Fun Trivia about Weird al Yankovic

Inspired by the comment in another thread that Mark Knopler played lead guitar in both “Money for Nothing” and the Weird Al takeeoff “Beverly Hillbillies,” some cool Weird Al facts. Please add more.

  1. “Like a Surgeon” is the only Weird Al spoof that was suggested by the artist of the original, in this case, of course, Madonna, who told a mutual friend it seemed like a really obvious parody, and the friend passed it on to Al.

  2. James Blunt was thrilled to have “You’re Beautiful” parodied, but his record label vetoed it, to his dismay.

  3. Michael Jackson advised Weird Al as to the exact shooting location of the “Bad” video so that the video for “Fat” would be as authentic as possible. (It’s a train station in Brooklyn.)

  4. The same man plays the Janitor in the videos for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Smells Like Nirvana.”

  5. For parodies that require bass vocals, like the “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” parody, Weird Al records them as early in the morning as possible, when his voice is still kind of gravelly.

  6. His parody of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” was rejected by her manager without Lady Gaga ever hearing it. In fact, when she saw the Youtube video of it, she was delighted.

  7. Although “Mandatory Fun” is his only #1 album, it isn’t even in his top five selling albums.

Don McLean has self-reportedly mistakenly sung parts of “The Saga Begins” when performing “American Pie.”

Prince never approved any Weird Al parodies of his music, and once had his lawyers send Al a telegram instructing him not to make eye contact during the American Music Awards, as they were seated nearby. Others seated in the same vicinity reportedly received a similar note.

He once applied to work at McDonald’s, but was rejected for being overqualified.

In 1997 he had LASIK surgery and shaved his mustache, but wore glasses and a fake mustache for another two years under advice from his publicists.

He makes an appearance in all three Naked Gun movies.

Not so fun trivia: both of his parents were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in 2004 due to a closed fireplace flue.

Weird Al has done over a dozen cartoon voice cameos including Wreck-Gar from Transformers and Cheese Sandwich from My Little Pony.

Al’s reaction to the death of Prince;

He has also said that he will continue to honor Prince’s wish to not be parodied.
Not only Weird but classy as well.

I met Al at the After Party for the Adult Video Awards (Porn Oscars). So, maybe he’s a porn-hound. :smiley:

Rumor has it he used to be a Doper like you and me…

Greg Kihn, whose band recorded Jeopardy, sang backup on Al’s parody I Lost on Jeopardy and appeared in the song’s video.

The late Doug Fieger of the Knack enjoyed My Bologna, Al’s parody of the band’s hit My Sharona, so much, that when Al introduced himself to Fieger and Capitol Records’ president Rupert Perry at a concert, Fieger turned to Perry and said, “You should put his song out on Capitol.”

I do honestly believe that.

Wreck-Gar was voiced by Eric Idle. But “Dare to be Stupid” was featured during his introductory scene.

I believe when Weird Al called Kurt Cobain and asked if he could parody one of Nirvana’s songs, Cobain was really excited. But then he said ‘um, its not going to be about food it is’? Weird Al told him no, it’d be about how Cobain’s lyrics don’t make sense, which Cobain was happy with.

I’m not sure what the ‘not going to be about food’ thing was about. I guess because at the time, Weird Al was largely know for his Michael Jackson parodies like I’m fat or eat it.

Also Eminem won’t let him parody his songs either. Technically Weird Al doesn’t need the artist’s permission to do a parody, but he chooses not to do one anyway if the artist doesn’t like it.

IIRC, I saw a clip of Al telling the story about Nirvana. Al said, somewhat sheepishly, that at the time he was known for doing a lot of food-related parodies. The video for Smells Like Nirvana is a work of pure genius.

IIRC, one of the members of DEVO called “Dare to be Stupid” the perfect DEVO song. I don’t know how serious he was being, though.

Yes, the stereotypical Weird Al parody back in the day was something involving food. I even remember seeing some magazine’s tongue-in-cheek “how to write a Weird Al parody” article (or maybe it was a comic) and it was all based on food parodies. I mean, of his oevre, we have: My Bologna, I Love Rocky Road, Eat It, Fat, Lasagna, Spam, and Gilrs Just Want to Have Lunch. Now, granted, not a majority of his parodies by any stretch, but he did seem to have an odd fixation on food and eating-related parodies.

ETA: Heck, and on the album “Smells Like Nirvana” came out on, there were two food-related parodies: “The White Stuff,” and “Taco Grande,” so Kurt wasn’t exactly out-of-left-field with his question. And the cover features a Nevermind album parody with Weird Al swimming after a donut.

Although they are both known for playing the accordion, Weird Al Yankovic is not related to “Polka King” Frankie Yankovic.

Al has had a remarkably stable band for a very long time.

Jerks don’t maintain that kind of loyalty.

I wonder who it was that knew both Weird Al and Madonna. I mean, who wouldn’t want to party with that guy?

They’re also GOOD. i got to see the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour (which concentrated on his original music instead of his parodies) and they shifted music styles easily. It gave some of the songs a completely different feel.

If memory serves, which it may not: I thought there was a poster, way back in the day, who posted here that she had had a date with Weird Al when he was 17 and she was 16 - or something like that. I don’t remember who it was, but I think she did face some accusations that she was making it up (why, I don’t recall).


Ray Manzerik of the Doors played his icnic organ on Weird Al’s parody of The Doors sound on the song “Craigslist.”

Video of one of the recording sessions.
From the video description.