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Yankovic, "Weird Al" 1959–

Yankovic, "Weird Al" 1959–

(Al Yankovic, Alfred Yankovic)

PERSONAL

Full name, Alfred Matthew Yankovic; born October 23, 1959, in Downey, CA; raised in Lynwood, CA; son of Nick and Mary (maiden name, Vivalda) Yankovic; married Suzanne Krajewski, February 10, 2001; children: Nina. Education: California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, B.Arch. (with honors), 1979.

Addresses: Contact—c/o Close Personal Friends of Al, PMB 4018, 8033 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046. Agent—Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier, 5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 510, Los Angeles, CA 90036; Brady, Brannon & Rich, 5670 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 820, Los Angeles, CA 90036; (music) Paradise Artists, 108 East Matilija St., Ojai, CA 93023. Manager—Imaginary Entertainment, 5725 Green Oak Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068.

Career: Musician, composer, actor, producer, director, and writer. Musical satirist known for writing and performing popular song parodies and other humorous songs. Appeared in commercials and promotions for Music Television Network (MTV) and other networks, various projects, and various products; appeared in radio commercials and in public service campaigns. Placebo Records, founder. Appeared in a video about the history of MTV, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland, OH. Worked at Westwood One Radio Networks, as a disc jockey, and as an accordion teacher. Affiliated with merchandise and appeared at conventions and shows. Affiliated with RADD, an organization promoting road safety.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Awards, Honors: Grammy Award, best comedy recording, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and American Video Award, best male performance, both 1984, for "Eat It"; Grammy Award nomination, best comedy recording, 1986, for Dare to Be Stupid; Grammy Award, best concept music video, 1988, for "Fat"; named accordionist of the year, Keyboard, 1989; MTV Video Music Award nomination, best male video, 1992, for "Smells Like Nirvana"; "Smells Like Nirvana" also named video of the year, Spy magazine, c. 1992, and named one of the top 100 music videos of all time, Rolling Stone magazine; Grammy Award nomination, best music video, short form, 1995, for "Jurassic Park"; Grammy Award, best comedy album, 2004, for Poodle Hat; multiple platinum and gold record certifications for albums and videos, Recording Industry Association of America; Alcon conventions held in his honor and The Midnight Star Internet magazine published in his honor.

CREDITS

Television Appearances; Series:

Multiple characters, The "Weird Al" Show, CBS, 1997–98.

Judge, Pet Star, Animal Planet, 2002–2003.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

MTV 500 Live, MTV, 1997.

I Love the '80s, VH1, 2002.

100 Greatest One Hit Wonders (also known as The Greatest and VH1's "Greatest One Hit Wonders"), VH1, 2002.

100 Moments That Rocked TV (also known as The Greatest), VH1, 2003.

100 Cheesetastic Video Tricks Exposed (also known as The Greatest), VH1, 2004.

100 Biggest Celebrity Oops (also known as E's "101"), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

101 Most Unforgettable SNL Moments (also known as E's "101"), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

I Love the 80s 3-D, VH1, 2005.

I Love the '90s: Part Deux, VH1, 2005.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Jay Levy, "Safety Patrol!" (also known as "Disney's 'Safety Patrol'"), The Wonderful World of Disney (also known as Disneyland, Disney's Wonderful World, The Disney Sunday Movie, The Magical World of Disney, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Presents, and Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color), ABC, 1998.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Host, AL-TV, MTV, 1984.

Welcome to the Fun Zone, NBC, 1984.

Host, AL-TV #2, MTV, c. 1984.

Host, AL-TV #3, MTV, 1985.

The Compleat Al, Showtime, 1985.

Rock 'n' Roll Summer Action, ABC, 1985.

Comic Relief, HBO, 1986.

MTV New Year's Ball (also known as MTV New Year's Eve), MTV, 1986.

"Weird Al"'s Guide to the Grammys, 1986.

Host, AL-TV #4, MTV, 1987.

Host, AL-TV #5, MTV, 1988.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Complete Al (also known as The Complete Al), Showtime, 1988.

Behind the Scenes: "UHF," 1989.

The Big Al Show, MTV, 1989.

Just for Laughs: The Montreal International Comedy Festival (also known as Humour just pour rire), Showtime, 1990.

Himself, Dr. Demento Anniversary Special, Comedy Central, 1991.

Food vendor, "NBA Comic Relief: The Great Blooper Caper," Comic Relief, HBO, c. 1991.

Host, AL-TV #6, 1992.

The All-New Circus of the Stars and Side Show XVII (also known as Circus of the Stars and Sideshow and Circus of the Stars # 17), CBS, 1992.

Hurricane Relief, Showtime, 1992.

The Winans' Real Meaning of Christmas, syndicated, 1992.

Giles Standish, Living and Working in Space: The Countdown Has Begun, PBS, 1993.

Himself, AlMusic #1, MuchMusic, 1993.

Himself, AlMusic #2, MuchMusic, c. 1993.

Host, Mastodon Theater (marathon of multiple episodes of The Flintstones), TBS, 1994.

Himself, AlMusic #3, MuchMusic, 1996.

Song performer, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, ABC, 1996.

Himself, "Weird Al" Yankovic: (There's No) Going Home (also known as "Weird Al" Yankovic: Going Home), The Disney Channel, 1996.

Host, AL-TV #7, 1996.

Host, WeirdStock '96 (host of Saturday morning cartoon lineup; also known as Fox Kids Countdown Weird-Stock '96), Fox, 1996.

Just for Laughs: The Montreal International Comedy Festival (also known as Humour just pour rire), c. 1996.

Music in Movies '96, 1996.

Al's Makeover Special, 1997.

The 1997 Hollywood Christmas Parade, syndicated, 1997.

(In archive footage) Himself, 50,000,000 Joe Franklin Fans Can't Be Wrong (documentary), PBS, 1997.

Host, Fairway to Heaven, VH1, 1999.

Host, VH-AL, VH1, 1999.

Himself, "Weird Al" Yankovic-Live!, VH1, 1999.

AL-TV 2K (also known as AL-TV #8), 1999.

MuchMusic Video Collection, MuchMusic, 1999.

Top 15 Video Cliches, MTV, 1999.

Himself, MTV's New Year's Eve Uncensored, MTV, 2000.

MSNBC Investigates: Tattoos—Skin Deep, MSNBC, 2000.

MTV F … Ups, MTV, 2000.

The Power of One: The Pokemon 2000 Movie Special, The WB, 2000.

Set in Skin, VH1, 2002.

Himself and Bob Dylan, "Weird Al" Presents AL-TV, VH1, 2003.

Himself, The Hulk: MTV Movie Special, MTV, 2003.

Himself, Snoop to the Extreme, MTV, 2003.

Inside the American Music Awards, 2003.

