Weird Al Yankovic



Alfred Matthew Yankovic (born on October 23, 1959), best known as "Weird Al" Yankovic, is an American multi-Grammy Award-winning musician, satirist, parodist, accordionist, and television producer. He is known in particular for his humorous songs which make light of popular culture, parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts, or both. His works have earned him three gold and five platinum records in the U.S.

The only child of Nick Louis Yankovic (a Serb-American) and Mary Elizabeth Vivalda (of Italian and English descent), Alfred Matthew Yankovic was born in Downey, California, but raised in the nearby town of Lynwood. He first started playing the accordion one day before his seventh birthday. When a door to door salesman came around offering accordion and guitar lessons, his father opted for accordion saying that there should be one more accordion playing Yankovic in the world besides polka king Frankie Yankovic (to whom he has no relation). He mastered the instrument by age ten, after which he quit lessons to pursue it on his own. He now uses a youth sized accordion, with which he is able to jump around more vigorously.

After hearing Dr. Demento's radio show (a comedy radio program featuring humorous music), Yankovic sent the Doctor a tape of a song entitled "Belvedere Cruisin'", a song about his family's current vehicle, in 1976. Another song, included on the tape, which never received airtime, was entitled "Dr. D Superstar" and was a parody of "Jesus Christ Superstar". He was a senior at Lynwood High School at the time, but that tape was the start of his eventual career.

Three years later, Yankovic was an architecture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a disc jockey at the university's radio station (KCPR). His air name was "Weird Al", and he has used it since. Although he has claimed that he had been referred to as "Weird Al" during high school, there is no confirming evidence of this. Since "My Sharona" by The Knack was on the charts and The Knack was scheduled to play at Cal Poly, he took his accordion into the restroom across the hall from the radio station (to take advantage of the echo chamber acoustics) and recorded a parody entitled "My Bologna," with a B-side called "School Cafeteria." The Knack thought it was funny after meeting Yankovic after a show at his college, and arranged for the song to be released on their label, Capitol Records, which gave Yankovic a six-month contract. Dr. Demento's listeners frequently put this track atop his "Funny Five" list.

In 1980, Yankovic was working in the mail room at Westwood One, Dr. Demento's radio network at the time, when he developed another parody called "Another One Rides The Bus," a parody of Queen's hit, "Another One Bites The Dust." While practicing the song outside the sound booth, he ran into Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, who told him he was a drummer and agreed to bang on Yankovic's accordion case to keep a good steady beat to the song. They rehearsed the song just a few times before going live on The Doctor Demento Show. "Another One Rides The Bus" became so popular that it got Yankovic his first television appearance, The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. On the show, he played his accordion and again Jon banged on his accordion case as well as squeaking and blowing some horns and other musical gizmos. The rare 1981 Placebo EP release of this song has as its B-side the track "Happy Birthday", an unusually (for Yankovic) dark song about the world's problems and imminent destruction ("There's garbage in the water and poison in the sky, I guess it won't be long before we're all gonna die"), with the sarcastic suggestion that denial is the natural solution ("So if you think it's scary, if it's more than you can take, just blow out the candles, and have a piece of cake!") The Placebo EP recording of that song was recently remixed into stereo by Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz for inclusion on a Hurricane Katrina charity compilation featuring various other comedy musicians.

The Dr. Demento Society, which issues yearly Christmas re-releases of material from Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes, often includes among these unreleased tracks from Yankovic's vaults, such as "Pacman", "It's Still Billy Joel To Me", or the demos for "I Love Rocky Road." The live version of "School Cafeteria" is also to be found on Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes.

1981 brought Yankovic on tour for the first time as part of Dr. Demento's act. His performances were particularly interesting as few, if any, people at the time were doing parodies of rock and roll songs on accordion. His stage act caught the eye of manager Jay Levey, who loved it and became Yankovic's manager. Levey insisted that the act would sound better if he had a full band, so he held auditions. Steve Jay became Yankovic's bass player, and Jim West played guitar. With Schwartz on drums, the band was complete. In 1991, Rubén Valtierra joined the band on keyboards, to allow Yankovic to concentrate more on singing during concerts. Rick Derringer would produce all of his albums until the 1992 release Off the Deep End. After Derringer's departure, Yankovic began to produce his own albums. So far he has released twelve albums, the latest released on 26th September 2006.

