I'm in Love with the Skipper (Dan)
July 16, 2009 6:49 AM   Subscribe

"I'm doing 34 shows every day and every time it's the same..." (SLWAYT) Is this, like, the most serious song Weird Al has ever come up with? NOT to be confused with this (short parody from live show).
posted by wendell (119 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sounds like Weird Al got influenced a bit by Jonathan Coulton.
posted by malphigian at 6:54 AM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine who went to acting school showed this clip to me. He even has an eminently decent, non-tour guide job, but still. It touches a nerve. They should probably show this clip to incoming acting students.

Weird Al is awesome.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:55 AM on July 16, 2009


Wow.

I think that whether you find the song funny or sad depends a lot on where you are in life. I think it's pretty funny, but a couple years ago it would have depressed me.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:01 AM on July 16, 2009


"Dieses Video ist aufgrund von Urheberrechtsbeschränkungen in deinem Land nicht verfügbar." ("This video is not available in your country due to copyright limitations.")

You know, I really love this global, no-borders, one might even go so far as to say "world-wide" web...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 7:02 AM on July 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


"Dieses Video ist aufgrund von Urheberrechtsbeschränkungen in deinem Land nicht verfügbar." ("This video is not available in your country due to copyright limitations.")
This version worked for me.
posted by razorian at 7:06 AM on July 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Malphigan, I came in here to post that - this is VERY Coulton-esque.
posted by deadmessenger at 7:06 AM on July 16, 2009


Does this sound to anyone else like Al's vocals have been badly (ie noticeably) Auto-Tuned?
posted by kcds at 7:07 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is why LA has the best waiters in the world. The funniest person I've ever met was this guy working at a booth at Universal Studios--probably some comedian waiting for his big break. So much talent pouring into the area going after so few jobs....
posted by eye of newt at 7:14 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sounds like Weird Al got influenced a bit by Jonathan Coulton.

This sounds more like everything Weezer ever wrote than it does like anything Coulton ever wrote.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:14 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, bit of a downer to start the day with (at least, by Al standards).

I've always thought he had more ability beyond just song parodies - his original songs are often some of the best stuff he does - and it's nice to see he's got some range too. I think this method of just releasing singles on iTunes is a really good one, and it lets him experiment in a way the albums wouldn't.

And count me in the group who says this is Coulton-esque. Wonder if they've ever hung out?...
posted by HostBryan at 7:14 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Weird Al's "In 3D" album (which included his breakout hit "Eat It") came out 25 years ago. 25 years ago. The man is turning 50 years old this year, and he's still producing buzz-worthy music.

Here's to you, Weird Al.
posted by brain_drain at 7:15 AM on July 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


Weird Al once came to the Hardees I was working at as a teenager over 20 years ago...Interesting Story.
And my college roommate had a very shocking story about what Weird Al and Emo Philips tried to pull on her one night....shocking, revealing story.
But, what I really wanted to point out this time is just the damn message when trying to view this here: "この動画は、著作権上の制限により、お住まいの地域ではご利用いただけません。 ". Does anyone have a more visible link somewhere? I'll tell the other stuff some other time.
posted by greasepig at 7:16 AM on July 16, 2009


I'm sure Coulton would be honored to be ripped off by the master.

This song is so miserably good.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:17 AM on July 16, 2009


I'd call Coulton more Alesque.

SHOW SOME RESPECT, PEOPLE
posted by DU at 7:18 AM on July 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


If you enjoyed this video, then my name was Al and this was "Skipper Dan." If not, my name was Rivers and this was "Pork and Beans."
posted by grouse at 7:19 AM on July 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Weird Al once came to the Hardees I was working at as a teenager over 20 years ago...Interesting Story.
And my college roommate had a very shocking story about what Weird Al and Emo Philips tried to pull on her one night....shocking, revealing story.


What's the point of dropping names like that and just not telling the stories? Name drop much?
posted by splice at 7:24 AM on July 16, 2009 [3 favorites]




I haven't heard a Weird Al "album" (remember those?) in about 20 years, but didn't he usually put one or two non-parody, even serious songs on each record?

I have a nagging memory of some other horribly tragic one, but I can't think of it at the moment.
posted by rokusan at 7:26 AM on July 16, 2009


Weird Al, nanotechnology, and 9/11 . . . incredible, jaw-dropping story. No time to tell it right now, though.
posted by brain_drain at 7:29 AM on July 16, 2009 [25 favorites]


I haven't heard a Weird Al "album" (remember those?) in about 20 years, but didn't he usually put one or two non-parody, even serious songs on each record?

