In a career that spans several decades, veteran song parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic keeps redefining himself. With an upcoming tour kicking off in June, Al has no plans to stop bringing hilarious music to the masses. But having recently joined the Comedy Bang! Bang! team as the full-time bandleader while also branching out as an independent artist after 34 years on a record label, Al’s entering a new stage as a pop culture mainstay.
Sitting down for an interview with Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene, Yankovic talked CB!B! and discussed what’s in store for his already prolific career. Here are five things we learned from Al’s chat.
1. He jumped at the chance to be the new Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader.
When host Scott Aukerman tapped “Weird Al” to be the show’s third bandleader, he replied, “I’m gonna have to run this by some other people that are personally vested in my career, but I’ll tell you right now this is something that I want to do.” And he’s in it for the long haul: “I’ll do this show until I’m dead. And even after that, you can Weekend at Bernie‘s me a few seasons after that.”
2. He’s finally free of a record contract and wants to keep it that way.
Signing with the Scotti Brothers record label in 1982, Yankovic finally fulfilled his contract with RCA last year with the smash hit album Mandatory Fun. And from here on in, he’s fine with being an independent artist and releasing songs and albums on his schedule. Al cites the T.I. parody “Whatever You Like,” which he released online to great acclaim from fans, as an example of the new creative freedom he’s enjoying. “I don’t even have to wait until [a physical album] is manufactured. I can just put it up online.”
3. He probably won’t do another Star Wars parody.
When asked if he planned to release a new Star Wars song for the new movies, Al said he considered it, but ultimately decided he’d spent enough time in a galaxy far, far away. “I’ve already got two Star Wars songs in my set, both of which I pretty much have to play because of fan demand,” Al said. “If I had a third Star Wars song, it just sort of becomes the Star Wars show. So for that reason alone, I kind of feel like I probably should just keep it at two.”
4. He would love to write and direct another movie.
Though it wasn’t a huge box office hit, 1989’s UHF developed into a cult favorite over time. Fans have been hoping that Al would return to the big screen, and it turns out he feels the same. “I would love to do another movie,” Al said. “If somebody made me an offer and creatively it felt like a good fit, I would love to do it.”
5. CB!B! is his first “day job” in 20 years.
Al says he is jazzed for the new season of Comedy Bang! Bang! and adds, “Working on a TV series is hard. It’s getting up at the crack of dawn every morning, which is certainly going against my personal body clock, and working long days. But every day is a thrill for me. I get to work with the funniest people in the world. We do written sketches, we do improv. I am really having a blast.”