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"Tacky"
July 14, 2014 11:20 AM   Subscribe

"Weird Al" Yankovic is back with his new album "Mandatory Fun". To help with the launch, he's releasing a video a day for eight straight days starting today with "Tacky", which captures the infectious fun of of Pharrell's "Happy" with a suitably Weird Al twist.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (265 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought he eschewed the album format a few years back.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:21 AM on July 14


He still owed one album, per his contract, as outlined (somewhat misleadingly) in this FPP from three days ago.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:23 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


A resume in comic sans... yes, that would be tacky. I forgot how funny this guy's lyrics are.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 11:23 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Warning: Video lasts only three minutes, making it more than 23 hours short of an appropriate parody of "Happy."
posted by Naberius at 11:29 AM on July 14 [11 favorites]


National holiday tomorrow.
posted by Melismata at 11:29 AM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Still brilliant after all these years. I don't know if I feel comfortable calling a guy who has had as much commercial success as Weird Al "underrated", but the consistency and quality of his output over 30+ years is just incredible. I'm thinking of a lot of "serious" artists who I first discovered around the same timeframe as when I discovered Weird Al (early 80s) and can think of very few whose "new" output would get me nearly as excited.
posted by The Gooch at 11:39 AM on July 14 [41 favorites]


Warning: Video lasts only three minutes, making it more than 23 hours short of an appropriate parody of "Happy."

Given Weird Al fans and the internet, there is no way that that will not happen.
posted by CaseyB at 11:39 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Ooh, one of the tracks is called "First World Problems"! :) Can't wait to hear it.
posted by Melismata at 11:42 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


The video is a whole lot of fun (and funny).

From the article:
Featuring guest appearances from comedians Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black, the video was shot on location at the historic Palace Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, the same space that was used as Julianne Moore’s apartment in The Big Lebowski.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:42 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


That video was so gleeful! I would follow a singing and dancing Jack Black with a sparkly fanny pack and tye-dyed pants anywhere!
posted by ChuraChura at 11:44 AM on July 14 [9 favorites]


I just dislike the fact that I hate the song "Happy" so much that I will be unable to bear listening to "Tacky" either.

I eagerly look forward to the next video.
posted by josher71 at 11:46 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


I'm wondering just what songs he's going to pick off the album (which has 12.) I really think his cover of "Royals", "Foil" is the best one, though the polka medley is great. There's also a corporate take on CSNY's "Carry On" that is pretty funny.
posted by Catblack at 11:46 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Everyone looks like they're having a great time in this.
posted by tommasz at 11:48 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Recent NPR interview
posted by fluffycreature at 11:49 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


1. Weird Al is 54 years old.
2. I would kill all of you to live in the space that was shot in.
posted by boo_radley at 11:49 AM on July 14 [12 favorites]


From Wikipedia: "A 2009 Rolling Stone poll named Weird Al as the top artist that should be nominated for the [Rock and Roll] Hall of Fame, followed by Rush and The Moody Blues in the top ten."
posted by Melismata at 11:50 AM on July 14 [6 favorites]


3. Jack Black looks like he's lost some weight.
posted by boo_radley at 11:50 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


2. I would kill all of you to live in the space that was shot in.

Maude Lebowski already lives there.
posted by gregoryg at 11:55 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


So am I the only one who is unable to get the video to play, then? I just get an infinite spinning loady thing.
posted by aubilenon at 11:56 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


gregoryg: "Maude Lebowski already lives there."

Thank you for helping me prioritize this list.
posted by boo_radley at 11:57 AM on July 14 [20 favorites]


Looks like their server melted.
posted by effbot at 11:57 AM on July 14


Does the fact that I'm cringing at nearly every song in the polka mean I'm finally getting old?

Definitely looking forward to the rest of these videos!
posted by Gordafarin at 11:57 AM on July 14


Three Pharrell parodies.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:00 PM on July 14


IS IT TOMORROW YET???
posted by DiscourseMarker at 12:02 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


I have never really gotten used to Al's super long hair, and I think he looked better with the 'stache. But that's just my nostalgia talking.
posted by emjaybee at 12:04 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


Does the fact that I'm cringing at don't even remotely recognize nearly every song in the polka mean I'm finally getting old?
posted by Melismata at 12:04 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


From the NPR piece linked above, here's a Tiny Desk concert Weird Al did (with band). After the first song, he's asked (at about 5:25), "how many times a day are you asked to do a parody?" to which he replies, "Every time I walk outside, pretty much."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:07 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Until now, I didn't know how much I needed "Tacky" in my life. Weird Al, you're doing the Lord's work.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:08 PM on July 14 [16 favorites]


Too much thought:

1) I really do like the Pharrell video, though I know nearly nothing about him except he's super hot right now and very wealthy. The music is relatively spare, even if repetitive, and the dancing is yay, and L.A. just looks so awesome (I really, really miss L.A.)

2) The music for "Tacky" is just slightly lusher, or more electronic, or something, so that it's more annoying, but yay for the fun folks who people the video.

3) Shameful secret: I think Al is a great guy, and I love how much he is able to parodize without being super cruel to anyone... but I often feel like his parodies, at base, are pretty simplistic. It's the execution that sets him apart.

Upshot: Thanks for the post! I look forward to seeing what else he does!
posted by allthinky at 12:10 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


> Does the fact that I'm cringing at nearly every song in the polka mean I'm finally getting old?

At least you're still young enough to recognize them and cringe at them, right?
posted by Gev at 12:10 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Style parodies of the Pixies; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; and and Cat Stevens?! What brought those on, one is forced to wonder.
posted by kenko at 12:12 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


1. Weird Al is 54 years old.

It's a little know fact that parody songs have rejuvenating powers.

Really though, Weird Al is the greatest walking endorsement for going vegetarian.
posted by zabuni at 12:15 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


Does the fact that I'm cringing at don't even remotely recognize nearly every song in the polka mean I'm finally getting old?

I had friends who were making the same complaint 20 years ago. I was all, "You do know they're is a such thing as a radio, and that it is known to play popular music?"

But in the bright side, twenty years ago my friends were even older than you are.
posted by happyroach at 12:15 PM on July 14


Style parodies of the Pixies; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; and and Cat Stevens?! What brought those on, one is forced to wonder.

Al has always thrown a bone to us old-timers who were teenagers when "Dare to Be Stupid" first came out, "Spider Man" for example.
posted by Melismata at 12:17 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Example and I were lucky enough to see Weird Al in concert almost ohmygod twenty years ago, and for the entire duration of the concert and at least four costume changes, the man did not stop moving. He puts on a hell of a show, and I'm glad he's still around.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:18 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


So many great lyrics in this, I'm gonna have to watch it again. Current faves: "YOLO license plate" and "selfies with the deceased."
posted by sfkiddo at 12:19 PM on July 14


I don't think he needed to go full-on "clown" with the wardrobe to convey "tacky". I would have opted for a subtler approach such as someone in an Affliction shirt and whiskered jeans with sparkly hip pockets. Or Kristen Schaal in a pair of Uggs. Or someone in a striped tanktop, moustache, and capri pants.
posted by sourwookie at 12:19 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Bring me shame, can't nothin'! Thanks, this is going to be stuck in my head aaaaaall day.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:21 PM on July 14


I had friends who were making the same complaint 20 years ago. I was all, "You do know they're is a such thing as a radio, and that it is known to play popular music?"

Radio is for NPR. If I wanted to hear music I'd download it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:31 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


Too much thought:
posted by allthinky


Eponypropriate.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:31 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Jack Black looked like a live-action version of Disney's Tweedledee/Tweedledum - it's hard for a big guy to move like that (tho total twerk failure.)