More than that- I grew up a huge Weird Al fan, and I'd say most of his albums were about 50% original work. The parodies are what made him popular because they were the ones that got radio play and what MTV wanted to make music videos out of.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:37 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I loved the hell out of Weird Al until I lived with a dude for six weeks who played NOTHING BUT WEIRD AL NON FUCKING STOP. After ten years, I'm finally getting back to the point where I can listen to him every once in a while without wanting to jam a rusty fork through my own eye.

Cool song. Thanks.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 7:44 AM on July 16, 2009


Sorry, I'm not trying to be antagonistic. The stories really aren't that interesting, I was really just a little peeved about the lack of being able to watch the one video people are discussing here, and I inserted a little what little of what relevance I personally had to it.

In high school I was working at a Hardee's on the Ohio Turnpike. Weird Al stopped by at like 11pm and was really cool about a bunch of us teenagers coming up to him for his autograph, etc. I think he signed my placemat but I lost it.

Then, four years later, in college, my roommate told me this story (that has no corroboration so may not be true at all) about how she got coerced into staying at Weird Al's house overnight, and it was just her and Al and Emo Philips trying to seduce her, but she was able to escape by her wits. Honestly, that's as much detail as I remember and I'm terribly sorry I brought it up.

So, does anyone know of another place I can view this video?
posted by greasepig at 7:51 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Weird Al, the Shroud of Turin and Halley's Comet... remind me to tell you about it sometime.
posted by box at 7:53 AM on July 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I parked Weird Al's dinosaur once. Didn't have a lot of time to talk because of the lasers. Good times.
posted by DU at 7:55 AM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I haven't heard a Weird Al "album" (remember those?) in about 20 years, but didn't he usually put one or two non-parody, even serious songs on each record?

It's not so much non-parody in the serious sense; he writes songs that are a parody of a band's style yet not based on one specific song. So instead of just switching lyrics with funny rhymes, he's writing original story songs in these styles. "Mr. Popeil" wasn't based off any one specific B-52's song, but used their riffs and the call-and-response that Fred Schneider does with Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson.

There's also (just off the top of my head) "Dog Eat Dog", a song about corporate office life in the style of Talking Heads ("I can bend paper clips into / Into the shape of small animals! / Maybe someday I can get on / On David Letterman!"), "Everything You Know Is Wrong" in the style of They Might Be Giants, and his crowning achievement, "Genius in France" which covers so many of Frank Zappa's musical styles that it's insane. Dude does his homework and has a great ear for the stylings.
posted by Spatch at 7:55 AM on July 16, 2009


If we're talking about serious Weird Al songs, who could forget the always-lovely 'You Don't Love Me Anymore'?
posted by Bageena at 7:59 AM on July 16, 2009


It was just her and Al and Emo Philips trying to seduce her, but she was able to escape by her wits.

I.... I'm trying to.... imagine... I.... words.
posted by rokusan at 8:01 AM on July 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


I remember the Behind the Music of Weird Al not only being pretty without scandal but also featuring Mark Mothersbaugh ruing the fact that Al got his DEVO homage, "Dare to be Stupid" so, so right.

But yea, a large part of my youth was spent playing Final Fantasy games on the Game Boy and listening to Weird Al. Nowadays, Children of Mana on the DS and Jonathan Coulton fail to capture the same feeling, but come pretty close.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:04 AM on July 16, 2009


I remember the Behind the Music of Weird Al not only being pretty without scandal

Yeah, if I remember correctly the biggest problems he had, other than Coolio getting upset about Amish Paradise, was that he got depressed after UHF came out and flopped at the box office. (That it was released the same weekend as some movie featuring Michael Keaton in a bat suit kind of contributed to that failure.)

This was before the tragic death of his parents, though (carbon monoxide poisoning, IIRC.) What I find amazing is that Al continued to tour after the accident because he wanted to perform. That's how he worked through his grief.
posted by Spatch at 8:09 AM on July 16, 2009


escape by her wits

yes, and today, instead of an "I had a threeway with Weird Al and Emo Philips in the 80s" story she has this lifeless clump of stinking seaweed of an ending.

