10 Essential Weird Al Yankovic Videos

Weird Al

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He’s weird, he’s Al, he’s Yankovic. The enduring icon of pop music parody, and the lovable goofball who makes polka medleys. There’s nobody who’s made a career out of novelty hits like “Weird” Al Yankovic, and thus there’s nobody who’s endured, evolved and improved in that craft so much that his original songs are often more entertaining than his spoofs. As he’s matured in the decades since his initial Dr. Demento hit “My Bologna” to riff on The Knack’s “My Sharona,” Yankovic has also gone into directing videos for other bands as well, which you might’ve guessed by the memorable inventiveness of the ones he puts forth for his own music. So let’s take a look at ten essential music videos from “Weird” Al Yankovic’s extensive catalog, stretching back over the last 30 years.

1. “Eat It”

This incredibly faithful shot-for-shot skewering of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” really put Al on the map, pointing out all of The King of Pop’s oddball foibles at the height of his fevered-pitch fame and worldwide adoration – back before anyone thought he even had them… even though he wore spangly jackets with epaulets. Either way, the attention to detail, the random nuttiness and riding a sped-up riff that was the most popular hit in the world delighted kids and adults alike. It was hilarious to watch this dorky white guy with glasses and a mustache mocking MJ’s every move and even his intensity.

2. “I Lost on Jeopardy”

This Greg Kihn Band parody is essential more as a time capsule than anything else, as few people remember that Jeopardy! existed before Alex Trebek. The original host was Art Fleming, and Don Pardo handled the announcing duties, and three months after the release of this song, Trebek showed up to take the reins, where he continues to this day. This video also features an appearance from Dr. Demento himself, the man responsible for exposing “Weird Al” to the world through his legendary novelty hit radio show.

3. “Dare to be Stupid”

The three staples of the Weird Al method of satire are A.) up-tempo parodies of popular hits of today, B.) polka medleys of popular hits of today and C.) original songs that aren’t direct riffs, but rather a great encapsulation of an artist’s particular style or genre. The title track to his 1985 album celebrated all things Devo… and all things stupid. Crazily imaginative and absolutely absurd, this video is a visual feast of strange old film footage and new-wave madness, and the song somehow ended up on the soundtrack to 1986’s “The Transformers: The Movie.” Go figure.

4. “Fat”

Returning to Michael Jackson – it was hard NOT to, considering his dominance of the popular music scene throughout the 1980s, and it was hard not to want to, considering that Jackson was a big fan of Al’s work – he donned a massive suit of pseudo-flesh to take MJ’s “Thriller” follow-up “Bad” into territory obese with comic potential. Legend has it that, when seeking out his compatriots for this video, he put an ad in the paper that just asked for “fat dancers,” and these guys all showed up – on the same actual set Jackson used for his video. Again, the shot-for-shot detail is impressive, and the crotch-grab is now in full-force, as are the inexplicable whiplash sound effects that MJ had taken to. The mouse-trap gag never gets old, either. He even pokes fun at the pompous extended edition of “Bad,” and there’s no line of dialog in popular culture anywhere as powerfully effective as “Yo, Ding Dong, man, Ding Dong. Ding Dong, yo.” 

5. “Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies”

To be honest, this particular clip – the “Beverly Hilbillies” theme computer-animated like the Dire Straits video – isn’t so much essential in its own right, but it’s included here because of the necessity of the hilarious movie it’s culled from. “UHF,” Al’s feature film that got drowned out at the box office by Tim Burton’s “Batman,” has become an absolute cult classic with its clever sketch comedy woven through a narrative that features the pre-Kramer Michael Richards going full-bore crazy with physical comedy. Much like the original version of “Jeopardy!,” folks today likely don’t even remember what UHF even means. It’s a reminder of the pre-internet days of television’s wild frontier – if you found a station on the UHF band, chances are it was something weirder than Al.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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