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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Very NSFW

The Brockmire Premiere Is All Truth

Watch The First Episode of Brockmire Right Now for Free

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GIFS via Giphy

At long last, the Brockmire pre-premiere has arrived. Which means you can watch it right now—on IFC.com, at Funny Or Die, on IFC’s Apple TV and mobile apps, on Youtube, on Facebook, on the AMC apps, and right here. So grab some headphones and get watching.

No seriously, get headphones.

Because whether he’s giving a play-by-play or ruminating on the world around him, Jim Brockmire calls it like he sees it. And how he sees it is very NSFW. His take on life is actually quite refreshing, even to the point of being profoundly sage. For proof just look at these pearls of unconventional wisdom from the premiere…

Brockmire On The Internet

“If I need porn I just buy a nudie mag, like my father and his father before him.”

Brockmire On Sex-Ed

“Kids, a strap-on is a belt with d— on it that mommies use to f— daddies.”
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Brockmire On The Perfect High

“Somewhere between 10 cups of coffee and very low-grade cocaine.”
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Brockmire On The Tardiness of Spring

“Old man winter’s reaching his hand inside your coat to give that thing one more squeeze.”

Brockmire On Keeping Perspective

“I thought I hit rock bottom in a handicap restroom in Bangkok where a Thai lady-boy snorted crank off my johnson while a sunburnt German watched us on the toilet”
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Brockmire On Humanity

“If you want to look directly into the gaping maw of oblivion, don’t look up to the heavens. Just look in the mirror.”
Jules-never-seen

See these nuggets and more in the first episode of Brockmire, and see the whole season beginning April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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