Parodying Bruce Springsteen has become something of a cottage industry, dating back at least to Ben Stiller’s memorable “Counting with Bruce Springsteen” sketch in the early 1990s. More recently, Jimmy Fallon has joined in the fun — often with a game Springsteen along for the ride.
That’s all part of working on a big stage, Springsteen says, and doing it over a lengthy period of time.
“It happens to everybody, if you’ve been around long enough,” Springsteen tells Le Grand Journal. “A part of what you do is caricature, if you’ve had a long life. I look back on certain moments, and iconic things are very, very close to parody — always. Always. That’s why they’re powerful. They’re just a thin line away from that being one step that makes it completely ridiculous, instead of a little bit ridiculous. There’s always a little bit of absurdity in fame, period, and in who you are and what you’re doing. There’s always some silliness to it, and some silly aspect of it. You learn to live with you, you know?”
Perhaps the most famous recent parody item was a rewrite of “Born to Run,” focusing on the then-emerging bridge scandal involving the governor of Springsteen’s home state of New Jersey. Springsteen again joined Fallon for the performance. “He’s infectious,” Springsteen says. “He gets you going.”