It features his hit "Amish Paradise," a parody of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" which infamously got Al in trouble with the rapper, who claimed that he rejected Al's proposal to record the parody and felt that Al was trivializing the gangland drama he was attempting to bring attention to. Despite (or rather because of) the controversy, it remains one of his most popular songs and Coolio eventually made peace with it.
This was Al's last album to feature his "classic" look of a mustache and wire-rimmed glasses. Two years later, he'd have laser eye surgery and shave his upper-lip, which drastically altered his appearance. It was also his last album on longtime label Scotti Bros. Records before the company was bought out by Volcano Entertainment.
- "Amish Paradise"note
- "Everything You Know Is Wrong"
- "Cavity Search"note
- "Callin' In Sick"
- "The Alternative Polka"
- "Since You've Been Gone"
- "I'm So Sick Of You"
- "Syndicated Inc."note
- "I Remember Larry"
- "Phony Calls"note
- "The Night Santa Went Crazy"
Tropin' in an Amish Paradise.
- A Cappella: "Since You've Been Gone".
- Affectionate Parody: Coolio wasn't too fond of his song "Gangsta's Paradise" being used by "Weird Al" as a parody without his permission, to put it lightly.
- Anti-Christmas Song: "The Night Santa Went Crazy".
- Anti-Love Song: "I'm So Sick Of You".
- Asshole Victim: Larry from "I Remember Larry", who pulls all sorts of horrifying pranks on his neighbor, who eventually snaps and leaves Larry for dead.
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The Night Santa Went Crazy
- Bad Santa: "The Night Santa Went Crazy".
- Black Comedy:
- "I Remember Larry" recounts how the singer was repeatedly pranked (sometimes quite viciously and dangerously) and how he eventually murdered the prankster.
- "The Night Santa Went Crazy" details Santa Claus going on a killing spree at the North Pole.
- Break-Up Song: "Since You've Been Gone".
- By Wall That Is Holey: The barn-raising scene in "Amish Paradise", with the side frame of the barn falling on Al.
- The Cameo:
- Florence Henderson takes Michelle Pfeiffer's place in the video for "Amish Paradise".
- Ruth Buzzi (as her Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In character Gladys Ormphby) and crooner Pat Boone make cameos in the video for "Gump".
- Careful with That Axe: The end of "Cavity Search."
- Comedic Sociopathy: I Remember Larry.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Implied with the suggestive butter-churning in the "Amish Paradise" video.
- The Dentist Episode: "Cavity Search".
- Disproportionate Retribution: Played With in "I Remember Larry". On the one hand, he apparently responds to Larry's constant pranks by murdering him. One the other, Larry did many cruel, costly and dangerous pranks, such as cutting the singer's car in half and spiking his brownies with ex-lax.
- The Dog Bites Back: The last verse of "I Remember Larry". The singer ends up tying Larry's mouth with a rag, "[dragging] him by the ankles to the middle of the forest and [stuffing] him in a big plastic bag", and leaving him for dead.
- Downer Ending: "The Night Santa Went Crazy". Depending on which version you listen to, it ends with Santa Claus either in prison for several hundred years or dead. Additionally, in the Extra Gory version, Al mentions that children will no longer get any Christmas presents, and the elves are forced to file for unemployment.
- Egocentrically Religious: Parodied with "Amish Paradise", about an Amish man singing about how much he enjoys his simple life. He's mostly portrayed as a pretty decent upstanding person who happens to prefer the life of a "crazy Mennonite" but he admits at points that the reason he acts like a decent, forgiving person to everyone, even people who mock or assault him, is because he believes he'll be going to Heaven and will be laughing his head off while those people are burning in Hell.
- Evil Twin: The narrator of "Everything You Know is Wrong" tries to send a letter to his. The reason(s) why is left unclear.
- Face on the Cover: "Weird Al" having a bad hair day.
- Fake-Out Opening: "Alternative Polka" starts with the exact same opening slide guitar riff from Beck's "Loser"...then adds the whistle and the tuba.
- Hell of a Heaven: "Everything You Know Is Wrong" has someone violating Heaven's dress code, and getting stuck with the room next to the noisy ice machine for all eternity. (Suggesting that Heaven is a mid-priced hotel.)
- In the Style of:
- "Everything You Know Is Wrong" - They Might Be Giants
- "Callin' In Sick" - Grunge, specifically Nirvana's "Come As You Are."