Also, it's amazing how Weird Al can do pitch-perfect sendups in the spirit of the original while twisting it to his own dark ends. He does this in album after album after album - you know instantly you're listening to Weird Al, as no-one thinks about things the way he does. This is a man who's mind is comprised of spinner racks of practical jokes and novelties, back issues of MAD Magazine, a complete collection of SPIN with mustaches drawn on EVERY LAST FACE, except for the ones already with mustaches, those get devil-horns, and a large variety of rubber pencil-toppers. You also instantly identify the song, as there's a lot of deep musicianship and cutting-edge production know-how in that noggin as well.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:34 PM on July 14 [27 favorites]


I had a brief encounter with Mr. Yankovic outside a popular Portland brunch establishment wherein I double taked as walking by and he waved, oustretched his hand and said "Al Yankovic, and you are?" to which I said "Speechless." in response to which he said "Best compliment I've had all day. Thank you!"

Everything I've ever read about the man says he is the most genuinely nice person in the entertainment industry, simply the kindest soul anyone would ever want to meet. I remember when Coolio blanched at Al's "Amish Paradise" parody Al's response wasn't upset or apologetic, it was more like he was genuinely hurt. That only ever backed up what I had heard about him, that and the brief meeting I had.
posted by mediocre at 12:41 PM on July 14 [63 favorites]


Weird All is the true poet laureate of the United States. Long may he reign!
posted by blue_beetle at 12:41 PM on July 14 [13 favorites]


His live shows are incredible, not only because he is an awesome performer, but also for the crowd watching. So many young kids at their first rock concert, totally enthralled. He does not disappoint. It strangely makes me (a middle aged mom) proud of both the kids and Al.
posted by Malla at 12:43 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I saw Weird Al in concert once in Seattle. He was terrible. Not very good at all. I think it didn't help that it was in a theater and we were not allowed to stand up.

Anyway, I rarely tell that story since it appears that I'm the only person to have ever had this opinion.
posted by josher71 at 12:43 PM on July 14


It's a little know fact that parody songs have rejuvenating powers.
Really though, Weird Al is the greatest walking endorsement for going vegetarian.


Of the two, I think I'll try writing parodies first.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:44 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


If that doesn't work, I'll try converting to vegetarianism on my death bed.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:45 PM on July 14 [9 favorites]


"Cheese. Cheese Sandwich."
posted by SPrintF at 12:47 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Yeah but I bet you didn't notice the guy in the striped pants dancing through the whole shot.
posted by odinsdream at 12:48 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


> I meet some chick, ask her this and that,
> like are you pregnant girl, or just really fat?

The party ice-breaker questions thread is still open.
posted by jfuller at 12:49 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Is it tacky of me that I want that sparkle fanny pack Jack Black is sporting around his belly?
posted by Kokopuff at 12:54 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I have never really gotten used to Al's super long hair, and I think he looked better with the 'stache. But that's just my nostalgia talking.

I have the Weird Al children's book, When I Grow Up, in my library at school, and my kids for the last two years came to me at least once a week and said, "Look, it's you!" because of this picture.

I have short hair and a beard now, but for a while 6 and 7 year olds were comparing me to Weird Al, which is pretty awesome.
posted by Huck500 at 12:55 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


I'm looking forward to his "Word Crimes" because I really dig everything about 'Blurred Lines' but the lyrics. And, I mean, Robin Thicke.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:05 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


My friend's Wierd Al story:

After a show my friend was hanging around outside Near Al's trailer, Al comes out and asks 'how's it going?' and my friend who may have been high at the time, said "I'm hungry, ya' got anything to eat in there?" And that's how my buddy ended up sitting side by side with Al Yankovic eating bread & butter pickles out of a jar.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:21 PM on July 14 [28 favorites]


About fifteen years ago, my kid brother and I were in Eugene Oregon visiting my uncle, and had been dropped off at Wunderland Arcade for a few hours.

We were killing time and pumping nickels into the Simpsons arcade game - me as Homer, and my brother, who was playing as Bart. A player to my right joined as Marge. I looked over and did a triple take.

I think my chin bounced off the cabinet on its way to the floor.

It was WEIRD FUCKING AL FUCKING HOLY SHIT YANKOVIC!!!

Or was it just a dude who looked a helluva lot like Weird Al???

I just wasn't sure, and I felt like I couldn't look away from the game for long without getting killed/being a creep.

We played for a good 15 minutes in silence. I was somewhat distracted and died a lot, silently gawping sidelong.

The Al doppelganger didn't say a word, but had a pretty shit eating grin going.

Finally blew through his bucket of nickels and his (girlfriend? wife?) looked ready to move on - he said see ya, or take it easy, something innocuous along those lines, but still with the grin.

I wanted to say something, ask if it was him, get an autograph, but a combination of being still dumbstruck - was it really him??? and if it was - some nascent early teen version of wanting to "play it cool" just left me with a pubescent crackly voiced "you too." Super smooth.

Subsequently found out that Al had played the Lane county fair earlier that day.
posted by stenseng at 1:31 PM on July 14 [27 favorites]


I loved the video and the description of Jack Black as "a live-action version of Disney's Tweedledee/Tweedledum" is spot on.

That said, WHY DIDN'T YOU USE COMIC SANS ON THE T-SHIRT????
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 1:37 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Is this a thread where I can admit my undying love for Aisha Tyler for all of the world to see? Because she is awesome and my hero.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 1:38 PM on July 14 [16 favorites]


These stories really hit the essence of his likability. So many musicians these days seem to be in it purely for the fame and fortune. Al? He's in it for the bread & butter pickles.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 1:46 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


Mrs. Example and I were lucky enough to see Weird Al in concert almost ohmygod twenty years ago, and for the entire duration of the concert and at least four costume changes, the man did not stop moving.

I saw him play in Seattle in 2012, and he didn't stop moving the entire time and had multiple costume changes. It was a fantastic show, and I'd see him perform again in a second. And yes, the place was filled with kids, having their first concert experience with their parents, and it was great.
posted by skycrashesdown at 1:56 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Just watched the NPR tiny desk concert and was really impressed with his singing. Spot on.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:05 PM on July 14


I just watched the video again, and I like to think that it was all shot in one continuous take, like an OK-Go video.

Also, I'm going to wait for the inevitable batch of anime music videos based around these Weird Al songs. Anime and Weird Al strangely just seem to go together well.
posted by happyroach at 2:06 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


That is a lot of fun. I love the Weird Al, but it continues to be a surprise every time to see him with his current look rather than his old look. And the groomed eyebrows! And Jack Black seems to have groomed eyebrows now too, which is a bad choice for comedians IMO. Attention comedians: keep your eyebrows, you need them for making faces.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:33 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Okay so am I the only one who thinks practically every outfit in this video is incredible? I mean, Jack Black's is kind of meh, but everyone else's seems insanely hip to me.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:19 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


Does this many not age?!
posted by sadtomato at 3:29 PM on July 14


Anyway, I rarely tell that story since it appears that I'm the only person to have ever had this opinion.

Similarly to you, I have a Bill Murray anecdote that is both uninteresting and fails to further endear him to everyone.
posted by dhartung at 3:39 PM on July 14 [6 favorites]


I just watched the video again, and I like to think that it was all shot in one continuous take, like an OK-Go video.

I assumed it was? Only really "hard" part would be Al changing costumes and running down the stairs to catch up with the camera, as far as I could see.
posted by ymgve at 3:46 PM on July 14


okay who wants to start up boringbillmurrayanecdotes.tumblr.com?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:53 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


I hate Pharrell & the song "Happy" so much, but I love this one. What would make me happy is Grumpy Cat shitting in Pharrell's stupid hat.
posted by mike3k at 3:56 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Okay so am I the only one who thinks practically every outfit in this video is incredible? I mean, Jack Black's is kind of meh, but everyone else's seems insanely hip to me.

