Yankovic's back with some born-again Weird-ness

Yankovic's back with some born-again Weird-ness

"Weird Al" Yankovic has been parodying pop's biggest hits for almost 40 years, and he's back with a new record.

Thousands of people write new versions of hit songs, but one man remains the master of the music parody: "Weird Al" Yankovic.

His latest album, Mandatory Fun, includes Tacky, a take on Pharrell William's Happy, and a polka medley that spoofs, among others, One Direction's Best Song Ever, Psy's Gangnam Style and Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe. He's also releasing eight videos, one a day, with the last due out tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are a few of our favourite Weird Al parodies: 

Eat It (1984), parody of by Beat It by Michael Jackson 

Michael Jackson's classic about gang violence is turned into a parent telling a picky son not to fuss about food and "just eat it". The video's choreography is almost identical to the original, but sees two rival gang members fighting over a rubber chicken. 

Amish Paradise (1996), parody of Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio 

In stark contrast to Coolio's warnings about the dangers of being a gangster, Weird Al presents the "simple" Amish lifestyle, teasing their rejection of electricity and modern ways by milking a cow directly into his cereal bowl. He doesn't have to worry about offending the Amish - they're unlikely to see the video anyway. 

White & Nerdy (2006), parody of Ridin' by Chamillionaire 

In a button-up shirt and horn-rimmed glasses, Weird Al jam-packs Chamillionaire's fast rap with all the stereotypes of the white and nerdy, such as collecting comic books, editing Wikipedia, and eating sandwiches with mayonnaise. It was Weird Al's first Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 hit, and Chamillionaire himself praised his rapping skills. There's seems to be no genre of music that Weird Al can't tackle. 

Perform This Way (2011), parody of Born This Way by Lady Gaga 

At the height of Gagamania, Weird Al poked fun at her outlandish performances and fashions. The video features him dancing in outfits involving intestines, porcupines, raw meat, fire, cheese and bees, but he's not crazy - he just performs this way. Even Lady Gaga said she loved it. 

Word Crimes (2014), parody of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke 

Who would have guessed Robin Thicke's controversial hit could become a fun and cheeky grammar lesson? All you text-talkers beware: Al's coming after you! Expect to find English teachers everywhere using Word Crimes to show their students how writing should be done in the real world. 

Head to weirdal.com to watch these vids and many more, including the eight one-a-day videos from the new album.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Yankovic's back with some born-again Weird-ness


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