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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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