I enjoy Weird Al’s music, because you never know what he will write next. His songs are always funny and surprising. Because of his creativity and ability to make people laugh, he is truly one of my idols.
One of my favorite things about Weird Al’s music is that I can sing his lyrics instead whenever the original song comes on and make the people around me laugh.
In case you didn’t know, Weird Al was born Alfred Matthew Yankovic on October 23rd, 1959 in Downey, CA. That makes him 56 years old, but he sure doesn’t act like it. He has been playing the accordion since he was seven, and he got his famous nickname while doing a radio show in college. That is also where he began writing and recording parodies of songs by The Knack and Queen, which led to his current career.
He has had many popular songs over the years. In fact, he is one of only three artists to have had a Top 40 single in each of the last four decades, the other two being Madonna and Michael Jackson!
I was very excited to get to interview Weird Al for this article, and I hope you enjoy my questions and his answers. He was so nice and incredibly funny and after talking to him, he is definitely even more of my hero now.
Weird Al: Hello?
Hey, how are ya?
I’m doing well, thank you.
Good! You got some questions for me?
OK, so the first question is: do you enjoy your job?
I do! I really love what I do for a living. I never thought that I’d have a career in show business. But I’ve always loved comedy, and I’ve always loved music. And uh, I’m very happy that I get to do exactly what I love to do for a living, not everybody can say they do exactly what they love for a job, so I feel very fortunate.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with what you’re saying.
Question two is: what is your favorite thing about being Weird Al?
Well, pretty much what I just said, I mean just the fact that I get to do comedy and music for a living, but also I love the fact that I get to go out and do live shows and meet fans and I get to entertain people and make them happy and make them laugh and that’s a nice way to go through life.
Yeah! Okay, number three. Who is the coolest person you’ve gotten to meet during your career?
Oh gosh, well that’s really tough to say, I think I was the most star-struck meeting Paul McCartney; that was a really big deal for me because I was such a huge Beatles fan growing up, and it was hard for me not to, uh, you know, (laughs) it was hard for me to remember how to talk when I was around him. So, that was probably the coolest person I’ve ever met.
Yeah. Alright, number four: Do you like recording or singing live better?
I like them both, they’re very different. If I had to choose, probably singing live, just because when you’re in the recording studio you’re not getting the feedback from an audience, and, you know, you’re not getting the energy back, you can’t tell if it’s good or bad, and uh, when you’re on stage and people are really getting into it, you feel the adrenaline, and, you know, real energy jolts, so, I prefer the live performing.
Ok, so, number five: Who is your favorite person to do guest music or vocals for?
What I have done? Let me think. Hmmmm. Well, Ben Folds is an old friend of mine, and he had me come in and do some background vocals on one of his albums several years ago, and uh, maybe him, I mean, he’s uh, I’ve always been a big fan of his work, and he’s a close friend, so that was a lot of fun to do.
I just feel like you should know this, my mom and I were practicing over the questions, and she actually answered with Ben Folds to this exact question!
I think that’s really funny.
Also, what did you like about working with him?
Well, you know, Ben’s a great musician, and he’s got a really great sense of humor, so we just get along really well, you know, we’re good friends, and that makes it even more fun to get to work with him.
Okay. Well, the next question is: what’s the hardest thing about writing parody songs?
Well, there’s a lot of challenges, because I’ve been doing it for so long a big challenge for me is not repeating myself. I don’t want to make the same kind of jokes that I’ve done in the past, or go over the same kind of material, so, it’s difficult after 30 years to come up with new and different ways to be funny. And also, nowadays there are so many people on YouTube doing music parodies, when I first started out I had the field pretty much to myself, and nowadays I’m competing with a million people online all trying to do funny music. So, it makes it a little more difficult for me to stand out from the pack. I have to make sure that my joke aren’t so obvious that a lot of people have already thought of those jokes already.
Wow, I didn’t know that.
