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'Weird Al' Yankovic

The foremost song parodist of the MTV era, "Weird Al" Yankovic carried the torch of musical humor more proudly and more successfully than any performer since Allan Sherman. In the world of novelty records -- a genre noted for its extensive back catalog of flashes-in-the-pan and one-hit wonders -- Yankovic was king, scoring smash after smash over the course of an enduring career which found him topically mocking everything from new wave to gangsta rap.

Alfred Matthew Yankovic was born October 23, 1959, in Lynwood, California. An only child, he began playing the accordion at age seven, following in the tradition of polka star Frank Yankovic (no relation). In his early teens he became an avid fan of the Dr. Demento show, drawing inspiration from the parodies of Allan Sherman as well as the musical comedy of Spike Jones, Tom Lehrer, and Stan Freberg. In 1973, Demento spoke at Yankovic's school, where the 13-year-old passed the radio host a demo tape of home recordings; three years later, Demento played Yankovic's "Belvedere Cruising" -- an accordion-driven pop song written about the family's Plymouth -- on the air, and his career was launched.

Yankovic quickly emerged as a staple of the Demento play list, recording a prodigious amount of tongue-in-cheek material throughout his high-school career. After graduation, he studied architecture; while attending California Polytechnic State University, he also joined the staff of the campus radio station, first adopting the nickname "Weird Al" and spinning a mixture of novelty and new wave hits. In 1979, the success of the Knack's monster hit "My Sharona" inspired Yankovic to record a parody dubbed "My Bologna"; not only was the song a smash with Demento fans, but it even found favor with the Knack themselves, who convinced their label, Capitol, to issue the satire as a single.

After graduating in 1980, Yankovic cut "Another One Rides the Bus," a parody of Queen's chart-topping "Another One Bites the Dust" recorded live in Dr. Demento's studios; the song became an underground hit, and Yankovic followed it up with "I Love Rocky Road," a satire of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'n Roll." After hooking up with noted session guitarist and producer Rick Derringer, he signed to Scotti Brothers, which issued his debut LP, "Weird Al" Yankovic, in 1983. The album featured the song "Ricky," a tune inspired equally by Toni Basil's hit "Mickey" and the I Love Lucy television series; issued as a single, it hit the Top 100 charts, and its accompanying video became a staple of the fledgling MTV network.

Ultimately, much of Yankovic's success resulted from his skilled use of music video, a medium not available in the era of Spike Jones or Allan Sherman; suddenly, not only could records themselves serve as parody fodder, but their video clips were ripe for satire as well. Additionally, MTV firmly established Yankovic's public persona; sporting garish Hawaiian shirts, frizzy hair, and an arsenal of goofy mannerisms, he cut a distinctly bizarre figure which he consistently exploited to maximum comic effect. After Michael Jackson's "Beat It" became the most acclaimed video in the medium's brief history, Yankovic recorded "Eat It" for his sophomore effort, 1984's "Weird" Al Yankovic in 3-D; the "Eat It" video, which mocked the "Beat It" clip scene-for-scene, became an MTV smash, and the Grammy-winning single reached the Top 15.

In addition to "Eat It," In 3-D also launched the minor hits "King of Suede" (a rewrite of the Police's "King of Pain") and "I Lost on Jeopardy" (a send-up of the Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy"), as well as "Polkas on 45," the first in a series of medleys of pop hits recast as polka numbers. Dare to Be Stupid, the first comedy record ever released in the new compact disc format, followed in 1985, and featured "Like a Surgeon," a takeoff of the Madonna hit "Like a Virgin." Like its predecessor, Dare to Be Stupid went gold, but 1986's Polka Party! fared poorly and charted only briefly, prompting many to write off Yankovic's career.

However, in 1988, Yankovic returned with the platinum-selling Even Worse, its title and album cover a reference to Michael Jackson's recent Bad LP. "I'm Fat," the first single and video, also parodied the lavish Martin Scorsese-directed clip for Jackson's hit "Bad"; shot on the same subway set used by Jackson, the video -- which portrayed Yankovic as a grotesquely obese tough guy -- won him his second Grammy. The next year, he starred in the feature film UHF, which he also co-wrote; a soundtrack appeared as well.

