Weird: The Weird Al Yankovik Story
After getting internet at the house after a mere 30 year wait, I can now stream some movies. Free ones, anyway. Roku, the most famous free movies and tv streaming service with co-producers Funny or Die released an original film recently, so I thought I’d give it a review even though it occurred to me about halfway through that not everyone will be able to see it. That’s only one of the problems with streaming, but there’s not much to be done about it. I suppose there are just as many people who have no dvd player anymore. Of course seeing yet another media format come and go doesn’t make me feel old.
Weird Al Yankovic crafted hugely successful parody songs back in the day. So successful they played on regular radio, which of course was the only kind of radio available back then. Since I don’t pay much attention to music, I don’t know if he encountered issues with copyright or unhappiness from artists like Madonna or Michael Jackson who were often parodied by Weird Al. Of course a movie “about him” will also be a huge parody. A mega meta parody of the highest order.
Beginning at the beginning, Al secretly listens to Dr. Demento on the radio until being discovered by his disapproving parents. They want him to get over his passions for music and weirdness and work in The Factory like his disturbingly violent dad. After finally escaping to life on his own, with roommates, he stumbles into parody songs. He becomes famous five minutes after dropping a demo tape in a mailbox and the next day is at Dr. Demento’s house party with a bunch of other famous people.
That all sounds very straightforward and nearly normal. But there is nothing actually straightforward and nowhere near normal in the movie. The abovementioned house party has a lot of, then, very famous people attending. There is Devo, and there is Elton John talking to John Denver, Pee Wee Herman is paling around with Tiny Tim and Andy Warhol snarks alongside Salvadore Dali (played by Emo, ha!). In the background is Elvira (I think played by a guy), Cher, Alice Cooper, Cheech, Gallagher, Grace Jones, Devine, and a few I somehow didn’t recognize. Wolfman Jack (played beautifully by Jack Black) challenges Weird Al to make up a song on the spot so he does, sung by Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al. Other famous people “making appearances” are Oprah, Madonna, and Pablo Escobar, and Patton Oswald in a for real cameo.
My very favorite part of the film is when Weird Al inadvertently drops acid and goes on a “trip” to Mordor, while wearing five “very heavy” Grammy rings around his neck. This is some meta mega parody. Daniel Radcliffe played Harry Potter for over a decade, but he is VERY often mistaken for Elijah Wood, who played Frodo. Everyone knows Frodo wore the heavy ring around his neck on the journey to Mordor. I laughed and laughed. Sure, I’m easy, but I still think that was hilarious.
For my part, I mostly enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Unfortunately the crazier it got, the more I watched just to see how it ended. This is a mostly very funny “true story” about a man famous for reimagining famous songs, so of course his life is given the same treatment. If you can, check it out and marvel at how much Radcliffe looks like Weird Al and how well he does rock music while playing Weird Al’s actual accordion. The acting is suitably stilted, because it’s not really real, with a few truly inspired jokes and relentless craziness.
- Weird Al – Official Website (with Movie Link)
- Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic Story – IMDB
- Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic Story – Wikipedia
CFR: In Addition:
Oh Mildred! Oh happy day! Oh sing for the joy of it all! MILDRED FINALLY HAS INTERNET!! She really needed it. Look at the cool things you can watch!!
I really want to see this movie and I think I will enjoy it. I don’t use Roku to stream I use TiVo Stream 4K (which is considered the superior streamer, BTW.) I shall have to see how I can watch this movie.
It’s free online – with commercials – on Weird Al’s site! Here it is: Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic Story.
And I’ve been a fan of Weird Al for years. I mean I loved Dr. Demento so of course I loved Weird Al. Especially since he made the below video about Yoda. Yes, I have belly danced to this song several times. 😉 It is freaking brilliant and so is Al.
Stay weird, Al. I’m right there with you. 🙂