Nickelodeon Magazine's Big 10 Birthday Bash, Nickelodeon, 2003.

Himself, CMT's 20 Funniest Videos, Country Music Television (CMT), 2004.

Himself, I Love the Holidays, VH1, 2005.

Appeared in a broadcast marathon of I Love Lucy episodes, KTTV (Los Angeles), 1983; and appeared in various telethons. Appeared in other specials.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The American Video Awards, 1984.

Presenter, The American Video Awards, ABC, 1985.

The American Music Awards, ABC, 1986.

MTV Video Music Awards, MTV, 1989.

1992 MTV Video Music Awards, MTV, 1992.

Cohost, Canadian National Rock Awards, [Canada], 1993.

Presenter, The American Music Awards, 1993.

The American Music Awards, ABC, 1994.

1994 YTV Achievement Awards, YTV (Canada), 1994.

Canadian Music Video Awards, MuchMusic, c. 1994.

The 1996 Billboard Music Awards, Fox, 1996.

The 23rd Annual American Music Awards, ABC, 1996.

Presenter, The 24th Annual American Music Awards, ABC, 1997.

The 12th Annual American Comedy Awards, Fox, 1998.

My VH1 Music Awards, VH1, 2000.

Presenter, The 31st Annual American Music Awards, ABC, 2003.

Appeared in other awards presentations, including broadcasts of the CableACE awards.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

America's Top 10, syndicated, 1983.

Bandstand (also known as AB, American Bandstand, American Bandstand 1966, New American Bandstand, and VH1s Best of "American Bandstand"), ABC, 1985.

The Motown Revue Starring Smokey Robinson (also known as Motown Revue), NBC, 1985.

The cabbage man, "Miss Stardust," Amazing Stories (also known as Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories"), NBC, 1987.

Himself, "Celebrity Family Double Dare," Family Double Dare, Fox and Nickelodeon, 1988.

"MTV Celebrity Episode," Remote Control, MTV, 1988.

"Michael Jackson: A Tribute," America's Top 10, syndicated, 1989.

Total Panic, Nickelodeon, 1989.

Himself, "The Human Grace," Parker Lewis Can't Lose (also known as Parker Lewis), Fox, 1991.

Square One TV, PBS, 1991.

Murray the Mouth, "The Case: Off the Record" (multiple episodes), Mathnet, broadcast on Square One TV, PBS, 1992.

VH1 to 1, VH1, 1992.

Boxtalk, The Box, 1993.

Himself, "Banjo," Space Ghost: Coast to Coast (live action and animated; also known as SGC2C), Cartoon Network, 1994.

Celebrity judge, Star Search (also known as Ed McMa-hon's "Star Search"), syndicated, 1994.

am Buffalo, WKBW (Buffalo, NY), 1996.

E! News Daily, E! Entertainment Television, 1996.

Good Day New York, WYNW (New York City), 1996.

Showbiz Today, Cable News Network, 1996.

The Spud Goodman Show, KTZZ (now KTWB; Seattle, WA), 1996.

MTV's Oddville (also known as Oddville, MTV), MTV, 1997.

The Wild Wild Web, syndicated, 1997.

Himself, "Drew between the Rock and a Hard Place," The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 1998.

Himself, "'Weird Al' Yankovic," Behind the Music (also known as Behind the Music: "Weird Al" Yankovic, BtM, and VH1's "Behind the Music"), VH1, 1999.

Voice, "Witchy Grrrls," Sabrina the Animated Series (animated; also known as Sabrina), The WB, 1999.

Himself, Video Timeline, VH1, 1999.

Before They Were Rock Stars, VH1, 1999.

Happy Hour, USA Network, 1999.

MAD TV (also known as MADtv), Fox, 1999.

Movie Lounge, 1999.

Sin City Spectacular (also known as Penn & Teller's "Sin City Spectacular"), FX Channel, 1999.

Contestant, Win Ben Stein's Money, Comedy Central, 2000.

Host, The List, VH1, multiple episodes in 2000.

Celebrity Deathmatch (also known as MTV's "Celebrity Deathmatch"), MTV, 2000.

CNN & Time, Cable News Network, 2000.

Rock & Roll Record Breakers, [Great Britain], 2000.

webRIOT, MTV, 2000.

Himself, "Florence Henderson: Here's the Story," Biography (also known as A&E Biography: Florence Henderson), Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

Himself, "Val's Big Bang," V.I.P. (also known as V.I.P.—Die Bodyguards), syndicated, 2001.

Tech TV's Call for Help, G4techTV, 2001.

Himself, "Billy Barty," Biography (also known as A&E Biography: Billy Barty), Arts and Entertainment, 2002.

Himself, "40 Greatest Theme Songs," Inside TV Land (also known as Inside TV Land: 40 Greatest Theme Songs), TV Land, 2002.

Voice of Petroleum Joe, "Feud," The Brak Show (animated), Cartoon Network, 2002.

Himself, Behind the Music: Updates and Fresh Takes, VH1, 2002.

Himself, Driven, VH1, 2002.

Himself, Rock the House, VH1, 2002.

Voice of singing Menstrol, "Tank: Experiment 526," Lilo & Stitch: The Series (animated; also known as The Adventures of Lilo & Stitch), The Disney Channel, 2003.

Voice of Squid Hat, "Toadblatt's School of Sorcery/Education Grim/It's Hokey Mon!," Grim & Evil (animated; also known as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy), Cartoon Network, 2003.

Voice of himself, "Three Gays of the Condo," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 2003.

"The Arsenio Hall Show," VH1 Goes Inside (also known as VH1 Goes Inside: The Arsenio Hall Show), VH1, 2003.

Voice of Squid Hat, "Nigel Planter and the Chamber Pot of Secrets/Circus of Fear," Grim & Evil (animated; also known as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy), Cartoon Network, 2004.

Commentator, 101 Most Unforgettable SNL Moments (also known as E's "101"), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Himself, 101 Biggest Celebrity Oops (also known as E's "101"), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Voice of Squid Hat, "One Crazy Summoner/Guess What's Coming to the Dinner," Grim & Evil (animated; also known as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy), Cartoon Network, 2005.

Himself, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, 2005.

Appeared as a judge in The Gong Show. Appeared in episodes of other series, including America's Funniest People (also known as AFP), ABC; Club Connect, PBS; Cribs (also known as MTV Cribs), MTV; The Collectibles Show; D.C Follies, syndicated; An Evening at the Improv, Arts and Entertainment and syndicated; and YTV's Hit List (also known as Hit List), YTV (Canada). Appeared in news broadcasts as well as on music channels.

Television Guest Appearances; Episodic:

The Tomorrow Show (also known as Tomorrow and Tomorrow Coast to Coast), NBC, 1981.

P.M. Magazine, syndicated, 1981, 1984.

