Twenty things I love about Weird Al Yankovic.

Twenty things I love about Weird Al Yankovic.

It’s a Weird-Al kind of day. I watched his new video a couple of days ago and I always forget how good he is. Some people gripe that he’s not musically original (even on songs that aren’t specific parodies of current hits), but check out Rob Paravan’s Pachebell rant and see how much original pop music isn’t that original.

I’ve been programming to Weird-Al for about 25 years now and even sent him my own original comedy song called “Papa’s Wisdom” once. Tried to see him in concert but he canceled his one show in Binghamton (back in 2000) (even after I bought 9 tickets for friends and a spatula for each of them). It’s difficult to explain exactly why I love the guy so much, but I’m just going to list 20 things (memories, thoughts, theories) about Mr. Yankovic that make me love the guy and his work.

  1. Do what you love and the money will follow.
  2. Like the 3-stooges, it’s mostly a guy-thing but not quite as lopsided as them. (Most women just don’t like “stupid humor” as much as guys…yeah, I said it, doesn’t mean I’m sexist, if it’s true (and can be considered a compliment regardless of which side of the fence you’re on)).
  3. My son doesn’t like Billy Joel and Elton John and most of the other mainstream artists I listen too, but he does enjoy Mr. Yankovic too. (often we made the 5 hour trip between N. Y. and N. H. listening to just Weird Al on the iPod.)
  4. Three letters – U H F.
  5. Love/Hate relationship with all things that are part of the pop-culture.
  6. Every 2 years or so he produces another great “comeback” album.
  7. Even the bad songs are great or so annoying that they’re good too.
  8. He is so much better than he needs to be.
  9. Even Ito and Amanda like him (especially the videos).
  10. He gets better and better as he pushes the envelope for what a parody song can be.
  11. He always creates a great idea/concept for a parody, and then it’s flawlessly executed. Some of the ideas themselves are pure genius – Bob, Albuquerque, Yoda, The Saga Begins, Leper Colony, The Brady Bunch…the list goes on and on. If I wrote this tomorrow, I’d list a different 5 or 6 songs.
  12. His enthusiasm.
  13. His niceness. His songs are never mean.
  14. His social satire is always right on.
  15. He keeps growing as an artist (yes, I’m serious). He’s technically much better than he was years ago.
  16. I actually like his vocal tone.
  17. The videos.
  18. Everytime I listen to him, I’m surprised but how much I’ve forgotten and how many songs of his I just love hearing again.
  19. Even the polka-medley’s are interesting. (I used to hate them but they’ve grown on me over time).
  20. He gets permission to record/release parodies from the original artist. (And if they object, he only does the songs in concert, but not on recordings or DVD’s).

And 21…He just makes me smile. Right now I’m listening to “Can’t Watch This” all about bad TV sung to MC Hammer’s Can’t Touch This. Not a bad line in the song.

And 22…He’s the Man (especially with his Accordion). In 2002, when his concert was canceled, I modified the ending to a joke-song I wrote back in 1984-85.

Click to hear Papa’s Wisdom – By Joe Cassavaugh


1 Comment

  1. joe says:

    It’s another Weird Al Day…and just listening to him…(all 13 Albums on RANDOM Shuffle)…and then re-reading the blog above…I realized I missed one of the key factors of why I love Al. He’s an exceptionally Punny guy…and sometimes he’s original there, or just works in really bad/good familiar ones. And another thing I missed listing in my top-20 reasons…his Love/Anti-love songs are all great.

    So I Guess I’m up to 24 now…maybe I’ll update this when I get to 30…or write at least another blog on him called “The Many Faces of Al Yankovic”.

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