Weird Al Yankovic has reigned for more than 20 years as the unchallenged king of the pop music parody. This list pulls together his 10 best moments.
Weird Al's pop breakthrough, parodying Michael Jackson's "Beat It," is still an amazing feat. The video is filled with brilliant sight gags from the smiley face jacket to an exploding guitar player. Weird Al's deliberately lame dance moves reinforce how amazing Michael Jackson's dancing was at his peak.
The latest from Weird Al Yankovic is THAT good. It also may soon become his first top 10 pop hit single after over 20 years as the most loved and reviled music parodist in the business. The video amounts to a nerd encyclopedia with references to Star Trek, Wikipedia, Dungeons & Dragons, and much, much more. Chamillionaire, the target of this parody (it's a takeoff on his huge hit "Ridin'"), admits to being a fan.
It did not take long for Weird Al to take on Madonna. Reportedly, Madonna herself suggested the parody. The medical industry is a target of Weird Al's sharp wit as well. A favorite moment in the video is the unexplained lion wandering through the hospital echoing the lion in Madonna's "Like a Virgin" video.
This was one of Weird Al Yankovic's most controversial releases due to the fact that it was unclear whether Coolio, creator of the parody target "Gangsta's Paradise," had given permission for the song. Despite the controversy, the video, featuring Florence Henderson (taking Michelle Pfeiffer's role from the "Gangsta's Paradise" video) and a host of goofy Amish takeoffs, is very very funny. Don't miss the Gilligan's Island homage in the lyrics.
It's a mash-up of "American Pie" and the plot of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in inimitable Weird Al Yankovic style. This one became a favorite on Radio Disney.
Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler was pleased enough with this parody of "Money for Nothing" that he re-recorded a guitar part for it. Who would have thought Jed Clampett could be blended so humorously with Dire Straits?
This is where it all started. The young Weird Al Yankovic became a favorite on Dr. Demento's radio show with this classic takeoff on the Knack's "My Sharona." It all boils down to Weird Al, an accordion, and a hat.
Mumbling lead vocalists take a hit here. Nirvana reportedly considered Weird Al's parody of their classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as a sign they had "made it." The video throws in a raft of sight gags from the chicken dance to Dick Van Patten in the audience, and cows and sheep.
9. Fat (1988)
This was Weird Al's second successful Michael Jackson parody, and the second one relating to food. The target this time was "Bad," and the video featured Weird Al expanding to a tremendously rotund figure. A favorite moment in this video is when Weird Al holds up a speech bubble exclaiming "Woo!" instead of singing it once again.