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An Ode To Al 199

Posted by Zonk
from the vixens-in-therapy-and-donners-still-nervous dept.
bwfcusa16 writes "The Boston Globe has up a feature story on Weird Al in its Sunday edition. The article refers to his staying power as prince of the parody. It's an ode to his determination, talent, and relevance ... and, of course, the funny." From the article: "Novelty artists--and he is one--have a notoriously short lifespan. They age badly, they run out of gags. But Al, by simply refusing to stop, has turned himself into a sort of cultural Geiger counter, ticking and squawking around the hot zones. The oddity of a humorist titling himself like a pro wrestler (there's no "Funny Jerry" Seinfeld) has long since worn off--he's the champ, and he's earned it.
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An Ode To Al

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  • Moo (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chacham (981) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:37AM (#16542490) Homepage Journal
    Nice that he got an article, but....

    it isn't comprehensive in the slightest.

    doesn't mention Al-TV "taking over" M-TV for a half-hour.

    doesn't mention the problems he's had except one album.

    Must be slow news day.
    • by ChePibe (882378)
      Must be slow news day.

      Could've been worse. It could've been kdawson, in which case we'd have yet another "Stolen Election Sunday".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:39AM (#16542500)
    "Pretty fly for a weird guy."
  • by patio11 (857072) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:41AM (#16542512)
    Seriously, there is nothing in that article worth reading for anyone with a passing aquaintance to Weird Al. Why don't you spend your time by going to iTunes or the record store and picking up his new CD (he has said he makes vastly more money from the CD sales, if that makes your decision easier). "White and Nerdy" is one of the funniest songs I have ever heard, and I've all but adopted it as my personal anthem.
    • by creimer (824291) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:51AM (#16542594) Homepage
      Code Monkey [jonathancoulton.com] is a close second.
    • by CptNerd (455084)
      I saw this CD in the store, but it had a sticker saying it "doesn't conform to CD standards" and "may not play in some computer CD drives", so I passed. If this is a parody sticker, too, then I might reconsider, but if he's seriously into helping the record companies with this, I'll move on.

      Yeah, he had "Don't download this song" but you never know...

      • Re:DRM? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mr. Hankey (95668) on Monday October 23, 2006 @02:38AM (#16543170) Homepage
        FWIW, to my knowledge there's nothing on the disc that prevents it from being copied. As I always do with my CDs, I ripped the disc to my computer and put the CD on the shelf. After looking at the videos on the other side that is. I suppose I might have watched the DVD half more if it had the "White and Nerdy" video on it, but the animations aren't terrible and the album itself doesn't disappoint this long-time Al fan. For those who care, which excludes myself, there are enhanced stereo and surround versions on the DVD side as well. Anyway, White & Nerdy, Canadian Idiot and Trapped in the Drive-Thru (a great sendup of Trapped in the Closet) were the album's high points for me. Even "Don't download this song" has enough sarcasm to make it funny, in a "We are the world" parody sort of way.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by FuzzyFox (772046)
        I read that sticker with some trepidation too, but I haven't had any trouble ripping the tracks and encoding them for my MP3 player. The disc appears to be a standard red book audio disc. I can't figure out what is supposed to be different about it. The only thing odd is, of course, that it is a DVD on one side, and a CD on the other side. I believe that makes it slightly thicker than a normal CD? Perhaps that is what makes it "non-conformant" to the CD standards.

        The disc is not copy-protected in any

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by NecroPuppy (222648)
          At least some computers (such as mine) have issues with ripping it.

          And my car CD player doesn't like the CD/DVD - there's potential jamming issues with the DualDiss format.
      • Horror of DualDisc (Score:4, Informative)

        by Channard (693317) on Monday October 23, 2006 @04:01AM (#16543582) Journal
        As one poster has pointed out, the disc is a DualDisc format. This is not copy protection, but a 'clever' way of having DVD and CD content on one CD. And you know what? It sucks. So much so that I ebayed my DualDisc version and bought the Australian version which, while not having the Karaeoke option of the US DVD, actually does run on a PC. Then I sold the DualDisc version on E-Bay and I sure as hell won't ever be buying a dualdisc version again. The only way I could get the DualDisc version onto my MP3 player was to make a copy of the CD, then put that copy in the computer. The disc completely failed to either play on my Apple Mac Mini or my PC, and could only be read by one particular laptop I tried. It may not be actual copy protection, but it sure as hell worked like it, well, until I found a laptop it worked on.
    • while "white and nerdy" is nice, "generic blues" is much much funnier
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by samkass (174571)
      I like "White and Nerdy", but "All About the Pentiums" is my favorite geek-parody song, containing one of my favorite pseudo-gansta lyrics of all time:
      If I ever meet ya
      I'll CTRL-ALT-DELETE ya!

