G.I. Joe PSA parodies are viral videos created by Chicago-based filmmmaker Eric Fensler in 2003. Fensler’s production company Fensler Films created a total set of 25 spoof PSAs, and spread primarily through Ebaumsworld as embedded Quicktime videos before YouTube was created.
The original 1980’s G.I. Joe cartoon by Sunbow/Marvel that ran from 1984-1987, and by DiC Entertainment from 1989-1991, featured Public Safety Announcement’s at the end of each episode called “knowing is half the battle”. The Fensler parodies dubbed over these with nonsensical dialogue about pork chop sandwiches, body massages, and computers telling you to “stop all the downloadin’”.
Hasbro issued a cease and desist letter to Fensler on September 9th, 2004, claiming grounds based on copyright infringement. Fensler complied and took down the videos, but it was too late. The content had spread all over the Internet by this point.
Eric eventually stared hosting his original set of 25 on his website again. You can view them here.
Eric Fensler gained recognition for creating his viral content and went on to produce a set of promos for Adult Swim’s Sealab 2021, eventually working as a writer for Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.