I love Margaret Cho's outfit, but there are things about it -- the top of the pantyhose, the crotchular snuggitude of the lederhosen, the bra-as-top -- that definitely qualify as tacky.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:59 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I just want the shirt that says "Tacky" on it. And maybe the yellow and black houndstooth or whatever pants that go with it.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:06 PM on July 14


Yeah, that's a pretty solid look.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:07 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Is this a thread where I can admit my undying love for Aisha Tyler for all of the world to see?

Nooooooooope.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:25 PM on July 14 [19 favorites]


It dawns on me that Weird Al has, by recording this song and video, given us a way of responding to everything tacky anybody does anywhere on the internet by linking his video. Thanks, Al!
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:36 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Each time I see her, I think I cannot crush on Kristen Schaal more than I do already, but am always quickly proven wrong.
posted by waraw at 5:03 PM on July 14 [8 favorites]


This has made my day.
posted by dejah420 at 5:07 PM on July 14


Three Pharrell parodies.

SIX PHARRELL PARODIES AND A MOVIE!
posted by uosuaq at 5:10 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


is this something I need to own an accordion to understand?

just kidding, Weird Al is the best.
posted by Sternmeyer at 5:21 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


For those on this thread who haven't seen it, I loved his tambourine work on this video by Hanson (whoever they are), which I guess is still kind of in his wheelhouse because it's a great video parody even if the song is original.
posted by uosuaq at 5:34 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Maybe Weird Al will go the same direction as some other musicians and start a clothing line.
posted by RobotHero at 5:37 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


The music for "Tacky" is just slightly lusher, or more electronic, or something, so that it's more annoying -- allthinky at 3:10 PM

I was wondering if I've gotten old or if the mix has made his lyrics harder to hear. Kept looking for the subtitles button.
posted by surplus at 5:44 PM on July 14


I was wondering if I've gotten old or if the mix has made his lyrics harder to hear

It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss with all those marbles in his mouth
posted by aubilenon at 5:50 PM on July 14 [38 favorites]


Radio is for NPR. If I wanted to hear music I'd download it.
-- ChurchHatesTucker at 3:31 PM

Ouch.

In Atlanta, Georgia Public TV just commandeered the student station from Georgia State University, replacing the excellent Album 88 programming with duplicate NPR shows. Very painful. #SaveWRAS
posted by surplus at 5:50 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


This is just about the perfect parody of this song and of the 2010s.

aubilenon: “So am I the only one who is unable to get the video to play, then? I just get an infinite spinning loady thing.”
You have to allow Javascript from assets-jp.jwpsrv.com and content.nerdist.com to see the video.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:54 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to the new polka. Hearing a song for the first time in one of Al's polkas and later unexpectedly hearing the original -normally much slower - is fun.
posted by mister_kaupungister at 5:56 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


I'm still holding out for another collaboration with Wendy Carlos.
posted by sonascope at 6:27 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


I went and saw him back when I was in college and it was awesome and we had really good seats and my friend Brian got Weird Al spit on his hand and didn't wash his hands for like a week. True story.

Good times.
posted by kbanas at 6:38 PM on July 14


You say you didn't catch all the Tacky lyrics?

Meanwhile, the new polka medley features all the other hits of the last three years that he SHOULD have written parodies for, starting with "Wrecking Ball" and ending with "Get Lucky", with too-short snips of "Gangnam Style", "Somebody That I Used to Know" and "Sexy and I Know It", but perfect-sized chunks of "Call Me Maybe" and "Thrift Shop" ("this is SUPER awesome") AND MORE.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:38 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


So we're all going to be back here for the next seven days as the new videos come out, right?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:56 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


To be fair, the ultimate parody of Gangnam Style has already been done.
posted by Quonab at 7:00 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Is this a thread where I can admit my undying love for Aisha Tyler for all of the world to see? Because she is awesome and my hero.

Only if I get to mention that, thought I didn't think it possible, I am even more in love with Kristen Schaal now.
posted by CaseyB at 7:10 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


"Cheese. Cheese Sandwich."


Reference
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:11 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


You have to allow Javascript from assets-jp.jwpsrv.com and content.nerdist.com to see the video.

Pausing adblock didn't work, but using an incognito window did work, so probably some other extension was blocking one of those. Or I had a "don't work" cookie installed.
posted by aubilenon at 7:12 PM on July 14


who hates happy? really?

that said - 'comic sans' had me in near-asthma attack mode. and i don't have asthma.
posted by Fuka at 7:13 PM on July 14


Happy grates on me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by josher71 at 7:15 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


A Spider Robinson story claims that, while the opposite of an ordinary truth is a falsehood, the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth. His classic example was something like "All's fair in love and war," but today that has been eclipsed, by "I really don't need to see Jack Black twerking."
posted by roystgnr at 7:16 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Only if I get to mention that, thought I didn't think it possible, I am even more in love with Kristen Schaal now.

Agreed. And this thread will probably be slightly hijacked by awesome ladylove. But we can bring it back to how awesome Weird Al is by featuring these amazing funny women in an enjoyable video.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 7:29 PM on July 14


I am not really big on parody overall. I think most parodies are a one-note, cheap shot. They're usually way too obvious.

But whatever. Weird Al is great! I love there is no malice in what he does. He's in on the joke. He is the joke. He's not trying to hurt anyone's feelings. He's just trying to make people laugh.

And that's such an incredibly refreshing thing now. There's a sweetness and an innocence to what Weird Al does that is so different from what I usually see that I always expect worse and I'm always happily surprised.

And yes, Kristen Schaal is adorable in that video! Let's put Kristen Schaal in everything!
posted by darksong at 7:35 PM on July 14 [10 favorites]


Am I the first person to notice Pharrell's hat on the stand behind Margaret? If nothing else, I'm the first person to mention it.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:36 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


I don't think he needed to go full-on "clown" with the wardrobe to convey "tacky". I would have opted for a subtler approach such as someone in an Affliction shirt and whiskered jeans with sparkly hip pockets. Or Kristen Schaal in a pair of Uggs.

He's not really known for subtlety (if you watch the videos for "Like a Surgeon," "Fat"...).
posted by John Cohen at 7:48 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I've had people yell at me from a car window, "Weird Al! Weird Al!" (which sounded at first like "Weird out! Weird out!" and I was sort of expecting to see Zippy the Pinhead leaning out the window but instead it was dudebros). I do have curly Weird Al-esque hair and it was a refreshing change from the person random strangers usually tell me I look like, which is Jesus.
posted by aws17576 at 8:06 PM on July 14


I was recently at a wedding where the bride arranged to have Weird Al's "Eat It" played as they were cutting the cake. It was perfect, just like Margaret Cho's yellow lederhosen here.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:08 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Quonab: "To be fair, the ultimate parody of Gangnam Style has already been done."

Your link got corrupted, it doesn't point here.
posted by stet at 8:28 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


Weird Al's continued relevance is proof that the USA is still the most important nation on Earth. Think about it, it's true.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:33 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


“Weird” Al is the only word in the language that should always be used half in quotes.
posted by mubba at 8:48 PM on July 14


Pretty sure it's in one take, or was designed to be -- at the beginning of the video you can see his hot pink Tacky t-shirt at the neckline of that startling button-up shirt. If he wasn't doing a quickchange off camera, there'd be no reason to wear the one under the other.
posted by KathrynT at 10:24 PM on July 14


While I love his parodies, I think my favorite songs by Al are his originals. Both "Dare To Be Stupid" and "One More Minute" are amazing pieces of work.

(Though I think I read somewhere describing "Dare To Be Stupid" as "The best Devo song never written.")

In any case, do check out Aisha Tyler's book Self-Inflicted Wounds if you haven't already. It is so, so good.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:33 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]


I had friends who were making the same complaint 20 years ago. I was all, "You do know they're is a such thing as a radio, and that it is known to play popular music?"

Radio is for NPR. If I wanted to hear music I'd download it.


