Do you remember that one kid in school who was a bit strange and was always doing silly things to make people laugh? Well imagine that kid grew up, gained crazy musical skills and became a video parody comedy legend and you would have Alfred Matthew Yankovic better known as “Weird Al”.
This (deep breath) American singer, songwriter, parodist, record producer, satirist, actor, voice actor, music video director, film producer, and author (whew) has been bringing the laughs for 40 years, recorded more than 150 parody and original songs and sold more than 12 million albums.
But you could get all that info from Wikipedia (like I did). For me Weird Al is a comedy genius and his particular brand of corny, absurdist, ridiculous humour puts a smile on my face every time. So for this post I will be discussing his latest venture, a Disney animated series, and four other interesting factoids from his four decade old career:
Al gets animated (more so than usual)
Al will be voicing the title character in the Disney XD series ‘Milo Murphy’s Law’ which was created by Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, the minds behind the brilliant Disney animated series “Phineas and Ferb”.
Milo is a descendant of Edward A. Murphy Jr., the guy from that Murphy’s Law theory which states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. From the art work and the intro title it looks like a colorful, bright show with lots of fun hijinks. And Al is in it so I definitely have to check it out. The show drops October 3, 2016.
Al’s extensive voice work resume includes “The Simpsons”, “Robot Chicken”, “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and as Wreck-Gar in Transformers: The Animated Movie. In terms of live action he also had his own short lived series “The Weird Al Show” on CBS back in 1997.
Factoid #1 Parody videos
My initial exposure to Al was growing up a child of the 80s and seeing these weird, silly, funny parody videos even before I understood what a parody was. I believe the first one I saw was “Like a Surgeon”, a parody of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”.
His first parody though was “My Bologna”, which he sang and also played the accordion, and it was based on The Knack’s “My Sharona” (Al loves his food based puns). But if you are looking for a great time just binge watch his videos and enjoy hits like “Smells like Nirvana” (Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit), “White and Nerdy” (“Ridin'” by Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone) or more classic fare like the hilarious “Eat it” (Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”) which I have linked above.
Factoid #2 Coolio beef
And speaking of parodies one of them got poor Al in a spot of bother. “Amish Paradise” (see above) is a parody of Coolio’s hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” (aka the only good thing about that 1995 Dangerous Minds movie with Michelle Pfieffer).
Apparently Mr Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was in quite a huff because he claimed he never gave Al permission to parody the song, thought it was too serious a subject and even made a veiled threat to beat up poor Al. And there is nothing more gangsta than threatening a skinny, pasty, gangly white dude with hair like Carrot Top. Thankfully the most one sided fight in history never happened, Coolio accepted royalty payments and the two reportedly settled their beef over thyme, I mean time. Blame it on the Al-cohol.
And Al’s recounting of his meeting with Coolio? “I don’t remember what we said to each other exactly, but it was all very friendly. I doubt I’ll be invited to Coolio’s next birthday party, but at least I can stop wearing that bulletproof vest to the mall.” Classic Al.
Factoid #3 One insane movie
In 1989 Al set his sights on Hollywood and starred in and co-wrote the comedy UHF, a satire of the television and film industries. It featured early work from “Seinfeld’s” Michael Richards and Fran Drescher of “The Nanny” fame.
It was a strange, ridiculous, absurd movie (see the trailer above to get a taste) that bombed both with critics and at the box office. But it has become a cult classic and I personally have great love for this crazy comedy. If you enjoy Al’s special brand of humour it is definitely worth checking out.
Factoid #4 Grammy Awards & Platinum Records
If you are still not convinced of the greatness of Weird Al (and really you should by now) then put this in your smoke and pipe it – he has won four Grammy Awards: Best Comedy Recording for “Eat it” (1985), Best Concept Music Video for “Fat” (1988), Best Comedy Album for Poodle Hat (2004) and again for Mandatory Fun (2015) out of 13 nominations.
There really is no one like Weird Al and there likely never will be. So Al, take us home with “Fat”.
So are you a fan of Weird Al? What’s your favorite of his video parodies? Feel free to comment below and if you enjoyed this post how about sharing with your peeps. Sharing is caring.
For more comedy stuff you can check out my list of the Top Jim Carrey 90s comedies here and my Top 10 Ludicrous Moments from the sci fi parody Spaceballs here. And for more silly TV and movie lists you can check back redmangoreviews for new posts Monday to Saturday or follow me on Twitter @suprememango012 for updates.
Julien is outie like a navel. l8rs.