The week in Dolly Parton memes: ‘Drunk History,’ ‘Jolene’ slowed

This week, for reasons only the online gods know, Dolly Parton burst into the social media conversation when news of her Dollywood theme park expansion collided with two different memes involving her classic country song “Jolene.” The result has been a few unexpected days in which Dolly Parton is the buzz of the Internet -- always the recipe for a good week.

The biggest-profile Dolly sighting was during Comedy Central’s hilarious new show, “Drunk History,” in which highly inebriated people narrate important stories from across American history, and A-list talent acts them out.

The show, which began as a Web series for Funny or Die, has featured retellings of, among many others, the assassination of Abe Lincoln, Patty Hearst’s kidnapping and the expedition of Lewis & Clark. Reenactors have included Don Cheadle, Kristen Wiig and John C. Reilly.

In this week’s episode, “Drunk History” visited Nashville and sat down with a resident to hear about Dolly Parton’s early years as a rising country singer, and her partnership with country superstar Porter Wagoner. Watch the clip below, and learn about the writing of Parton’s first big solo hit, “Jolene.” [Warning: the clip contains a few incidental cusses, so it’s not safe for work.]

Comedy Central


Funny enough for its own post, yes, but coupled with the fantastic YouTube clip of “Jolene” reworked as a slower ballad, and you have a trend. Uploaded by YouTube user goodlittlebuddy last year but only blowing up this week, this version was created quite simply: he slowed down the track by 25%, and as a result, Parton’s tone drops octaves until she sounds like a particularly mellifluous male tenor. It’s pretty mesmerizing. Listen below.

All of this is good news for Dolly fans. But it’s also great for Parton’s empire. Dollywood announced a $300-million expansion, which might be necessary to house the nearly 1.5 million viewers who have so far listened to the clip.


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