunshine, one is declaring an early Gin O'Clock. Home time boys and girls."

While @Queen_UK is unfailingly genteel, on the other side of the Atlantic is @MayorEmanuel, the parody account of famously foul-mouthed Rahm Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff who was elected mayor of Chicago in February.

Virtually every tweet in the @MayorEmanuel account was punctuated by an expletive or two and the feed drew nearly 50,000 followers until the author outed himself the day after the election and shut it down.

The real Rahm Emanuel confessed to being a fan of his imitator even if his own much less colorful Twitter account - @RahmEmanuel - was followed by far fewer people.

One of the earliest and cleverest parody accounts on Twitter was @BPGlobalPR, which claimed to be British Petroleum's public relations department during last year's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

It relentlessly parodied BP's efforts to spin the disaster with tweets dripping with satire.

"Please do NOT take or clean any oil you find on the beach. That is the property of British Petroleum and we WILL sue you," said one.

"Thousands of people are attacked by sea creatures every year. We at BP are dedicated to bringing that number down. You're welcome!" said another.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
News
An Apple iPhone 6 stands on display at the Apple Store
businessRegulators give iPhone 6 and 6 Plus the green light
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Britain's internet habits have been revealed in a new survey
tech
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
film
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Arts and Entertainment
film
News
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Pricing Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

    Data/ MI Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

    Project Manager with some Agile experience

    £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

    Web Application Support Manager

    £60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style