This is sort of a 100% perfect reply, as it's either a total missing of the point of the value of radio, or a complete and brutal denial of it. Depending on the reader's feelings, I guess.
posted by ominous_paws at 11:18 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Weird Al in the Maršal Tito get-up is strangely sexy... As are all the tack illy dressed people in the video. :). Needed this, it's been a slightly rough week.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:49 PM on July 14


I got to see Weird Al live at the Fair here and he really is fantastic in concert.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:55 PM on July 14


I'm looking forward to the new polka. Hearing a song for the first time in one of Al's polkas and later unexpectedly hearing the original -normally much slower - is fun.

I'm surprised how many songs I recognized this time around. Weird Al's career has been long enough to take me from not knowing any of the songs because I'm too young, to not knowing any of them because I'm too old. I'm still not sure I've heard "Ridin' Dirty".
posted by Gary at 1:18 AM on July 15


Twenty years ago my father survived a horrific fire during which he died and was revived (he was not burned). His hospital recovery was slow and steady and we knew he was doing well when he started watching TV and complaining about it.

When I arrived for one visit he seemed concerned. "I just saw something disturbing," he reported. "A dangerously obese man, dancing about strenuously. I don't understand how he doesn't have a heart attack!" I listened to his description and realized he'd just seen the video for "Eat It."

It took me a while to get it together enough to explain to Dad that it was okay... It was just Weird Al in a fat suit.
posted by kinnakeet at 1:20 AM on July 15 [8 favorites]


Okay so am I the only one who thinks practically every outfit in this video is incredible? I mean, Jack Black's is kind of meh, but everyone else's seems insanely hip to me.

y'know right up until this moment I was sure I wasn't old.

fun video featuring such awesome comic ladies!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:44 AM on July 15


I initially heard "all my used liquor bottles are on display" as "Lincoln bibles", and had a confused expression for a bit, but that would indeed be tacky.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:30 AM on July 15 [5 favorites]


BTW, if anyone wants to download the video for offline watching, you can use this rtmpdump invocation (posted on gist so as not to unnecessarily widen this page.)
posted by Rhomboid at 4:47 AM on July 15


Rhomboid: I heard it as "liquid bibles" ... which left me wondering.

The polka medlys are always my favourite. I think my second favourite for this album will end up being the Jackson Park Express. I'm annoyed that while listening to it in my car last night it got interrupted twice as I hit destinations during my errand running. It brings me back to his older Melanie - I'll need to give that a few re-listens.

Chrome on android didn't want to believe that there was a video; even in desktop mode. I ended up grabbing the player javascript, isolating the final link from the xml playlist and I was able to feed that to youtube-dl to finally watch over the lan. Seriously, is mobile something nerdist hasn't heard of?
posted by nobeagle at 7:04 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Subsequently found out that Al had played the Lane county fair earlier that day.

It is one of my everlasting regrets that I could have walked the 5 blocks from my home to see him there, and my only excuse was that it was hot and I was lazy.
posted by Danf at 7:07 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Al is interviewed on the most recent episode of Comedy Bang Bang. They play clips from a bunch of his songs and he talks about some of the upcoming videos.
posted by painquale at 8:08 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


He's got an AMA on Reddit at 2 pm EDT today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


The video for "Word Crimes" is up on his official site now. This one is going to require a lot of frame by frame scrubbing to find the hidden references. The reddit username is "George Newman", for one.
posted by Gary at 8:19 AM on July 15 [3 favorites]


Just watched the "Word Crimes" video and I think I need a cigarette.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 AM on July 15 [5 favorites]


Ha, the balloons to finish the 2nd video were spot on.
posted by vytae at 8:25 AM on July 15


Heh. The "GET A BRAIN MORANS" guy never gets old.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:30 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Giddy over rhyming "educate ya" with "nomenclature"
posted by waraw at 8:32 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


WEIRD AL YANKOVIC HAS A BIG DICTIONARY.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:36 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


The reddit username is "George Newman", for one

George-Newman, actually.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:37 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, Word Crimes is so much fun! There's so much going on in that video.

The video artist is this guy. He also did the video to Jonathan Coulton's Shop Vac, which is just as frenetic and enjoyable.

I noticed that Nerdist Industries did the Tacky video. On his Comedy Bang Bang appearance, Al mentioned that he did the video for Foil with Funny or Die (It'll star Patton Oswalt and Tom Lennon.) I'm very curious who will do the others.
posted by painquale at 8:38 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Huh. The twitter account in the vid appears to have just been registered.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:40 AM on July 15


I saw Weird Al in concert in (probably) 1988, opening for The Monkees (!). I've never seen anyone work harder to entertain, and I was completely captivated the whole time.

One of the high points was him wandering through the audience during "One More Minute" looking for people to sing to.

The man is a national treasure.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:44 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


If you haven't listened to Weird Al's appearance on Marc Maron's WTF podcast, I highly recommend doing so. The guy comes off as the most grounded, well-adjusted performer in show business, which no doubt comes from the fact that he devotes so much of his energy to making fun of show business.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:50 AM on July 15


I love Word Crimes!! Except for the part where he disses the Oxford Comma. PISTOLS AT DAWN, SIR.
posted by KathrynT at 8:55 AM on July 15 [8 favorites]


I get drunk at the bank...

Well, I guess I might be tacky then.
posted by inertia at 8:55 AM on July 15


Just checked out Word Crimes. Amazing!
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 8:56 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Oh, man... Word Crimes is beautiful. An amazing number of jokes and references there.

Like: "Irony is not coincidence", beside a chalk drawing of rain on your wedding day. Perfect.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 9:10 AM on July 15 [7 favorites]


Word Crimes is stuffed with attention to detail. The blocks in "Go Back To Pre-School" have images on their top-faces that also spell out the same message with their first letters. The Minesweeper player lost because he or she was forced to guess. And Trogdor makes an appearance at 1:39!

It's probably Jarrett Heather more than Weird Al who is responsible for how awesome this video is, so I hope a lot of the credit is directed his way.
posted by painquale at 9:18 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Ha! There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Trogdor in there as well.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:19 AM on July 15


I was right. I loved Word Crimes!!!
posted by josher71 at 9:19 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


It's a good thing "Word Crimes" came out now and not at the high point of my Weird Al fandom (say sometime around UHF)

Because Al + mocking other's bad grammar + the kind of shy-seeming-but-huge-judgey-asshole-14-year-old-me was would have probably equaled me exploding.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:23 AM on July 15 [1 favorite]


>>The reddit username is "George Newman", for one

>George-Newman, actually.


It gets better. George-Newman posted a gif in r/HamsterGifs (the subreddit shown in the video) of a hamster eating a carrot five months ago. His only comment, also five months ago, is in that thread. It is "I'm tired of people mocking me online." which is a well spelled version of the comment in the video.

But, but, the best part is that the only moderator of r/HamsterGifs is MrHeather. The name of the guy who animated the video? Jarrett Heather. Are Mr. Heather and Jarrett Heather the same person? Yes!

Well played, Jarrett and Weird Al.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:36 AM on July 15 [17 favorites]


Word Crimes was everything I could have hoped it would be.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:45 AM on July 15


I love Word Crimes!! Except for the part where he disses the Oxford Comma.

He doesn't, though. He just allows that it's optional.
If you really wanna
Leave out that Oxford comma
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:46 AM on July 15 [4 favorites]


And on the test at 27 seconds, the teachers name is "Mrs. Krabappel".

R.I.P. Edna and Marcia.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:47 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Oh man the backing vocals on Word Crimes. Just perfect.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:59 AM on July 15 [2 favorites]


So many details in the Word Crimes video. For the two second LOST logo when he says "you're a lost cause", (3:21) the text around the ABC logo in the bottom corner: Learn your ABCs, doofus.

Also, for the first time I appreciated what was always a catchy song without it being omnipresent, and without feeling like I'm a dirty old man wearing a rubber raincoat.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:04 AM on July 15 [7 favorites]


He doesn't, though. He just allows that it's optional.

