If you cruised through the last three decades without being in the sights of Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader and master song parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic, don’t consider yourself lucky. Nirvana crooner Kurt Cobain regarded Al’s “Smells Like Nirvana” as proof the band finally made it. But one rare exception is the late pop single factory Prince, who always declined permission for “Weird Al” to skewer one of his many hits. (Al won’t do a parody unless the artist gives him the go-ahead.) And following Prince’s sudden passing in April, Al told People Magazine he regrets never being able to bridge that satirical gap and shared some of the Prince parodies he’s had over the years.
I had a parody of ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ that was about The Beverly Hillbillies,” Yankovic said. “And I wanted to do something funny with ‘When Doves Cry,’ and ‘Kiss.’ For ‘1999,’ I wanted to do an infomercial where you could get anything you wanted by dialing 1-800-something-1999.”
Al expressed regret with never being able to pay tribute to Prince’s musical legacy. “It’s too bad,” he added. “I hadn’t approached him in about 20 years because he always said no, but I had this fantasy that he’d come out with a new song, I’d have a great idea, he’d finally say yes, and it would erase decades of weirdness between us. But that’s obviously not going to be the case.”