Arts & Entertainment » Culture

Why Weird Al?

Considering the pop satirist's enduring popularity


White, nerdy, and curiously popular

Our vast and mysterious universe poses questions faster than it answers them. How were they able to build the pyramids? What happened to the dinosaurs? Where the f@#kare my keys? But the one riddle vexing me lately is who among us has purchased a Weird Al Yankovic record?

The undisputed King of the Parody Song has gone gold three times and platinum six. His latest release, Straight Outta Lynwood, debuted at No. 10 on the charts, bolstered by the success of the single "White & Nerdy" (a reworking of the Chamillionaire hit "Ridin'"). He's got three Grammys, and because his first record came out in 1983, he's eligible for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction two years from now. I'm not saying Weird Al doesn't deserve his success, and he certainly seems like a very nice man. But have you ever bought a Weird Al CD? I never have, and if anyone I know has, they're not exactly bragging about it. Kurt Cobain reportedly called Weird Al a "rock genius" in his journals, but he hasn't ponied up for any music in quite some time.

So here's a way to... well, it's basically snooping, but let's call it an anthropological study. The next time you're at someone's house, fight your natural urge to paw through their medicine cabinet and instead keep an eye out for any audio or video recordings of one Alfred Matthew Yankovic. (They'll probably be squirreled away with the especially deviant porn and back issues of Martha Stewart Living.) And since you obviously have no qualms about betraying the trust of your poor host, go for broke and root around the kitchen cupboards a little bit. I'm also curious as to who might be consuming the gelatinous enigma that is SPAM.