The Funniest Weird Al Yankovic Parodies

The Funniest Weird Al Yankovic Parodies

weird al yankovic
Weird Al Yankovic, 1984 (Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images)

"Weird Al" Yankovic first hit the charts in Australia with “Eat It” in 1984, he was 24 years old and had been performing and recording in California for several years. He began his career almost by accident, as early as 1976, when at 16 he sent a home-recorded tape to legendary DJ Dr. Demento – best known internationally for his compilations of novelty tunes on Rhino Records in the 80s. Dr. Demento originally played 50s rock’n’roll and doo-wop on his long-running show; he was also a champion of our own Daddy Cool when they tried to break into the US in the early 70s. Dr. Demento played Al’s original tune on-air and Al started playing out at local coffee shops and open mic nights.

Al became a disc jockey at KCPR, the radio station at Cal Poly, the university which he was attending. In 1979, thanks to fellow student Randy Kerdoon who was doing TV production and needed to make a video for a class project, Al’s first film clip was completed. His piano accordion-driven parody of The Knack’s then smash hit “My Sharona” was another smash with Dr. Demento’s audience.

The following year, Al was invited by Dr. Demento to come onto his radio show and perform a new parody - of Queen's hit, "Another One Bites the Dust". The recording became so popular on air that Al was invited to perform the song on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder in early 1981. (Al was in good company – Tom Snyder regularly featured New Wave acts like the Jam and Joan Jett who weren’t getting TV exposure elsewhere in the States, and U2 made their first US TV appearance on the same show. Snyder’s 1979 interview with Kiss is one of the funniest things you’ll ever see thanks to an out of it Ace Frehley.)

Al eventually hit the road - he even opened for Missing Persons at one point - and after a couple of one-shot singles he was signed by Scotti Brothers (home to Leif Garrett and Survivor amongst others!). His first album produced a minor US hit in “Ricky”, a parody of Toni Basil’s “Micky” that played on the character of Ricky Ricardo in Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz’s legendary 50s sitcom I Love Lucy. But it wasn’t until he released his second album "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D, in 1984, that Al went global. His parody of Michael Jackson’s “Eat It” – with its hilarious video adding so much – could not be denied.

“Eat It” made Weird Al a household name in Australia. And while he has not racked up the hits in Australia like he has at home in the States, that just means there’s a whole heap of genius parodies and accompanying videos for you to experience for perhaps the first time. Here are some of our favourites.

Like a Sturgeon 

Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies 

Smells Like Nirvana  

Bedrock Anthem 

Headline News 

Amish Paradise  




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