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'Weird Al' Yankovic

The foremost song parodist of the MTV era, "Weird Al" Yankovic carried the torch of musical humor more proudly and more successfully than any performer since Allan Sherman. In the world of novelty records -- a genre noted for its extensive back catalog of flashes-in-the-pan and one-hit wonders -- Yankovic was king, scoring smash after smash over the course of an enduring career which found him topically mocking everything from new wave to gangsta rap.

Alfred Matthew Yankovic was born October 23, 1959, in Lynwood, CA. An only child, he began playing the accordion at age seven, following in the tradition of polka star Frank Yankovic (no relation); in his early teens he became an avid fan of the Dr. Demento show, drawing inspiration from the parodies of Allan Sherman as well as the musical comedy of Spike Jones, Tom Lehrer, and Stan Freberg. In 1973 Demento spoke at Yankovic's school, where the 13 year old passed the radio host a demo tape of home recordings; three years later, Demento played Yankovic's "Belvedere Cruising" -- an accordion-driven pop song written about the family's Plymouth -- on the air, and his career was launched.

Yankovic quickly emerged as a staple of the Demento play list, recording a prodigious amount of tongue-in-cheek material throughout his high-school career. After graduation, he studied architecture; while attending California Polytechnic State University, he also joined the staff of the campus radio station, first adopting the nickname "Weird Al" and spinning a mixture of novelty and new wave hits. In 1979, the success of the Knack's monster hit "My Sharona" inspired Yankovic to record a parody dubbed "My Bologna"; not only was the song a smash with Demento fans, but it even found favor with the Knack themselves, who convinced their label, Capitol, to issue the satire as a single.

After graduating in 1980, Yankovic cut "Another One Rides the Bus," a parody of Queen's chart-topping "Another One Bites the Dust" recorded live in Dr. Demento's studios; the song became an underground hit, and Yankovic followed it up with "I Love Rocky Road," a satire of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts' "I Love Rock 'n Roll." After hooking up with noted session guitarist and producer Rick Derringer, he signed to Scotti Brothers, which issued his debut LP, "Weird Al" Yankovic, in 1983. The album featured the song "Ricky," a tune inspired equally by Toni Basil's hit "Mickey" and the I Love Lucy television series; issued as a single, it hit the Top 100 charts, and its accompanying video became a staple of the fledgling MTV network.

Ultimately, much of Yankovic's success resulted from his skilled use of music video, a medium not available in the era of Spike Jones or Allan Sherman; suddenly, not only could records themselves serve as parody fodder, but their video clips were ripe for satire as well. Additionally, MTV firmly established Yankovic's public persona; sporting garish Hawaiian shirts, frizzy hair, and an arsenal of goofy mannerisms, he cut a distinctly bizarre figure which he consistently exploited to maximum comic effect. After Michael Jackson's "Beat It" became the most acclaimed video in the medium's brief history, Yankovic recorded "Eat It" for his sophomore effort, 1984's "Weird" Al Yankovic in 3-D; the "Eat It" video, which mocked the "Beat It" clip scene-for-scene, became an MTV smash, and the Grammy-winning single reached the Top 15.

In addition to "Eat It," In 3-D also launched the minor hits "King of Suede" (a rewrite of the Police's "King of Pain") and "I Lost on Jeopardy" (a send-up of the Greg Kihn Band's "Jeopardy"), as well as "Polkas on 45," the first in a series of medleys of pop hits recast as polka numbers. Dare to Be Stupid, the first comedy record ever released in the new compact disc format, followed in 1985, and featured "Like a Surgeon," a takeoff of the Madonna hit "Like a Virgin." Like its predecessor, Dare to Be Stupid went gold, but 1986's Polka Party! fared poorly and charted only briefly, prompting many to write off Yankovic's career.

However, in 1988, Yankovic returned with the platinum-selling Even Worse, its title and album cover a reference to Michael Jackson's recent Bad LP. "I'm Fat," the first single and video, also parodied the lavish Martin Scorsese-directed clip for Jackson's hit "Bad"; shot on the same subway set used by Jackson, the video -- which portrayed Yankovic as a grotesquely obese tough guy -- won him his second Grammy. The next year, he starred in the feature film UHF, which he also co-wrote; a soundtrack appeared as well.