- "I'm So Sick Of You" - Elvis Costello (circa This Year's Model)
- "I Remember Larry" - Hilly Michaels
- "The Night Santa Went Crazy" - Soul Asylum's "Black Gold" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Mama I'm Coming Home"
- Karmic Death: "I Remember Larry" which has Larry being murdered by the target of many of his malicious gags, with the target making it sound like it was only another malicious gag.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "I Remember Larry" (an upbeat song about a vicious prankster who gets left for dead in the woods by his victim) and "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (a gentle Christmas song about Santa Claus going on a homicidal rampage at the North Pole).
- Medley: "The Alternative Polka". Songs featured, in order:
- "Loser" by Beck
- "Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots
- "All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow
- "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails
- "Bang and Blame" by R.E.M.
- "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
- "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" by The Smashing Pumpkins
- "My Friends" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
- "I'll Stick Around" by Foo Fighters
- "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
- "Basket Case" by Green Day
- "Ear Booker Polka" by Al Yankovic
- Mind Screw: "Everything You Know Is Wrong".
- Mundane Utility: The main character of "Everything You Know Is Wrong" is given the chance to go back in time. He decides to go back to the previous Thursday so he can pay his phone bill on time.
- Non-Appearing Title: "Cavity Search".
- Old-Timey Ankle Taboo: In the music video for "Amish Paradise" two Amish teens are seen looking at a supposedly erotic magazine, with the centerfold girl lifting up her long skirt to show her ankle. This illustrates how the Amish live by very old-fashioned values.
- Non Sequitur: "Everything You Know is Wrong" is full of these.
- Prank Call: The subject of "Phony Calls".
- Pun: An example in "I Remember Larry," after he talks about tying the titular prankster's mouth with a rag and leaving him for dead:If the cops ever find him, who knows what they'll say
But I'm sure if ol' Lar were still with us today
He would have to agree with me - it was a pretty good gag!
- Record Producer: This is the third album to be produced by Al himself.
- Rewind Gag: Near the end of the video for "Amish Paradise", he sings through one scene which obviously plays backwards. Most notably, a buggy rolls past in the background backwards.
- Sanity Slippage: "Everything You Know is Wrong" can be seen as one of these (if you consider that all the things that happen to be inside his head, maybe after being horrifically injured in the car crash at the beginning).
- Santa Claus: The man in red himself goes off the deep end in "The Night Santa Went Crazy". Depending on the version, he either dies from a shootout or gets sent to federal prison.
- Sarcastic Well Wishing: As heard in "Amish Paradise":"A local boy kicked me in the butt last weekI just smiled at him and I turned the other cheekI really don't care, in fact I wish him well'cause I'll be laughing my head off when he's burning in Hell!"
- Self-Backing Vocalist: "Since You've Been Gone" is a bunch of Weird Als singing a cappella (except for the bass line, which is, of course, his bassist Steve Jay).
There's no phone, no lights, no motorcar
- To Gilligan's Island in "Amish Paradise":
Not a single luxury
Like Robinson Ca-rusoe
It's as primitive as can be!
- "Amish Paradise" also includes the line "But I ain't never punched a tourist even if he deserved it", a reference to the movie Witness, in which Harrison Ford is a police detective placed undercover in an Amish community to protect a murder witness and punches out a tourist who steals his hat.note
- "Syndicated Incorporated" name-drops several classic and then-popular syndicated TV series.
- The last verse of the "Extra Gory" version of "The Night Santa Went Crazy" includes the line "Guess they won't have the fat guy to kick around any more," referencing Richard Nixon's infamous line after losing the 1962 gubernatorial election, "You don't have Nixon to kick around any more!"
- Sound-Effect Bleep: Al's rendition of "Closer" during "The Alternative Polka":I want to (POINK!) you like an animal!I want to feel you from the inside!I want to (CLANG!) you like an animal!
- Spoken Word in Music: A sample of Bart Simpson calling Moe's Tavern from The Simpsons plays in "Phony Calls" where the rap breakdown was on the original song ("Waterfalls" by TLC).
- Stock Footage: Used extensively in the video for "Gump", much like the movie it was based on.
- Subliminal Seduction: His song "I Remember Larry" has the backwards message "Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands."
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: "I'm So Sick of You" features "You don't have an ounce of class. You're just one big pain in the neck."
- Twist Ending: "Since You've Been Gone" is set up as a traditional "I want you back" Break-Up Song until the final line of the song, which is "I feel almost as bad as I did/when you were still here."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the uncensored version of "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (in which Santa is killed in the shootout), no mention is made of Vixen and Donner's fates. In the original song, the former is in therapy and the latter is simply "still nervous".