I got that on the second listen and now i have all this misplaced outrage that I don't know what to do with.
posted by KathrynT at 11:13 AM on July 15 [6 favorites]


Be outraged that we've got 20+ hours to wait for the next video. #8videos8hours ... and then I'll just add myself to the Pixies parody.
posted by nobeagle at 11:22 AM on July 15


(Though I think I read somewhere describing "Dare To Be Stupid" as "The best Devo song never written.")


IIRC, Mark Mothersbaugh himself referred to Dare to be Stupid as the best DEVO song they never wrote...

Here we go!

In an interview on VH1's Behind The Music, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh stated in reaction to the song that: "I was in shock. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. He sort of re-sculpted that song into something else and, umm... I hate him for it, basically."
posted by stenseng at 11:38 AM on July 15 [10 favorites]


The Minesweeper player lost because he or she was forced to guess.

Actually the game was wrong - there are 3 bombs surrounding a square with a "2" in it
posted by Lucinda at 12:34 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


I just watched the video again, and I like to think that it was all shot in one continuous take, like an OK-Go video.

Via the AMA:
While it looks like there MIGHT have been an edit somewhere, I absolutely guarantee you, that was all done in ONE CONTINUOUS SHOT. That was a bit of a challenge for me, because I start the video on a 5th floor fire escape, and I reappear on street level wearing completely different clothes. That means - for EVERY TAKE - as soon as the camera was off me I had to run down 5 flights of stairs WHILE CHANGING MY CLOTHES so I could be on camera again at the end. Definitely got my workout THAT day!
posted by inigo2 at 12:44 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Word Crimes is on YT now too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc
posted by bjrn at 1:13 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Dare To Be Stupid really holds up 29 (*cough*) years later. The verse about raising a family and joining the PTA is pretty damn subversive for a comedy act.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:13 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


Do the teenagers of today still doodle Pac-Man and Tron Recognizers on their notebooks or is this a bone thrown to the ancients in the audience (like me)? Or is it more about the artist's past than the audience's?

And I guess that's Trogdor the Burninator. Today's 14-year-old was 6 when Trogdor debuted.
posted by Western Infidels at 2:03 PM on July 15


I would definitely doodle both Tron Recognizers and Trogdor the Burninator on my notebook. I am Weird Al's core audience.

That reminds me of a theory I had earlier. I didn't pay much attention to Weird Al from the late 90s through the 2000s, but he seems to have made a real resurgence in the past few years (I started paying attention again around White and Nerdy).

In the 80s and early 90s, I was the prime audience for Weird Al, and I knew all of the songs he was parodying. In the mid-90s, while in college, I stopped listening to pop radio (like you do), and so when I would see something by Weird Al, I wouldn't understand the reference (I remember seeing a bit of All About the Pentiums and not getting it).

Now, I have two elementary-school-aged children, who listen to plenty of pop music. (Therefore, I can't avoid it.) All of a sudden, I know what Al is parodying again. And it's glorious.

Anyone else have that experience?
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 2:24 PM on July 15 [4 favorites]


Yep. I know all the songs in the polka medley but two because of the Pandora station we play in the car to keep the kids happy.
posted by KathrynT at 2:31 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


"Grammatical Prescriptivism" isn't new for Good Ol' Al...
including one featured in the lyrics...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:42 PM on July 15


#somecunninglinguist
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:02 PM on July 15


It dawns on me that "some cunning linguist" is maybe the naughtiest joke I've ever heard Weird Al make.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:43 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


Well, he DOES have a "big dic-tionary".
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:47 PM on July 15 [1 favorite]


These videos are already making my week. I'm looking forward to the rest.

And the bit of singing at 02:57 in Word Crimes is just straight outta church! Well done, Al and Al's Voice Teacher!
posted by droplet at 6:34 PM on July 15



Now, I have two elementary-school-aged children, who listen to plenty of pop music. (Therefore, I can't avoid it.) All of a sudden, I know what Al is parodying again. And it's glorious.

Anyone else have that experience?


I umm.... Well, I couldn't tell you what songs he is parodying. I'm in my 40s, my son moved out a few years ago and I subscribe to Pandora and SiriusXM - so aside from the Home Depot or Lowes* I don't encounter much pop culture anymore.

It's kind of nice actually.

* there is a song that goes try try try through the whole song. They play that a lot. I thought it was a Home Depot ad about home improvment, but they play it at Lowes, too. Anyway, its annoying as hell.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:34 PM on July 15


4 seconds in, dictionary page has Al as the illustration for "accordion"

37 seconds in: worth pausing to look at all the diplomas that Al has gathered.
posted by hippybear at 11:53 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


Oh dear lord... I had no idea. I was watching the original video for Happy, and then at the end there is this link... It's... well, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make it through more than a few minutes. At least right now... Maybe with the right drugs?

Context might be important, but dayum!

Pretty sure every moment in the Weird Al video quotes some moment from this.
posted by hippybear at 12:39 AM on July 16


at 1:06, the dictionary pages behind the Big Logo include some that start with "meta-"

just sayin'.

How long until Video #3 drops?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:06 AM on July 16


When have these been released so far? Randomly throughout the day or at midnight on some time zone? (I really want to see the next one now)
posted by iamkimiam at 4:14 AM on July 16


I think the last one dropped about 11:00am EDT, so soon.

Meanwhile, Al did a AMA over at reddit.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:34 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


This looks like the next song - it's been on Reddit since late last night/early this morning. It's a Vevo URL but hasn't been posted anywhere official that I can find.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:35 AM on July 16


It must be a bonus - the video for Foil just showed up on Youtube.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:41 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Yeah, @alyankovic specifically announced FOIL as today's video.
posted by hippybear at 8:50 AM on July 16


Phew, I'm glad the song took that turn in the middle! The first half made it seem like a parody of a Weird Al parody. Al imposters will sometimes just rhyme a song title with a random word and then riff on that topic even if there's nothing intrinsically funny about it. Tackiness and grammar mistakes are premises that can be built on. Aluminum foil isn't much of one.

But then the song took a twist, and all was right again.
posted by painquale at 9:34 AM on July 16 [3 favorites]


FOIL is the best yet.
posted by Perplexity at 9:52 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Oh, I dunno, the point where he starts singing about "fungal rot, bacterial formation" and how he obviously worked to get it all to fit exactly into the metre of the song made me smile.

And yes, the turn for the second verse was pretty great.
posted by hippybear at 9:53 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


When I was a tween in the late 80s, pre-internet, Weird Al was such a welcome oasis of, well, WEIRDNESS. Not meanness. Not creepiness. Just WEIRDNESS for its own sake, weird and anarchic and silly and smart and surreal and absurd. Sometimes on the regular radio or MTV. Accessible.

It was a lot harder at that time for an off-beat kid to connect with other people with off-beat sensibilities, at least without going through adult gatekeepers who might either be a) actually creepy or b) offputting to parents who don't want their 13-year-old socializing with adults fascinated by My Little Pony.

I wasn't a Weird Al superfan or anything (my fandom trended SFF) but I always felt a jolt of recognition that someone else noticed how absurd the world was and enjoyed weirdness for its own sake ... and this was someone super, super, super weird that adults thought was hilarious and gave money to to be weird. As a weird kid, I found him incredibly reassuring, and I have a lasting affection for him for that reason alone.

But also he is hilarious.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:20 AM on July 16 [6 favorites]


"Foil" is an amusing piece but it's the rare time where I feel like he needed one more chorus with a twist to really make it perfect. That said that we've had three videos from him in three days and are looking forward to five more is remarkable and this one is good fun too.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:04 AM on July 16


"Foil" was some next-level shit!

