Randy Rainbow asks all the right questions in parody song interview with President Biden

Randy Rainbow made a name for himself launching hilarious parodies during the Trump presidency, as he brilliantly transformed musical theater canon into political theater cannons. He's also helped many of us get through the past year of the pandemic by changing classic musical hits like "Gee, Officer Krupke" and "Put on a Happy Face" to "Gee, Anthony Fauci" and "Cover Your Freakin' Face."

Some of us have wondered if the comedian would have enough material to keep up this kind of comedy in the post-Trump era, but there was no need to worry. Today, he released his first Biden-themed parody since the inauguration, and it is simply delightful.

Randy kicks the video off joking about his post-Trump comedy challenges, saying to President Biden, "Could you maybe at some point just, like, curse or say something completely loony tunes or offensive? The other guy used to do that, and it just made this whole thing a little funnier."


After lightly poking fun of Biden's middle name, dozing off while the president talked about the vaccine situation, then having a momentary nightmare, Randy starts belting some impressive 1950s Chordettes harmony to the tune of "Mr. Sandman":

Mr. Biden

Bring my vaccine

Keep me protected from COVID-19

Tell me the trick to how I might earn a

Fix of that magic Pfizer or Moderna

Biden

Gimme a poke

They call you "sleepy" but you're pretty woke

I'm so tired of quarantine

Mr. Biden, bring my vaccine...

(It's way better when you listen to it.)

Enjoy:

Randy speaks to what so many of us are feeling right now, as we see the finish line with the country poised to have enough vaccines for every adult by the end of May. It'll take months more to actually get shots in everyone's arms, and for many of us, our turn cannot come quickly enough. After a year of diligently wearing masks and staying distanced, we're ready for all the hugs, and all the friends over for dinner, and all the travel, and all the normal life things we will never again take for granted.

And when "The Robinettes" sang "Oh, I might murder someone if I see another Zoom"? I don't know about you, but I felt that in my bones.

And wanting to plant a big ol' kiss on Dr. Fauci? Felt that too. Speaking of which, if you missed this one it's also worth a viewing:

Randy Rainbow has earned himself the title of King of Parody these past few years, and fans are sharing their hopes that he'll receive some kind of formal recognition for his talents. The Mark Twain for American Humor has been bandied about as an idea, which seems perfectly fitting since Twain himself was a satirist and parodist.

Even during the darkest times, laughter is healing. Thanks, Randy Rainbow, for helping provide it during a difficult era. Glad to see you'll still be with us as we turn the corner into (hopefully) better days.

Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

True

Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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