After an extended period of silence, he returned in 1992 with Off the Deep End, which featured the Top 40 hit "Smells Like Nirvana," a send-up of Nirvana's landmark single "Smells Like Teen Spirit." After 1993's Alapalooza, he resurfaced in 1996 with Bad Hair Day, his highest-charting record to date thanks to the success of the single "Amish Paradise," a takeoff of the Coolio hit "Gangsta's Paradise." The follow-up, Running with Scissors, appeared in 1999, with Poodle Hat landing in 2003. Straight Outta Lynwood appeared in 2006 with the single "White & Nerdy," a suburban parody of Chamillionaire's hit "Ridin." Yankovic’s thirteenth studio album, Alpocalypse, skewered the likes of Lady Gaga (“Perform This Way”) and Miley Cyrus (“Party in the CIA”). The Alpocalypse arrived on June 21, 2011. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Internet Leaks - EP

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Track List: Perform This Way (Radio Single)

Comments

So attractive.. .
Robot chicken
Idiots idiots everywhere
love him
and go doctor who!
He's like young, and free
Abcqwretyuio p s d f h h j k l z x v n m
mauicat2
My favorite is another one rides the bus
He takes the weirdest album pictures!
He's the best accordion player ever
Weird al is so funny my favorite song from him is Amish Paradise witch was originally Gangster Paradise
Weird al reminds me of Captain Hook and Russell brand
I Went To His Concert In Soo Saint Marie Michigan, Best Time Of My Life Met Him Backstage ����������
Epic rap battles of history also has his autograph too
zombiesandst u f f
My dad's freind got his autograf last Friday.
So fricin funny
In other words. He's the best
My master my official iTunes homepage
Weird al is my homie
taypastry
mommy my train is swimming in the oven again but this time it has a mallet
taypastry
MMMMMMMMMMoo o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
taypastry
I like poo poo
taypastry
cows are awkward
I don't think your age matters
I'm only 17 and weird al was in a rap battle and won. :)
Weird al defeated nice peter in a rap battle
I hope he wins
Weird al is the most famous accordion player ever. I also own an accordion. He will play issac Newton in the next ERBOH
hpgolb
Awesome
See the cartoon video on YouTube it's funny. Lol liver
Weird Al is a legend!
Love Al! However his station (or any of the stations made using his songs) hardly ever play his songs!.. or parody songs even .-.
F**king awesome
Al, I love you.
jmcardamone
I failed on spelling
littlebear2k 1 2
Lol
jmcardamone
I'm said person and I don't care its his life Hod
jmcardamone
He's gone through a lot of s**t read his bio before u b**ch
That's awful! You have a FRIEND like that?! Who the HELL do you think you are! Children listen to this channel! I could slap a FINe on you for this! My dad works for pandora, and he reports people and bans them!
Damn I love the song white and nerdy because it reminds me of my favorite drug dealer because he sells heavy weight and used to be a extremely awesome D&D player which is extremely funny because if you ever met him you would never imagined that he ever even knew what the f**k D&D even was because all his friends and family are drug addicts and he's all about money and hoes and drugs
?
ARRRRREEEEGG G G G G G ! Polka power is overcoming me!
See what he ate
The video is.
kevin_miller 0 5 1 8
Ommgg
jmcardamone
Hi
Damn I love this guy he's so f**king hilarious and plus his songs are so f**king catchy and I remember when I first heard about him and his music I was in elementary school and I went to go visit my uncle up north where I'm from which was the best time of my life except for when I used to be a stripper but then again it was because I was to young to be having sex even though it wasn't that long after that, that I lost my virginity but then again I don't really remember much about being a virgin
mlscales10
It says i left those messages one minute ago! More like four hours!
mlscales10
WE DRIVE WITH ONE HAND ON THE WHEEL!!
mlscales10
YOUNG DUMB AND UGLY!!!!
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