But apart from how great these have been so far, this '8 videos in 8 days' promotional strategy seems pretty ingenious. I'll be curious to see if it pays off, and if other artists embrace this same model in the future.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:48 AM on July 16


Curiously, it is an argument for the album format, which Al has said he's trying to get away from.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:56 AM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Patton Oswalt was underused...that was barely even a cameo.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:07 PM on July 16


What was he going to do? Sing?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:33 PM on July 16


I thought Oswalt's reaction would make a good gif.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:18 PM on July 16 [3 favorites]


What was he going to do? Sing?

I don't know, but the part he played was a boring role that literally could have been done just as well by an extra. Unlike many cameos that are somehow enhanced by virtue of being a cameo, in this case who it was didn't benefit the part at all, or so it seemed to me, anyway. At least the Big Names in "Tacky" got to have fun, prance about and be showy; all poor Patton got to do was wave his hands a bit and make a mask-taking-off motion. A minor point, I know; I was just hoping for a bit more.

On preview: nice gif!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:22 PM on July 16


Patton Oswalt was underused...that was barely even a cameo.

At least he was recognizable and got to make some faces. Poor Lieutenant Dangle had even less of a showing.
posted by painquale at 2:17 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


It was rather Meta, considering Weird Al's early reputation for food-related parodies ("My Bologna", "I Love Rocky Road", "Eat It") and the second-verse left-turn into the OTHER well-known use for "Foil" was brilliant, and unusually topical for The Weird One. And considering what it's like the rare times when Weird Al morphs into Batsh*t Insane Al, having Oswalt in a mostly reactive role was a good move - a less familiar face for the 'unmasking' at the end wouldn't have been half as funny. I give him credit for not tossing in paid product placement from Reynolds or Alcoa.

Two more parodies to go - "Inactive" for "Radioactive" and "Handy" for "Fancy" (his most recently-done, so it may be last to commit to video), but which of the non-parody songs will get videos? He never does his 'Polka Medleys' (I was surprised he hadn't used the "Now That's What I Call Polka" title before) and rarely his longer songs, so "Jackson Park Express" is out, and "Sports Song" is already way too obvious without visuals. So we're looking at the name-dropper's anthem "Lame Claim to Fame" (most likely to be animated due to all the obvious cameos required), the Foo Fighters non-sequitur "My Own Eyes" (next most likely for a 2-D cartoon, otherwise so much CGI!), the CSN&sometimesY-more-than-inspired "Mission Statement" (maybe the hardest to visualize but it would be worth it just for the sign saying "Corporate Suite Judy Blue Eyes") and Al's most almost-serious statement (and least likely to make the playlists of his fans on Wall Street) "First World Problems" - THAT I am looking forward to.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:34 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Man, "Jackson Park Express" is on its way to becoming one of my all-time favorites of his. Pitch-perfect parody plus total ridiculousness.
posted by fiercecupcake at 2:50 PM on July 16


Mission Statement is so catchy and musically great as a Crosby Still & Nash style parody means it will probably make it into my regular playlist and get strange looks from guests.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:05 PM on July 16


"Sports Song" is already way too obvious without visuals.

There's a still shot going around of Al leading a marching band, so I'm putting money down on "Sports Song" being one of the eight.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:07 PM on July 16


Well that got dark.
posted by PenDevil at 3:12 PM on July 16


"Sports Song" is already way too obvious without visuals.

The video to Sports Song was already leaked. It's available a few comments back in this thread.

He never does his 'Polka Medleys'

I think the last video will be the polka medley. Polka Face from his last album got a video.
posted by painquale at 3:19 PM on July 16


In fact, if you follow the Reddit link I posted where they're discussing Sport Song, you'll find a comment by someone who discovered the remaining videos. I'll refrain from saying what they are to avoid spoiling anyone's enjoyment of the daily releases.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 4:27 PM on July 16


Oswalt played the role previously played in Al videos by Dick van Patten.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:27 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


In fact, if you follow the Reddit link I posted where they're discussing Sport Song, you'll find a comment by someone who discovered the remaining videos.

Huh, you're right. I think they're missing one, but they're otherwise still available for download. For those interested: here's a permalink to the reddit comment that links to the videos.

I couldn't help myself. I had to watch them all.
posted by painquale at 5:33 PM on July 16


So. "Spastic."
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:49 PM on July 16


Yeah, You Can't Tip a Buick. I love the video but I do wince every time that comes up.
posted by KathrynT at 8:00 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]


Superb animation work on a couple of those new videos. I never in a million years thought "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" would be Weird Al fodder.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:05 PM on July 16


I was really hoping he'd do Get Lucky because I think Weird Al doing Daft Punk would be the greatest thing the world has ever seen.

Otherwise, I'm loving all the vids so far!
posted by triggerfinger at 10:44 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


this '8 videos in 8 days' promotional strategy seems pretty ingenious.

Unlike for his LAST album where he just released 'em all at once...
posted by hippybear at 11:24 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's a shame... The entirety of Word Crimes' lyrics are so tight and perfect (even as a descriptivist who was expecting to be annoyed to all hell by it) and then "you write like a spastic" :| Guess they all can't be home runs.
posted by Gordafarin at 1:09 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


"Mouth-breather" too (which I've avoided since this thread). Weird Al's insults are still kinda stuck in the '80s.
posted by painquale at 3:31 AM on July 17


In "My Own Eyes" the drag queen reference leaves me wanting to drop a polite email. However, I seem to recall that this album is "midget" free, so that's a plus?

I was listening to the album the first time while driving home, and when foil started, I thought "Well, it's OK, but not going to be my favourite." and wasn't listening too closely so as to concentrate on that whole not dying in a firey or nonfirey car crash when I did a double take (looked down at the console for the song name) around the time of the faked moon landing and had to restart the song. I felt like the cooking show director ... well, up until the removing of the mask. I won't blow my cover that easily.^W^W^W^W^W^W^W

... I'm finding it difficult not to raid the reddit link for the unreleased videos, but I haven't yet.
posted by nobeagle at 7:56 AM on July 17


So. "Spastic."

Different connotation in the US than in other English-speaking countries - it's not generally used in relation to the disabled at all, and hasn't been for at least a half-century. It means hyperactive and uncoordinated - but in the UK, the term is a very ugly word for the disabled.

It's not a deal-breaker for me, but Weird Al needs to vet this stuff better - it's like the recent Mindless Self Indulgence album where they kept using the term "gay" as an euphemism for things they didn't like. It was transgressive in the '90s, now it's just dated and clueless. Same deal with Spastic - it was a harmless insult in the '80s, but we're a more global society now. Sort of like how folks in the UK and Australia have dialed back on the "C" word significantly in recent years - it doesn't have the massively offensive gendered nature that it does in the US, but people are becoming aware of it and sensitive to it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:43 AM on July 17 [9 favorites]


Handy (Parody of Fancy) is up on the official site.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:55 AM on July 17


Great video again. I'm impressed that Al is able to hide his hair so well. Handy wasn't among the Reddit links, so we know them all now.

Doing more of the podcast circuit, Al is interviewed on Never Not Funny. This one is an especially fun interview, largely because Jimmy Pardo is such a fun guy. (They say something that misled me about what the eighth video would be before Handy was revealed.)
posted by painquale at 9:27 AM on July 17


Interesting that all the videos are hosted on different sites, even when you click through from the Weird Al site.

The cynic in me thinks that might be because selling exclusive streaming rights to a bunch of different sites means more cash upfront, but my inner swell guy--which is somehow winning out--thinks Weird Al is supporting his friends' comedy projects by featuring them in his videos and giving them advertising and clickthroughs and adsense revenue and everything.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:31 AM on July 17


Sys Rq: The cynic in me thinks that might be because selling exclusive streaming rights to a bunch of different sites means more cash upfront, but my inner swell guy--which is somehow winning out--thinks Weird Al is supporting his friends' comedy projects by featuring them in his videos and giving them advertising and clickthroughs and adsense revenue and everything.

