On this episode, Frank re-visits his conversation with "Weird Al" Yankovic. The interview took place in 2018, shortly before Yankovic was set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During this podcast, Al discusses his childhood, his career, and his biggest hits. He explains his approach to writing and performing parodies, reveals the reason why he continued a concert tour despite the sudden death of his parents, and his appreciation for his multi-generation fanbase.
Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with “Weird Al” Yankovic to explore geek culture and the scientific inspirations behind his hits. With comic co-host Maysoon Zayid, astrophysicists Prof. Charles Liu, PhD and Prof. Emily Rice, PhD, and rapper Ellect.NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: https://www.startalkradio.net/show/parody-and-geek-culture-with-weird-al-yankovic/Photo Credit: Brandon RoyalSee omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
For years, Weird Al Yankovic was dismissed as a novelty musician—here today, gone tomorrow—but it’s been 40 years, and his weird and wonderful career shows no signs of slowing down. “People often think that if something is funny, it has lesser value and doesn’t deserve respect. Obviously, not me. I embrace it, and I encourage the people I work with to let their freak flag fly.”Al developed his “freak flag” pretty early on. “I was always a little outside the norm. Even in elementary school when everyone was playing together at recess, I would act out some TV show in my mind. I must have looked like a crazy kid, off by myself doing all these characters. It didn’t make me very popular.” An only child, Al did not make friends easily and had a hard time finding his crowd—a situation which was exacerbated by being two years younger than his classmates. But he was so smart and, well, nerdy, he skipped a few grades.Al found solace by listening to the radio, particularly Southern California DJ Dr. Demento, who brought unique, funny novelty music to the masses every Sunday night. Al already had a unique talent—he played the accordion. So, he tried his hand at making his own musical parodies, and one of them, a parody of The Knack’s “My Sharona” called “My Bologna,” made it onto Dr. Demento’s radio show and quickly became the number one song on the program.With wind in his sails, Al moved to Los Angeles to see if he could make it as a comedic musician, and the rest is history. After 40 years of success, he’s outlasted many of the artists that he’s parodied over the years, and as each new generation of twelve-year-olds rediscover Weird Al, his legend grows. “I’m kind of a novelty dinosaur at this point, but maybe society can only handle one Weird Al at a time.”Al joins Off Camera to talk about why MTV was such a catalyst for his career, how he once gave Madonna a business lesson, why parents of only children should not be given binoculars, and just how white and nerdy he really is.
Scott Aukerman celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Comedy Bang! Bang! by implementing a true open door policy and welcomes fan favorite guests of the show over the last 10 years!Part Two Featuring:Thomas MiddleditchAdam ScottChelsea PerettiNick KrollDrew Tarver"Weird Al" YankovicPaul Rust Neil CampbellBobby MoynihanMary HollandHoratio SanzBen SchwartzJon DalyShaun DistonMike HanfordWill HinesBrendon SmallJessica St. ClairLennon ParhamJames AdomianListen to the full 10 hours as one episode on the Stitcher app!See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.