After an extended period of silence, he returned in 1992 with Off the Deep End, which featured the Top 40 hit "Smells Like Nirvana," a send-up of Nirvana's landmark single "Smells Like Teen Spirit." After 1993's Alapalooza, he resurfaced in 1996 with Bad Hair Day, his highest-charting record to date thanks to the success of the single "Amish Paradise," a takeoff of the Coolio hit "Gangsta's Paradise." The follow-up, Running with Scissors, appeared in 1999, with Poodle Hat landing in 2003. Straight Outta Lynwood appeared in 2006 with the single "White & Nerdy," a suburban parody of Chamillionaire's hit "Ridin." Yankovic's 13th studio album, 2011's Alpocalypse, skewered the likes of Lady Gaga ("Perform This Way") and Miley Cyrus ("Party in the CIA"). His 2014 effort, Mandatory Fun, was introduced Beyoncé style, with eight videos posted to the Internet before its release. It debuted at number one, becoming the first comedy album to do so in more than 50 years. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Mandatory Fun

1. Handy

2. Lame Claim To Fame

3. Foil

4. Sports Song

5. Word Crimes

6. My Own Eyes

7. NOW That's What I Call Polka!

8. Mission Statement

9. Inactive

10. First World Problems

11. Tacky

12. Jackson Park Express

x

Track List: Alpocalypse

1. Perform This Way

2. Cnr

3. TMZ

4. Skipper Dan

5. Polka Face

6. Craigslist

7. Party In The CIA

8. Ringtone

9. Another Tattoo

10. If That Isn't Love

11. Whatever You Like

12. Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me

x

Track List: Poodle Hat

1. Couch Potato

2. Hardware Store

3. Trash Day

4. Party At The Leper Colony

5. Angry White Boy Polka

6. Wanna B Ur Lovr

7. A Complicated Song

8. Why Does This Always Happen To Me?

9. Ode To A Superhero

10. Bob

11. Ebay

12. Genius In France

x

Track List: Running With Scissors

1. The Saga Begins

2. My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder

3. Pretty Fly For A Rabbi

4. The Weird Al Show Theme

5. Jerry Springer

6. Germs

7. Polka Power!

8. Your Horoscope For Today

9. It's All About The Pentiums

10. Truck Drivin' Song

11. Grapefruit Diet

12. Albuquerque

x

Track List: Bad Hair Day

1. Amish Paradise

2. Everything You Know Is Wrong

3. Cavity Search

4. Callin' In Sick

5. The Alternative Polka

6. Since You've Been Gone

7. Gump

8. I'm So Sick Of You

9. Syndicated Inc.

10. I Remember Larry

11. Phony Calls

12. The Night Santa Went Crazy

x

Track List: The Tv Album

1. Bedrock Anthem

2. I Can't Watch This

3. Frank's 2000" TV

4. Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies

5. Ricky

6. Talk Soup

7. Here's Johnny

8. The Brady Bunch

9. Cable Tv

10. I Lost On Jeopardy

11. UHF

x

Track List: Permanent Record: Al In The Box

Disc 1

1. My Bologna (Capitol Records Single Version)

2. Another One Rides The Bus

3. Happy Birthday (Placebo E.P. Version)

4. I Love Rocky Road

5. Ricky

6. Polkas On 45

7. Midnight Star

8. Eat It

9. Mr. Popeil

10. I Lost On Jeopardy

11. Buy Me A Condo

12. King Of Suede

Disc 2

1. Yoda

2. This Is The Life

3. Like A Surgeon

4. One More Minute

5. I Want A New Duck

6. Dare To Be Stupid

7. Hooked On Polkas

8. Addicted To Spuds

9. Dog Eat Dog

10. Here's Johnny

11. Living With A Hernia

12. Christmas At Ground Zero

Disc 3

1. Lasagna

2. Good Old Days

3. Fat

4. Melanie

5. I Think I'm A Clone Now

6. You Make Me

7. Alimony

8. Uhf (Single Version)

9. Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies

10. The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota

11. Spam

12. Generic Blues

Disc 4

1. Polka Your Eyes Out

2. You Don't Love Me Anymore

3. Smells Like Nirvana

4. When I Was Your Age

5. I Can't Watch This

6. Trigger Happy

7. Taco Grande

8. Bedrock Anthem

9. Harvey The Wonder Hamster

10. Achy Breaky Song

11. Livin' In The Fridge

12. Frank's 2000" Tv

13. Jurassic Park

14. Headline News

x

Track List: Alapalooza

1. Jurassic Park

2. Young, Dumb & Ugly

3. Bedrock Anthem

4. Frank's 2000" TV

5. Achy Breaky Song

6. Traffic Jam

7. Talk Soup

8. Livin' In The Fridge

9. She Never Told Me She Was A Mime

10. Harvey The Wonder Hamster

11. Waffle King

12. Bohemian Polka

x

Track List: Off The Deep End

1. Smells Like Nirvana

2. Trigger Happy

3. I Can't Watch This

4. Polka Your Eyes Out

5. I Was Only Kidding

6. The White Stuff

7. When I Was Your Age

8. Taco Grande

9. Airline Amy

10. The Plumbing Song

11. You Don't Love Me Anymore

x

Track List: UHF: Weird Al Yankovic

1. Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies

2. Gandhi II

4. Isle Thing

5. The Hot Rocks Polka

6. UHF

7. Let Me Be Your Hog

8. She Drives Like Crazy

9. Generic Blues

10. Spatula City

11. Fun Zone

12. Spam

13. The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota

x

Track List: Even Worse

1. Fat

2. Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White

3. (This Song's Just) Six Words Long

4. You Make Me

5. I Think I'm A Clone Now

6. Lasagna

7. Melanie

8. Alimony

9. Velvet Elvis

10. Twister

11. Good Old Days

x

Track List: Dare To Be Stupid

1. Like A Surgeon

2. Dare To Be Stupid

3. I Want A New Duck

4. One More Minute

5. Yoda

6. George Of The Jungle

7. Slime Creatures From Outer Space

8. Girls Just Want To Have Lunch

9. This Is The Life

10. Cable Tv

11. Hooked On Polkas

x

Track List: In 3-D

1. Eat It

2. Midnight Star

3. The Brady Bunch

4. Buy Me A Condo

5. I Lost On Jeopardy

6. Polkas On 45

7. Mr. Popeil

8. King Of Suede

9. That Boy Could Dance

10. Theme From Rocky XIII

11. Nature Trail To Hell

x