Yankovic's first show with his entire band (excluding Rubén Valtierra, who joined in 1991) was not successful at all. The audience threw items at Yankovic and his band and they were booed off the stage.

In 1985, Yankovic co-wrote and starred in a mockumentary of his own life entitled The Compleat Al that intertwined fact and fiction of his life up to that point. The movie was co-directed by Jay Levey, who would direct UHF four years later.

In January 1998, Yankovic had LASIK eye surgery and shaved off his mustache, radically changing his trademark look. Yankovic, who was revealed to be rather handsome in this conventional look, commented that "Millions of girls actually found me hot for the first time!" However, he is seen with a mustache and goatee combo on his 2006 release, Straight Outta Lynwood.

Yankovic married Suzanne Krajewski on February 10, 2001. Their daughter, Nina, was born February 11, 2003. He also has a pet poodle, Bela (pictured atop Yankovic's head on the cover of his album, Poodle Hat), and a pet cockatiel named Bo Veaner.

On April 9, 2004, Yankovic's parents, Nick, 86, and Mary, 81, were found dead in their Fallbrook, California home, apparently the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning from their fireplace that had been recently been lit (the flue was closed, which trapped the deadly carbon monoxide gas inside the house, suffocating them). An hour after his wife notified him of his parents' death, Yankovic went on with his concert in Mankato, Minnesota, saying that "since my music had helped many of my fans through tough times, maybe it would work for me as well" and that it would "at least ... give me a break from sobbing all the time."

A biographical booklet was released with the 1994 box set compilation Permanent Record: Al In The Box.

Yankovic is best known for his song parodies ("Eat It"), though he has actually recorded a greater number of original humorous songs ("You Don't Love Me Anymore" and "One More Minute"). His work depends largely on the satirizing of popular culture, including television (see The TV Album), movies ("The Saga Begins"), food (see The Food Album), popular music (the polkas), and sometimes issues in contemporary news ("Headline News"). Although many of his songs are parodies of contemporary radio hits, it is rare that the song's primary topic of lampooning is that artist (exceptions include "Smells Like Nirvana" and "Achy Breaky Song"). Yankovic's humour lies more in creating unexpected incongruity between an artist's image and the topic of the song, contrasting the style of the song with its content, or in pointing out trends or works which have become pop culture clichés.

In addition to his parodies, Yankovic also includes a medley of various songs on most albums, each one reinterpreted as a polka, with the choruses or memorable lines of various songs juxtaposed for humorous effect. Yankovic has been known to say that converting these songs to polka was "...the way God intended".

Some of his original songs are pastiches or "style parodies," where he chooses a band's entire body of work to honour/parody rather than any single hit by that band (for example, Devo with "Dare To Be Stupid"). Sometimes, it is obvious as to which band's style Yankovic is parodying, but often it is subjective. One person may hear influences from one band, while another may hear influences from a different band. Some style parodies are in the style of a genre of music, rather than a specific band.

His latest three album releases feature the longest songs Yankovic has ever released. The "Albuquerque" track from Running With Scissors is 11 minutes and 25 seconds; "Genius in France" from Poodle Hat runs for 8 minutes and 56 seconds; "Trapped In The Drive Thru" from Straight Outta Lynwood is 10 minutes and 53 seconds long.

Yankovic has contributed songs to several films ("This Is The Life", from Johnny Dangerously; "Dare To Be Stupid" for Transformers: The Movie, "Polkamon" from the movie Pokémon: The Movie 2000, and a parody of the James Bond title sequence in Spy Hard), including his own UHF. Other songs of his have appeared in films or television series as well.

Under copyright law's "fair use" doctrine – affirmed by the United States Supreme Court — one does not need permission to record a parody. However, Yankovic has always requested permission from the original artist before recording his parodies, as a means of maintaining good relationships within the music community. While artists are generally pleased with Yankovic's parodies, there have been a few notable exceptions.

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana said that the band felt they had "made it" after Yankovic recorded "Smells Like Nirvana" (parodying "Smells Like Teen Spirit"). Kurt Cobain called Yankovic an American "rock genius" in his private journals. Yankovic stated that when he called Kurt to ask if he could parody the song Cobain asked, "Will it be about food?" Yankovic responded with "No, it'll be about how no-one can understand your lyrics." Cobain is then said to have responded with, "O.K. then."