Real People, NBC, 1982.

A.M. Los Angeles, KABC (Los Angeles), 1983.

People Now, Cable News Network, 1983.

Entertainment Tonight (also known as Entertainment This Week, ET, ET Weekend, and This Week in Entertainment), syndicated, 1983, 1989, 1992, 1993, multiple episodes in 1996, 1998.

All Night Live, KSHB (Kansas City, MO), 1984.

Dance Fever, syndicated, 1984.

The Rock Palace, syndicated, 1984.

The Merv Griffin Show, syndicated, 1984, 1985.

Solid Gold, syndicated, 1984, 1985.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, 1985.

Good Morning America (also known as GMA), ABC, 1985, 1996.

Night Life with David Brenner, c. 1986.

Hollywood Squares, syndicated, multiple episodes in 1987.

Robert Klein Time, USA Network, 1987.

Crook and Chase, syndicated, 1988.

The Late Show (also known as The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers), Fox, 1988.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, syndicated, 1988.

Life's Most Embarrassing Moments, ABC, c. 1988.

The Pat Sajak Show, CBS, 1989.

Friday Night Videos, NBC, 1990.

The Comic Strip Live, Fox, 1991.

The Arsenio Hall Show, syndicated, 1992.

A Current Affair, syndicated, 1992.

Hangin' with MTV, MTV, 1992.

Rockline on MTV, MTV, 1992.

Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, syndicated, 1992, 1996, 1997.

The Jon Stewart Show, MTV, 1993.

The Tom Snyder Show, CBS, 1993.

House of Style (also known as MTV's "House of Style"), MTV, 1994.

Wheel of Fortune, syndicated, multiple episodes in 1994.

Access Hollywood, syndicated, 1996, 1999, 2003.

Ed's Night Party (also known as Ed the Sock), City-TV, 1997.

Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher (also known as Politically Incorrect), ABC, 1997.

Howard Stern, 1998.

Pictionary syndicated, multiple episodes in 1998.

Talk Soup, E! Entertainment Television, multiple episodes in 1999.

Total Request Live (also known as TRL and Total Request with Carson Daly), MTV, 1999.

Donny & Marie (also known as The Donny & Marie Hour), syndicated, 2000.

Northwest Afternoon, 2000.

The Roseanne Show, syndicated, 2000.

Rock & Roll Jeopardy!, VH1, 2001.

The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (also known as The Late Late Show), CBS, 2003.

The Michael Essany Show, E! Entertainment Television, 2003.

The New Tom Green Show, MTV, 2003.

Rove Live, 10 Network (Australia), 2003.

The Wayne Brady Show, syndicated, 2004.

WGN Morning Show, WGN (Chicago, IL), multiple episodes in 2004.

Attack of the Show!, G4techTV, 2005.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2005.

Appeared in episodes of other series, including Cutting Edge Chicago; The Joe Franklin Show, WOR; Just Say Julie, MTV; Larry King Live, Cable News Network; and Montreal AM Live, [Montreal, Quebec, Canada].

Television Work; Series:

Additional voices, Eek! the Cat! (animated; also known as Eek! and the Terrible Thunderlizards, Eek! the Cat and the Terrible Thunderlizards, and Eek! Stravaganza), Fox, 1996.

(As Al Yankovic) Executive producer, The "Weird Al" Show, CBS, 1997–98.

Television Work; Specials:

Director, "Weird Al" Presents AL-TV, VH1, 2003.

Film Appearances:

Himself, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (also known as The Naked Gun), Paramount, 1988.

Himself, Tapeheads, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group/Front Films/Avenue, 1988.

George Newman, UHF (also known as The Vidiot from UHF), Orion, 1989.

Police station thug, The Naked Gun 2-1/2: The Smell of Fear (also known as The Naked Gun 2-1/2), Paramount, 1991.

Himself, Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult (also known as The Naked Gun III), Paramount, 1994.

(Uncredited) Himself in title sequence, Spy Hard, Buena Vista, 1996.

Clothing store customer, Nothing Sacred, Ex Nihilo Films, 1997.

Desperation Boulevard, 1998.

Himself, BH-1: Behind the Dementia (documentary), 2000.

(Uncredited) Waiter, Haunted Lighthouse (also known as R. L. Stine's "Haunted Lighthouse"), Busch Entertainment/Lookout Entertainment, 2003.

Himself, Derailroaded (documentary), Ubin Twins Productions, 2005.

Film Work; Song Performer:

Theme song "This Is the Life," Johnny Dangerously, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1984.

Title song and other songs, UHF (also known as The Vidiot from UHF), Orion, 1989.

"Polkaman," Poketto monsutaa: Maboroshi no Pokemon X: Lugia bakudan (animated; also known as Poketto monsutaa: Revelation Lugia), Shogakukan, 1999, released in the United States as Pokemon: The Movie 2000 (also known as The Phantom Pokemon: Lugia's Explosive Birth, The Phantom Pokemon: X's Explosive Birth, Pocket Monsters the Movie: The Phantom Pokemon: Lugia's Explosive Birth, Pocket Monsters X: Revelation Lugia, and The Second Pocket Monsters Movie), Warner Bros., 2000.

Performer of songs and music that has been featured in films, television broadcasts, videos, album compilations, and soundtracks.

Director and producer of title sequence, Spy Hard, Buena Vista, 1996.

Radio Appearances; Episodic:

The Dr. Demento Show, Westwood One Radio Networks and syndicated, multiple episodes, beginning 1976.

The Hot Ones, 1984.

King Biscuit Flower Hour, syndicated, 1984.

Hitline USA, syndicated, 1988.

The Jim Bohannon Show, Westwood One Radio Networks, 1996.

The Scott and Todd Show, WPLJ (New York City), 1996, 1997.

Howard Stern (also known as The Howard Stern Radio Show), 1998.

Appeared in other radio programs.

Internet Appearances:

Appeared in Internet broadcasts and in footage broadcast on the Internet.

Stage Appearances:

Just for Laughs: The Montreal International Comedy Festival (also known as Humour just pour rire), 1990.

Just for Laughs: The Montreal International Comedy Festival (also known as Humour just pour rire), 1996.

RECORDINGS

Albums:

Another One Rides the Bus (EP), Placebo Records, c. 1981.

"Weird Al" Yankovic, Scotti Brothers, 1983.

In 3-D (also known as "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D), Scotti Brothers, 1984.

Dare to Be Stupid, Scotti Brothers, 1985.

Polka Party, Scotti Brothers, 1986.

Even Worse, Scotti Brothers, 1988.

Greatest Hits, Scotti Brothers, 1989.

UHF (soundtrack), Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1989.

UHF and Other Stuff, Rock 'n' Roll/Sony/Columbia, 1989.

Al-Hits, Sony, 1990.

