Weird Al Howard Stern

Stern Talk

5 Things We Learned About “Weird Al” Yankovic From His Howard Stern Appearance

"Weird Al" comes to Comedy Bang! Bang! starting June 3rd at 11P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: The Howard Stern Show

“Weird Al” has been making the interview rounds in anticipation of his new gig as the bandleader and cohost of Comedy Bang! Bang!, as well as his “Mandatory World Tour,” which launches this June. His latest stop was with shock jock extraordinaire Howard Stern, who got Al to open up about his unlikely career. Here are just a few highlights, which you can listen to below.

5. He Recorded “My Bologna” in a Bathroom.

Al was just a college kid with a dream when he laid down the tracks for “My Bologna,” his parody of The Knack’s “My Sharona.” Lacking a proper recording studio, he sought out a room with the best acoustics, which just so happened to be the bathroom across from the college’s radio station where he worked. He recorded it between flushes, got it on the radio and Capital Records ended up releasing the bathroom recording as a single which launched his career.


4. Kurt Cobain Asked If Al’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Parody Would Be About Food.

“Weird Al” always asks the musicians he plans to parody for permission, but Kurt Cobain proved a hard one to track down. Thankfully, Al had worked with then SNL cast member Victoria Jackson in his cult film UHF, and used Nirvana’s musical guest gig on the late night show as a chance to reach out. When he got Kurt on the phone, the moody musician couldn’t have been nicer. He just wanted to know if the parody would be about food. When Al explained he wanted to make fun of how no one could understand the lyrics to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Cobain loved it. In fact, he later said he thought the song was genius, and it was the first time he knew he’d made it.


3. Lady Gaga’s Manager Ran Al Through the Ringer.

Al also tried to get permission from Lady Gaga to parody her hit “Born This Way,” but could only get as far as her manager. While Al usually just explains the premise of the song, this guy wanted to see all the lyrics. When Al complied, he said he needed to hear the song. Al then went and recorded his take, “Perform This Way,” only to get a rejection from the manager, thereby wasting everyone’s time. While he normally wouldn’t go against anyone’s wishes, because he was run through he ringer, Al decided to release the song online, with a caveat that he never got permission. It proved to be an instant hit, and when Lady Gaga heard it, she loved it. In fact, no one had ever told her that he’d reached out.


2. It takes time for him to get into the “Fat” suit.

Al is embarking on his 2016 Mandatory Fun Tour, a multimedia extravanganza that features “three more costume changes than Lady Gaga.” Al says it takes him “a minute or two” to get into the iconic oufit from the “Fat” music video, which he changes into while funny videos show on a screen.


1. Prince Sent Al a Telegram Requesting No Eye Contact.

Years ago, Al was supposed to be seated near Prince at the American Music Awards. Shortly before the ceremony he received a telegram of all things letting him know that he was not to look the Purple One directly in the eyes, under any circumstance. He’s since spoken to other musicians, like the boys in Night Ranger, who received the same telegram, so at least it was nothing personal.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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