Let this be a lesson to the teenage girl nervously eyeing the emergency exit on Larry the Cable Guy & Bill Engvall's tour bus tonight. Not every encounter has to feel good THIS YEAR, kids.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:13 AM on July 16, 2009 [50 favorites]


haha....it's the best. He totally nails LA and all the wannabes that fill the place. I lived there in the 80's and every waitress, dishwasher and tourguide was an aspiring actor, musician and poet. Well fucking written little pop ditty too.
posted by gigbutt at 8:14 AM on July 16, 2009


Comparing Weird Al to Jonathan Coulton is like comparing Gustav Holst to John Williams.
posted by hifiparasol at 8:15 AM on July 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


"Dieses Video ist aufgrund von Urheberrechtsbeschränkungen in deinem Land nicht verfügbar." ("This video is not available in your country due to copyright limitations.")

Und in Kanada!

Ach du lieber mit das schiessen interneten-gehrtuben-thingie! Wo ist der Electronisches-Frontieren-UberFoundation und der cluesticken giganticishe fur der headschmackken auf die stupidischen Kanadian kommunikazionisher totenkopfs??? Fuggen-sie bitte auf!
posted by Mike D at 8:16 AM on July 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


Yeah, what Spatch said. Al does quite a few pastiche numbers along with his parody songs. Often it is the non-parody songs which really let his songwriting and lyrical mastery shine. The man has a real gift. If you think one of his non-parody songs sounds like Artist X, that's because you were meant to think that.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 AM on July 16, 2009


I like this. It doesn't have the cloying cheeziness Weird Al songs usually have. Instead it's got this Ben Folds/Fountains of Wayne feel to it. I approve.
posted by littlerobothead at 8:22 AM on July 16, 2009


My mother thought WA's "Happy Birthday" was the best thing ever. She'd make us play it at parties, in lieu of the traditional version.

She was otherwise quite normal.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:22 AM on July 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I have always loved both Weird Al and the Jungle Cruise. (Yes, I have been laughing at the same jokes since I was 5 and I am not sorry.) This video is just perfect.
posted by dame at 8:24 AM on July 16, 2009


What I find amazing is that Al continued to tour after the accident because he wanted to perform. That's how he worked through his grief.

My brother actually saw him the next day in Fargo. Everyone just sort of assumed the show would be canceled, but it wasn't. The only difference was that before the show started, the screen showed a photo of them with "in loving memory."
posted by roll truck roll at 8:24 AM on July 16, 2009


This sounds more like everything Weezer ever wrote

Really? Did you listen all the way through?

Instead it's got this Ben Folds/Fountains of Wayne feel to it

This. It starts off with the Weezer bit, but goes solidly in the cleaner power pop Fountains of Wayne direction afterwards. Overall, it's nothing like a typical Weezer song, which is a bit surprising, although I suppose if you look at it as a 2000s power pop pastiche, it gels.

There's something about the production on Weird Al's later efforts (since, say, Alapalooza or maybe Off the Deep End) that's a little too sterile, though. Everything sounds just a little bit too perfect, a little bit too forced. Moreso than the earlier stuff, anyway. It rubs me the wrong way, a bit.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:38 AM on July 16, 2009


This video not available in your country due to copyright restrictions

REALLY? WTF, Canada, or youtube, or Weird Al, or whoever???

(Just moved to Canada and have lost half of my internet. Love it anyway.)

On preview: genau, Mike D.
posted by nosila at 8:41 AM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is really good. The opening feels very late-Weezer, but the "bemoaning my humorously sad situaton" move that the lyrics make is indeed very Coulton.
I think every young geek goes through a "Weird Al" period. Mine was centered around the time "Running with Scissors" came out, in the early years of high school.
If you're so inclined, I recommend re-listening to "It's All About the Pentiums". Tech jokes don't always age so well.
posted by Tesseractive at 8:45 AM on July 16, 2009


he writes songs that are a parody of a band's style yet not based on one specific song

Also, the awesome Velvet Elvis in the style of The Police.

I'm a huge Jonathan Coulton fan, but comparing him to Weird Al is like comparing that fantastic basketball player on my high school team with Michael Jordan. Maybe 20 years from now Coulton might have a collection of songs where there would be some sense in trying to make a comparison. I certainly hope so.
posted by straight at 8:46 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Today, I learned: that I prefer 80s Emo to 80s Al and 00s Al to 00s Emo and that, in any case, your friend is a dum ho.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:47 AM on July 16, 2009


Cool song.

This reminds me of a really nice guy I used to know named Matt. He was an actor/comedian, and also worked at the "family style" chain restaurant Buco di beppo. One day he went through the entire insanely cheerful spiel he did for customers for me, described the long hours he worked in addition to his audition and performance schedule, then summed it all up:

"Some days you have an itch in the back of your throat only a shotgun can scratch."

