Most deservedly, Weird Al is all abuzz right now. Seriously, a man who came into notoriety almost 35 years ago for doing song parodies of popular songs on his accordion, has miraculously stayed very relevant in this day and age. He is not only afraid to change but is also monumentally intelligent and talented. I have loved Weird Al since I was a kid, and am more than happy to see that now (more than ever I might add), he is adding his own special brand of intelligent yet silly humor to this oversexed, buzzword, auto-tuned age we live in. I want to look back and rank the top ten “Weird Al” Music Videos according to this silly girl.
10. “I Love Rocky Road”
We start at the beginning of Yankovic’s career, when he was still making music with just an accordion and hand farts… yes, hand farts. “I Love Rocky Rocky Road” is a parody of the Joan Jett and the Blackhearts classic, “I Love Rock and Roll.” This video is a perfect parody for the time since it’s not only poking fun at the song, but also the video with all of the patrons putting their ice cream cones in the air… as opposed to their fists like in the original video. My favorite “weird” moment is when he finishes his second chorus and a child comes up and bites his ankle, which leads to the second “OW!” that is such a trademark in “I Love Rock and Roll.”
“Gump” is a parody of The Presidents of the United States 90’s hit, “Lump.” This time Yankovic not only chooses to parody the song but also the most in vogue film at the time, Forrest Gump. I remember this song from when I was a kid because “Weird Al” was the only way that I could be exposed to some of the more mature aspects of pop culture at the time. I wasn’t allowed to watch Forrest Gump for the nudity, swearing, and violence, and I wasn’t allowed to listen to The Presidents of The United States because they were grunge, which was not allowed in the Holder household. Yankovic perfectly parodies the group by wearing a bald cap to cover up his trademark crazy hair to look like lead singer Chris Ballew. My favorite “weird” moment has to be Yankovic in the fountain perfectly synchronizing kicks, wrist watch looks, and mic stand throws.
8. “Smells Like Nirvana”
Parodying Nirvana’s “Smell’s Like Teen Spirit,” we stay in the 90’s vein for this hit. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the smash hit of the grunge era, leading the way for all grunge, Seattle based bands. I’ll be really honest, I feel nostalgia when I hear this song, BUT I never got why the song was so popular when I was a kid. When Yancovick came out with the parody, I felt right at home because someone else didn’t “get it” the song either and was sang about how you can’t understand a word Cobain says! Yankovic got the original set and some of the original cast from the actual video of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to get the full effect. Best “weird” moment has to be when he starts captioning what he is singing and eventually just starts singing gibberish to only end with “with all these marbles in my mouth.” Then, he slowly spits said marbles out- classic.
7. “Bedrock Anthem”
The “Bedrock Anthem” video might start off with a nod to Blind Melon’s “No Rain” video with the strange little tap dancing bumblebee girl, but make no mistake, this is parodying Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Give It Away.” Now obviously, Yankovic is not just parodying the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but also the classic cartoon The Flinstones. This was a perfect idea for a video parody because the original video is in black and white, just like The Flinstones. And instead of the catchy “Give it away, give it away, give it away, now,” now we are blessed with “Yabba Dabba Yabba Dabba Dabba Doo Now.” My favorite “weird” moment is when they split the screen for mirror images and have everyone jump from the center… but then eventually it turns into business men, sumo wrestlers, and then farm stock being thrown from the center.
6. “Like a Surgeon”
Funny story, Madonna actually called up Yankovic and told him that her “Like a Virgin” would be a perfect parody song, and so “Like a Surgeon” was born. I love this one not because it is so deliciously mad cap, but it also because it really shows Yankovic’s vocal range. I mean, seriously, this guy is actually a REALLY good singer, and it shows in his 1980’s parody. Best “weird” moment? Yankovic being wheeled on a gurney through the hospital while he is rolling around on it… just like Madonna on the boat.
5. “Amish Paradise”
The most controversial parody on the list, “Amish Paradise” pokes fun at Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the Dangerous Minds soundtrack. Controversy arose because Coolio thought that the parody was in poor taste, and said that he never gave the OK for the parody. Meh… you can cry all the way to the bank, Coolio. Anyways, I love the original song- LOVE the original song, and I love this parody all the more. Maybe it’s because my first year of college, I went to school in the middle of Amish country. Or maybe it’s because this video is so much FUN! They even got Florence Henderson from The Brady Brunch to play an Amish Michelle Pfieffer. Best “weird” moment has to be when Yankovic does an entire scene backwards. No seriously, I remember a behind the scenes show filmed him doing this and he had to learn how to sing the song backwards so that the video could get the effect that he was going forward while everyone was going forward. You HAVE to see it!