Track List: Weird Al Yankovic

1. Ricky

2. Gotta Boogie

3. I Love Rocky Road

4. Buckingham Blues

5. Happy Birthday

6. Stop Draggin' My Car Around

7. My Bologna

8. The Check's In The Mail

9. Another One Rides The Bus

10. I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead

11. Such A Groovy Guy

12. Mr. Frump In The Iron Lung

x

Track List: Internet Leaks - EP

2. Craigslist

3. Skipper Dan

4. CNR

5. Ringtone

x

Track List: Perform This Way (Radio Single)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Kiss your hand five times. Post this on two other songs. Look under your pillow.
Report as inappropriate
Don't read this you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life tomorrow will be the best day of your life don't stop reading this if you are reading this you will have bad luck put this on 15 songs in 143 mins when you're done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear it's so creepy because it actually works
Report as inappropriate
King of parodies. Fo sure.
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I love the song It's so good
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I am fat I am fat��
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I don't want liver!
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I didn't get this song until I heard American Idiot
I liked the song before but now I love it
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BEST.SONGS.O F . A L L . T I M E .
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Omg hahahaha
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jeantredo
I meant weird al
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jeantredo
Plus weird so is the best!!!!

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jeantredo
Don't read this. You will be missed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life now that you started reading this don't stop this is so freaky. But I you read this and ignore it you will have extremely bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 144 minutes. When your done press the space bar And your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen this is so freaky it actually works
Report as inappropriate
jleveland3
Love it
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He is the funniest singer I know.
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Why did his contract have to be cancelled...
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White and Nerdy is pretty funny!
Report as inappropriate
It's not just the guilt that drives you crazy....
It's also the fact that you have to pay thousands of dollars in fines because of it.
Report as inappropriate
jeff-laura.s m i t h
He talks about McDonalds, an evil resturaunt killing Over 100 Americans a year. Avoid McDonalds is anything.
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zeldamaggi
Weird al is the best, YAY YAY YAY YAY
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My dad loves you
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What the heck is this
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weird al is awesome. wite nerdy all the
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SCAM
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mmarkel1071
I'm referring to the apocalypse album art btw
Report as inappropriate
mmarkel1071
I like the biblical reference about the end of the world shown in the album art with the different horses being ridden by different skeletons and other frightening looking things.... I wouldn't be surprised if the world ended and Weird Al was leading it... ��
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bananapancak e s 4 6
Oh my f**king God weird al!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Say iphone 5 times pick a color post this 2 times look under your pillow
Report as inappropriate
And if you do not like what I had to say to bad and I do not even go he a sh#t at all!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
Tacky,white and nerdy are so stupid!!!!!! !
And it is not even funny at all :) :) :) :)
Have a lot of fun
Report as inappropriate
jgrngnt13
Y
Ya
Yay
Ya
Y
Report as inappropriate
leg.holtz
White and nerdy is AWSOME
Report as inappropriate
Hi
Report as inappropriate
The 2nd best artist next to Twenty One Pilots
Report as inappropriate
maria_cuesta s
Weird Al life is good XP
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maria_cuesta s
Graystripe is really tacky #jesus shoes
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Amish paridise is best
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#pug life
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Lol
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Herro remember me ha ha
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It was the jappanies
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It's me
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Herro
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jgrngnt13
Lol
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It's Got em
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DEEZ NUTS ha Gody
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(What was it)
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I got some thing in the mail
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Lol
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Don't know
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Do I like Kirk or do I like Picard? 0_0
Show more

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