Uncompromisingly wacky and the personification of “weird,” Al Yankovic has been making comedic song parodies of famous pop culture hits since the 1980s, and now being in his 60s and still announcing new tour dates, the musician has not slowed down one bit. Despite a good chunk of his hits being to the beat and melodies of existing songs, Weird Al has demonstrated a unique voice in not only musical comedy, but in skillful lyric writing as well, in some cases matching, or arguably surpassing the original songwriter’s performance .
Weird Al is not without his own collection of original songs, performing them in his upcoming “Ill-Advised Vanity Tour“. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has also recently wrapped filming on the upcoming biopic on the musician, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story“. Though his first love may be music, Yankovic has also been featured in numerous film projects, and even starred in a few of his own programs throughout the years; it’s also safe to say that his music would never have reached the massive audience and cultural appeal it has without his music videos and their cinematic quality.Here’s our list of the best performances from the beloved accordion-playing parody master, Weird Al Yankovic.
5 Milo Murphy’s Law
From the creators of the popular Disney show, Phineas and Ferb, comes their next venture, Milo Murphy’s Law. Al Yankovic provides the voice for the titular character, whose life revolves around the adage of “Murphy’s Law,” stating that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Despite this, Milo remains a positive character, suiting the high energy vocal styling of Weird Al well.
While Yankovic has provided countless cartoon voiceover work throughout the years, he has rarely had the opportunity to star as the lead in his own program. The show was a well received venture, running from 2016 to 2019 for a total of 40 episodes, and is available for streaming on Disney +.
4 Al TV
Al TV was a series of various shorts and periodic specials starring the musician that aired as an original show on MTV and later VH1, where Weird Al would host what was essentiality a parody of MTV itself. Hijacking the airwaves to show the music videos “HE wants to watch!”, Yankovic would engage in comedy shorts in between each song, hilariously promoting his own merchandise and even conducting fake interviews with celebrities by cutting clips of himself into them.
AL TV was a fun experiment for both Yankovic and MTV, coming at a very early time in both the musician’s career and the life of the network. Segments from the show even live on through the Nerdist‘s 2012 revival of the fake celebrity interviews conducted by Weird Al, now called Face To Face.
3 The Weird Al Show
Moving closer to the realm of sketch comedy, The Weird Al Show aired on CBS for a total of just 13 episodes back in 1997, but still managed to be a collection of memorable mind warps that could only come from within that head of curly hair. Featuring ridiculous characters such as the psychic who could only predict the present, guest cameos from the likes of Patton Oswalt or the late great Gilbert Gottfriedand musical guests such as the Barenaked Ladies.
Acting as a self-aware “show within a show,” the program starred Al as a host living in his underground home and playing in various sketches. Yankovic’s goal was to be able to lend his personality and style to the realm of children’s entertainment, though FCC regulations at the time made demands that in order to air the program it must be under the guise of education, to which Weird Al comments on within an interview with Rolling stone:
“Oh, you know what? The FCC has got this thing where we have to have a certain number of educational children’s shows. That’s really all we’re looking for right now. ” So I said, “We’re an educational show!” We were not but that was the deal we made with the devil in order to get it on the air.
Despite having a short-lived time on air and a difficult to find DVD release, fans of The Weird Al Show have since uploaded clips to YouTube for others to check out and remember an obscure venture from the polka enthusiast’s past.
The single time Weird Al headlined a full movie, UHF (ultra-high frequency) was a comedy film released in 1989 that has since achieved cult status by many hardcore fans. Yankovic plays George, a recently fired outrageous personality that finds himself offered a local television station, and chooses to premiere his own block of bizarre programming.
With very strong test screenings, Orion Pictures decided to release the film against other massive commercial successes of the year, causing UHF to fall by the wayside for general audiences. The movie also served as a rare time that Yankovic would have to co-write a creation of his (something he admits took a lot of getting used to), sharing the credit with his manager and director, Jay Levey. Al’s talents, now being adapted for a full theatrical release, still managed to translate his charm and distinctive style, leaving the world with an incredibly solid ‘time capsule’ comedy movie and one of the ’80s best cult classics.
1 Weird Al Music Videos
The bread and butter of the timeless parodist will always be his ability to squeeze the full potential out of every parody idea he hatches out. From all the way back to 1984’s Eat ItWeird Al has been turning whatever is popular on its head, creating either spoofs of the artist, of the genre, or just whatever he felt like talking about at the time. The musician’s catalog of music videos widely available online are the cherry on top of the oddball nature of his comedy, with each one standing out on its own in the best possible way.
While the seemingly ageless Weird Al continues to demonstrate his songwriting and performing talents to this day, fans will always have their personal favorite parodies from the comedy icon, with so much to choose from. While his best work may be disagreed upon, what will always remain unanimous is the belief that Al Yankovic redefined parody, and with it delivered joy to all ages of music lovers.
Aaron Paul Was ‘Crushed’ to Lose His Cameo in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
About The Author