According to Weird Al himself, it's more "Weird Al gets his music videos, which are basically advertisements for his albums that people pay for, made for free." This does sort of amount to helping out Nerdist, CollegeHumor, etc but it also helps Al.

Be sure to click through to that Fox Business video to laugh out loud at the fact that a Fox Business anchor doesn't understand how The Internet works.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:36 AM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I know probably two dozen people who are going to firmly believe "Handy" was written specifically to be their theme song.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:14 AM on July 17


a Fox Business anchor doesn't understand how The Internet works
Based on its ratings, Fox Business doesn't know how Cable TV works. I think it's staffed by everyone too stupid for Fox News.

"Weird Al gets his music videos, which are basically advertisements for his albums that people pay for, made for free."
If you can't get paid for doing it, get somebody else to pay for it. 21st Century Media Economics. And when it's "Yahoo Screen" it's a good sign that their commitment to The Funny won't begin and end with the 6th Season of "Community".

Maybe it's saying something about "the Era of Outrage Overload" that Weird Al, who has had a 30-year reputation as "the Family-Friendly Parodist", is slipping on banana peels with a few specific words (mostly chosen for rhyme) out of a couple thousand in his current album's lyrics. When I first saw the title "Word Crimes", I though, "PLEASE don't be about 'Political Correctness'" and was relieved and delighted when he went the Grammar Pedant route. (Where is languagehat when we need him?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:10 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


I didn't pay much attention to Weird Al from the late 90s through the 2000s, but he seems to have made a real resurgence in the past few years.

In the Weird Al VH-1 Behind The Music episode, Al himself jokes about how every phase of his career has been considered a comeback despite working non-stop for decades. Every time he does anything, it's like people completely forgot he existed until he came back out of left field with a new one.
posted by mediocre at 3:43 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


(Where is languagehat when we need him?)

Probably busy consulting with Al and his video animators re: lyrics and on-screen representation thereof.
posted by hippybear at 10:15 PM on July 17


And Sports Song is today's video.

I love the language pedantry in this. Fits in well with Word Crimes.
posted by hippybear at 8:18 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


AV Club: “Weird Al” Yankovic answers our 11 Questions
posted by Gary at 9:24 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


I may have watched the "Word Crimes" video the check on a usage rule.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:31 AM on July 18 [3 favorites]


God help me. Fox News interviews Weird Al (I got linked from Google News and didn't notice where I was going until I got there.) And right after a bunch of stuff about Word Crimes, they ask him about his strategy behind releasing a video a day, and he says, "Well there’s no music television per se anymore. "

Which Fox News faithfully renders as "per say."
posted by Naberius at 2:45 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Sports Song is up!
posted by divabat at 4:03 PM on July 18


The Official Site is currently hosting "First World Problems."
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:55 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Actually, Vevo is hosting it, and it doesn't appear to be working. It's not on Weird Al's Vevo feed, so...??? This embed works, though.

Maybe the non-workingness is a meta-joke?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:16 AM on July 19 [4 favorites]


If you've like to download the video for offline use and you have ffmpeg installed:
$ ffmpeg -i http://hls-aka.vevo.com/v3/hls/2014/07/USRV81400345/4200/usrv81400345_4200k_1920x1080_h264_4200_aac_128.m3u8 -f mp4 -c copy -bsf:a aac_adtstoasc first_world_problems.mp4
Vevo seems to have their permissions set incorrectly. It should be viewable here but it fails. If you try to grab it with youtube-dl the error message is Sorry Charlie, this video won't be released until 7/21/2014 3:00:00 AM ET. But apparently certain embedded viewings are allowed. Shrug.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:12 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]


I don't think we want to post a link to every Weird Al video appearance these days, but his Google Talk on July 18 is worth a look.
posted by DanSachs at 1:07 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


Wow. Loved First World Problems SO MUCH.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:21 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]


@alyankovic: If you thought I didn’t know that I ended “Word Crimes” with a split infinitive… you don’t give me nearly enough credit.

@alyankovic: If you thought I didn’t know that “spastic” is considered a highly offensive slur by some people… you’re right, I didn’t. Deeply sorry.
posted by Gary at 10:20 PM on July 19 [14 favorites]


First World Problems - A Sonic Youth parody. No fucking shit, Sonic Youth. More than a quarter century too late. Still knocks it out of the park.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:17 PM on July 19


Pixies, actually!
posted by h00py at 11:41 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]


How Weird Al cracked the longevity code
posted by nubs at 7:58 AM on July 20


The next installment is Lame Claim to Fame, a style parody of Southern Culture on the Skids (e.g. Camel Walk.)
posted by Rhomboid at 9:24 AM on July 20 [1 favorite]


The next installment is Lame Claim to Fame, a style parody of Southern Culture on the Skids

As someone who probably too often shares the story of having once used a urinal next to Larry King, I both laughed and felt properly shamed.
posted by The Gooch at 10:12 AM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Oh nice Dr. Demento cameo. That might be my favorite new song by Al.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:20 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


Al just tweeted an apology for using the word "spastic" in "Word Crimes" (he says he seriously didn't know it was offensive). Class act.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 PM on July 20 [5 favorites]


Rhomboid: The next installment is Lame Claim to Fame

And features a nod to his roots with the radio station call letters KCPR (it's summer quarter, so there's a lot of random music on during the day, instead of 100% live programming).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:57 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I count at least three Dr. Demento sightings in the video as well as the KCPR broadcast tower (they have a tower?). Dr. D. is the subject of one of my celebrity anecdotes (last paragraph), so Weird Al is definately playing my song.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:03 AM on July 21


Loving all these videos.

Lame Claim to Fame @ 1:07 has a "Have you Seen this Chicken?" poster from Wallace and Gromit "The Wrong Trousers"!
posted by pianissimo at 3:39 AM on July 21 [2 favorites]


Mission Statement, the last video, is on the WSJ's site, appropriately.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 9:10 AM on July 21


And the last one up is Mission Statement.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:10 AM on July 21


For offline viewing/archival purposes, I've put all eight video files here and here. (Ignore the preview player and just go for the download links.)
posted by Rhomboid at 11:21 AM on July 21 [5 favorites]


Mission Statement, the last video, is on the WSJ's site, appropriately.

WAY too appropriately. Well, with Weird Al's business model of getting exclusivity deals to pay for his videos, might as well make Murdoch pay for one. Now THAT is a "Paradigm Shift, yeah, Paradigm Shift" and "Synergyyyyyyyyyyy"... (and good that it took over 4 minutes to get to the buzzword "downsizing")
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:45 PM on July 21


"Mission Statement" is oddly timely in light of that recent Microsoft layoff e-mail. As a song, its somewhat more interesting in theory than in practice, but I still appreciate the irony.

Really, this was a very strong set of videos and Al was very canny in partnering with such a diverse group of sites. Each site surely got a boost in traffic thanks to Al and he got to debut videos on a bunch of places at the same time. While I don't imagine "Tacky" is going to be the hit that "White and Nerdy" was, I suspect he's managed to significantly increase his album sales.

If he's really done with the album format, he said goodbye to it in a very effective and intelligent way.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:56 PM on July 21


Weird. Apparently the only embed that works today is at the WSJ.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:08 PM on July 21


because News Corp controls it ALL
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:25 PM on July 21


28 Years With Weird Al
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 PM on July 21 [6 favorites]


Okay, that "28 years with Weird Al" is one of the sweetest things ever.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 AM on July 22 [1 favorite]


Has Al ever said why he changed his look? Contacts, no mustache, much longer hair?