Michael Jackson is also a big fan of Yankovic. Jackson has twice allowed him to parody his songs. When he granted Yankovic permission to do a parody of "Bad" ("Fat"), Jackson allowed him to use the same set built for his own "Bad" video from the Moonwalker video. Though Jackson was a good sport about "Eat It" and "Fat", he requested that Yankovic not record a parody of "Black or White", because he felt the message was too important. "Weird Al" also appears on Michael's video Liberian Girl.

The song "The Saga Begins" (a parody of Don McLean's "American Pie") accurately states the entire plot of The Phantom Menace, despite being written before the film's release. Yankovic got the plot details from rumour websites. He was slightly unsure about Anakin proposing to Amidala, so he attended a $500 screening to confirm. While McLean was pleased with the parody, rumors persist that he performs in the video as Darth Sidious playing the piano, although it is longtime keyboardist Rubén Valtierra. Additionally, George Lucas loved the song and reportedly fell out of his chair laughing when he heard it for the first time.

One of Yankovic's most controversial parodies was 1996's "Amish Paradise", based on "Gangsta's Paradise" by hip-hop artist Coolio. Reportedly, Coolio's label gave Yankovic the impression that Coolio had granted permission to record the parody, but Coolio maintains that he never did. Complicating the issue further, "Gangsta's Paradise" already samples heavily from a Stevie Wonder song, "Pastime Paradise". While Coolio claimed he was upset, legal action never materialised, and Coolio accepted royalty payments for the song. After this controversy, Yankovic has always made sure to speak directly with the artist of every song he parodied. At the XM Satellite Radio booth at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show Yankovic and Coolio made peace. On his website, Yankovic wrote of this event, "I don’t remember what we said to each other exactly, but it was all very friendly… I doubt I’ll be invited to Coolio’s next birthday party, but at least I can stop wearing that bulletproof vest to the mall."

In 2003, Yankovic was denied permission to make a video for his parody of Eminem's "Lose Yourself":

"Last year, Eminem forced me to halt production on the video for my 'Lose Yourself' parody because he somehow thought that it would be harmful to his image or career..."

On numerous occasions, Prince has refused Yankovic permission to record parodies of his songs. However, Yankovic has stated in interviews that he continues to "check back with him to see if he has developed a sense of humour".

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is a self-proclaimed Yankovic fan, but when Yankovic wished to create a polka medley of Led Zeppelin songs, Page refused.

Paul McCartney refused Yankovic permission to record a parody of Wings' "Live and Let Die", entitled "Chicken Pot Pie", because McCartney is a vegetarian. It has been performed numerous times in concert, however. This is not unusual for Yankovic, as his concerts often feature parodies for which the artist did not give permission or could not otherwise be released. However, all these "concert only" songs remain unreleased by Yankovic.

In 2006, Yankovic gained James Blunt's permission to record a parody of "You're Beautiful". However, after Yankovic had recorded "You're Pitiful", Blunt's label, Atlantic Records, recanted this permission. The parody was pulled from Yankovic's then-upcoming album Straight Outta Lynwood due to his label's unwillingness to "go to war" with Atlantic. Yankovic released the song as a free download on his MySpace profile, as well as his official website, since it was not Blunt himself objecting to the parody. In the "White & Nerdy" video, Yankovic's character is seen vandalising the Atlantic Records page on Wikipedia with the exclamation "YOU SUCK!" After the video was released online, Wikipedia's Atlantic Records article was closed to new and non-registered users to prevent such vandalism.

In 1989, Yankovic starred in a full length feature film, co-written by himself and manager Jay Levey, and filmed in Tulsa, Oklahoma called UHF. A satire of the television and film industries, also starring Michael Richards, Fran Drescher and Victoria Jackson, it scored floundering studio Orion their highest test-scores since the movie RoboCop, however, it was unsuccessful in theaters (likely due to a release in the summer of 1989, going up against Ghostbusters II, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Batman, and more). It has since become a cult classic, with out-of-print copies of the VHS fetching up to $100 on eBay until the release of the DVD in 2002. Yankovic occasionally shows clips from the film at his concerts (to which MGM, the film's current owner, initially objected). To apparently make it more accessible, the Australian release of the film was titled The Vidiot From UHF, a title Yankovic openly loathes.

