ownton Abbey fans have been waiting nearly a year to see how the show's many British characters will solve their many British problems after the tragic cliffhanger that ended season three. (Unless, of course, those fans live in the U.K.; for them, the fourth season premiered in September and ended in November.)
We're now just two days away from seeing what twists and turns Downton Abbey will take next. But if you can't wait for everyone's favorite period soap opera to return to the screen on Sunday night, ask your butler to brew you a cup of tea and sit down to watch the funniest Downton Abbey parodies the internet has to offer:
1. Sesame Street's "Upside Downton Abbey"
Sesame Street's long history of slipping in references that adults will enjoy continued with "Upside Downton Abbey," featuring Muppet versions of Carson and the Dowager Countess. As it turns out, drinking tea and eating crumpets is a lot harder when you're stuck on the ceiling.
2. What if Downton Abbey was on Spike TV?
How would you sell Downton Abbey to an audience of twenty-something bros? By packaging it as a show about "a MILF and a dad" with three daughters: "Hot, Way Hot, and The Other One." This Saturday Night Live digital short might just make the show seem palatable to even the staunchest Entourage fan.
3. "Downton Giftshop"
This parody of Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" offers the chance to see Mary, Edith, and even the Dowager Countess rap about the thrift sale designed to keep Downton Abbey afloat.
4. The Colbert Report's "Breaking Abbey"
In an act of protest after Michelle Obama got to see Downton Abbey before the rest of the United States, Stephen Colbert offered his audience a series of scenes from Breaking Bad — performed by the men of Downton Abbey. Watch as Lord Grantham churns out "black chamomile crank" in a quest to become "the tea kingpin of Yorkshire."
5. "Downton Diddy"
Amid news that Downton Abbey would introduce its first black cast member, Sean "Diddy" Combs teamed up with Funny or Die to complain about the lack of recognition he had earned for playing "Lord Wolcott" in the drama. In a series of impressively edited clips, Diddy enters the frame to drop lines like, "This World War is dreadful. I pray there's not a World War II." Also: "I found this little company named IBM. You may not know about it, but our kids will love it."
6. "The Fresh Prince of Downton Abbey"
In this College Humor video, Lord Grantham's would-be heir steps in for Will Smith in a song about how his life got flipped-turned upside down when he came to Downton Abbey.
7. "Downton Arby's"
The soapy drama of Downton Abbey is moved to the considerably lower-rent charms of a fast food franchise in Sketchy's "Downton Arby's" (from the producers of "Sonic & Sensibility" and "Pizza Hut & Prejudice").
8. Jimmy Fallon's "Downton Sixbey"
Much as he did for Breaking Bad, Jimmy Fallon delivers a "behind the scenes" look at his late-night talk show that serves as an extended parody of Downton Abbey. Taken together, Fallon's serialized videos are nearly the length of an actual episode — so if you truly can't wait until Sunday's premiere, this may be the next best thing.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How Ukraine can fend off the Russians, in 7 simple steps
- There's a number of reasons the grammar of this headline could infuriate you
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- These stunning travel photos remind us that we're all just amateurs with iPhones
Subscribe to the Week