  • by Salvance (1014001) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:42AM (#16542514) Homepage Journal
    White and Nerdy [saynotocrack.com] - need I say more?

    There's no doubt that Weird Al is seriously funny. How many comedians or comedic singers are around for 25 years, and have people remember their songs? I doubt even funnymen like Adam Sandler will have followings like him in another 10-15 years. My personal favorite song ... 'This is the Life', probably released in 1985 or so. I eat filet mignon seven times a day, my bathtub's filled with perrier and I have women lined up outside my door, they've been waiting there since the week before, who can ask for more, this is the life. Genius =).

    While he had more duds than hits over the past 10 years, it seems like he's had some resurgance ... particularly over the past 2 years. Note: the link above is to a work-appropriate humor site I contribute to ... I couldn't resist, hopefully I don't get flamed too hard, I'm a die-hard fan.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by weav (158099)
      Alfred Yankovic has not only taken the humor and a great deal of the style of Lindley Armstrong "Spike" Jones to new heights, he's surpassed Jones's, Sherman's, Lehrer's and Silverstein's longevity by a good way.

      Al, you rock. And the fact that you took time to see a John Hartford show when your touring paths crossed in upstate New York speaks even more highly for you...

    • by Pseudonym (62607) on Monday October 23, 2006 @02:37AM (#16543166)
      I wonder what the chances of getting a slashdot interview with him would be.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        Probably pretty good, Al is genuinely a down to earth kind of guy. I think it wore off eventually but he signed my friend Rodent's Pinto Station Wagon once. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cgenman (325138)
      "A local boy kicked me in the butt last week.
      I just smiled at him and I turned the other cheek.
      I really don't care in fact I wish him well.
      Because I'll be laughing my head off while he's burning in hell." - Amish Paradise

      "I just can't understand it
      Why won't you return my phone calls
      Are you still mad I gave a Mohawk to your cat
      If you'd just say the word
      I'm certain that our love would last forever and ever
      Or are you too dumb to realize that" - Melanie

      "Since you've been gone
      Well, it feels like I'm getting teta
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by schon (31600)
        How could you miss "The story begins"?

        "My, my, this here Anakin guy,
        Maybe Vader, someday later
        Now he's just a small-fry.

        He left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye,
        singing 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi,
        Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'"
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by TheJediGeek (903350)
          You just messed up the title of a Weird Al song about Star Wars.

          Please turn in your geek card on your way out.

    • Weird Al's pancreas has an attractive force whose magnitude does not fall off with the square of the distance as other mere morals, but is rather simply inversionally proportional to the distance. It is suspected that this increased sensitivity to the pancreata of others is the source of his innate parodic connection to the musician around him. I have already requested funding to study this amazing phenomonem, and how it relates to his superhuman comedic powers, but the scientific establishment is not read
  • by joeware (672849) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:42AM (#16542516)
    "Addicted to Love" was done by Robert Palmer not Robert Plant. Duh.
  • by RallyDriver (49641) on Monday October 23, 2006 @12:50AM (#16542586) Homepage

    As a foreigner living here, I find that American culture often needs a little help to laugh at itself. Parker and Stone may have made doing so mainstream, but Al was ahead of the curve when he started it.

    Aside from that, the simple fact is that using different words matching the same rhythm and rhyme of well known music is simply intrinsically funny, and he does a very good job of it - he also has a decent amount of musical talent, and he has shown superb diversity in keeping up with the times and parodying whatever is currently hip.

