The frenzy over swine flu may be fading out, but the jokes keep on coming.
Among celebrities, on late night TV and across the Internet, swine flu (officially re-branded the "H1N1 flu," a name change about as likely to stick as Prince's multi-symbol moniker) has turned into a punch line. It seems a natural fate for a pandemic associated with pigs and masks from the Michael Jackson accessory collection.
Singer Katy Perry is the latest star to speak out about swine flu.
"Since swine flu is super trendy I wanted to make sure I was in style with my swine flu ring!" Perry wrote on her personal blog May 1. She also posted a photo of the crystal-encrusted pig-with-wings bauble.
In case anyone was wondering, Perry shared her cat's thoughts on the pandemic as well: "Kitty Purry was telling me the other night that she remembers when bird flu was in and now pig flu is cool and she wonders when kitty flu is gonna hit, as she would like to be more popular than she currently already is ... fame whore."
Last week, Jimmy Kimmel used swine flu as an excuse to show a mock Barack Obama conducting his first 100 days press conference in a face mask and to debut his show's own line of swine flu protective gear, modeled after the mug of his sidekick, Guillermo.
Jay Leno invoked it to explain the mystery illness that made him miss a show last week, saying Monday night, "What happened was, and I think was a mistake, I ate a raw pig a friend brought back from Mexico."
Jon Stewart dubbed the media frenzy surrounding swine flu "Snoutbreak '09" and claimed that despite the 150-plus probable deaths, the disease still ranks last on the "list of things that can kill you in Mexico."
The Internet's best swipes at swine flu include the site DoIHavePigFlu.com, whose URL could lead people to believe it offers legitimate swine flu resources (until they actually click on it) and a photo of a toddler kissing a pig sandwiched by the caption, "You little bastard. You've killed us all."
The forgotten fantasy adventure film "Willow" is enjoying a resurgence in relevance on the Internet. A clip from the 1988 movie featuring Val Kilmer's shocking[ly cheesy] transformation from warrior to pig is generating comments on YouTube like "OMG IT'S THE SWINE FLU!" and "Whenever anyone talks about the Swine Flu, this is what I think about."
Some Can't Stomach Swine Flu Jokes
Some of the most amusing side effects of swine flu come not from comedians or the online masses, but from people attempting to be taken seriously while wearing those ubiquitous face masks, most notably MTV reality TV stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt.
Following their highly publicized wedding at the end of April, "Speidi" decamped to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where paparazzi snapped photos of them soaking up the sun, strutting down the beach and even attempting a bizarre sort of Eskimo kiss -- all while wearing identical surgical face masks.
Of course, not everyone is taking the approach that laughter's the best medicine against a disease they probably don't have.
According to the Daily Mail, Simon posted on his Twitter page Wednesday, "I'm not saying Susan Boyle caused swine flu. I'm just saying that nobody had swine flu, she sang on TV, people got swine flu."
Simon's constituents and fellow Labour party members were not amused, citing the recent confirmation that a 12-year-old girl from Britain had come down with the virus. The Daily Mail said he apologized via Twitter and deleted his original joke.
"View" moderator Whoopi Goldberg stayed home from the ABC daytime talk show for two days last week fearing she had "the piggy flu." Back on the show last Thursday, she admitted it was just a cold, but she took her symptoms seriously because she didn't want to infect pregnant co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck or the rest of "The View's" staff.
Too bad -- Goldberg could've just clicked here and saved the sick days.