He was kidding. I think.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:54 AM on July 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


If you can see Weird Al live - do so at any and all costs. One of the highest energy and most fun shows I've been to ever. For someone who gets treated like a novelty act a lot of times, he is most assuredly the Real Deal when it comes to performance.

And, I agree, some of his best songs are original work (not just style parody, but 100% original). Growing up, for example, I was in love with "Christmas at Ground Zero. And, of coures, I've always thought he wrote the best love songs : "Good Enough for Now" is probably the most honest song ever written, for example, and his other ballads about infidelity and relationship ennui are fantastically morbidly funny.
posted by absalom at 8:56 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The song reminds me of something John Spencer said on Fresh Air: "Unless you need it like opium...I would do something else. There are so many things that are easier on the soul, more lucrative, more steady. ... but if you need your art, and it's undeniable to you, then you don't have a choice. This is why when young actors ask me do I think they should act, I say 'No!' Because it's hard enough when it's going well. When it's not going well, it's impossible." (@ about :60 s from the end.)

I agree that Al's best work is often the originals. I like that he keeps trying to do different things instead of keeping to a reliable schtick.
posted by lodurr at 9:01 AM on July 16, 2009


Yeah, if I remember correctly the biggest problems he had, other than Coolio getting upset about Amish Paradise, was that he got depressed after UHF came out and flopped at the box office.

Weird Al would be happy to know that we have that movie at our house and my husband and daughter have watched it like a bajillion times.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:13 AM on July 16, 2009


And, I agree, some of his best songs are original work (not just style parody, but 100% original). Growing up, for example, I was in love with "Christmas at Ground Zero.

My siblings still haven't let me live down my waking them up on Christmas morning with that song.

three years in a row
posted by Pufferish at 9:15 AM on July 16, 2009


I remember the Behind the Music of Weird Al not only being pretty without scandal but also featuring Mark Mothersbaugh ruing the fact that Al got his DEVO homage, "Dare to be Stupid" so, so right.

"Dare to Be Stupid" is almost DEVO's best song.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:25 AM on July 16, 2009


Surprised we've gotten this far without anyone mentioning his awesome polka medleys, which are probably my favorites -- particularly "Bohemian Polka" and "Hot Rocks Polka."

Back in my Napster-downloading days the one thing that annoyed me most in the world was the huge number of songs attributed to Weird Al that were clearly not his, or even performed in his style. Fortunately there's the "Not Al" page, which counteracts such nonsense.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:29 AM on July 16, 2009


malphigian: "Sounds like Weird Al got influenced a bit by Jonathan Coulton."

XQUZYPHYR: "This sounds more like everything Weezer ever wrote than it does like anything Coulton ever wrote."

Spoken like people who haven't listened to any Weird Al besides what Kottke links to.
posted by Plutor at 9:30 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm still shocked and amazed at the staying power of his stuff. ‘White & Nerdy’ gets played at my house at least twice a month to this very day. I never get bored of it. And even if I did, I know that I'd just watch the Donny Osmond Dance Take.
He wrote the perfect Devo song. “Dare To Be Stupid” has such great tone…that song is perfect, and I hate him for it, basically.
—Mark Mothersbaugh, lead singer of Devo, on VH1 Behind The Music: Weird Al
posted by koeselitz at 9:30 AM on July 16, 2009


Regarding the spiraling into depression after UHF thing depicted in the Behind the Music episode, Al says:
Hey, I was disappointed, sure, but I didn't go into some huge spiraling depression. BTM loves to play up the drama, and since there's so little in my life… well, they had to find SOME place to play that sappy violin music, didn't they?
Thanks for posting this, wendell.
posted by Zed at 9:32 AM on July 16, 2009


Also, this sounds nothing like Weezer: it's lyrically coherent and interesting, and harmonically complex. Weezer could never do either of those things.
posted by koeselitz at 9:38 AM on July 16, 2009


Yeah, Donny Osmond randomly showing up dancing in front of a whiteboard of equations while Al goes gangsta in the foreground... it's the kind of eye-bugging insanity takes the White & Nerdy video to whole other level of awesome.

(Of the newer stuff, I'm kinda diggin' Craigslist.)
posted by zennie at 9:38 AM on July 16, 2009


If you can see Weird Al live - do so at any and all costs.

This. Even when it's so-so it's good.

Now UHF...I loved the movie until my younger siblings played it all day every day for years. That and Top Secret.

I probably could watch them again now. Once.

