Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic Artistfacts

  • October 23, 1959
  • Al has a degree in architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
  • As a kid, he listened to the Dr. Demento show, which was a syndicated broadcast specializing in funny and offbeat songs. Al sent a tape of to Demento and was thrilled to get a reply telling him he had potential. When Yankovic came up with his "My Sharona" parody "My Bologna," he had the Dr. Demento show in mind, and it became a huge hit on the show, going to #1 on its countdown for two weeks.
  • Al's albums consist of parodies and original songs, but typically it's only the parodies that get radio play.

    The B-sides of the singles are often originals, partly for financial reasons: Yankovic has to share composer credit with the songwriters of any tune he parodies.
  • Al keeps his music family friendly. Many song parodies of a sexual nature have been mistakenly credited to Weird Al.
  • Several times in the mid-'80s, Al got to be an MTV VJ in a segment called "Al-TV." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Andy - Arlington, VA, for above 5
  • Contrary to popular belief, Al is not related to Frankie Yankovic, "America's Polka King." However, both Yankovics became famous for playing the accordion. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Benjamin - Kent, WA
  • He is not legally required to ask permission to do a song parody, but he does anyway. Getting approval became a lot easier after Michael Jackson signed off on "Eat It," but some artists - like Prince - still turned him down.
  • Weird Al Yankovic is one of only three artists who have achieved a Top 40 hit every decade since the 1980s on the Hot 100 (the other two are Michael Jackson and Madonna). His Top 40 songs are:

    1984 "Eat It" #12.
    1992 "Smells Like Nirvana" #35.
    2006 "White And Nerdy" #9.
    2014 "Word Crimes" #39.
  • To find out how Al rates as an accordion player, we asked Tom Torriglia, who started performing with the instrument at age 14 and has released several albums. Says Torriglia: "I would rate Al as a great accordion player and I think his abilities are often overlooked because of the nature of the material he plays. I've had the pleasure of being in a band that performed a couple of songs on stage with Al one time and also opened for him. So, I have first-hand knowledge that he has chops.
  • In the 1980s, Al was approached by a beer company and offered $5 million to endorse their product. The satirist turned it down because he believed that "a lot of my fans were young and impressionable."

Comments: 5

  • Yogi D My friends and I saw both shows of Wierd Al at the Clark County Fair grounds back in 1994, that was one helleva fun show. I also saw Johnny Cash 10 years earlier as well. You know Wierd Al does it right when you still bust up laughing even after hearing his songs for the millionth time.
  • Liesa from Roy, UtWeird Al is my hero! I always listen to his music when I need a good laugh :D. I agree that he is very underrated.
  • Orion from Orlando, FlI just recently went to his concert in cypress gardens and it was phenominal and high energy. his lyrics were awesome and he played new stuff and classics. it had to be one of those experiences that you want to do repeatedly
    this guy is seriousley underrated. he needs more attention and a god-like status
  • Natas Sacrisity from Spokane, WaHis music allways makes me giggle. He is such a cutie in white and nerdy. Itll only be a little while untill people start to realize hes actually pretty good.
  • Matt from Milton, PaI think that this dude is hilarious. I love a lot of his songs like White and Nerdy and Amish Paradise.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Alan Merrill of The Arrows

Alan Merrill of The ArrowsSongwriter Interviews

In her days with The Runaways, Joan Jett saw The Arrows perform "I Love Rock And Roll," which Alan Merrill co-wrote - that story and much more from this glam rock pioneer.

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.

Christmas Songs

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.

Jim McCarty of The Yardbirds

Jim McCarty of The YardbirdsSongwriter Interviews

The Yardbirds drummer explains how they created their sound and talks about working with their famous guitarists.

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.