"Weird Al" Yankovic has directed many of his own music videos, He has directed all of his music videos from 1994’s “Bedrock Anthem” (parody of both Under the Bridge and Give It Away by Red Hot Chili Peppers) to his latest, 2006’s “White and Nerdy” (parody of Chamillionaire’s “Ridin'”)

He also directed the end sequence of 1986’s “Christmas at Ground Zero” (an original piece about death, destruction and the end of the world) from his “Polka Party” LP.

Additionally, he has directed several videos for artists such as Hanson, The Black Crowes, Ben Folds, Jeff Foxworthy and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. He also directed the title sequence to Spy Hard, in which he sang the title song.

Because Yankovic is arguably the most successful parody artist, songs posted to file sharing networks are often misattributed to Yankovic due to their humorous subject matter. Much to the disdain of clean-lyricked Yankovic, this includes songs that are racist, sexually explicit, or otherwise offensive. A young listener who had heard several of these offensive tracks by way of a file sharing service confronted Yankovic online, threatening a boycott due to his supposedly explicit lyrics. Quite a few of the songs, such as "Star Wars Cantina," "Star Wars Gangsta Rap," "Yoda Smokes Weed," "Chewbacca, What a Wookie", and several more, have a Star Wars motif. There are also others such as "Windows 95 Sucks", and "I Ran Over the Taco Bell Dog". In addition, some of these parodies are only a minute long. The large number of Star Wars related songs attributed to him is somewhat surprising, as to date Yankovic has only sung two Star Wars related songs: a parody of The Kinks hit "Lola", called "Yoda", and of Don McLean's "American Pie" about The Phantom Menace called "The Saga Begins".

Yankovic cites these misattributions as "his real beef with P2P sites":

“If you do a search for my name on any one of those sites, I guarantee you that about half of the songs that come up will be songs I had absolutely nothing to do with. That particularly bothers me, because I really try to do quality work, and I also try to maintain a more-or-less family-friendly image – and some of these songs that are supposedly by me are just … well, vulgar and awful. I truly think my reputation has suffered in a lot of people's minds because of all those fake Weird Al songs floating around the Internet.”

A list of songs not by Yankovic can be found at The Not Al List. Alternatively, a list of all commercially released songs recorded by Yankovic can be found on his website's Recording Dates Page.

The Weird Al Star Fund is a campaign started by Yankovic's fans to get him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Their mission is to "solicit, collect, and raise the necessary money, and to compile the information needed for the application to nominate 'Weird Al' Yankovic for a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame." Fans worldwide have sent donations to raise the $15,000 needed for a nomination. In addition to the preferred method of cash donations, many methods were used to raise money for the cause, such as a live benefit Show held April 11, 2006, and selling merchandise on the official website and eBay, including t-shirts, calendars, and cookbooks. On May 26, 2006, the campaign hit the $15,000 target -- just 5 days before the May 31, 2006 deadline to submit the necessary paperwork, but on the June 23, 2006 list of inductees for 2007, according to eonline.com, Yankovic was not included. His application will automatically be reconsidered in 2007 for the possibility of receiving his star in 2008.

Awards and album certification:

* "Eat It" — Grammy Best Comedy Recording (1984)
* "Fat" — Grammy Best Concept Video (1988)
* Poodle Hat — Grammy for Best Comedy Album (2003)
* Six other Grammy nominations

U.S. gold records:

* "Weird Al" Yankovic
* The Food Album
* Alapalooza

U.S. platinum records:

* "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D
* Dare to Be Stupid
* Even Worse
* Off the Deep End
* Bad Hair Day
* Running With Scissors

U.S. gold long form videos:

* The "Weird Al" Yankovic Video Library
* Alapalooza: The Videos
* "Weird Al" Yankovic Live!
* Bad Hair Day: The Videos

U.S. platinum long form videos:

* The Ultimate Video Collection

Canadian gold records:

* "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D
* Even Worse
* Greatest Hits
* Greatest Hits Volume II
* Running With Scissors

Canadian platinum records:

* Off the Deep End
* Bad Hair Day

Canadian double platinum records:

