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Randy Rainbow, Master Satirist, Contends with Goliath for Emmy Awards

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The Associated Press

Associated Press

Lin Elver

FILE - Randy Rainbow arrives at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sept. 14, 2019, in Los Angeles. Rainbow has built a career on his musical parody videos, and he's up for his fourth Emmy nomination. But his competition in the short-form variety series category includes heavyweights James Corden, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.
File - Randy Rainbow Arrives 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on September 14th. Rainbow has made a career out of her videos for musical parodies and is aiming for her fourth Emmy nomination. However, his rivals in the short variety series category include heavyweights James He Corden, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers. Photo Credit: Richard Shotwell /Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Los Angeles (AP) — Randy Rainbow's In the case of being endeared by the legendary Carol Burnett, what flimsy excuse could the Television Academy voters have to refuse to nominate him for an Emmy in his fourth nomination?

Rainbow, who elevated musical parody to an art form of political satire, is David facing Goliath once again. Short Variety Series His competitions in his category include shows by James Corden, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.

Corden's 'Carpool Karaoke: The Series' has won the award for the last three years. Does Rainbow see the British actor and comedian as his main enemy?

"Nemesis is a strong word," replied Rainbow, waiting for a perfectly timed beat. "No, I'm a huge James Corden fan, so it's an honor to share this category with him. They could throw it at the little guy every now and then.

The self-proclaimed little guy It's true that he doesn't have the networks and resources to tap into, but his ruthless, fearless, and passionate rants about conservative politicians and policies on YouTube have racked up more than 500 million views and are on social media. He has over 3 million media followers.

"He's a genius," Barnett said of Rainbow. “His lyrics are on par with Stephen Sondheim….in fact Steve said he is one of the best lyricists today.

That's exactly what the late Sondheim said.John Legend and Lin-Manuel Miranda are among Rainbow's many other notable fans.

He recently won an Emmy Award. The nominee is "Gay," which looks at Florida's GOP governor and the new law he championed banning classes on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.

"You could call it an homage to Ron DeSantis and his 'Don't Say Gay' bill," said Rainbow, using the title given to him by critics. "That video clearly meant a lot and I'm very proud to have had such an impact. It was nice to be recognized."

But he said it was his desire to entertain, not criticism, that drove his career.

"I was interested in politics, so I didn't get into it. I'm definitely more interested in politics now than I was when I started YouTube videos 11 years ago." '' he said, attributing it to his own maturity and changing times.

''But I try to stay true to my original intention. , is to bring a little levity to these situations that are otherwise not light," he said. "I think that's why it continues to resonate with people, and why people are still interested in my work." Together with the unreserved love of his grandmother, whom he called Nanny, helped to maintain Rainbow as a shy and bullied young man - his true surname. Rainbow credits Nanny's biting humor as another important influence.

When he hit puberty, Gwen Rainbow accepted that his son was gay without hesitation. In his poignant and vibrant new memoir, Playing With Myself, Rainbow recalls the reassurance that her mother "loved her gay friend."

"Surely I don't remember seeing them," Rainbow wrote. "I mean, I was gay for five minutes of him and suddenly in Studio 54 I became his mother Liza Minnelli."

His musician father was "pretty tolerant," Rainbow said in his book. says in. However, Jerry Rainbow scoffed at young Randy's early artistic endeavors, saying he could never make a living "wearing wigs and making silly videos."

Rainbow 's success on YouTube is just the beginning. He's traveling on his nationwide "The Pink Glasses Tour," named after his favorite accessory (and a song he co-wrote with composer Alan Menken). His latest album, A Little Brains, a Little Talent, includes duets with Broadway stars he long admired, Bernadette His Peters and Patty His LuPone.

Rainbow still does lean video manipulation. The studio is located in his two-bedroom apartment in New York City, "where all the magic happens," he said in his recent Zoom interview, referring to the modest space. Producers, arrangers, and musicians tailor songs to Rainbow's specifications.

He often writes lyrics to tunes of his first love, Broadway. Posing as a television reporter, he conducts a mock interview with Target's clip before beginning a custom-made song, where he leads his vocalist and his own back-up singer in a dazzling costume. and also edited.

He knows how to sell a song. Rainbow's lithe voice easily adapts to any song, and his boyish, handsome face becomes a veritable flipbook of vivid expressions that shift from false sincerity to skepticism to wide-eyed warning. increase.

The source material that Rainbow draws is equally diverse. "Gurl, You're a Karen," mocking Republican lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Green and Lauren Boubert, is set to "Dentist," sung by Steve Martin in the 1986 film Little Shop of Horrors. is set.

"Gay" is set to the song "Shy" that Burnett performed during her Tony Award-nominated Broadway debut in her 1959 musical Once Upon a Mattress. I'm here. In his first viral political video, Rainbow inserted himself as the host of his 2016 Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate, referring to Trump's use of the impromptu word "bragadocious". Mary Poppins" riff.

"He is very callous, fragile, selfish and boastful. He might become president if he keeps repeating," Rainbow voiced. has this kind of sweetness to it," said friend and fan Burnett. "You just fall in love with him."

While Barnett said he shares his political views, Rainbow said from meeting fans that they're all in sync. Some people told him bluntly that they didn't like his opinion but liked his videos.

"In a way, what I'm trying to do is transcend all politics. So it's always nice to hear that," he said. }

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