    In short, Al is a key contributor to American culture, and deserves to be lauded for it.
  • Al's greatest work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RichPowers (998637) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:00AM (#16542654)
    If you want proof of Al's talent, look no further than "Bob," a brilliant tribute to the lyrical stylings of Bob Dylan. A parody of Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "Bob" is done entirely in palindromes while still retaining the lyrical absurdities of the original song. Al also interjects several completely unnecessary 1-second harmonica rifts in the song, poking fun at Dylan's use of the instrument. I'm a huge Dylan fan and this was by far one of the most original tributes to the man. http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nej4xJe4Tdg [youtube.com]
    • I'd have to vote for John Corigliano's "Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan" as both a tribute and original. But if you have no taste for modern music, you might certainly not like it.
    • by honkycat (249849)
      Glad you're modded up, thanks for the link. That's the funniest song (+ video) I've heard in a really long time...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We really need to have fonts distinguish between I and l and | (as used in subject ).

    • by Patik (584959)
      Trebuchet comes with Windows and is quite nice-looking for web browsing. It shows a little curl at the bottom of lowercase Ls and the pipe is thinner and slightly subset, so those three characters look different.
  • by Hahnsoo (976162) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:09AM (#16542720)
    I wonder what Weird Al will be like 20 years from now... will he be remembered as one of the "greats" of comedy, a name living long after everyone forgets the jokes? What will his parodies (and polkas) be like? Will he continue to be the pop culture barometer that we've come to know and love? Regardless, all of his songs have been a constant companion on my playlists and CD jackets and tapedecks, and I think I remember his songs with more clarity than the originals. Maybe he will be known as the last successful accordion artist. *grin*
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ChaosWeevil (1004221)
      Yeah, though those of us with a ton of his CDs won't forget him in 20 years... Unless we're all dead. But a lot of his songs aren't pop-culture dependant. I mean, sure, "I Want a New Duck" is getting less understood, but "One More Minute", "This is the Life", and "Dare to be Stupid" will stick around for quite a while. Even a good number his parodies don't require knowledge of the original song to laugh at.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Unless we're all dead.

        that depends on whether or not my Deathstar plans stay on schedule. You know how unreliable contractors are.

        -Eric

    • by Robotech_Master (14247) on Monday October 23, 2006 @03:15AM (#16543392) Homepage Journal
      I saw a quote in a signature file or blog entry or something that went something like:

      "If someone had told you in 1984 that in 2006 Michael Jackson = flameout and Weird Al = still relevant, you would have laughed your head off."

      It's just so true.
    • by Ucklak (755284)
      If you thought that 20 years ago then you must have listened to Dr. Demento to hear his stuff.
      • by gozar (39392)

        If you thought that 20 years ago then you must have listened to Dr. Demento to hear his stuff.

        "Weird Al" Yankovic ("My Bologna", "Another One Rides the Bus") was released in 1983 and "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3D ("Eat it", "I Lost on Jeopardy") was released in 1984. Since I didn't even know who Dr. Demento was until the late '80s/early '90s, Weird Al's albums were my only exposure to his music. I know I've got a copy of Even Worse on tape somewhere...

      • Twenty years ago "Weird" Al was pretty mainstream: "Eat It" was played all the time on pop stations, "Like a Surgeon" seemed not quite as popular, but still got a lot of play.

        In fact, I didn't hear of Dr. Demento until the 1990's, whereas people were laughing about his songs in my school in 1984 and '85 ("Eat It" was amazingly popular, probably because everyone was listening to Michael Jackson at the time).

        Vidar
    • I wonder what Weird Al will be like 20 years from now
      Someday I'll be both revered and passe, like Madonna. [frontalot.com]
    • by edunbar93 (141167)
      I wonder what Weird Al will be like 20 years from now... will he be remembered as one of the "greats" of comedy, a name living long after everyone forgets the jokes?

      Dude, I'm still going to remember the lyrics to "Yoda" 20 years from now...
    • by Sporkinum (655143)
      After Yakov passes away. Al will buy his place in Branson. Busloads of geriatric "Nerdy White Boys" will make the pilgrimage to relive their lost youth and enjoy the all you can eat vegetarian buffet.
  • by KewlioMZX (992347) <kewlio-origin@@@simguy...net> on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:31AM (#16542824) Homepage Journal
    (there's no "Funny Jerry" Seinfeld) This article makes a good point. X3
    • by metamatic (202216)
      (there's no "Funny Jerry" Seinfeld)

      There's no funny Jerry Seinfeld. I've had funnier dental surgery.