* Alapalooza

Gold singles:

* "Eat It" (U.S., Canada, & Australia)

Since Yankovic secured a recording contract in 1982, he has released many albums and parodies. The following is a comprehensive list of his albums to date, with US release date, and highest Billboard Chart position:

"Weird Al" Yankovic

* Released: April 26, 1983 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #139 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Ricky", "I Love Rocky Road"

"Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D

* Released: February 28, 1984 (U.S.) (Gold)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #17 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Eat It", "I Lost On Jeopardy", "King of Suede"

Dare to Be Stupid

* Released: June 18, 1985 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #50 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Like a Surgeon", "I Want a New Duck", "One More Minute", "Dare to Be Stupid"

Polka Party!

* Released: October 21, 1986 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #177 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Living With a Hernia", "Christmas at Ground Zero"

Even Worse

* Released: April 12, 1988 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #27 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Fat", "Lasagna", "I Think I'm a Clone Now"

UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff

* Released: July 18, 1989 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #146 (U.S.)
* Singles: "UHF", "Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies", "Isle Thing"

Off the Deep End

* Released: April 14, 1992 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #17 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Smells Like Nirvana", "You Don't Love Me Anymore", "Taco Grande", "The White Stuff", "I Can't Watch This"

Alapalooza

* Released: October 5, 1993 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #46 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Jurassic Park", "Bedrock Anthem", "Achy Breaky Song"

Bad Hair Day

* Released: March 12, 1996 (U.S.)
* Label: Scotti Brothers
* Chart Positions: #14 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Amish Paradise", "Gump", "The Night Santa Went Crazy"

Running With Scissors

* Released: June 29, 1999 (U.S.)
* Label: Volcano
* Chart Positions: #16 (U.S.)
* Singles: "The Saga Begins", "It's All About the Pentiums", "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi"

Poodle Hat

* Released: May 20, 2003 (U.S.)
* Label: Volcano
* Chart Positions: #17 (U.S.)
* Singles: "Couch Potato", "Bob"

Straight Outta Lynwood

* Released: September 26, 2006 (U.S.)
* Label: Volcano
* Chart Positions:
* Singles: "Don't Download This Song", "White & Nerdy"

* Peter And The Wolf / Carnival of the Animals, Part II (With Wendy Carlos) - October 4, 1988
o "This warped classical children's record featuring narration and poems written by 'Weird Al' Yankovic and music arranged, composed and performed by synthesizer whiz Wendy Carlos". Yankovic's text modifies the original story considerably: "The Grandfather will be played by... Don Ameche! What? He couldn't make it?", while the music features various innovations by Wendy Carlos over the original by Sergei Prokofiev. Side two of the album is "Carnival of the Animals, Part II" which is in part a homage to The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saëns, with Yankovic taking the role of Ogden Nash in writing humorous poems about various animals that were "forgotten" in the original Carnival. Parts of this recording are reminiscent of the signature style of Peter Schickele's public radio program Schickele Mix.
* Babalu Music! - October 22, 1991
o A collection of music from and related to the television sitcom I Love Lucy. Yankovic's contribution as producer seems not to extend past the title track.
* Pokémon The Movie 2000 (soundtrack) - July 18, 2000; #85 (includes "Polkamon")
* Dog Train - 2005 - A childrens' book/CD by Sandra Boynton. Yankovic sings a duet with Kate Winslet on "I Need A Nap".
* Crispin Hellion Glover, The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be (1989): Yankovic is listed as an accordionist in the extensive production credits on Glover's CD.

The following is a comprehensive list of his long form videos to date, with the United States release date.

* The Compleat Al - August 1985
* UHF - July 21, 1989
* The "Weird Al" Yankovic Video Library - May 1992
* Alapalooza: The Videos - December 1993
* "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Collection - 1993
* Bad Hair Day: The Videos - June 1996
* "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Videos - January 1998
* "Weird Al" Yankovic Live! - November 23, 1999
* "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection - November 3, 2003
* The Weird Al Show - The Complete Series - August 15, 2006

Cameos and special appearances

* Tapeheads - 1988
* The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad! - 1988
* The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear - 1991
* The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult - 1994
* Spy Hard - 1996
* Safety Patrol - 1997
* Nothing Sacred - 1998
* Desperation Boulevard - 2002
* Haunted Lighthouse 4-D - 2003

Yankovic had a TV series called The Weird Al Show, which aired from September 1997 to September 1998 on CBS. Though the show appeared to be geared at children, the humor was really more for his adult fans. The entire series was released on DVD by Shout! Factory on August 15, 2006.

