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Awesome / "Weird Al" Yankovic

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  • When Devo admits to being jealous of "Dare to Be Stupid" and a critic comments that Weird Al had out-Devoed Devo.
    Mark Mothersbaugh: I was in shock. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. He sort of re-sculpted that song into something else and, umm... I hate him for it, basically.
  • To a lesser extent, but still pretty awesome; The Presidents of the United States of America loved Al's parody of "Lump" (rechristened "Gump") so much that they changed the last line of the song to the one from Al's version, "And that's all I have to say about that," whenever they played "Lump" from then on.
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  • Michael Jackson actually gave Weird Al permission to parody any of his work for the rest of his life, the only exception being that Al never put his parody of "Black or White" ("Snack All Night") on any of his albums, since Jackson felt the message of the song was too important.
  • B.B. King stated that Al's "Generic Blues" was one of his top ten favorite blues songs.
  • Reportedly, Kurt Cobain said that he only really knew he hit the big time when Weird Al parodied one of his songs. It should be noted, Al had to go through a friend to Kurt Cobain on the phone before he was about to play on Saturday Night Live. And the Weird Al parody is still the "we made it" moment.
    • He also, reportedly, cracked up the entire time when he first saw the video for "Smells Like Nirvana".
    • Cobain is by no means the only guy who's expressed this particular sentiment (either example).
    • Also a Moment of Awesome for Cobain, considering he had to have a good sense of humor when Al told him what the song is about. This was a real exchange.
      Kurt: Uh, [your parody]'s not going to be about food, is it?
      Kurt: Oh, of course. That's funny.
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    • How about the fact that Weird Al got the same set and even the same actor to play the janitor?
  • In the words of Chamillionaire:
    "It's one thing to go platinum. Where do you go from there? Then Weird Al calls."
  • Weird Al's even Covered Up with a parody song. Chamillionaire, whose song "Ridin'" was the basis for "White & Nerdy", reported that he received praise from people overseas, saying "people were telling me they had heard my version of Weird Al's song". Chamillionaire would eventually reference this on a remix of "Ridin'" with the lyrics "A year later, after 'White and Nerdy'", showing he still has a good sense of humor about it.
  • Al wrote the lyrics to "The Saga Begins" with 99% accuracy... before The Phantom Menace was even released. He got all of his information from fan sites and went to see a pre-screening only to check his work.
    • It's said that, when Weird Al went to watch the pre-screening, he actually cheered when Anakin told Shmi that he was going to be a Jedi.
    • According to one report, he sent the song to George Lucas before the album released, and was told later, "You should have seen the smile on his [George's] face."
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    • And Don McLean admitted that since his kids also played the song so often, when Don performs "American Pie" in concert, at times he accidentally sings Al's lyrics.
  • The breathless list of items in "Hardware Store".
    • To the point where Weird Al won't sing the song live. Why? Because he doesn't think he'll ever be able to do that again.
    • Just think about it: Weird Al doing speed metal. This song, despite additional instrumentation and wacky sound effects, is essentially speed metal as only Weird Al could pull off. Even better, this isn't a style parody of anything, meaning Weird Al wrote a completely original speed metal song and rocked hard like only a musical comedic genius could.
  • Hey, remember the time Al conducted the Jr. Philharmonic Orchestra of California?
  • Weird Al + Pokémon = Crowning Moment of Awesome for all. EVERYBODY POLKAMON!.
    • Notable in that, for Pokemon fans who grew up in the 90's and early 2000's (the song was in the end credits of Pokemon 2000: The Power Of One), this was probably the first Weird Al song they ever heard.
  • In all honesty, all the polkas are Awesome Moments. Possibly the best ever? "Bohemian Polka." Notable for being the only time it was a straight-up cover. Not even a medley. And it works like a charm.
  • "Everything You Know Is Wrong" gets one for being the song that pretty much perfectly summarizes the concept of Mind Screw while being a Mind Screw itself.
    Everything you know is wrong!
    Black is white, up is down, and short is long,
    And everything you thought
    Was just so important doesn't matter!
    Everything you know is wrong!
    Just forget the words and sing along!
    All you need to understand is
    Everything you know is wrong!
    • "Everything You Know Is Wrong" is also awesome for being that rare Weird Al style parody that manages to evoke the feel of a band without specifically resembling any specific song, a fact that Al himself has acknowledged as a point of pride. It's an especially fitting accomplishment for a They Might Be Giants style parody, as the band's sound has a tendency to change drastically from song to song. (Additionally, the lyrics are a spot-on parody of the surreal, nonsensical narratives that tend to crop up in They lyrics.)
  • "Genius in France", Al's nine-minute long tribute song to Frank Zappa, made entirely from repurposed riffsnote  and featuring a opening and closing guitar solo from Dweezil Zappa.
  • And of course, Al gets one of the highest honors a man of his caliber could ever receive: a supply closet named in his honor.
  • The "Tacky" video is an awesome moment for everyone involved. Especially Jack Black, who's 44 and still as Jack Black as he's ever been.
    • The song took six takes, and it's one long continuous shot. Every take, Al had to run from the top floor to street-level while changing clothes after his first segment. You can't tell. That man is in shape! To wit, he still has the stamina to perform two 2-hour concerts a night while on tour, with only slight signs of exhaustion.
  • "Word Crimes" gets a double for becoming a glorious anthem for the internet's outspoken Grammar Nazi brigade and turning one of the most needlessly controversial songs in years into something benign enough that people can actually enjoy the catchy tune without feeling gross if they're one of the people who believes the original is a blatant endorsement of date rape.
  • After three decades of poking fun of the hit records, Weird Al finally secured a bonafide smash of his own as his record Mandatory Fun debuted on the Billboard charts at number 1.