      • by spun (1352)
        "What's the deal with dental surgery? It's very painful! They stick things in your mouth. And what's with that sucky tube? It sticks to the side of your mouth and then your mouth fills up with drool."

        Now, can you tell me, is that actual Jerry Seinfeld material, or did I just make that up?
        • I would have to guess that you made it up, because even though I can imagine him saying it, it just isn't that funny.
          • by spun (1352)
            That's my point. It's about as funny as real Jerry Seinfeld material, which is to say, not funny at all. My apologies if you actually find Seinfeld funny, but I was replying to a fellow Seinfeld hater. I am also only refering to his standup, I like the show, even if he is a crappy actor as well as beign a lame comedian.
  • Curse Sans-Serif (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:31AM (#16542826)

    I was just thinking, "Yeah, if they'd only cut off the last half-hour and the whole reviving his mother so he could say goodbye, it would have been a pretty awesome movie. JUst leave him trapped under the ferris wheel."

    Put then I realized it was "An Ode to AL" and not "An Ode to AI". Whoever originated the Sans-Serif L should be shot ;).

    • Actually I hated that part of the movie too because I believed it to be tacked on by spielbergo. Actually, it wasnt tacked on and that was how kubrick wanted the movie to end, its quite brilliant. The way it was explained to me, was basically that if they had just left him underwater its tragic, but when they give him a brief taste of his mother and then take it away leaving him in a plain white room completely devoid of humanity (who are actually gods to the mecha) for the rest of time - well thats quite a
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:46AM (#16542900)
    The first thing to do is forget about writing original material. You are surrounded by material. Just look around. The things the rich and famous do ... you can't make that kind of thing up. All Weird Al has to do is just give up trying to be creative; all he has to do is be a bit observant. His stuff will practically write itself.

    A similar example is the Simpsons. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons#Storylin es [wikipedia.org] The Simpsons are American culture lite. The Simpsons have referenced everything important about American culture that has happened in the last half century. Example: How do my kids know about 'A Streetcar Named Desire'? They saw it on the Simpsons. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0701048/ [imdb.com] The Simpsons parody everything. Another example: Marge on the Lam is a parody of Thelma and Louise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thelma_and_Louise [wikipedia.org]

    I'm not surprised that Weird Al has lasted so long; I'm surprised that more people don't do the same. Maybe Weird Al and the Simpsons just do it better than anyone else.
    • by Khomar (529552) on Monday October 23, 2006 @07:44AM (#16544630) Journal
      I'm not surprised that Weird Al has lasted so long; I'm surprised that more people don't do the same. Maybe Weird Al and the Simpsons just do it better than anyone else.

      One of Weird Al's strengths is the fact that he keeps his humor clean, and the Simpsons has remained relatively clean compared to its competitors. There are many other comedians and parody artists who allow vulgarity and low-brow humor to slip into their work which undermines it. No one has a guilty conscience for listening to Weird Al's songs, so his humor is able to reach a larger audience. It also often takes more talent to be funny and clean as you are not relying on the "shock" factor as many "colorful" comedians do. There is something magical about a comedic routine that people of all ages and walks of life can enjoy.

      • by pogle (71293)
        "No one has a guilty conscience for listening to Weird Al's songs"

        Someone hasnt heard the leper song, or "Weasel Stomping Day"...

        I love Weird Al, but you don't have to swear to be low-brow. He manages it pretty well, of course, and its far from the only type of comedy he engages in.
      • One of Weird Al's strengths is the fact that he keeps his humor clean, and the Simpsons has remained relatively clean compared to its competitors. There are many other comedians and parody artists who allow vulgarity and low-brow humor to slip into their work which undermines it. No one has a guilty conscience for listening to Weird Al's songs, so his humor is able to reach a larger audience. It also often takes more talent to be funny and clean as you are not relying on the "shock" factor as many "colorful
    • by gosand (234100)
      One of the best cultural references was in their 138th Episode Spectacular [snpp.com]. They showed "outtakes" and "alternate endings" from episodes, one of those being from "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" (yet another take-off, of Dallas). In it, host Troy Mclure talked about one of the alternate endings to that episode..."But of course, for that ending to work, you would have to ignore all the Simpson DNA evidence. [laughs] And that would be downright nutty."

