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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, California. 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 13th studio album, 2011's Alpocalypse, skewered the likes of Lady Gaga ("Perform This Way") and Miley Cyrus ("Party in the CIA"). His 2014 effort, Mandatory Fun, was introduced Beyoncé style, with eight videos posted to the Internet before its release. It debuted at number one, becoming the first comedy album to do so in more than 50 years. ~ 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

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merchan1
Word crimes
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merchan1
Look at me I'm white and nerdy
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Wow so greatly derby in the best way
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U are the best ever
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burnside93
So that's why
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burnside93
Because I'm funny where i live
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burnside93
He's my influence
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tebanhedge
He should go on the voice
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You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if u don't post this u will die in 2 days. Now u started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually works.
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kimann93
You are so funny!!!!!!!
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hey yankovic you should go on the voice!
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jadenhousman
Miley Cyrus you stink boo
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jrgillis63
Yo al u met jack white iii
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A funny guy
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hey hey hey
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My momma told me when I was hatched, act like a superstar.
Al is soooooo good, genius!
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If you read this you will blow up at 10:00pm hifuvhrvburv b u r b v u v i f j v d f v n k d f j v n d f j v j k d f f f f f f f f f f f f f f f b v h f b v f i h v i e v f i r e v 1 2 2 3 4 3 3 4 4 0 3 4 9 5 8 7 8 5 7 7 5 9 7 3 3 4 0 5 3
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he his the best
if you have him on your radio your my friend ; ) : o
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better than miley cyrus
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ajbttablet1
Jingle bells jingle bells Santa Claus life I really like a stupid fat make me battery about stress management noxious right now now it's getting fancy that's rightwhat what what what what woot woot we will work keeps you would stop laughing at me please you do you do you want to please you want to do ya ya guys get this happen again you are the best picture!!!! Happy face happy see emoji YouTube YouTube Kanye YouTube YouTube YouTube YouTube YouTube YouTube YouTube YouTube yabba dabba doo you
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ajbttablet1
Pay the bills now!!!!!!! :P
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ajbttablet1
Hi there
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ajbttablet1
Hi
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brokebanker8 4
Ajbttablet 1 my mc gamer tag is ajbtrain; soo ironic
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Say i phone 5 times repost on two other song than look under your pillow
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ajbttablet1
Hi I am so I am so I am so I am going well I can be in a lot and then you can get it to see if we are not sure if we have to the new year of this is
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ajbttablet1
Yo
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ajbttablet1
Hello???
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So funny I like his song tacky��
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deyango2
I love al he iss soo funny me and my mom love white and nerdy
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jljocque
Al's style parodies are underappreci a t e d . Dare to be Stupid, Genius in France, Wanna B Ur Lover, Trigger Happy - not parodies of specific songs, but when he takes the style of an artist and has fun with it, it's Al at his best.
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He so funny
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he is having his last concert then he is retiring i wish i can see him
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First world problems
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leos4hawks
Weird Al is so cool

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Nicko f**got,white & nerdy
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ajbttablet1
Yay
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You are so wat in nerdy lol
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I love first world problems
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I love weird Al!!
He is EPIC!!
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Amish Mafia
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LEVI
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jalane1998
Amazing!
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Weird Al has been a part of my music collection for so long that he's part of the family . . . like the quirky cousin you see a few times a year but who always leaves an impression!
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Amish paradise!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ¡!!!!!!!
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Lolololololo l o l o l o l o l o l o l o l o l o l o l o l o l
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❤����������
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Knacks
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He needs to keep making these he's boss at parodies
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tandt_ruggs
O,O not paying the phonebill for 300 years
Me: PEACE!
Show more

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