But yes, Weird Al has always been my idol.
posted by lysdexic at 9:41 AM on July 16, 2009


I have to say: if I were this guy, I would be so incredibly happy right now that I probably would break my lips from smiling.
posted by koeselitz at 9:44 AM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Craigslist needs more accordion. Seriously.
posted by lysdexic at 9:45 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


While we're all repping for our favorite Weird Al songs, I just want to take a moment to say that the instrumental song Fun Zone is maybe the most sublimely joyful minute-and-forty seconds that exists, anywhere.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:49 AM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anyone find this song a little too familiar? The vocal melody sounds a lot like "The Good Ol Days": 'so I tied her to a chair and I shaved off all her hair, and I left her in the desert somewhere. And at night in my dream I can still hear her screams, and I wonder if she ever made it home. "

Is it just me?
posted by daHIFI at 9:50 AM on July 16, 2009


UHF is one of the greatest, most hilarious films of this or any generation. It's a pity it was released the same month as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Batman—it should've done a lot better than it did.
posted by koeselitz at 9:52 AM on July 16, 2009


The song reminds me of something John Spencer said on Fresh Air: "Unless you need it like opium...I would do something else. There are so many things that are easier on the soul, more lucrative, more steady. ... but if you need your art, and it's undeniable to you, then you don't have a choice. This is why when young actors ask me do I think they should act, I say 'No!' Because it's hard enough when it's going well. When it's not going well, it's impossible." (@ about :60 s from the end.)

Yeah. And that reminds me of every jerk in the world who makes it in a creative field, and then wants to pull the ladder up after him.

Look, it's hard. WE GET IT. Most of us who choose to go into very competitive creative fields are not actually retarded. But if you're actively trying to talk people out of following their dreams under the guise of being "helpful," you're just being a dick. Yes we get it- you made it because you're amazingly dedicated, so much more so than us more mortals could ever be and you need your art like [insert drug cliche here].

Come the fuck on. At the very least, people need to learn these lessons about how hard it is for themselves, not give up before they even try.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:52 AM on July 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Lighten up, doc. (And maybe listen to the link, so you can hear the laughter in his tone.)
posted by lodurr at 9:55 AM on July 16, 2009


Fortunately there's the "Not Al" page, which counteracts such nonsense.

Crap. I am really embarrassed how many songs on that list I thought were by Weird Al. I'm not even gonna say.

I mean, he really does have pretty broad vocal range...he could sound like that if he wanted to...I mean... Crap.
posted by straight at 9:57 AM on July 16, 2009


Dudes, I just don't like Weird Al.
posted by Mister_A at 9:59 AM on July 16, 2009


It wasn't until just this year that I discovered that You Make Me is styled after Oingo Boingo (and it sounds particularly like Grey Matter). This is shocking to me, since Weird Al and Boingo were practically the only music I listened to at the time.
posted by team lowkey at 10:08 AM on July 16, 2009


If you own Brian Wilson's Smile album, stop everything and listen to "Pancreas" immediately. It's astonishing.

Insulin, glucagon, coming from the Islets of Langerhans...
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:22 AM on July 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yes. Pancreas is genius.
posted by lysdexic at 10:24 AM on July 16, 2009


Also: if you have UHF, go back and watch the commentaries. Even if your not a commentary person. Even if you HATE commentary tracks. It's fantastic.
posted by absalom at 10:25 AM on July 16, 2009


Weird Al, making the confusion that is modern life clearer.
posted by pianomover at 10:26 AM on July 16, 2009


That's a cool video, too.

My pancreas attracts every other pancreas in the universe with a force proportional to the product of their masses!
posted by lysdexic at 10:27 AM on July 16, 2009


Weird Al, making the confusion that is modern life clearer matter a little less.
posted by lodurr at 10:29 AM on July 16, 2009


Albuquerque. 'Nuff said.
posted by owtytrof at 10:33 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honey?! Where's the spatula?
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:36 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to interject that I've had a 20+ year crush on Weird Al. Take from that what you will. And while I probably would have done Al, I think Emo Philips might have been a deal breaker for me too.
posted by dejah420 at 10:38 AM on July 16, 2009


If you own Brian Wilson's Smile album, stop everything and listen to "Pancreas" immediately. It's astonishing.

Yes, in fact, I made that same comment in the last Weird Al thread.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:42 AM on July 16, 2009


If you own Brian Wilson's Smile album, stop everything and listen to "Pancreas" immediately. It's astonishing.

That is astonishing.
Even more if you're a nutritionist. :D
posted by zennie at 10:43 AM on July 16, 2009


This song sums up exactly why I have avoided every Branson offer that has come my way.
posted by sourwookie at 10:45 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lifelong Weird Al fan.