(With Wendy Carlos) Peter and the Wolf/Carnival of the Animals—Part 2, CBS Masterworks, 1990.

Off the Deep End, Scotti Brothers, 1992.

Alapalooza, Scotti Brothers, 1993.

The Food Album, Rock 'n' Roll, 1993.

Al in the Box, 1994.

Greatest Hits, Volume 2, Scotti Brothers, 1994.

Permanent Record, Rock 'n' Roll/Scotti Brothers, 1994.

The TV Album, Scotti Brothers, 1995.

Bad Hair Day, Scotti Brothers, 1996.

Running with Scissors, Volcano Records, 1999.

Poodle Hat, Volcano Records, 2003.

Albums; with Others:

SLO Grown, 1978.

Death, Glory and Retribution, EMI, 1985.

Transformers: The Movie (soundtrack), BMG/Zoo/Volcano Records/Pavement/CZ, 1986.

Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time, Wea/Atlantic/Rhino, 1989.

The Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection, Rhino, 1991.

Crispin Hellion Glover, Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution. The Solution = Let It Be, Enigma, 1993.

There Was Love (The Divorce Songs), RCA/Scotti Brothers, 1993.

The Flintstones (soundtrack), MCA, 1994.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 3, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1994.

The Dr. Demento 25th Anniversary Collection, Rhino, 1995.

Fun Rock, Sony, 1995.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 4, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1995.

Billboard Christmas Four-Pack, Wea/Atlantic/Rhino, 1996.

Frankie Yankovic, Songs of the Polka King, Volume 1, Cleveland International, 1996.

Christmas Comedy Classics, Volume 2, Priority, 1997.

Working for a Living, BMG/Zoo/Volcano Records/Pavement/CZ, 1997.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 5, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1997.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 6, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1998.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 7, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1999.

The Dr. Demento 30th Anniversary Collection: Dementia 2000, Rhino, 2000.

(As Alfred Yankovic) Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 8, Dr. Demento Society, c. 2000.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 9, Dr. Demento Society, c. 2001.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 10, Dr. Demento Society, c. 2002.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 11, Dr. Demento Society, 2003.

Hits from Outer Space (also known as Dr. Demento's Hits from Outer Space), Laugh.Com, 2003.

Sandra Boynton, Dog Train: A Wild Ride on the Rock-and-Roll Side (album and book), Workman Publishing Company, 2005.

Performer in other albums, including SLO Unplugged II.

Singles:

"My Bologna"/"School Cafeteria," Capitol, 1979.

"Another One Rides the Bus," TK Records, 1981.

"I Love Rocky Road," 1983.

"Ricky," 1983.

"Eat It," 1984.

"I Lost on Jeopardy!," 1984.

"This Is the Life," 1984.

"Like a Surgeon," 1985.

"One More Minute," 1985.

"Dare to Be Stupid," c. 1985.

"Yoda," c. 1985.

"Christmas at Ground Zero," 1986.

"Living with a Hernia," 1986.

"Fat," 1988.

"Beverly Hillbillies /Money for Nothing," 1989.

"UHF," 1989.

"Babalu Music!," 1991.

"Smells Like Nirvana," Scotti Brothers, 1992.

"You Don't Love Me Anymore," Scotti Brothers, 1992.

"Bedrock Anthem," Scotti Brothers, 1993.

"Jurassic Park," Scotti Brothers, 1993.

"Headline News," Scotti Brothers, 1994.

"Amish Paradise," Scotti Brothers, 1996.

"Gump," Scotti Brothers, 1996.

"Spy Hard," 1996.

"Germs," 1999.

"It's All about the Benjamins," 1999.

"Pretty Fly for a Rabbi," BMG International, 1999.

"The Saga Begins," Avex Japan, 2000.

"Bob," 2003.

Other singles include "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch," "King of Suede," and "You Don't Love Me Anymore." Recorded other songs, including "Baby Likes Burping," "Barber," "Belvedere Cruising," "Lasagna," and "Looking in the Fridge." Wrote several other songs which he performed in public and/or released on recordings and demo recordings.

Videos:

The Compleat Al, CBS Video, 1985.

(In archive footage) Himself, Michael Jackson: The Legend Continues, 1988.

Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection, Rhino, 1991.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: Complete, Fox/CBS Video, 1991.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: Greatest Hits, BMG Video, 1992.

The "Weird Al" Yankovic Video Library: His Greatest Hits (also known as Video Library), Scotti Brothers Pictures, 1992.

Alapalooza: The Videos, BMG Video, 1994.

Himself, The Fan, 1995.

Bad Hair Day: The Videos, Scotti Brothers Pictures, 1996.

The Best of Ed's Night Party, Morningstar Entertainment, 1996.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Videos, 1996.

Michael Jackson: History on Film—Volume II, Sony, 1997.

Videos: AC-3, Image, 1998.

"Weird Al" Yankovic—Live!, 1999.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection, Volcano Records Entertainment Group, 2003.

Music Videos:

"My Bologna," c. 1979.

"I Love Rocky Road," 1983.

"Ricky," 1983.

"Eat It," 1984.

"I Lost on Jeopardy!," 1984.

"This Is the Life," 1984.

"Like a Surgeon," 1985.

"One More Minute," 1985.

"Dare to Be Stupid," c. 1985.

"Christmas at Ground Zero," 1986.

"Living with a Hernia," 1986.

The Ramones, "Something to Believe in," c. 1986.

Night Ranger, "The Secret of My Success," c. 1987.

"Fat," 1988.

"Beverly Hillbillies /Money for Nothing," 1989.

"UHF," 1989.

Michael Jackson, "Liberian Girl," 1989.

"Babalu Music!," 1991.

"Smells Like Nirvana," 1992.

"You Don't Love Me Anymore," 1992.

"Bedrock Anthem," 1993.

"Jurassic Park," 1993.

RADD, "Drive My Car," c. 1993.

"Headline News," 1994.

"Amish Paradise," 1996.

"Gump," 1996.

"Spy Hard," 1996.

"Germs," 1999.

"It's All about the Benjamins," 1999.

"The Saga Begins," 1999.

"Bob," 2003.

Appeared in other music videos, including brief music videos of "Barber," "Lasagna," and "Looking in the Fridge."

Video Games:

Voice of Freeman Jack, Tesla Red Planet (also known as Red Planet), Virtual World Entertainment, Virtual world, beginning 1999.

Album Producer:

(And arranger and compiler) Babalu Music!, Columbia, 1991.

Off the Deep End, Scotti Brothers, 1992.

Alapalooza, Scotti Brothers, 1993.

The Flintstones (soundtrack), MCA, 1994.

Greatest Hits, Volume 2, Scotti Brothers, 1994.

Bad Hair Day, Scotti Brothers, 1996.

