Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Weird Al Parodies

As a recording artist, there are a few ways to know you've really made it. Go platinum. Win a Grammy. Or, most of all, have Weird Al Yankovic parody one of your tracks. Since his debut on the Dr. Demento radio show in the 1970's with "Another One Rides The Bus," Weird Al has charmed us with his lyrical superiority and his accordion virtuosity. Here are perhaps his finest works.

5. "White and Nerdy"
Weird Al's most recent album actually yielded his highest Billboard hit, the parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin.'" With lyrics like "
MC Escher that's my favorite MC" and " I memorized Holy Grail really well I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL," it's no wonder why. And say what you will, this white boy can spit lyrics, yo!

4. "Yoda"
To the tune of The Kinks' classic rock hit "Lola," Mr. Yankovic familiarizes us with everyone's favorite, as Emperor Palpatine would say, "little green friend." These lyrics clearly had the foresight to predict the entire saga, as the song prophetically states, " The long-term contract I had to sign Says I'll be making these movies till the end of time Oh with my Yoda Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda"

For me, it was a toss-up as to which of the Weird One's Michael Jackson parodies would make the list, "Eat It" or "Fat." Now, both smartly use food as the basis of comedy. But for me, "Fat" takes the cake if for no other reason than the video is pure genius. The ballooning, bafooning Yankovic gives a hilarious performance. Also, it's hard to top the line, "Your butt is wide, well mine is too. Just watch your mouth or I'll sit on you."

2. "Smells Like Nirvana"
Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" defined a generation and has been named in countless polls by countless media sources as the best song of the 1990's. Nevermind (like the pun? that was the name of the Nirvana album...oh forget it...) the fact that the song made so little sense and that you could barely understand the lyrics. Hence Weird Al's priceless parody. "We're so loud and incoherent. Boy this oughtta bug your parents!" So true. So true. Props also to the lyrics, "It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss with all these marbles in my mouth."

"Amish Paradise"
Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" has nothing on this spoof. Or more aptly, Coolio's got nothing good to say about it, as he claims he never approved Weird Al's killer parody. Any way you cut it, it's classic comedy at the expense of the Amish. Why does this win #1 on this list? Besides its inherent Amishy goodness, rumor has it that shortly after this song was released, a man took over a small-town radio station in Pennsylvania and played the song on repeat until authorities finally got him to surrender. Wow. Clearly, that man had churned butter once or twice while living in his Amish paradise. Fool!

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