I assume Al has created a number of pieces, music, various things while in his recording sessions that were not "comedic" or appropriate for "Weird Al", and if he's either got them stored up or if he's quietly released them under another name.

His guitarist, Jim West, has produced a small pile of slack-key guitar albums, all interesting and unlike his work with Al.

Also, while we're all gushing, two other thoughts.

The commentary track for the UHF DVD is the single greatest commentary track I've ever heard.

Al's twitter feed is also perfection, the blend of "hey look at this" with additional links to photos and other stuff that interests him.
posted by jscott at 10:48 AM on July 16, 2009


Just goes to show you. There's only one Show Business. And Lawrence Olivier and the guy on the Jungle Cruise ride are both in it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:49 AM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes. Pancreas is genius.

And Genius in France is even more... geniuser.

Seriously, it's homage, parody, but also - originally Weird Al. Most awesome.
posted by mouthnoize at 10:55 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, in fact, I made that same comment in the last Weird Al thread.

Hey, you wouldn't even know what it was an homage to if it wasn't for me.
The Smile part I mean; I presume you were aware of the existence of the pancreas before we got married.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:02 AM on July 16, 2009


I sold movie tickets to Weird Al once. His credit card said "Weird Al" on it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:25 AM on July 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


The commentary track for the UHF DVD is the single greatest commentary track I've ever heard.

The part where they call Victoria Jackson is awesome.

But I must protest that any of the few "John Carpenter and Kurt Russell smoke LOTS of dope and chitchat about the movie industry" commentaries are even better.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:43 AM on July 16, 2009


Hey, you've got weasels on your face.
posted by marginaliana at 11:55 AM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I assume Al has created a number of pieces, music, various things while in his recording sessions that were not "comedic" or appropriate for "Weird Al", and if he's either got them stored up or if he's quietly released them under another name.

Well, there's this, which is still funny, but a different kind of funny. He was also a gust accordionist on a Frankie Yankovic album.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:56 AM on July 16, 2009


He was also a gust accordionist on a Frankie Yankovic album.

He only played in short bursts?
posted by papercake at 12:19 PM on July 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


But I must protest that any of the few "John Carpenter and Kurt Russell smoke LOTS of dope and chitchat about the movie industry" commentaries are even better.

Yeah. I enjoy the one they did for Big Trouble in Little China. They're unashamed members of the Mutual Appreciation Society, but their conversations are so damn entertaining. Just two pals kicking back and shooting the shit about the movie they made and their friends.

But I knew the UHF commentary was gonna be a winner as soon as Weird Al put words to the Orion flying logo theme. "Orion, Orion is baaankruuuuupt!"
posted by Spatch at 12:22 PM on July 16, 2009


"Some days you have an itch in the back of your throat only a shotgun can scratch."
posted by drjimmy11


Heh heh. I hadn't heard that one before. Great expression. Just got to use it this afternoon.
posted by marxchivist at 12:36 PM on July 16, 2009


"Pancreas" nails Smile so hard. Not just musically - but the "singing about the mundane" thing that Wilson is so good at. Fabulous.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:46 PM on July 16, 2009


My sweetie and I went to LA about three years ago, and realized that we were waiting in line for our crappy coach seats right behind Weird Al. At the time, White and Nerdy was in the top ten, and Al was in coach. In a middle seat. We just furtively watched him the whole trip, marvelling that no one else on the flight seemed to know who he was. When we landed there was a big crowd -- waiting for that ass Norm Coleman up in first class. Al just walked off. We stopped him and gushed away, and dropped Dr. Demento's name (with whom we are slightly acquainted). Al was very gracious and cool. And he is awesome live.
posted by Malla at 12:47 PM on July 16, 2009


Yeah, I'm of the mind that this is in line with the kind of original song he's been putting on his albums from the very beginning, rather than any kind of Coulton homage.

(Of the newer stuff, I'm kinda diggin' Craigslist.)

Apparently, the keyboardist on "Craigslist" really IS Ray Manzarek.
posted by Amanojaku at 1:06 PM on July 16, 2009


Ah! Ray Manzarek. Didn't he play the "cheesy Farfisa organ?" I love that sound!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:37 PM on July 16, 2009


Apparently, the keyboardist on "Craigslist" really IS Ray Manzarek.

