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Al Yankovic

  • American comedian
  • Born October 23, 1959

Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic ( YANG-kə-vik; born October 23, 1959) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, satirist, film producer, actor, voice actor, comedian, and author. He is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture and often parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts, original songs that are style pastiches of the work of other acts, and polka medleys of several popular songs, featuring his favored instrument, the accordion. Since his first-aired comedy song in 1976, he has sold more than 12 million albums (as of 2007), recorded more than 150 parody and original songs, and performed more than 1,000 live shows.


One of my pet peeves is that sometimes the talents of my band get overlooked because, and it was the same problem that Frank Zappa had, with a lot of groups that use humor, people don't realize there's a lot of craft behind the comedy.




When I was a kid, I thought I was going to be an architect, because when I was 12 years old I had a guidance counselor that convinced me that that was the best career choice for me.




I mean, I hate to gloat, but I'm extremely satisfied with my position in life and the way things have worked out for me.




It's hard to force creativity and humor.




By the time I'm in the studio recording my parody, 10,000 parodies of that song are on YouTube.




I can't get too offended when somebody parodies me.




I'm still a geek on the inside, that's the important thing.




I'm obviously not a rapper, and I don't have any claims to be one, really.




I suppose I had my rock star fantasies while I was singing into my hairbrush in the bathroom mirror, but I never really consciously said, 'OK, this is what I'm going to do for a living and I'm going to be Weird Al.'




At this point I've got a bit of a track record. So people realize that when 'Weird Al' wants to go parody, it's not meant to make them look bad... it's meant to be a tribute.




So that's why one of my rules of parody writing is that it's gotta be funny regardless of whether you know the source material. It has to work on its own merit.




I have a long-standing history of respecting artists' wishes.




I've learned how to use my spam filter pretty effectively.




I did have a child, and I was reading a lot of picture books to her, but at the same time writing a children's book was something that I'd been wanting to do for many years, pretty much since the start of my career.




If I could find the right kind of property, get tied in with the right movie, I'd love to be involved, but I just find it hard to be motivated to do another screenplay right now.




I'm watching the charts every week and hoping something will pop into my head.




My hobbies just sort of gradually became my vocation.




I mean, I don't write for kids.




I know now that everything I write, I'm going to put out, and I'll have to live with it for the rest of my life.




You still have Top 40 radio now, but it's 40 different stations. There aren't many hits that everybody knows, and there aren't many real superstars.




How can you get bored if the audience is cheering and laughing at something you're doing?




One of the hardest things I've had to deal with in my career is keeping my material topical even though I only release albums every three or four years.




Like, I have had moments, which I think most people have, where you'll be watching TV, and it'll be interrupted by some tragic event, and you'll actually find yourself thinking, 'I don't want to hear about this train being derailed! What happened to 'The Flintstones?'




My personal taste doesn't enter into it a lot when I make my decisions as to what to parody.




When I go to my live shows it's often a multigenerational audience, a family bonding experience.




Whenever I do a parody it's not meant to make you hate anybody's music really.




You don't need to be defined by your job.




I make charts of songs that are good candidates, good targets, so to speak. Then I try to come up with ideas for parodies. And 99% of those ideas are horrible.




Somebody will come up to me after a show and have me sign their arm, and the next time I see them my autograph has been permanently inscribed on their arm.




I don't think there are any new media I'd like to cover.




If something is good enough, it can be out there and people will see it.




I've done a movie and a TV series, and someday I'd like to do a successful movie and a successful TV series. That would be nice.




I write and write and write, and then I edit it down to the parts that I think are amusing, or that help the storyline, or I'll write a notebook full of ideas of anecdotes or story points, and then I'll try and arrange them in a way that they would tell a semi-cohesive story.




There are probably a few library fines I haven't paid yet, but I'm a pretty clean-cut guy overall.




I think that nerds, if you want to call them that, have only gotten more hip and assimilated into the culture.




Some people want to advertise their weirdness, and spread it out, that's not me.



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