    • His latest Polka Medley ends on "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk, a fitting climax by including one of the best songs of the year, but more proof that once Weird Al gets to you, you've "made it."
    • The fact that Weird Al is still going strong after decades in the business. Think about it: If somebody had told you in 1984 that, in thirty years, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston would be dead and buried, but this novelty singer would have a #1 album, you would not believe them, but they would be right!
    • It simply isn't possible to overstate how awesome this moment is on its own, but what makes this even more awesome? Mandatory Fun was the first comedy record since Allan Sherman's My Son, the Nut to reach number one. Did we mention that album was released 51 years before Mandatory Fun?
    • "Word Crimes" reached number 39 in the United States. This makes Al one of only three artists to have a top 40 hit in every decade since the 1980s. The other two artists? Michael Jackson and Madonna. (A fourth artist would eventually join these prestigious ranks — which fourth artist? Oh, just some band named U2. That's right. Al's in very big company.)
    • Al's cover "The Hamilton Polka" debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Comedy Digital Track Sales chart. It's also one of the rare polka songs to notch an entry on the Digital Song Sales chart.
  • Someone started a petition to get Weird Al to headline the 2015 Super Bowl. Said petition got over 100,000 signatures in two days. It ended up rather infamously going to Katy Perry, but we still can dream.
  • Showing up on The Meltdown: With Jonah and Kumail and singing "Dare To Be Stupid" with a string quartet.
  • The utter lyrical genius of "Bob." Not only is it a pitch-perfect imitation of Bob Dylan's stream-of-consciousness bluesy style, but Al actually strung together a bunch of palindromes into something that almost makes a coherent story.
  • Weird Al, Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper singing a Beatles song on stage together? Why not?
  • Anytime they play the "Jurassic Park" video during his concerts, whenever they show the scene where Barney the Dinosaur gets his head bitten off by a dinosaur, expect the audience to cheer in delight.
  • Starting a concert off in the parking lot of where he is performing, walking through the lobby, and down an aisle to the stage.
    • He changes this up for every opening of the Mandatory Fun Tour. In Chicago he started backstage singing "Tacky" and you get this kind of impression that he filmed a special version of the Tacky video for the tour but he'll walk out on stage half way through the song. Then he gets to the back door of the theater, goes outside into an alley and you think "that looks a little familiar..." Then he turns a corner and you realize "He's outside the theater RIGHT NOW and coming in through the front." None of this is the true moment of awesome. The real moment is when you realize he did it all while walking BACKWARDS.
  • In the music video for TMZ, The unnamed minor celebrity finally getting some kind of vengeance against the scumbag paparazzi who publicly humiliated her to make a quick buck.
  • Weird Al Yankovic VS. Pinkamena Diane Pie. It's as ridiculous and awesome as it sounds.
  • As noted on this page, the common consensus among a lot of singers is that they know they've made it big if Al calls asking permission for a parody. But that's now; back in the 1980s, before he really hit it big, Madonna reportedly gave Al the name for his parody of "Like a Virgin," to call it "Like a Surgeon."
  • Al and his family jamming with Lin-Manuel Miranda on "Right Hand Man," with Al accompanying Miranda on accordion. And if that wasn't awesome enough, Miranda raps in a hilarious (and surprisingly convincing) Weird Al impression!
  • Al singing "I Bleed" with The Pixies, and it's as awesome as you think it is.
  • Al at George Fest, singing "Handle With Care" alongside Brandon Flowers, Britt Daniel, Dhani Harrison, Jonathan Bates and Wayne Coyne; and a solo rendition of "What Is Life".
  • Check out how long Al holds that note while performing "Like A Surgeon" at Radio City Music Hall.
  • Weird Al "interviews" Kevin Federline. It's actually Weird Al verbally ripping K-Fed to shreds for nine straight minutes.
    Al: So, how does it feel to have a closet full of wife-beaters, but no wife?
  • Less than a day after the third and final presidential debate of 2016? Out comes this. A Voice Clip Song mixing both Clinton and Trump's statements into a satirical dance mix with Al acting as a debate moderator.
  • Weird Al performing at the Hollywood Bowl with a full Orchestra. His medley is an orchestral mix of some of his best parodies. (Medley starts around the 32 minute mark)
  • His theme song for Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. Best Mythology Gag ever!
  • In 2017, he was announced to be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not bad for a silly little parody musician.
  • The sequence at the end of "Amish Paradise" where he gets up from falling in a haystack, catches his hat and walks forward singing the last chorus while everything else in the scene (including a donkey and a horse-drawn carriage) is moving backwards. This was done by having Weird Al move in reverse (including mouthing the lyrics backwards) around everyone else. And even looking silly, he doesn't miss a lyric or a step! THAT is impressive.
  • Weezer did a cover of "Africa" by Toto, and Al performed the solo with the band on 8/8/18. When the video for the song came out, Al plays the part of Rivers Cuomo in a parody of the video of "Undone - The Sweater Song".
  • One of the covers he closed with on his "Ridiculously Ill-Advised Self Indulgent Vanity Tour" was a tonally dissonant version of "Wipeout, in four individual keys." It's a form of Stylistic Suck worthy of Spike Jones which shows just how good Al's band is.
  • An odd example: a semi-trend on Youtube is to play a song with every other beat changed in some way. One Youtube video shows Al's "Amish Paradise" mixed every other beat with the original "Gangsta's Paradise". The only difference in the beat is a slight increase in pitch for Al's version note , leading to the beat sounding rather smooth. Strange as it is, it ends up being another point to how much work Al puts into his parodies that the two versions are so close.
  • Darwin, Minnesota (home of the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota) named a road near the famous twine ball 'Weird Alley'.


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