It's true!
posted by Greg Nog at 1:46 PM on July 16, 2009


the video for Craigslist is ... just brilliant. I watched it twice, big smile on my face. It really skewers the seriousness of the Doors image. (I was never a big Doors fan so I don't know how seriously Morrison took himself, but props to Manzarek for having a playful spirit about the thing.)
posted by lodurr at 1:50 PM on July 16, 2009


I'd like to hear a story about a famous actor who never achieved his dream of becoming a jungle cruise tour guide.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:57 PM on July 16, 2009


The first time I got drunk was after prom, at this house belonging to the well-to-do date of a friend. I used to not be able to sleep when I got drunk - I would just shuffle along in a box-wine induced half stupor, occasionally catching catnaps.

I tried watching TV, and saw Weird Al doing a kid show at some ungodly hour on Sunday morning. For years afterwards, I was never quite sure if I actually saw it, or if it was a dream. Thankfully, today I own the answer.
posted by heathkit at 2:24 PM on July 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honey?! Where's the spatula?

In one of those small world moments, I'm watching UHF constantly in college, and can't shake the feeling I recognize the spatula mom. This being a pre-imdb world, it took a little more than the nowadays standard 5 mins of googling, to determine that the woman was indeed one of my mom's friends in Singapore, and had moved to Oklahoma when they came back to the US, just in time to get to be an extra in UHF.
posted by nomisxid at 3:41 PM on July 16, 2009


@JonathanCoulton sets the record straight himself:

Re Skipper Dan: um, no guys, you have it backwards - it is I who have been writing like @alyankovic all this time. http://bit.ly/rQ8yo
8 minutes ago from bit.ly

Stand-up guy.

Immediately afterward:
But yeah, They Might Be Giants totally steal from me CONSTANTLY.
posted by yiftach at 3:50 PM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


As long as we're talking about random Weird Al stuff, I find this picture of Weird Al with no hair oddly upsetting.

I am comforted by the fact that it is apparently a wig and his real hair is pinned down underneath.
posted by bookish at 3:51 PM on July 16, 2009


This song didn't grab me. I did love that Doors parody about Craig's List that came out a couple of weeks ago.
posted by zzazazz at 3:59 PM on July 16, 2009


What's Al doing today? Directing Paul McCartney!
posted by Guy Smiley at 5:18 PM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


It was just her and Al and Emo Philips trying to seduce her, but she was able to escape by her wits.

Come on, this sounds like a dream she had -- one of the terrifying ones that take you ten minutes to wake up from, as you sort out what was real and what might have actually happened. Like the time an evil Rik Mayall tried to seduce me and I escaped in a pink submarine.

Besides, Weird Al and Emo Phillips are both hot and what nerdmaiden could say no?

It's a shame that "Genius in France" has such France-bashing lyrics, because it's a pitch-perfect imitation of Frank Zappa's One Size Fits All and I love that album. Nonetheless, I'm a big fan of Al's original songs. My favorite breakup song is actually by him, and it takes all of an a cappella minute to encapsulate heartbreak.

Bonus quote: Al did a Rifftrax of Jurassic Park with Mike Nelson, in which he said, "I was gonna write a parody of John Williams' music, but I realized he's been doing that himself for years."
posted by Countess Elena at 5:42 PM on July 16, 2009


"I'm doing 34 shows every day and every time it's the same..."

Clearly Al needs to ride the Jungle Cruise late at night when they just stop caring.
Try it at about 1:30 in the morning when the sarcasm meter hits 11.
posted by madajb at 6:57 PM on July 16, 2009


Clearly Al needs to ride the Jungle Cruise late at night when they just stop caring. Try it at about 1:30 in the morning when the sarcasm meter hits 11.

I've never been on the ride (that I can remember, anyway), but there is a David Mamet piece somewhere in which he loads quite a bit of praise on the jungle cruise guides. He says that of the entire Disney theme park empire, they're the only people who are allowed to admit from time to time that it's all bullshit.

Perhaps that would give some comfort to the Skipper Dans of the world.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:08 PM on July 16, 2009


For my fellow Canadians (and possibly others?), I present this link which appears to allow access to the video from Canuckistan.
posted by flipper at 7:47 PM on July 16, 2009


"If you can see Weird Al live - do so at any and all costs."

I did, and in a most awesome way. This was back in 1992 in Tucson, and there was an old department store on the fringes of town that someone thought would be great to turn into a nightclub. Let's see, 200,000 square feet, sounds about right. You can guess how good of an idea that wasn't. Anyway, they figured that one thing they'd do would be to bring in touring acts. Somehow, someway, they lassoed Weird Al into a show. I eagerly bought my ticket the day they went on sale, not wanting to miss out if it sold out, which I figured there'd be a good chance of.

