Sometimes, when I’m fresh out of ways to keep her entertained, I’ll let the Cutlet watch videos on my phone. Usually she requests to watch Disney Princess videos, but there are times when I can’t stomach the thought of listening to any more songs about finding one’s true love.
A month or so ago, instead of listening to Ariel whine for the millionth time, I tried to think of a video that might make her laugh. Thankfully, I finally remembered the man who has probably made more funny videos than anyone in history.
I showed her this:
Her first reaction was, “Doesn’t a girl sing this song?” Her second reaction was hysterical laughter at the line “I’ll fix your plumbing when your toilet overflows.” She now sings this to her friends, and they all laugh too. Apparently, children find the concept of overflowing toilets to be hilarious.
Since then, “Weird Al” Yankovic has become one of her favorite singers, and she’s requested to watch more of his videos. I am usually happy to indulge her since he has always been one of my favorite artists. (And it certainly beats more Princess videos!)
I’m sure you are all familiar with Weird Al’s work. While he was written many original songs – that usually feature lots of accordion – he is most famous for his parodies of other famous songs.
Supposedly, artists LOVE it when Weird Al parodies one of their songs. Not only does the parody usually bring a new surge of popularity for the original, but is also somewhat of a status symbol. Apparently, you’re nobody in the music business until Weird Al has parodied one of your songs.
Reportedly, the only artist who opposed to Weird Al parodying one of his songs was Coolio, who felt that “Gangsta’s Paradise” was too important to be mocked. I’m willing to bet that Coolio would give just about anything to be parodied these days.
Weird Al often makes videos to accompany his parodies, and these tend to fall into two categories:
- They mock the original video and basically re-create it with some key differences.
- They don’t resemble the original video at all, and reflect the lyrics of whatever Weird Al’s parody happens to be about. (In many cases, the parody has nothing to do with the original song’s subject matter.)
In some cases, Weird Al has been able to do both, and the result is nothing short of brilliant. Here’s a good example:
Last year, when his “Mandatory Fun” album reached #1 on the Billboard charts, critics remarked how it was amazing that Weird Al was still relevant. It’s not like he’s the only one making parodies anymore. Go on YouTube, and it seems like you can find hundreds of parody videos for any given pop song.
But it seems that people still appreciate quality, and Weird Al’s parodies are simply better than anyone else’s. Here’s an indication of just how beloved this man is:
The good news for all of us Weird Al fans is that he probably won’t be going away any time soon. It seems like every week there’s a new pop song that is just begging to be parodied. And when you want an amazing parody, there’s only one man to turn to.
This post has been part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. In case you couldn’t tell, today’s letter was Y and the topic was “Weird Al Yankovic.”