4. “It’s All About the Pentiums”
Parodying Puff Daddy’s “It’s All About the Benjamins,” “Pentiums” sticks in the hip hop vein. Here’s why I love this song… before this one, every parody on this list matches it’s competitor except for “Pentuims.” For once the parody is BETTER than the original. FO REAL! Number one, the rhymes are so clever and fantastical that Yankovic actually spits out better rhymes than Puff. Sorry ‘bout it. Also, the video is killer. It’s a sexier, sleeker video, and of course funny. It’s so visually stimulating, that “Pentiums” is the hands down winner. Dare I say, that this is Yankovic at his most attractive? With his hair pulled back and donning some slick shades, I find myself taking a second look at the otherwise goofy looking man. And the choreography from his backup dancers is amazing. Who else can you make a floppy disk look sexy? My favorite “weird” moment has to be when he video parodies the infamous “Mo Money Mo Problems” scene in which the boys are in a tunnel lit up by long lights, while donning red suits. Yankovic even got his fellow nerd pal Drew Carrey to join in on the fun.
3. “Word Crimes”
“Everybody Shut Up!” One of his newest hits, “Word Crimes” parodies the ever-so-catchy, but ever-so-chauvinistic, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. “Blurred Lines” has been the song that everyone loves to hate or hates to love, and “Word Crimes” seems to be the answer to everyone’s needs. Not only does the song parody one of the biggest hits of the year, but it also pokes fun at our seemingly illiterate society. It’s every English teacher’s dream song. The video is like a pop art explosion of fun graphics and animation… and I’m glad that Yankovic didn’t parade around naked to parody the gratuitous nudity in the original video. My favorite “weird moment” is at the very end where there is a graphic that looks like mylar balloons saying that “Weird Al” Yankovic has a big… Dictionary, poking fun at the same mylar balloons saying that Robin Thicke has a huge… you know what comes next. HA! Weren’t we all waiting for someone to make that joke?
2. “White and Nerdy”
Coming in at number 2, we have Yankovich’s most impressive track, “White and Nerdy,” a parody of Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty.” First of all, we all know that not all rappers can sing. It’s the general public’s perception that is the reason these artists go into hip hop, which is mostly true. But not all singers can rap. Yankovic can literally do it ALL! The rapid fire rhymes that happen on this track are insanely impressive… so much so that even Chamillionaire put the track on his MySpace page and said that he was impressed by Yankovic’s rapping skills. We even get Key and Peele playing “gangstas” before their hilarious sketch comedy show. Best “weird” moment is when you think that he is buying some drugs on the street, but it turns out to be a VHS of the infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special.” And you’re pretty “White and Nerdy” if you know what that is!
How in the world could I list “Weird Al” videos and not feature at least one of his brilliant Michael parodies, being one of the biggest MJ fans in the Universe? Now, “Eat It” is pretty great, but I just LOVE “Fat,” a parody of Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” Again, Yankovic got permission to use the same set to parody the superstar’s video, but he got permission from Jackson himself!! Holy MOLEY! You have to be the best of the best to get permission from Michael Jackson for a mockery. The song is great itself, but the video is what sells me. The scene where Yankovic blows up to fat proportions before our eyes is awesome. In that day and age, they didn’t have all of the CGI programs that we have now! I also love the “fat” dancers! They are too perfect. Best “weird” moment is when they do the trademark run through the subway and the camera leaves Yankovic and the dancers behind and has to pan back to them all trying to catch their breath. HAHA, “Ham On!”
HONORABLE MENTION: “Polka Face”
I have to mention this one because it is a medley of all of the songs popular today-ish. And it’s all a medley on his accordion. Maybe it’s me being partial to a strange instruments (I do rock a keytar), but I LOVE when you mix the unconventional with pop culture. Definitely worth a watch;)
Agree with me? Disagree? Think I left something out? Let me know I’m so dead on, or so dead wrong.