(With others) Those Darn Accordions, No Strings Attached, Globe/City Hall, 1996.

Running with Scissors, Volcano Records, 1999.

Poodle Hat, Volcano Records, 2003.

Video Director:

The Compleat Al, CBS Video, 1985.

The "Weird Al" Yankovic Video Library: His Greatest Hits (also known as Video Library), Scotti Brothers Pictures, 1992.

Alapalooza: The Videos, BMG Video, 1994.

Bad Hair Day: The Videos, Scotti Brothers Pictures, 1996.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Videos, 1996.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection, Volcano Records Entertainment Group, 2003.

Video Executive Producer:

(As Al Yankovic) "Weird Al" Yankovic—Live!, 1999.

Music Video Director:

"Christmas at Ground Zero," 1986.

"Babalu Music!," 1991.

"Bedrock Anthem," 1993.

"Headline News," 1994.

"Amish Paradise," 1996.

"Gump," 1996.

"Spy Hard," 1996.

"It's All about the Benjamins," 1999.

"The Saga Begins," 1999.

"Bob," 2003.

Music Video Director; Other Artists:

Jeff Foxworthy, "Redneck Stomp," 1994.

Jeff Foxworthy, "Party All Night," 1996.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, "Wail," 1997.

(With others) Hanson, "The River," 1998.

The Black Crowes, "Only a Fool," 1999.

Ben Folds, "Rockin' the Suburbs," 2001.

WRITINGS

Teleplays; Specials:

AL-TV, MTV, 1984.

AL-TV #2, MTV, c. 1984.

AL-TV #3, MTV, 1985.

The Compleat Al, Showtime, 1985.

Comic Relief, HBO, 1986.

AL-TV #4, MTV, 1987.

AL-TV #5, MTV, 1988.

The Big Al Show, MTV, 1989.

AL-TV #6, 1992.

AlMusic #1, MuchMusic, 1993.

AlMusic #2, MuchMusic, c. 1993.

AlMusic #3, MuchMusic, 1996.

AL-TV #7, 1996.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: (There's No) Going Home (also known as "Weird Al" Yankovic: Going Home), The Disney Channel, 1996.

WeirdStock '96 (host of Saturday morning cartoon lineup; also known as Fox Kids Countdown Weird-Stock '96), Fox, 1996.

AL-TV2K(also known as AL-TV #8), 1999.

VH-AL, VH1, 1999.

"Weird Al" Presents AL-TV, VH1, 2003.

Wrote material for other programs.

Screenplays:

(As Al Yankovic; with Jay Levey and Charles Holloway) UHF (also known as The Vidiot from UHF), Orion, 1989.

Title sequence, Spy Hard, Buena Vista, 1996.

Television Music; Songs:

Theme song, The "Weird Al" Show (series), CBS, 1997–98.

Songs, "Safety Patrol!" (also known as "Disney's 'Safety Patrol'"), The Wonderful World of Disney (also known as Disneyland, Disney's Wonderful World, The Disney Sunday Movie, The Magical World of Disney, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Presents, and Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color), ABC, 1998.

"Put on Your Squid Hat," Grim & Evil (animated episode; also known as The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy), Cartoon Network, 2002.

Songs, "Weird Al" Presents AL-TV (special), VH1, 2003.

Film Music; Songs:

Theme song "This Is the Life," Johnny Dangerously, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1984.

Songs, UHF (also known as The Vidiot from UHF), Orion, 1989.

Title song, Spy Hard, Buena Vista, 1996.

Song "Polkaman," Poketto monsutaa: Maboroshi no Pokemon X: Lugia bakudan (animated; also known as Poketto monsutaa: Revelation Lugia), Shogakukan, 1999, released in the United States as Pokemon: The Movie 2000 (also known as The Phantom Pokemon: Lugia's Explosive Birth, The Phantom Pokemon: X's Explosive Birth, Pocket Monsters the Movie: The Phantom Pokemon: Lugia's Explosive Birth, Pocket Monsters X: Revelation Lugia, and The Second Pocket Monsters Movie), Warner Bros., 2000.

Wrote songs and music that has been featured in films, television broadcasts, videos, album compilations, and soundtracks.

Albums:

Another One Rides the Bus (EP), Placebo Records, c. 1981.

"Weird Al" Yankovic, Scotti Brothers, 1983.

In 3-D (also known as "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D), Scotti Brothers, 1984.

Dare to Be Stupid, Scotti Brothers, 1985.

Polka Party, Scotti Brothers, 1986.

Even Worse, Scotti Brothers, 1988.

Greatest Hits, Scotti Brothers, 1989.

UHF (soundtrack), Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1989.

UHF and Other Stuff, Rock 'n' Roll/Sony/Columbia, 1989.

Al-Hits, Sony, 1990.

Off the Deep End, Scotti Brothers, 1992.

Alapalooza, Scotti Brothers, 1993.

The Food Album, Rock 'n' Roll, 1993.

Al in the Box, 1994.

Greatest Hits, Volume 2, Scotti Brothers, 1994.

Permanent Record, Rock 'n' Roll/Scotti Brothers, 1994.

The TV Album, Scotti Brothers, 1995.

Bad Hair Day, Scotti Brothers, 1996.

Running with Scissors, Volcano Records, 1999.

Poodle Hat, Volcano Records, 2003.

Albums; with Others:

SLO Grown, 1978.

Death, Glory and Retribution, EMI, 1985.

Transformers: The Movie (soundtrack), BMG/Zoo/Volcano Records/Pavement/CZ, 1986.

Dr. Demento Presents the Greatest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time, Wea/Atlantic/Rhino, 1989.

(With Sergei Prokofiev and Wendy Carlos) Peter and the Wolf/Carnival of the Animals—Part 2, CBS Masterworks, 1990.

The Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection, Rhino, 1991.

Crispin Hellion Glover, Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution. The Solution = Let It Be, Enigma, 1993.

There Was Love (The Divorce Songs), RCA/Scotti Brothers, 1993.

The Flintstones (soundtrack), MCA, 1994.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 3, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1994.

The Dr. Demento 25th Anniversary Collection, Rhino, 1995.

Fun Rock, Sony, 1995.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 4, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1995.

Billboard Christmas Four-Pack, Wea/Atlantic/Rhino, 1996.

Christmas Comedy Classics, Volume 2, Priority, 1997.

Working for a Living, BMG/Zoo/Volcano Records/Pavement/CZ, 1997.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 5, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1997.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 6, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1998.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 7, Dr. Demento Society, c. 1999.

The Dr. Demento 30th Anniversary Collection: Dementia 2000, Rhino, 2000.

(As Alfred Yankovic) Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 8, Dr. Demento Society, c. 2000.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 9, Dr. Demento Society, c. 2001.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 10, Dr. Demento Society, c. 2002.

Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes No. 11, Dr. Demento Society, 2003.

Hits from Outer Space (also known as Dr. Demento's Hits from Outer Space), Laugh.Com, 2003.

Work appeared in the album SLO Unplugged II.

Singles:

"My Bologna"/"School Cafeteria," Capitol, 1979.

"Another One Rides the Bus," TK Records, 1981.

"I Love Rocky Road," 1983.

"Ricky," 1983.

"Eat It," 1984.

"I Lost on Jeopardy!," 1984.

"This Is the Life," 1984.

"Like a Surgeon," 1985.

"One More Minute," 1985.

"Dare to Be Stupid," c. 1985.

"Yoda," c. 1985.

"Christmas at Ground Zero," 1986.

"Living with a Hernia," 1986.

"Fat," 1988.

"Beverly Hillbillies /Money for Nothing," 1989.

"UHF," 1989.

"Babalu Music!," 1991.

"Smells Like Nirvana," Scotti Brothers, 1992.

"You Don't Love Me Anymore," Scotti Brothers, 1992.

"Bedrock Anthem," Scotti Brothers, 1993.

"Jurassic Park," Scotti Brothers, 1993.

"Headline News," Scotti Brothers, 1994.

"Amish Paradise," Scotti Brothers, 1996.

"Gump," Scotti Brothers, 1996.

"Spy Hard," 1996.

"Germs," 1999.

"It's All about the Benjamins," 1999.

"Pretty Fly for a Rabbi," BMG International, 1999.

"The Saga Begins," Avex Japan, 2000.

"Bob," 2003.

Other singles include "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch," "King of Suede," and "You Don't Love Me Anymore." Recorded other songs, including "Baby Likes Burping," "Barber," "Belvedere Cruising," "Lasagna," and "Looking in the Fridge." Wrote several other songs which he performed in public and/or released on recordings and demo recordings.

Writings and Music for Videos:

The Compleat Al, CBS Video, 1985.

(With others) Dr. Demento 20th Anniversary Collection, Rhino, 1991.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: Complete, Fox/CBS Video, 1991.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: Greatest Hits, BMG Video, 1992.

The "Weird Al" Yankovic Video Library: His Greatest Hits (also known as Video Library), Scotti Brothers Pictures, 1992.

Alapalooza: The Videos, BMG Video, 1994.

Bad Hair Day: The Videos, Scotti Brothers Pictures, 1996.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Videos, 1996.

Videos: AC-3, Image, 1998.

"Weird Al" Yankovic-Live!, 1999.

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection, Volcano Records Entertainment Group, 2003.

Nonfiction:

(With Tino Insana) The Authorized Al (companion to the video The Compleat Al), Contemporary Books, 1985.

The "Weird Al" Yankovic Anthology (sheet music), Hal Leonard, 1996.

Contributor to books, including My Dad and Me: A Heartwarming Collection of Stories about Fathers from a Host of Larry's Famous Friends, by Larry King, Crown, 2006.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 48, Gale, 2004.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, five volumes, St. James Press, 2000.

Periodicals:

People Weekly, April 16, 1984, p. 49.

Washington Post, August 17, 2003, pp. N1, N6.

Electronic:

"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Official Website, http://www.weirdal.com, March 13, 2006.

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Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Singer, comedian, accordionist

"Weird Al" Yankovic's method is simple: Take the title of a popular song, change it slightly to make it sound ridiculous, write funny lyrics to go with the new title, and make an equally funny video to go with the resulting song. Yankovic has used these means for over a decade to establish himself as pop music's premier parodist.

Yankovic told Lynn Van Matre of the Chicago Tribune that the "warped outlook" that characterizes his work is the result of the accordion lessons he took as a child; it was the accordion that helped Yankovic take his first step toward stardom. In 1979 Yankovic was an architecture student who also worked at his college radio station. At the station one day, he took his accordion into the men's room and recorded "My Bologna," a parody of the flash-in-the-pan pop group the Knack's "My Sharona." He sent the song to Dr. Demento, host of a nationally syndicated radio show featuring offbeat, obscure, and humorous recordings. "My Bologna" was a hit with Dr. Demento's nutty audience, and Capitol Records offered Yankovic a contract to issue the song as a single. He followed it with a parody of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" entitled "Another One Rides the Bus," which became the most requested song in the first decade of Dr. Demento's show and led to a recording contract with Rock 'n' Roll Records.

Yankovic's first album, Weird Al Yankovic, was released in 1983 and featured a mix of his Dr. Demento hits and new parodies. One of the new songs was "Ricky," which put lyrics about Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, of the long-running 1950s television series I Love Lucy, to the tune of Toni Basil's hit pop tune "Mickey." The result was a single that made Billboard 's Top 100 and a video that gave Yankovic his first exposure on cable network MTV. He was quoted by Gary Graff of the Detroit Free Press as saying, "Ricky Ricardo has always been one of my major role models. I always wanted to grow up to be a Puerto Rican band leader."

But Yankovic has come to be associated more with superstar Michael Jackson than with Ricky Ricardo. Yankovic's biggest hit came in 1984 when "Eat It," his parody of Jackson's "Beat It," made the Top 20, and earned Yankovic a Grammy for Best Comedy Recording. The video of the song was also hugely popular, imitating the sets and dance routines of Jackson's video, but making food the subject matter. In 1988 Yankovic did another send-up of Jackson, entitling his album Even Worse in response to Jackson's album Bad, and parodying the title song from Jackson's album with the single and video "Fat." In the video, which won Yankovic his second Grammy, for Best Concept Video, Yankovic wore prosthetic makeup that took three hours to put on and transformed him into a grotesquely overweight facsimile of Jackson, complete with black leather, jhericurls, and buckles aplenty. Of course, in order to make these parodies, Yankovic had to obtain Jackson's permission to use the melodies of his hit songs. Yankovic told the Chicago Tribune' s Van Matre that Jackson "has a good sense of humor. He really seems to appreciate the things I do."

Evidently plenty of other songwriters and performers have had a sense of humor over the years as well. Yankovic has written parody lyrics and made videos of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" ("Like a Surgeon"), the Police's "King of Pain" ("King of Suede"), Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" ("Girls Just Want to Have Lunch"), and Greg Kihn's "Jeopardy" ("I Lost on Jeopardy"), among others. The popularity of his videos afforded "Weird Al" the opportunity to branch out a bit, which led to a 1985 television special on the cable service Showtime entitled Weird Al Yankovic: The Compleat Al. In 1988 he hosted a semi-regular show on MTV called Al TV, which featured his favorite music videos along with sales pitches for "Weird Al" paraphernalia.

For the Record

Born Alfred Matthew Yankovic on October 23, 1959; married Suzanne, 2003; children: Nina, born 2003. Education: California Polytechnic State University, bachelor's degree in architecture, 1979.

