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Top 10 Sherlock Holmes Parodies

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Sean Harris The super sleuth just got spoofed. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Sherlock Holmes parodies! For this list, we’ve gathered the funniest, cleverest and most popular parodies of Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebrated detective. Holmes does have a long history with the printed pastiche, but we’re focussing on film and TV parodies today, as well as viral clips and YouTube favourites. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Sherlock Holmes Parodies


The super sleuth just got spoofed. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Sherlock Holmes parodies!

For this list, we’ve gathered the funniest, cleverest and most popular parodies of Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebrated detective. Holmes does have a long history with the printed pastiche, but we’re focussing on film and TV parodies today, as well as viral clips and YouTube favourites.

#10: “Elementary, Dear Data”
“Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-94)

Holmes has been given the sci-fi treatment a fair few times, but here we head to the Holodeck on the Starship Enterprise. This “Next Generation” episode sees Brent Spiner’s Commander Data take the central role in a Sherlock-style mystery, which ultimately gets quite out of hand. With La Forge doubling up as Watson, the crew are caught amidst a Victorian England virtual reality – with a certain Moriarty proving a worthy menace to be reckoned with. Even Data’s stumped at times, but at least he looks the part.

#9: Sherlock Hemlock
“Sesame Street” (1969-)

While Holmes’ often-grisly assignments are rarely child-friendly, the character is a staple archetype for the clue-counting, puzzle-solving, super-smart detective role on children’s TV. Special mention for “Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century” – a fave show for many ‘90s kids – but Sesame Street’s Sherlock Hemlock turns the parody into preschool puppetry – and slightly skews the stereotype, as well. The over-confident Hemlock usually cracks the case, but there are often hiccups along the way – all in the name of education, of course.

#8: Watson Caught Out
“Walliams & Friend” (2016)

We all know Sherlock’s powers of deduction are second to none, but what if they’re applied to something other than a complicated crime scene? When David Walliams’ Watson is unexpectedly interrupted for this comedy sketch, Jack Whitehall’s Holmes just will not let the matter drop. One glance around the room and the cause of John’s embarrassment is all too clear, but Whitehall rattles through the list of incriminating evidence, regardless. Oh, the shame.

#7: Reginald Kincaid
“Without a Clue” (1988)

Michael Caine dons the deerstalker next, to play an actor playing Holmes as part of a ruse to allow Watson to continue solving crimes. And if that sounds a slightly over-complicated concept, your confusion is nothing compared to Caine’s central character. Despite Sherlock’s reputation for having the most brilliant brain around, this guy’s always on the verge of a catastrophic error. And, though Ben Kingsley’s Watson is a genuinely intelligent chap, and the pair do tend to crack the case, there’s a fair bit of farce along the way.

#6: Sherlock Holmes Sucks at Deduction
“The Pete Holmes Show” (2013-14)

Drawing directly from the BBC’s Benedict Cumberbatch interpretation of the character, this Pete Holmes sketch swaps Sherlock’s unstoppable intelligence for something a little more flawed. Recreating the “Study in Pink” scene when the detective first meets Watson, Holmes saunters through a stream of deductions with more than a hint of arrogance – until it’s revealed that he’s completely wrong. And the more he tries to prove his worth, the more magnificently incompetent he makes himself look.

#5: Everyday Genius
“The All New Alexei Sayle Show” (1994-95)

Fans have long called for a “Doctor Who” and Holmes crossover, but we’ve already had one – kind of. The mid-‘90s saw Peter Capaldi score a regular slot on “The All New Alexei Sayle Show”, almost twenty years before the Scottish actor’s turn in the TARDIS. Capaldi plays Holmes for this sketch, opposite Sayle’s over-enthusiastic Watson. And their crime-solving partnership seems on pretty shaky ground, all thanks to the assistant’s dogged determination to state the bleedin’ obvious. For Sherlock it’s elementary, and it’s annoying.

#4: Basil of Baker Street
“The Great Mouse Detective” (1986)

A Disney adaptation of Eve Titus’s children’s book series, “Basil of Baker Street”, this mid-‘80s animated classic reimagines the Sherlock stories with anthropomorphic rats and mice. And the rodent-loaded movie doesn’t forget its roots, as the eponymous ‘mouse detective’, Basil, is actually named after the English actor Basil Rathbone, who famously played Holmes during the ‘30s and ‘40s. With Dawson doubling as Watson, and Ratigan mimicking Moriarty, the key characters are all accounted for – just with cute whiskers and an inherent fear of cats.

#3: Horny Holmes
“The Peter Serafinowicz Show” (2007-08)

The legendary detective and Peter Serafinowicz’s dulcet tones? Surely that’s a match made in heaven. Well, not so much for poor Watson. In this scene from the underappreciated sketch show, your typical mystery scene is in place, as the duo is set to uncover the truth behind yet another murder. When Holmes gets his eureka moment, he gets a little lost in the moment. Remember Holmes/Watson shippers…be careful what you wish for.

#2: “Oklahomo”
NRK

Some Scandi spoofing next, as Norway’s NRK takes on Holmes and Watson for a surreal series of short clips stacked with innuendo, awkward kissing and ongoing problems with predictive text. It’s another parody that draws inspiration from Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, as these scenes see Sherlock make sense of a murder mystery by spouting some definitely random words of nonsense. Playing on the world-famous sleuth’s well-worn eccentricities, the game is on – but the rules are anyone’s guess.

#1: The Old Holmes Sketch
“That Mitchell and Webb Look” (2006-10)

As the final act in the final episode of this Mitchell and Webb sketch show, fans of the comedy duo could not have guessed that they’d end it this way. After four series of crazy, comic carnage, we’re met with Mitchell as an aging Holmes and Webb as an attentive Watson. And though the scene throws up some funny moments, the overriding ambiance trades humour for heartbreak. Balanced on bleak but perfectly pitched performances by both, it proves a sensational sign-off.
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