Al Yankovic

My son Linus got $30 in iTunes gift certificates for the holidays.  He spent all $30 on Weird Al Yankovic songs.  Thirty dollars.  Weird Al.

Did you know that Weird Al Yankovic has sold over 12 million records, which makes him the number one-selling comedy recording artist of all time?  Well, he is, and I think fourth grade boys around this country are extremely culpable for that.

I was never a Weird Al fan, and hearing 30 Weird Al tracks as ambient noise in the house hasn’t changed my opinion.  Good Wikipedia page, though…

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15 Responses to Al Yankovic

  1. Elaine says:

    So this is the sort of torture that’s in my future?

  2. Kieran says:

    Weird Al was my entre into liking and buying music. I remember it very specifically. I suspect it may be for many other boys of a similar age as well — I think I was 11, so Linus is a little ahead of my curve.

  3. Victoria says:

    Well, good to know it’s not just my 4th-grade son buying Weird Al songs, I guess. Of course, this means that his little brother, in preschool, now walks around the house singing about how he doesn’t want to be a Canadian idiot.

  4. brent says:

    i can remember using a vinyl LP of Duran Duran and a tape deck with a microphone to make my own Weird Al stylings in 5th grade. “wild frogs” was hysterical at age 11. probably didn’t hold up very well though.

  5. Charley says:

    In 3-D is a fond memory of that age for me. It was actually a useful exposure to the “real” music behind the parodies. Hearing the Weird Al version made me want to check out the good stuff–though, admittedly, it was often the case that neither was good. Mickey vs. Ricky–discuss.

  6. Mike says:

    Linus needs to go through the requisite Weird Al, etc phase before he graduates to the Devo phase. You want to accelerate it but you have to let it happen naturally. Patience.

  7. martha says:

    My siblings and I LOVED Weird Al at when we were kids. His polka medleys…so funny!

  8. pipelineblog says:

    Clearly, I am all wet on Weird Al. Let me clarify my position: I think he’s very clever, and certainly talented. I just don’t want to listen to him ad nauseum.

    Though, I will admit that I wish Paul McCartney had allowed Weird Al to record the parody of “Live and Let Die” called “Chicken Pot Pie”.

  9. david says:

    W&H went through a VERY brief weird al period this summer. He has some star wars / american pie song, if i recall correctly, that they sang for a week straight… then their interests morphed into Queen and now they have discovered Led Zeppelin. Lotta “Immigrant Song” this weekend. It’s fun to watch, because they’re still too young to have pretenses about what they should or shouldn’t listen to.

  10. Nathan D says:

    Wow — pretty impressive that Weird Al is still relevant to that age group. I too had my Weird Al phase at about that same age (in fact, per a much earlier Pipeline thread, Weird Al was the first live music [other than orchestral] that I ever saw — at the Brown County Arena). Not many artists have careers even half that long. I use the term “artist” broadly here, though.

  11. I softened my stance on Weird Al when I read on his Wikipedia page how many artists he has covered not only love his parodies, but actually have to fight not to sing his remade lyrics when they are in concert. And I have to admit that despite hearing American Pie about 200 times, I can now only hear Weird Al singing “Soon I’m gonna be a Jedi”.

    Rock Band 2 has thrown a bizarre random element into Linus’s musical tastes. The good part of that is that I can now make Carry On My Wayward Son jokes to him, and he’ll get the reference.

  12. Nathan D says:

    @Doug, I have that same issue when I hear “Lola” — “…Well, I left home just a week before, And I’ve never ever been a Jedi before…”

  13. david says:

    Yeah, the Rock Band influence is weird. W&H are big on Rush now.

  14. Jim says:

    Rock Band 2 has Carry On My Wayward Son? I can’t wait for the weekend!

    Weird Al’s mockup of Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise (Amish Paradise) is pretty funny, and it infuriated Coolio, which is funnier.

  15. cliff says:

    Coolio and Weird Al hugged it out since, which is actually too bad.

    Weird Al is NOT number one. Jeff Foxworthy is, somewhere between 15-20 million. Wait til Linus spends his $ on his stuff…

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