Yankovic has hosted Al TV on MTV and Al Music on MuchMusic many times, generally coinciding with the release of each new album. For Poodle Hat, AL-TV appeared on VH1. A notable part of AL-TV is Yankovic manipulating interviews for comic effect, by inserting himself into a previously conducted interview with a musician, and manipulating the questions and responses to sound absurd. (Example: Ozzy Osbourne: What's that black guys name... in that rap band... Al: Wayne Newton? Ozzy: Yes!)

VH1 produced a Behind the Music episode on Yankovic, however, he was so clean-cut that the producers could not find any of the typical angst-laced problems that make many rock stars' stories compelling (as Yankovic noted in an interview with BTM), so they stretched many smaller disappointments and skirmishes during his career into major downfalls to fit the program's classic formula. His two commercial failures, his film UHF and his 1986 album Polka Party! were presented as having a larger impact on the direction of his career and Coolio's later disapproval of "Amish Paradise" was played up as a large feud; much was also made over his apparent lack of a love life. Despite the dramatic angles given to these events, the special was accurate in discussing Yankovic's life and career and received heavy playtime well after its initial airing.

He has also appeared in cartoons such as EEK! The Cat, The Simpsons, The Brak Show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Johnny Bravo, Lilo and Stitch: The Series and The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, lending his voice to that of the Squid Hat, a parody of the Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter series. He is reportedly the only guest to ever request to be on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

He made a celebrity cameo appearance on an episode of The Simpsons that originally aired on April 13, 2003, singing "Homer & Marge" (a parody of John Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane") with his band. The episode, "Three Gays of the Condo", in which Marge hires "Weird Al" to sing the aforementioned song to Homer in an attempt to reconcile their marriage, later won an Emmy for "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)".

Yankovic appeared on Solid Gold in 1985 performing "Like A Surgeon", where television viewers first saw his now-famous parody of Madonna's "virgin dance".

In the mid-to-late 1980s, he appeared as the guest host for Nickelodeon's music video show Nick Rocks, wherein his video for Livin' With A Hernia was featured.

Around 1990, he appeared as the guest host on NBC's late night music video program Friday Night Videos (along with comedian and friend Emo Philips). Al's typical humor was evident (as was Philips'); during the course of the show Al performed the "Harvey The Wonder Hamster" theme song, gave us a couple of humorous sight gags and closed with the following line: "Keep your feet on the ground, keep your head in the stars, and keep a couple donuts in your glove compartment in case you get hungry while you're driving."

He played a green, "cabbage-headed" talent agent for the Earth's solar system in "Miss Stardust", an episode of Amazing Stories.

He made it to the final round on Win Ben Stein's Money.

In the early 1990's Yankovic appeared in a "training video" segment for the Virtual World Entertainment corporation's Red Planet racing game. He played the part of Freeman Jack, a subversive purveyor of vectored thrust vehicle (VTV) death races on Mars in an alternate universe.

In 1991, Yankovic appeared on a segment of PBS children's math program Square One in which he performed in a music video for a song titled "Polka Patterns". As this song was not written by Yankovic, it has not been officially released and it is very unlikely to appear on any of his albums.

In 1992, Yankovic appeared on the show Circus With the Stars, performing a particularly dangerous-looking swaypole act 50 feet off the ground without a net (which included him playing the accordion near the top, putting his leg behind his head, and standing straight up on the top of the swaypole).

In 1993, Yankovic played a part in another PBS series, "Living and Working in Outer Space" where he played a rock star named Giles Standish leaving a video voicemail for a lunar governor, petitioning him to hold a concert in space.

He also appeared on the 1998 FX series, Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular, performing "The Night Santa Went Crazy" on an episode that aired in March 1999. On the show, he performed the "Extra Gory Version" of the song, in which Santa dies rather than going to jail.