      What a great commentary on the O.J. trial! Absolutely fantas

  • err (Score:3, Interesting)

    by riff420 (810435) on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:50AM (#16542928)
    Granted, I have not rtfa, but I'd like to chime in: I've been listening to Weird Al for close to 20 years now. Sure, I love his parodies, but they are NOT what he does best. The attention to detail that he pays in his original music is staggering. He simply does not get enough credit for his fantastic sense of music, style, and composition. His original works come in two main flavors: A parody in a particular style/genre, as well as fully original compositions. His style parodies are AMAZING. Even DEVO (was it Mark Mothersbaugh who said this?) has gone on record saying how much they simply hate Weird Al because Dare To Be Stupid (song, not album) was EXACTLY the kind of sound they had gone for all along. It's a friggin' great song, to boot. His fully original compositions, however, emulate the thoughts and ideas of his self-proclaimed musical influence, the late and great Frank Zappa. Be it Genius In France (featuring Dweezil Zappa, album Poodle Hat, which in and of itself is a direct reference to Zappa regarding the mention of poodles. This is touched upon more in Zappa's Project/Object theory, sorry, no link), or Fun Zone from the UHF OST, the man simply knows how to arrange a piece of music to appeal to the professional musician in all of us. Obviously, though, if really LISTENING to the music isn't your thing, you won't get it. It's like how Wesley Snipes said, in White Men Can't Jump, you can HEAR Jimmi, but you aren't LISTENING to Jimmi. Maybe it was the other way around, it's been a while, but my point should be fairly clear. I consider myself a severe musical snob, even to the point where I egotistically feel I'm being fully objective about why the music I like is so great. Weird Al has always secured himself a place in my musical interest, and although he is generally obligated to cover what's 'popular' at the time (both for economical reasons, as well as pleasing the majority of the listeners, who themselves listen to that kind of music [rap, most recently], it's his original pieces of work that continue to fill my mind with wonder, awe, and sheer admiration for his skills. I would love to keep rambling about why I think Weird Al is a DAMN FINE musician, but then this post would never end. Weird Al, granted you probably won't read this since you spend 12+ hours a day logged into MySpace, muahaha, you share a place in my mind right up there with Zappa, and I feel that your ingenuity as well as your raw talent is quite possibly equal to Zappa in my mind. I will be a fan of yours always, even if I don't listen to particular tracks off of particular albums because the music does not apply to my taste (for the most part, more recent material than anything else). Keep up the amazing work, and I will continue to buy your music as often as you release it. Please, don't ever stop. I won't even get into how aware the man is of technology, as well as world events, and humor. One last note: For the first time ever, you have grossed me out. Weasel Stomping Day is the first piece of work you've ever made that just seemed to catch me off guard. Then again, maybe I just love animals! Of course, I didn't mind it that time you had a wolverine in your underwear, and suddenly the guy behind you starting screaming evything you know is wrong. Again, I will always be an adoring fan.
    • I am not really a musical snob, but I do come from a very musical family and have an appreciation for music. I agree 100% that Al has some really amazing original music, and also really clever lyrics. I think the quality of his music is the reason he endures, because he can parody the musical aspect of a song (or as you noted a whole genre) at the same time he's playing with lyrics. It's a powerful combo.

      I'm glad to see he's reached a goal and getting recognition long deserved, even if most people will c
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Wdomburg (141264)
      It's like how Wesley Snipes said, in White Men Can't Jump, you can HEAR Jimmi, but you aren't LISTENING to Jimmi.

      Strike that, reverse it.
  • by QuantumFTL (197300) <justin...wick@@@gmail...com> on Monday October 23, 2006 @01:57AM (#16542972)
    For me, the proof that Weird Al really impacted our culture and was relevant was walking into a store and seeing, between "Rock" and "Country" an entire "Weird Al" section. I guess you just can't pin that guy down :)
    • At the Virgin Megastore where I snagged my "Straight Outta Lynwood" copy on release day had him categorized in the "Comedy" section. I believe he took up a significant portion of the isle.
  • Prince of parody? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I don't know if I'd go that far. In my not-so-humble AC opinion, that title shall forever belong to Tom Lehrer.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Monday October 23, 2006 @02:50AM (#16543232) Journal
    They must have run Fat on MTV like once every 10 videos for what seemed to be a year. I thought MTV was pretty awesome back then.
  • by Joosy (787747) on Monday October 23, 2006 @05:24AM (#16543930)

    In 1980 I was a DJ with Weird Al at KCPR, the radio station at Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo, California). For some idiotic reason the powers-that-be wanted the station to act like a commercial station, playing mostly the same bland hits that the commercial stations played. Someplace I've saved a hilarious interview in the student paper with Al, in which he says "They can tell me I have to play certain songs, but they never specified at what speed, or what direction to play them in!"