I mean, if he was just bored with it, understandable, but it was such a radical change, it makes me wonder if he had something going on in his life.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:05 AM on July 22


The abandoning of glasses isn't because he got contacts - he got Lasik surgery.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on July 22


The Surprisingly Savvy Weird Al Internet Machine
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:54 AM on July 22


Mission Statement is so he can get to go on Late Nite and duet with Fallon-as-Neil Young.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:20 AM on July 22


I am jonesing for new Al today.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:36 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]


Okay, that "28 years with Weird Al" is one of the sweetest things ever.

Agreed - it made me smile so hard my face hurts.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:47 PM on July 22


Weird Al finally #1 On The Billboard album charts .

Is this what victory feels like?
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:13 AM on July 23 [9 favorites]


Billboard makes it official:

"Mandatory" is the first comedy album to top the Billboard 200 since Allan Sherman's "My Son, the Nut" spent eight weeks at No. 1 beginning on the chart dated Aug. 31, 1963. A couple of comedy sets came close since then, including Steve Martin's No. 2-peaking "A Wild and Crazy Guy" back in 1978 and a pair of No. 2 Cheech & Chong titles in the early 1970s.

Yankovic leads a debut-filled top four on the Billboard 200, where Jason Mraz's "Yes!" starts at No. 2, Rise Against's "The Black Market" bows at No. 3, and Kidz Bop Kids' "Kidz Bop 26" enters at No. 4.


*does the happy dance* (is that tacky?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:20 PM on July 23 [5 favorites]


I, er, like the way he's dancing in First World Problems. I mean, I remember his David Tennant-doppelganger thing on MTV 15 years ago and the look he sported in The Saga Begins, so I've known for a long time that he's actually rather handsome, but I didn't think that at his age, he'd still have some serious hip action like that. /fans self

I'm glad he made it to #1. Finally. And it's about time. I've been listening to him since I was 10, and I was surprised to discover he hadn't gone to #1 in the 80s.

His guest stint on Epic Rap Battles of History with him as Sir Isaac Newton and Nice Pete as Bill Nye (with Chali 2na from Jurassic 5 in a cameo as Neil DeGrasse Tyson) should've been a bonus track on this last ordinary album. The other thing I'd sort of forgotten was that, wow, Al's got flow. Like, real flow. He's been so good for so long, it didn't sink in until I heard this.
posted by droplet at 7:17 PM on July 23 [4 favorites]


I stared at the ground because I was afraid of locking eyes with Weird Al and sang my parody of “Stand By Me,” called “Stand By Please,” which was about calling customer service. Weird Al said my songs were good and shook my hand and I vowed I would never wash it again, but I think my mom made me take a bath the next day. I tried to keep that hand out of the water but it was really tough.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:32 AM on July 24 [2 favorites]


(As seen two days ago.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:04 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Not everyone liked Word Crimes: Daily Beast, First Things.

Personally I thought it was brilliant - lyrically and the video which has so much going on I'll have to watch it several times (hey hey hey).
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:26 PM on July 24


I thought that the insistence on prescriptivism so strict it actually violates the rules more than it enforces them was a kind of meta-parody on Blurred Lines, actually. Like "Hey guys, when you're shitty about respecting a woman's boundaries and listening to her words, you are AS ANNOYING AND HORRIBLE as that guy who can't let two sentences go by without smugly 'correcting' someone's grammar which usually wasn't even wrong in the first place. Plus also being rapey."
posted by KathrynT at 7:06 PM on July 24


Yeah, I figured it was him using a douchebag song to be a different kind of douchebag.
posted by divabat at 11:53 PM on July 24 [1 favorite]


Weird Al in today's WSJ (print, D8):
But I want to be careful here because I've been taken to task for writing a song that encourages bullying of people with poor grammar. That's not my intention. There's a bit of me in "Word Crimes" the same way there's a bit of me in [2006's] "White and Nerdy." I drew a lot of that song from personal experience. It stems from my distaste for bad grammar, but it's also a parody of the kind of prescriptivists that would lose their minds over grammar infractions.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:53 AM on July 25 [11 favorites]


Has Weird Al also filed a parody lawsuit against Marvin Gaye's estate?
posted by Cold Lurkey at 5:35 PM on July 25


Was going to make a FPP of this but found the open thread:
Weird Al’s 8 best music videos side-by-side with their originals

Worth your 2 minutes.
posted by Theta States at 7:24 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Watching that brought me around to watching one of my absolute favorite Weird Al things - the "Donny Osmond and Al only" version of "White and Nerdy."
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:56 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


I give him credit for not tossing in paid product placement from Reynolds or Alcoa.

Those companies might have been less enthusiastic about the second half of "Foil" than the first half.
posted by John Cohen at 1:14 PM on July 26


Greg Kihn on Weird Al.

Add Kihn to my last of people that sound pretty cool to hang out with.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:07 PM on July 26


Contemporary teens react to Weird Al. (a 50/50 split between those who know him and those who don't.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:35 PM on July 27


the "Donny Osmond and Al only" version of "White and Nerdy."

That's pretty impressive - Working link.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 8:21 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I look at that video and think "Is that really take #1?". I know that there is no reason for them to lie, I just don't see that level of professionalism very often. But deep down I know that it is true. Donny Osmond has been dancing forever, and he has it down.
posted by Quonab at 6:53 PM on July 28 [1 favorite]


I watched the Making the Video for that video, and unless they staged that whole thing in the show, it really was take #1. Apparently Osmond showed up with a whole choreographed dance memorized, Weird Al saw almost none of it in the first take because he was looking at the camera so he only saw what they had when he reviewed the footage, and he bust out laughing and said "I have no notes. This is perfect."
posted by KathrynT at 7:03 PM on July 28 [6 favorites]


And somebody with way too much time on his hands figured out the provenance of the outfit Al's wearing on the Mandatory Fun cover.

SPOILER ALERT: Weird Al's "Soviet propaganda" uniform is 100% US American.

posted by oneswellfoop at 3:12 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Oh my God, look what he did when he did "Tacky" live on Conan.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:40 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Werirdly Popular: The enduring appeal of “Weird Al” Yankovic.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:20 AM on August 6


Today the top of the Billboard charts, tomorrow the Superbowl!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:16 PM on August 6


His Own Wavelength
It’s not that there wasn’t a self-referential pop culture before “Weird Al” Yankovic; it’s just that those of us under forty might have a hard time remembering it. Just as difficult to imagine are those who, even after all these years—after all the albums and songs and verses, after all the puns and parodies and poetry—still think of Weird Al as nobody more than that guy who rhymes about food over popular music. Weird Al engages the entire culture, in all its functions and facets, through his lyrics, his videos, his original musical-style parodies. Just how he does it all remains a mystery no matter how often he explains it.

When he explained it to me recently, by Skype, he said much that I’d never heard before, even though, like most culture vultures my age, I’ve followed his career since the early eighties. And if a lot of those early songs did in fact find their rhymes in the names of food, it’s also true that a lot of them did not. His songs have become more intricate with each new album, even as they’ve become more expansive. And more popular, too. It’s easy to forget that Weird Al’s career, after an early but tough start, nearly failed to make it very far out of the eighties. It wasn’t until his parody of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (“Smells Like Nirvana”) that he safely established full traction and momentum.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:52 PM on August 13


It still amuses me that the Talking Heads album "More Songs About Buildings and Food" was released before Weird Al recorded "My Bologna". And I'm sure people younger than I think today that the title was a Weird Al reference... had anyone asked David Byrne what he thought of that?

Al so rarely even mentions the performers of the originals in his parodies ("Smells Like Nirvana" was pre-approved by Kurt Cobain) that I was seriously surprised he went straight at Lady Gaga in "Perform This Way" (she must have wanted him to do it). As far as pop culture references are concerned, after his past success with 'movie songs' (the combo of "The Saga Begins" and "Yoda" are among the biggest crowd-pleasers in his live show), you know he will be taking copious notes the first time he gets to see the next Star Wars film (and if Disney is smart, he'll get an advance screening with a pause button).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:32 PM on August 13


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