Yankovic appeared as himself in an episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series. In the episode, Yankovic performs a parody of a song performed by the "Flavor Babes" (a parody of the Spice Girls). Yankovic wrote the parody version for the episode. During the episode, it is stated that "You know you've made it when "Weird Al" does a parody of one of your songs," which is a sentiment felt by many.

Yankovic has appeared on numerous talk shows, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, (performing "Yoda" and "Hooked On Polkas"). In August 2005 he appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, backing Ben Folds on the tambourine.

In 2005, Yankovic made his appearance in the segment "Movies that Should've Been Made in 3D" on VH1's I Love the 80s 3-D.

Also in 2005, Weird Al appeared on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. On the show, he sang a song about "polka" when the girl on the show requested "Polka Dots," in a scene where Ty Pennington mishears her.

In 2006, Weird Al appeared on Radio KOL, where he was interviewed by DJ Rick Adams, and talked about his upcoming album Straight Outta Lynwood. After the interview, he and Rick went and fed the goats, about which Weird Al had expressed excitement during the interview.

The stop motion animated series Robot Chicken showcased a music video for Weasel Stomping Day, a song Weird Al wrote for the show which is featured in his latest album Straight Outta Lynwood.

* Yankovic has put two backwards messages into his songs: the first, in "Nature Trail to Hell", said "Satan Eats Cheez Whiz"; the second, in "I Remember Larry", said "Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands."
* Yankovic's signature food is a Twinkie-wiener sandwich which consists of an overturned Twinkie split open as a bun, hot dog, and Easy Cheese. Recently in several interviews, he has stated that he has switched to using vegan hot dogs due to becoming a vegan, but still enjoys them as his favorite snack. (He also likes to dip them in coffee.) This can be seen in UHF.
* As a recurring joke, Yankovic often includes the number 27 somewhere in his work.
* Yankovic is of no relation to the famous accordionist Frankie Yankovic, but Weird Al did play accordion and sing backing vocals for "Who Stole the Kishka" on one of Frankie's final records, Songs of the Polka King, Vol. 1. Frankie Yankovic also made a cameo appearance in a special by "Weird Al" for the 1986 Grammys. Weird Al jokes that his parents made him take up accordion because, "apparently, my parents felt the world needed TWO accordion-playing Yankovics." When the elder accordionist died in 1998, a woman Weird Al knew on the east coast called him and errantly told him, "I'm sorry your dad died," which was understandably jarring to Yankovic at the time.
* Yankovic is considered to be one of the top accordionists in the world, having played at a virtuoso level since childhood.
* Although Yankovic has never had a #1 single in the United States, "Eat It" reached the #1 position in Australia in 1984.
* Yankovic says that his favorite car is the Nash Metropolitan, and he tends to feature a brown and white Metropolitan in his films and music videos.
* There is an Enhanced CD hidden video on the first pressing of Yankovic's Running With Scissors album which depicts part of Yankovic's Disney Channel special. It is not included on subsequent or some international releases.
* In 2005 Yankovic appeared live as a surprise guest at a Presidents of the United States of America concert to perform "Gump" with them during the encore. The song is a parody of their song "Lump".
* Yankovic directed the video to Ben Folds single "Rockin' The Suburbs" and briefly appears in the video as a producer fixing Folds' "shitty tracks".
* Yankovic designed a greeting card for Angelwear, a website through which celebrities create their own artwork for notepads, cards, and clothing. The proceeds are then donated to a charity of the celebrity's choice.
* In an episode of Futurama, Yankovic is shown in the year 3000 to have been cryogenically frozen. In the chamber he is wearing a shirt that says "Eat It" and with a guitar in his hands, however, Al does not actually play the guitar.
* Yankovic's alleged hair loss has been a matter of controversy during the past few years. However, he does not wear a wig and his hair is, in fact, real.
* In an episode of King of the Hill entitled "The Son That Got Away," Bobby Hill says "I just sang a song parody, Dad. Like Weird Al Yankovic" Hank Hill responds, "Son, Al Yankovic blew his brains out in the late '80s after people stopped buying his records. He's not worth getting into trouble over." Later in the episode Bobby Hill says, "I see things clearly now. I'm going to grow up without anyone to love, and die friendless and alone like Weird Al Yankovic." Yankovic used a video clip of the first scene as part of an introductory sequence for his concerts while touring to promote the Running With Scissors album.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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