Wrong. Despite tons of advance publicity, there were only a couple of hundred people there. The stage was... barely a stage. No chairs in the area, so we all got as close to the stage as we could, which was basically point blank range. Despite the low attendance and lousy facility, Al and band put on a fantastic show. We were dancing and yelling and laughing like the world never existed the whole time. At one point between songs, he said, in a low and mock serious voice, "You know, it's always been my lifelong dream to play in a warehouse in front of a couple of hundred people." Most of us actually did feel bad for him, since he'd come out for such a small crowd. But he kept cranking the tunes, and it was an awesome time.

For some reason, he's been back to Tucson since then. Which only ranks him some more awesome points in my book.
posted by azpenguin at 9:09 PM on July 16, 2009 [13 favorites]


Oh, and while this thread dies down, let me mention something I discovered a few years ago: there's a whole society of people who worked the Jungle Cruise Ride at the Disneys, and they have clothing, newsletters, etc.

The Jungle Gnus Report

I forget which ride it was, but one of the other Disney rides was retired and I found this massive page of all the people who'd worked that ride, with their photos, events they'd put together for reunions, memories of aspects of the rides, etc.

Oh, and there's always has-beens.
posted by jscott at 10:23 PM on July 16, 2009


I loved the hell out of Weird Al until I lived with a dude for six weeks who played NOTHING BUT WEIRD AL NON FUCKING STOP.-- solipsophistocracy

I knew this guy who had the same problem. He was Weird Al's roommate in college! (Al was an architect major at Cal Poly, if you can believe it). He said he turned their bathroom into a recording studio and was practicing and making all these recordings every day with his accordion. My friend said that he could see the talent even back then, but it was often interrupting his studying and got on his nerves after a while.

I loved UHF. He should make another movie and release it straight to DVD and avoid the box office circus and provide some more fun for his fans.
posted by eye of newt at 10:38 PM on July 16, 2009


. He says that of the entire Disney theme park empire, they're the only people who are allowed to admit from time to time that it's all bullshit.

They totally do, especially as I said, late at night near close.
From guides just doing the routine completely monotone to guides going completely over the top with it. We had a guide do the thing backwards while another made some quite pointed suggestions as to just what happens in that treehouse when the boats aren't around.

It must be a nudge-nudge wink-wink thing with Disney since it happens all the time. Plus, the ride just works better at night.
posted by madajb at 11:56 PM on July 16, 2009


Wow, I grew up listening to Weird Al, and it never occurred to me that those non-parody songs were still parodies of a very specific style or band. I was listening to "Dare to be Stupid" before I knew any Devo songs. This list of Weird Al songs has some interesting notes.
posted by agropyron at 4:05 AM on July 17, 2009


Oh my goodness, how come there isn't more comment about the fact that Skipper Dan exists?!

My Boyfriend Daniel as my fellow skipper at Jungle Cruise in Walt Disney World summer of 2008.


"There's a hyena everybody say Hi Ena!!""

Oh that's really sad. I'm sad now.
posted by Danila at 7:11 AM on July 17, 2009


I loved UHF. He should make another movie and release it straight to DVD and avoid the box office circus and provide some more fun for his fans.

He could even stick to the TV parody theme for the second one. Could you imagine what his fertile mind might do with what the TVsphere has become since 1989? Reality TV, proliferation of endless channels, MTV with no music videos, FauxNews...

Seriously, every 20 years, Al needs to do a TV parody movie. Just to keep us all sated.

SUPPLIES!!
posted by hippybear at 10:42 AM on July 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


hippybear, given your description of the present....what is there to parody?
posted by lodurr at 11:36 AM on July 17, 2009


He could even stick to the TV parody theme for the second one. Could you imagine what his fertile mind might do with what the TVsphere has become since 1989?

I could imagine it, or I could listen to "I Can't Watch This," "Jerry Springer," and the super-awesome "Couch Potato" again.
posted by straight at 12:41 PM on July 17, 2009


I've said this on MeFi before, but it's appropriate here I guess.

I didn't really buy into the Al is a Genius thing until Bob. But since then... well... he's a fucking genius.

It still floors me. I mean, how hard is that?
posted by rokusan at 9:22 PM on July 17, 2009


CNR is the latest (and best) song in the Internet Leaks series.
posted by Gary at 10:35 AM on August 4, 2009


Yeah, I couldn't sleep last night, and saw Weird Al tweet about it, so I watched it like 20 times in a row at 4 AM. I'm surprisingly okay with that.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:20 AM on August 4, 2009


Sorry, here is the working link to CNR.
posted by Gary at 2:42 PM on August 4, 2009


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