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Weird Al White And Nerdy

Video Freak

Weird Al’s 10 Best Music Videos

Comedy Bang! Bang! gets "weird" this Friday at 11P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Weird Al/YouTube

When it comes to pop parody, there’s “Weird Al”, and then there’s everyone else. It’s been 37 years since a young Al recorded “My Bologna,” a riff on The Knack’s “My Sharona,” in the bathroom of his college’s radio station. Thanks to radio icon Doctor Demento, who promoted the song and the young artist, it became a hit, and opened the door for three plus decades of masterly mimicry. Now, with Al taking over the keyboard on IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang!, we thought it was time to rank his 10 best music videos.

10. “The Saga Begins”

“Weird Al” and Star Wars go together like Cheese Wiz and spam, so it makes sense that he’d pull out all the stops for his take on Star Wars: Episode I. Al, sporting an Anakin-esque rattail, retells the entire saga complete with an Unplugged-style Cantina performance.


9. “Jurassic Park”

Al has often experimented with animation for his videos (his 2011 album Alpocalypse featured videos from several different animators), and his parody of the Steven Spielberg dinosaur blockbuster was the perfect vehicle for Claymation antics.


8. “Word Crimes”

A stand out track on Al’s recent Mandatory Fun album, “Word Crimes” achieved viral success thanks to its visually distinctive video which demonstrated the many grammatical errors we encounter every day on the Internet.


7. “White and Nerdy”

Think about what it takes to master as many styles of music as the prince of parody has. Here’s a guy who started out playing the accordion, and yet here crafts some truly legit, tight rhymes about X-Men comics, fanny packs, riding Segways and Ren Fairs. The song — thanks in part to a clever video which featured cameos from Seth Green and Donny Osmond — became Al’s first Top 10 Billboard hit. (Look for Key and Peele as the guys in the car who can’t believe how white and nerdy Al is.)


6. “Amish Paradise”

Featuring The Brady Bunch‘s Florence Henderson in the Michelle Pfeiffer role, Al perfectly lampoons Coolio’s video and song from the Dangerous Minds soundtrack. There’s actually a bit of controversy surrounding this song. While Al always asks for permission before moving ahead with his parodies, there was some miscommunication between Al and Coolio’s record label. While Al thought he had permission, the rapper later claimed he never gave it. Years (and quite a few royalty checks) later the two made amends, and Coolio admitted he was stupid for ever having a problem with the song.


5.”Smells Like Nirvana”

Al had a bit of trouble getting permission to move ahead on this song, too. Apparently, Kurt Cobain proved hard to track down. When Al finally got him on the phone during Nirvana’s appearance on SNL, the grunge rocker had one question: Would the song be about food? When Al explained that it would actually be about how no one could understand what he’s singing, the rock star loved it, and gave permission on the spot. Weird Al would go on to use many of the same extras in his video that appeared in the original video.


4. “Dare to Be Stupid”

A pitch perfect parody of Devo’s music videos, lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh actually told VH1 that after hearing the song for the first time, “I was in shock. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. He sort of re-sculpted that song into something else and… I hate him for it, basically.” The song would go on to be the theme for the Junkions in 1986’s Transformers: The Movie.


3. “Fat”

No one was bigger in the 1980s than Michael Jackson. Well, okay, no one except for Weird Al in “Fat,” who must have clocked in at a solid five-hundo, thanks to all the “ham on, ham on, ham on whole wheat or rye.” This classic video actually won the Grammy Award for Best Concept Music Video in 1988, cementing Weird Al’s status as the king of parody.


2. “Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies”

Here’s a song with a fairly straightforward idea, combining the music from Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” and the lyrics from The Beverly Hillbillies theme song. It was the music video, which first appeared in the Weird Al feature film UHF, that stood out, using early computer graphics to precisely mimic the original video. In fact, the boys from Dire Straights were such fans of Weird Al’s spoof, band members Mark Knopfler and Guy Fletcher actually played on the song.


1. “Eat It”

In a catalog of classics, “Eat It” just might be Weird Al’s most famous hit. A shot for shot remake of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” the song riffed on all of the King of Pop’s bizarre quirks at the very peak of his fame. This is the video that took Al from a cult hit to a superstar in his own right.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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GIFs via Giphy

Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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