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April 5, 2010 6:20 PM   Subscribe

"Weird Al" Yankovic – self-sufficiency nut, nature fan, police critic, happy shopper, and Grammar Nazi. A series of cute little Al-esque supershorts he has been posting to his YouTube channel (RSS).
posted by WCityMike (45 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ya know what? He may be cheesy as hell, but I love that guy for being his weird self.
posted by TrialByMedia at 6:28 PM on April 5, 2010


Corrected link: (RSS)
posted by WCityMike at 6:30 PM on April 5, 2010


Weird Al really upset a girl friend of mine in high school. He was in town for a concert or something, and was out in front of his hotel waiting for his ride. My friend says "hey! You're Weird Al! Cool!" Al looks at her, and I guess he noticed her long, curly dark brown hair. He says "Hey, we have the same hair!"

It didn't go over well for some reason.
posted by Kirk Grim at 6:36 PM on April 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I watched one and was gonna snark...after two, I thought, OK, let's try another... then I watched the grammer clips...and smiled...

Ok... I get it... lighten up world...
posted by HuronBob at 6:39 PM on April 5, 2010


Weird Al was the pretty much who I wanted to grow up to be when I was like ten, and now it turns out the same is true at nineteen.
posted by Nomiconic at 6:45 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I favorited this as soon as I read "weird al". Don't care how good/bad the subsequent links are.
posted by Ike_Arumba at 6:48 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Weird Al was the pretty much who I wanted to grow up to be when I was like ten, and now it turns out the same is true at nineteen."

I want you to think about this very carefully, Nomiconic... very carefully!

I'm 61...and I still want to be like Weird Al... and am sorry I didn't spend more of my life being like Weird Al...

Don't miss the opportunities to smile, and make other people smile... it's not that hard to do...

very few people will end their lives thinking... "damn, wish I had been more serious!"...
posted by HuronBob at 6:49 PM on April 5, 2010 [31 favorites]


DARE TO BE STUPID
posted by The Whelk at 6:51 PM on April 5, 2010


My friend saw Weird Al at In 'n' Out once. His report: Weird Al looks exactly like Weird Al.

A lot of celebrities look nothing like "themselves" in person. But I can also report that Adam Sandler looks exactly like Adam Sandler. Even to the extent of having Rob Schneider with him.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:54 PM on April 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oh God Bless him for the less/fewer correction.
posted by aerotive at 6:55 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never fully appreciated Weird Al until I started reading Metafilter.
posted by missmary6 at 7:01 PM on April 5, 2010


Weird Al has a wife? And a (human) child!?
posted by DU at 7:08 PM on April 5, 2010




Weird Al was great on Japanese TV, but his move into grammar peevology is really too bad. Unless it's a critique of the whole peevology movement, which I'm pretty sure it isn't. He hasn't written any songs trashing Lynne Truss, has he?

Language Log (of course) has the definitive post on the five-items-or-fewer/less question.
posted by Xalf at 7:54 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the 'happy shopper' vid: "There we are... swimming goggles, cream of asparagus soup, tennis balls, oil lamp... 5-piece speaker system! AWESOME!"

There's a shop in Winnipeg's Chinatown where I bet I could find five such bizarrely disparate items IN EVERY AISLE. I love shops like that!
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:09 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I went to see Weird Al live when I was 19. My friends and I were the only ones there between the ages of 12 and 40.
posted by ignignokt at 8:19 PM on April 5, 2010


Oh, in case you're wondering: the show ruled, especially the solos.
posted by ignignokt at 8:20 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thought I had the other day: who would have thought that 20 years after UHF came out, of its three stars - Michael Richards, Victoria Jackson and Weird Al - that the latter would have turned out to be the funniest and coolest of the three?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:20 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I played the White'n'Nerdy vid for my daughter (19 and a geek's dream if there ever was one). Afterward she told me that by the three-quarter mark she was going "Please let there be one reference I don't get." But no... Javascript, Klingon, bubblewrap and all.
posted by jfuller at 8:41 PM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is awesome.

My first ever concert was the Monkees, and Weird Al was the opening act. Weird Al won..
posted by HeroZero at 9:00 PM on April 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


WHEEL! --- OF! --- FISH!!!!!!!
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:01 PM on April 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wish this dude was my personal friend.
posted by meadowlark lime at 10:08 PM on April 5, 2010


Because he does videos, he has to get permission contracts before doing a parody. I can't remember the artist, but one hip hop guy signed, then tried to rescind the contract when it became apparent that Weird Al's version was better produced and better played than the original.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:12 PM on April 5, 2010


I love the eyeroll in the less/fewer video.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:39 PM on April 5, 2010


Stickycarpet, it's Amish paradise, the coolio parody. You should probably watch it. Backwards milking.
posted by kittensofthenight at 11:18 PM on April 5, 2010


I met Weird Al a couple weeks ago- and his wife and kid. They are wonderfully normal people. His wife even offered to take a photo of me and Al.
posted by kingv at 12:14 AM on April 6, 2010


Weird Al is almost my number-one hero I want to be. (I can't claim him as actually number one because he doesn't write books and I neither sing worth crap nor have any desire to work in music.)
posted by Scattercat at 12:54 AM on April 6, 2010


Because he does videos, he has to get permission contracts before doing a parody.