    He was a very friendly guy, by the way. Always upbeat and helpful to everyone even though he was already something of a star.

    • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday October 23, 2006 @10:03AM (#16545924)

      Suddenly, everyone under the age of 25 was terribly confused. CDROMs only spin one way, and the read speed doesn't change the playback.

      • by Nicolay77 (258497)
        There is PC DJ (among other DJ software) and also Audacity and related editors.

        I would say it is easier to play songs backwards and with different speeds now than in that time. My turntable could not spin backwards and had only three speeds, for a start.
      • by Misagon (1135)
        You can change the playback speed of CD's on a lot of DJ gear. Some even have mock turntables.
  • by freeweed (309734) on Monday October 23, 2006 @06:59AM (#16544386)
    Interesting quote from the article:

    "His new album, "Straight Outta Lynwood" (Volcano), shot into the Billboard Top 10 upon its release last month--his highest chart placing since he opened his one-man spoof-factory in the early '80s."

    So after all of those Internet hackers have been destroying musicians' careers with their file sharing, and leaking videos, and other piratical nonsense...

    You make something people want, and it SELLS.

    Considering the exposure Weird Al had in the 80s (his videos were in heavy rotation for years, every news organization wanted to talk with him and leech off the Michael Jackson bubble), to be selling even better today speaks volumes.
    • by Schnapple (262314)
      It's completely awesome that Weird Al is charting better now than ever before.

      That said, it could be that fewer people are buying CD's these days and therefore there's less competition.

      When the record stores in malls are going out of business and no one cares, times are changing.

  • by TheViewFromTheGround (607422) on Monday October 23, 2006 @08:49AM (#16545194) Homepage
    Slate's Weird Al essay [slate.com] by Sam Anderson is infinitely more insightful and thoughtful than the Globe's coverage: "He's not like them, he's like us. To the millions of us flitting around the edges of hipness, he is our Geek Bard, our Troubadork. Unlike his prey--the rappers and the rockers, the folk-pop shamans and the techno wizards--Weird Al is, in the only meaningful sense of the phrase, keeping it real."
  • I think the aspect the article missed was the idea that Weird Al was also a bridge for geeks to mainstream themselves into some appreciation of popular music. I know for me, he was the bridge from "I'm convincing myself I love classical and jazz" to the music of the day.
  • by edunbar93 (141167) on Monday October 23, 2006 @11:16AM (#16546818)
    But above all, Al's lyrics are clean. If they're funny while refraining from toilet humour and nonstop obscenities, then the audience is lauging because the content is funny, rather than because you're making it nervous. Case in point: prison bitch [sing365.com] by Rodney Carrington. Try searching for other songs by Rodney, and you'll find a bunch of very short or unfinished parodies that aren't anywhere near as funny.

    If you search your favourite file-sharing network for "Weird Al" you'll find almost as many songs wrongly attributed to Weird Al as there are actual songs by Weird Al. One of my favourite examples is "Asshole Son", parodying "Blackhole Sun". While the lyrics spring from the same sort of "deliberately mishearing something" as the article puts it, they aren't funny in and of themselves.

    So while there's a bit of humor in parodying songs that take themselves entirely too seriously and poking fun at bands and cultural icons, that's not all there is to Al. Because his songs are actually *funny* (which is even more apparent in his original works like "Christmas at Ground Zero", or "You don't love me anymore"), they stand up on their own two feet.
    • I have taught people this lesson in a dramatic fashion.

      When somebody says "Yeah, that is too Weird Al singing what if God Smoked Cannabis" (or any other song that he'd never do) I have a simple reply. "I bet you $1,000 in cash that it's not."

      They argue a lot less, and check their sources after that.

      My point has always been that Weird Al has never done a dirty or off-color song. When I saw him last time, there were 3 generations of a family in the row in front of me. Little children, their youngish folks,

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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