'Weird Al' Yankovic
Oct. 23rd, 1959
Lynwood, California, USA
'Weird Al' Yankovic's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2009 - Halloween II
2008 - Nerdcore Rising
1996 - Spy Hard
1994 - Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
1989 - UHF
1988 - Tapeheads
Guest TV Roles
The Squid Hat (Voiced)
Al Yankovic was born on October 23, 1959, in the Los Angeles suburb of Lynwood. He first took up the accordion when a salesman came around to solicit business for a music school. His parents, Nick and Mary Yankovic, decided on the accordion because of polka king Frankie Yankovic (no relation). As a child and young teen, Al watched a lot of TV, which gave him much inspiration for his later work. He also became a fan of such musician/comedians as Allan Sherman and Spike Jones (I). He became especially acquainted with these musicians through the radio show of Barry Hansen (II), aka "Dr. Demento", which would later become a great source of publicity for his talents. After an extraordinary career at Lynwood High School, where Al graduated as valedictorian, he attended the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo to study architecture, a field he is said to have chosen because it was listed first in the catalog (although he has said that he really chose it on the advice of a guidance counselor). It was at Cal Poly that Al had a radio show and earned the nickname "Weird Al". Although he had sent tapes to Dr. Demento in the past, it was at Cal Poly where he recorded his first real published piece, a parody of the popular "My Sharona" by The Knack, called "My Bologna". After the astounding success of that song, forever to be known as the "bathroom recording" as it was recorded in the acoustically perfect mens' room, Al began his phenomenal career, which has spanned twelve albums, numerous compilations, a box set, movies, videos and edible underwear. He has also done a great deal to advance the cause of accordion-wielding weirdos, for which we can all be thankful.
- Has released his own version of "Peter and the Wolf"; this is a collaboration with electronic-music-pioneer 'Wendy Carlos' (qv).
- Is a longtime and devoted friend of the late 'George Harrison (I)' (qv), whom he respected as a singer and songwriter. Yankovic wrote a parody of "Got My Mind Set On You," called "This Song's Just Six Words Long." Harrison even accepted his permission, therefore, it was released as a song off his "Even Worse," album.
- Graduated valedictorian from Lynwood High School...at the tender age of 16! Moreover, Yankovic was one of the most popular kids in his class. He also claims to have started a club called "The Volcano Worshippers," so he could get his picture onto even more pages in the school yearbook.
- During the height of his "Eat It" fame, he spoofed 'Michael Jackson (I)' (qv)'s Pepsi sponsorship by appearing briefly in a Diet Coke commercial. The spot showed a figure from the back, in a "Thriller"-style jacket, who then turned to reveal it was Al.
- Has directed music videos by other artists, notably "Only A Fool" by 'The Black Crowes' (qv), and "The River" by the boy-band 'Hanson (I)' (qv) (which was itself a parody of _Titanic (1997)_ (qv).
- Along with the Hawaiian shirt and canvas shoes, his trademark look used to be glasses and a mustache. In 1997 he shaved off his mustache and underwent LASIK surgery to correct his nearsightedness, but his publicists insisted that he wear costume glasses and a fake mustache. In 1999 he decided that the costume was too annoying, and revealed his "new" look (reasoning that "if 'Madonna' (qv) can change her look every time she puts out a new album, I can certainly change my look every ten years or so"). He still wears the costume glasses and mustache during some of his performances when he wants to recreate the "classic" Weird Al look.
- His album covers are frequently parodies as well: 'Michael Jackson (I)' (qv)'s "Bad" album was spoofed as "Even Worse" (Yankovic even hired the same photo, artwork, and wardrobe team to replicate the cover precisely); 'Nirvana' (qv)'s "Nevermind" became "Off The Deep End" (with Al replicating the naked baby in the pool photo himself); and the _Jurassic Park (1993)_ (qv) soundtrack was turned into "Alapalooza".
- Along with his trademark song parodies, most of his albums include a track in which Al and his band perform polka-style (but lyrically faithful) renditions of popular hits (he is an accordionist, after all). Most of these have been eclectic medleys of recent hits, although the "Hot Rocks Polka" (from the _UHF (1989)_ (qv) soundtrack) was a collection of 'The Rolling Stones' (qv) hits, and the "Alapalooza" album featured a complete polka version of 'Queen (I)' (qv)'s classic "Bohemian Rhapsody", called "Bohemian Polka".
Related sites for this celeb