Began writing and recording parodies of rock songs in high school; received first widespread attention on the syndicated Dr. Demento Radio Show with "My Bologna," 1979; single "Another One Rides the Bus" be came most requested song on the Dr. Demento Show, 1980s; signed with Rock 'n' Roll Records; released Weird Al Yankovic, 1983; released numerous albums, 1980s-2000s; single "Ricky" appeared on Billboard Top 100 chart and "Ricky" video played on MTV network, 1980s; produced hit single and video, "Eat It," 1984; earned Grammy for "Eat It;" hosted "Al TV" on MTV and VH1, 1988-2000s; hosted shows and appeared on various TV networks, including Showtime, ABC, MTV and VH1, 1988s-2000s; released single and video of "Fat," 1988; won Grammy for "Fat" video; co-wrote and starred in feature film UHF, Orion, 1989; released Poodle Hat, 2003; earned Grammy for Poodle Hat.

Awards: Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording, for "Eat It," 1984; American Video Award for Best Male Performance, for "Eat It," 1984; Best Concept Music Video, for "Fat," 1988; Keyboard magazine's Best Accordionist of the Year, 1989; Grammy Award, Best Comedy Album, for Poodle Hat, 2003.

Addresses: Home Los Angeles, CA. Fan clubClose Personal Friends of Al, PMB #4018, 8033 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046. Website http://www.weirdal.com/

Performing parodies has brought Yankovic success, but his considerable abilities go beyond writing new lyrics to other people's tunes. His albums have always included original compositions that feature satirical lyrics about some of the tackier aspects of American life. "Mr. Popeil," "I'm Stuck in the Closet with Vanna White," and "Velvet Elvis" have all poked fun at staples of American popular culture; the title track of his 1985 album, Dare to Be Stupid, reflected clueless Americans in general. Describing both his parodies and original songs, Yankovic told Van Matre, "Most of my songs are about food or television or other important aspects of the American pop culture." Once, when asked if he had considered giving up his spoofs to concentrate on performing original songs, Yankovic told the Detroit Free Press 's Graff, "I think there'd be a big public backlash if I did. The public is used to me doing parodies. When we do an original, they'll come up and say, 'That's great, Al, but what's it a parody of?'"

His reputation as a parodist enabled Yankovic to expand his range with the 1989 feature film UHF, a parody of television that he co-wrote and starred in. Yankovic played a man who inherits a television station with chronically low ratings and transforms it by replacing reruns of old sitcoms with game shows like Wheel of Fish and Name That Stain. Describing the movie to Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times, Yankovic called it "a cross between [the Frank Capra classic] It's a Wonderful Life, [Prince's movie] Purple Rain, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. "

But playing music remained Yankovic's main focus, and he continued to be popular for his comic send-ups through the 1990s and into the 2000s. His hits in the 1990s included "Smells Like Nirvana," a parody of the Nirvana hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Featured on Yankovic's 1992 Off the Deep End album, "Smells Like Nirvana" landed on the top 40 chart, and set the stage for Yankovic's next album, Alapalooza, released the following year. Bad Hair Day followed in 1996, becoming Yankovic's best selling album up to that time, propelled by the single "Amish Paradise," a parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise. Running with Scissors came next, in 1999.

Poodle Hat, Yankovic's 2003 release, debuted at the number 17 spot on the Billboard Top Albums Chart, and gave Yankovic his highest first-week sales ever. The album also earned Yankovic his third Grammy, for Best Comedy Album. Featuring parodies of songs by Eminem, the Backstreet Boys, Billy Joel, and others, Poodle Hat includes many all-original compositions as well.

In both his original compositions and his parodies, on video, on television, and in the movies, Yankovic has been constant in poking fun at familiar aspects of popular culture in America. Yankovic told Graff that his continued success with this brand of humor has run contrary to conventional wisdom: "Just doing the kind of material I do, people tag me as a one-hit wonder, a novelty artist." A decade of success, though, has demonstrated Yankovic's unique ability to consistently use to his greatest advantage the popular culture he so hilariously lampoons.

Selected discography

Singles

"My Bologna," Capitol, 1979.

"Another One Rides the Bus," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1983.

"I Love Rocky Road," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1983 "Ricky," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1983.

"Eat It," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1984.

"I Lost on Jeopardy," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1984.

"King of Suede," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1984 "Dare to Be Stupid," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1985.

"Like a Surgeon," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1985.

"Fat," Rock 'n' Roll/CBS, 1988.

"Smells Like Nirvana," Scottie Bros., 1992.

"You Don't Love Me Anymore," Scottie Bros., 1992.

"Jurassic Park," Scottie Bros., 1993.

"Bedrock Anthem," Scottie Bros., 1993.

"Headline News," Scottie Bros., 1994.

"Amish Paradise," Scottie Bros., 1996.

"Gump," Scottie Bros., 1996.

"Pretty Fly for a Rabbi," BMG, 1999.

"Saga Begins," Avex Japan, 2000.

Albums

Weird Al Yankovic, Scotti Bros., 1983.

Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D, Scotti Bros., 1984.

Dare to Be Stupid, Scotti Bros., 1985.

Polka Party!, Scotti Bros., 1986.

Even Worse, Scotti Bros., 1988.

UHF, Scotti Bros., 1989.

Peter and the Wolf, Columbia, 1990.

Off the Deep End, Scotti Bros., 1992.

Alapalooza, Scotti Bros., 1993.

The TV Album, Scotti Bros., 1995.

Bad Hair Day, Scotti Bros., 1996.

Running with Scissors, Volcano, 1999.

Poodle Hat, Volcano, 2003.

Compilations

Greatest Hits, Scotti Bros., 1989.

Al-Hits, Sony, 1990.

The Food Album, Scotti Bros., 1993.

Permanent Record, Scotti Bros., 1994.

Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, Scotti Bros., 1994.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Newsmakers 1985, Gale, 1986.

Periodicals

Chicago Tribune, May 8, 1988; July 21, 1989.

Detroit Free Press, April 16, 1984; August 7, 1985.

Los Angeles Times, April 17, 1988.

People, June 6, 1988.

Online

Weird Al Yankovic Official Website, http://www.weirdal.com (February 19, 2004).

"Weird Al Yankovic," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (February 19, 2004).

Lloyd Hemingway and

Michael Belfiore

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“Weird Al” Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Singer, rock parodist, accordionist

Rode Michael Jacksons Coattails

Lampooned American Popular Culture

Brought Trademark Weirdness to UHF

Selected discography

Sources

Weird Al Yankovics method is simple: Take the title of a popular song, change it slightly to make it sound ridiculous, write funny lyrics to go with the new title, and make an equally funny video to go with the resulting song. Yankovic has used these means for over a decade to establish himself as pop musics premier parodist.