So, what was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
Oh boy, um, when I was a young kid I played a bunch if miniature golf, I watched a lot of TV, um, I don’t know. I was an only child, I kind of lived in my own fantasy world a bit. I played the accordion, I started taking lessons when I was seven years old, so that was part of my childhood as well. I was kind of a nerdy kid, so I didn’t do a lot of sports other than maybe ping pong or something like that. I good at school, I was good at all the academic stuff, I was on the speech team when I was in high school. You know, stuff like that, just the stuff a nerdy kid would have been into at the time.
That sounds almost exactly like how I am, but instead of doing accordion, I enjoy playing guitar and singing, and I don’t play miniature golf .(Weird Al laughs). That’s like, a lot like me.
Alright, the next question is: what do you wanna be if you ever grow up?
Hmmm (laughs) good question! Well, you know, I have a degree in architecture which I’ve never really used. I don’t know, I don’t know what the future really holds for me. I can’t believe I’ve been able to spend most of my adult life so far being Weird Al, and I don’t know what’s gonna happen if I ever grow up. That might be a very sad day.
Mhmm. Um, just so you know, my best friend researched you for a project in school, she wanted me to mention this, because I was telling her about this (interview), and she actually told me about your degree in architecture. Also I looked you up a little more. I didn’t know as much about you as I thought I did.
(Laughs) Well, nice!
Well, number nine: do you personally enjoy the Star Wars movies, or are you just making fun of them!
I’m a big fan as well. I mean, just because I do a parody doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m a big fan but I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan. Now, I treat Star Wars with a little extra love just cause I respect the franchise and I’ve always really been a fan of Star Wars from day one. I remember going to see Star Wars in the theater back when it came out in 76-77? I was a teenager and uh, just remember standing in a long long long line and waiting to get in to see it for the first time and it blew me away, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Well, what character from Star Wars do you think you’re most like?
(Laughs) Well, um, maybe Yoda, just because I’m wrinkled and green.
(Laughs) That is a very funny thing. If I had to say who I would be, I don’t really know, but I feel like—have you seen the Star Wars TV show?
I feel like I’d be more like Anakin in the Clone Wars TV show, because he’s always making—before he became Darth Vader and became a Sith—but I think I’m like him because he makes a lot of jokes and he always nicknames people. So.
You know, there is a Star Wars TV show that hasn’t come out yet, and I don’t know when it’s coming out, but I did some voices for it, it’s called Star Wars: Detours, and it’s by Seth Green, and some other friends of mine, and it’s been put on a hold, but they’ve got a bunch of episodes already, and it’s sort of like a funny version of Star Wars.
Have you heard about this? It’s got little animated Star Wars characters, characters from Star Wars, but it’s like, it’s a very funny version of it, it’s like situation comedy kind of stuff for Star Wars characters, and one of these days I’m sure it’ll come out, but it’s been put on the shelf for awhile.
That sounds awesome, cause I watch a lot of videos like that. There’s this thing called HISHE that I like to listen to, and watch, and they’re very funny. HISHE stands for “how it should have ended.” I usually watch their Marvel or Star Wars cover ones, but uh, it’s just really funny.
That sounds great! I’m gonna check that out.
That is so cool! What would you like to tell kids, like me, who love your music?
Well, thank you! Thank you for liking my music, and thanks for letting me still have a career, and I’m glad you enjoy it, and hopefully I’ll still be doing it for awhile longer, and if you get a chance, come out and see a show!
Yeah! I’m gonna write a whole article about you, and I’m really excited about it. Then, this is the last question: what do you always do every day, or specifically every Monday?
Hm. I probably brush my teeth. Not just Monday, but I do do it every Monday.
(Laughs) That is hilarious!
I don’t think there’s any more questions so, thank you for your time.
This was a great interview! This is actually one of the better interviews I’ve ever had, so thank you so much!
No problem, thank you for your time!
Nice to talk to you!
Weird Al plays the Portsmouth Pavilion tonight at 8pm. For more info or tickets, click here.