Any commercial parody work may fall under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. I am not a lawyer and cannot definitively say if Weird Al's parodies are completely protect and do not require contracts, but I'm fairly certain he's never needed permission for a parody. He's a nice guy and always gets the artist's blessing, but he isn't required to do so by law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_v._Acuff-Rose_Music,_Inc.

I'm sure an actual lawyer here could confirm/disconfirm my suspicion.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:22 AM on April 6, 2010


note that I said may fall under
posted by Mikey-San at 1:23 AM on April 6, 2010


I've been performing in a comedy music act recently and I've got to tell you that Weird Al has reached some perfect, nearly zen-like comic plane. Even if his lyrics weren't funny, he delivers them with a level of total commitment that would make them funny.

As it happens, his lyrics are funny, so, yeah, win/win.

I'm finally making good on my youthful dreams of being more Weird Al, albeit with original tunes that don't hold a candle to his in terms of wit or musicality. Far from being envious, I am worshipful. Should I meet him, I would be all Wayne and Garth to his Alice Cooper.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:08 AM on April 6, 2010


Supplies!
posted by studentbaker at 5:50 AM on April 6, 2010


We've mentioned his awesome turn as a guest DJ on NPR's All Songs Considered, before, right? Because we should have. And I want to right this, just in case we haven't.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:25 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


@Mikey-San, I think you are correct, but iirc, while Al does not need to get permission from the artists he parodies, he does like to get their permission out of respect.
posted by bison at 7:01 AM on April 6, 2010


After the Coolio thing, Weird Al set a policy of not just getting the required legal permission from the label, but making sure he had the blessing of the musician personally (if I recall correctly, he thought he had that in Coolio's case, but it was second-hand and turned out to be wrong.)

Sometimes what he does is less a parody of a given song than using that song to parody something else, and it's less than clear to me whether free use would apply (but I've been wrong about IP issues before.)

I saw Weird Al live at the California State Fair in Sacramento a couple of years ago. He rocks live, and I was more impressed with him than ever.
posted by Zed at 7:42 AM on April 6, 2010


speaking about being wrong about IP issues, I meant fair use. erg.
posted by Zed at 7:53 AM on April 6, 2010


It was petty of Coolio to be angry about the parody, but at some level I kind of understand.

The best part of Gangsta's Paradise wasn't Coolio's rapping or lyrics - it was the synths, beat, and chorus. Weird Al took that and added much, much more memorable rhymes. I never feel the urge to hear Gangsta's Paradise, but whenever I remember the existence of either Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio, or Amish Paradise, I listen to Amish Paradise several times.

Hitchin' up the buggy, churnin' lots of butter
Raised a barn on Monday, soon I'll raise another!

posted by ignignokt at 8:36 AM on April 6, 2010


ignignokt - You might like a song by Stevie Wonder called Pastime Paradise. Just sayin.
posted by Xalf at 9:50 AM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Big kudos to Hannaford's Supermarkets, whose express line signs read "15 Items or Fewer". That always makes me smile.
posted by rusty at 10:27 AM on April 6, 2010


Xalf: ignignokt - You might like a song by Stevie Wonder called Pastime Paradise. Just sayin.

I hadn't realized Coolio had based it on this, and Wonder's lyrics and vocal line are a hell of a lot of better.
posted by WCityMike at 11:33 AM on April 6, 2010


Wish this dude was my personal friend.

It used to be a lot easier to become a close personal friend of Al.
posted by Gary at 12:38 PM on April 6, 2010


Dear Seinfeld,

Thanks for trivializing the term "Nazi".

Signed,
~11 million+ victims of Nazi atrocities
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:54 PM on April 6, 2010


If I reach 50 and my life does not somehow involve making fun little internet videos mocking my local supermarket's shelving system I will consider myself to have failed in some way.
posted by eykal at 3:34 PM on April 6, 2010


If you're blaming Seinfeld for trivializing the term "Nazi" you're about fifty years late there.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:15 PM on April 6, 2010


Whoa, thanks, Xalf! I'll go get Songs in the Key of Life now. Yeah, for some reason, I thought Coolio's producer came up with that.
posted by ignignokt at 7:21 PM on April 6, 2010


(ignignokt: I recommend Talking Book and Innervisions. I find everything Wonder did in the '70's is amazing one way or another. /derail)
posted by wobh at 3:05 AM on April 7, 2010


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