Yankovic told Lynn Van Matre of the Chicago Tribune that the warped outlook that characterizes his work is the result of the accordion lessons he took as a child; it was the accordion that helped Yankovic take his first step toward stardom. In 1979 Yankovic was an architecture student who also worked at his college radio station. At the station one day, he took his accordion into the mens room and recorded My Bologna, a parody of the flash-in-the-pan pop group the Knacks My Sharona. He sent the song to Dr. Demento, host of a nationally syndicated radio show featuring offbeat, obscure, and humorous recordings. My Bologna was a hit with Dr. Dementos nutty audience, and Capitol Records offered Yankovic a contract to issue the song as a single. He followed it with a parody of Queens Another One Bites the Dust entitled Another One Rides the Bus, which became the most requested song in the first decade of Dr. Dementos show and led to a recording contract with Rock n Roll Records.

Yankovics first album, Weird Al Yankovic, was released in 1983 and featured a mix of his Dr. Demento hits and new parodies. One of the new songs was Ricky, which put lyrics about Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, of the long-running 1950s television series I Love Lucy, to the tune of Toni Basils hit pop tune Mickey. The result was a single that made Billboards Top 100 and a video that gave Yankovic his first exposure on cable network MTV. He was quoted by Gary Graff of the Detroit Free Press as saying, Ricky Ricardo has always been one of my major role models. I always wanted to grow up to be a Puerto Rican band leader.

Rode Michael Jacksons Coattails

But Yankovic has come to be associated more with superstar Michael Jackson than with Ricky Ricardo. Yankovics biggest hit came in 1984 when Eat It, his parody of Jacksons Beat It, made the Top 20. The video of the song was also hugely popular, imitating the sets and dance routines of Jacksons video, but making food the subject matter. In 1988 Yankovic did another send-up of Jackson, entitling his album Even Worse in response to Jacksons album Bad, and parodying the title song from Jacksons album with the single and video Fat. In the video Yankovic wore prosthetic makeup that took three hours to put on and transformed

For the Record

Born Alfred Matthew Yankovic, October 23, 1959. Education: California Polytechnic State University, B.S. in architecture, 1979.

Began writing and recording parodies of rock songs in high school; received first widespread attention on the syndicated Dr. Demento Radio Show with My Bologna, 1979; produced hit single and video of Eat It, 1984; hosted Al TV on MTV, 1988; co-wrote and starred in feature film UHF, Orion, 1989.

Awards: Grammy Award nomination for best comedy recording, for Dare to Be Stupid, 1986.

Addresses: Home Los Angeles, CA. Office c/o Scotti Bros., 2214 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405.

him into a grotesquely overweight facsimile of Jackson, complete with black leather, jheri curls, and buckles aplenty. Of course, in order to make these parodies, Yankovic had to obtain Jacksons permission to use the melodies of his hit songs. Yankovic told the Chicago Tribunes Van Matre that Jackson has a good sense of humor. He really seems to appreciate the things I do.

Evidently plenty of other songwriters and performers have had a sense of humor over the years as well. Yankovic has written parody lyrics and made videos of Madonnas Like a Virgin (Like a Surgeon), the Polices King of Pain (King of Suede), Cindy Laupers Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Girls Just Want to Have Lunch), and Greg Kihns Jeopardy (I Lost on Jeopardy), among others. The popularity of his videos afforded Weird Al the opportunity to branch out a bit, which led to a 1985 television special on the cable service Showtime entitled Weird Al Yankovic: The Compleat Al. In 1988 he hosted a semi-regular show on MTV called Al TV, which featured his favorite music videos along with sales pitches for Weird Al paraphernalia.

Lampooned American Popular Culture

Performing parodies has brought Yankovic success, but his considerable abilities go beyond writing new lyrics to other peoples tunes. His albums have always included original compositions that feature satirical lyrics about some of the tackier aspects of American life. Mr. Popeil, Im Stuck in the Closet with Vanna White, and Velvet Elvis have all poked fun at staples of American popular culture; the title track of his 1985 album, Dare to Be Stupid, reflected clueless Americans in general. Describing both his parodies and original songs, Yankovic told Van Matre, Most of my songs are about food or television or other important aspects of the American pop culture. Once, when asked if he had considered giving up his spoofs to concentrate on performing original songs, Yankovic told the Detroit Free Presss Graff, I think thered be a big public backlash if I did. The public is used to me doing parodies. When we do an original, theyll come up and say, Thats great, Al, but whats it a parody of?

Brought Trademark Weirdness to UHF

His reputation as a parodist enabled Yankovic to expand his range with the 1989 feature film UHF, a parody of television that he co-wrote and starred in. Yankovic played a man who inherits a television station with chronically low ratings and transforms it by replacing reruns of old sitcoms with game shows like Wheel of Fish and Name That Stain. Describing the movie to Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times, Yankovic called it a cross between [the Frank Capra classic] Its a Wonderful Life, [Princes movie] Purple Rain, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

In both his original compositions and his parodies, on video and in the movies, Yankovic has been constant in poking fun at familiar aspects of popular culture in America. Yankovic told Graff that his continued success with this brand of humor has run contrary to conventional wisdom: Just doing the kind of material I do, people tag me as a one-hit wonder, a novelty artist. A decade of success, though, has demonstrated Yankovics unique ability to consistently use to his greatest advantage the popular culture he so hilariously lampoons.

Selected discography

Singles

My Bologna, Capitol, 1979.

Another One Rides the Bus, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1983.

I Love Rocky Road, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1983

Ricky, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1983.

Eat It, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1984.

I Lost on Jeopardy, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1984.

King of Suede, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1984

Dare to Be Stupid, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1985.

Like a Surgeon, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1985.

Fat, Rock n Roll/CBS, 1988.

LPs; originally on Rock n Roll/CBS, reissued on Scotti Bros

Weird Al Yankovic, 1983.

Weird Al Yankovic in 3-D, 1984.

Dare to Be Stupid, 1985.

Even Worse, 1988.

Videos

Ricky, 1983.

Eat It, 1984.

I Lost on Jeopardy, 1984.

Dare to Be Stupid, 1985.

Like a Surgeon, 1985.

Fat, 1988.

Also produced and edited record Babalu Music (clips from the / Love Lucy TV series), Sony, and accompanying video, CBS Video, 1991.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Newsmakers 1985, Gale, 1986.

Periodicals

Chicago Tribune, May 8, 1988; July 21, 1989.

Detroit Free Press, April 16, 1984; August 7, 1985.

Los Angeles Times, April 17, 1988.

People, June 6, 1988.

Lloyd Hemingway

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"“Weird Al” Yankovic." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"“Weird Al” Yankovic." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved July 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/weird-al-yankovic