Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Top 5 Best Weird Al Parodies

Anybody can make up their own lyrics to popular songs.  Weird Al Yankovic does more than make up new lyrics--he studies the way a band or artist sounds, and he matches it note for note.  Artists take it as a huge compliment when Weird Al spoofs their song (except that little bitch Coolio).  I would love to see Weird Al replace one of the other panelists on The Voice next season, and I'm not kidding.  Here's his top 5 parodies.

5: Yoda (Dare to be Stupid, 1985) - A parody of Lola by The Kinks.  Weird Al makes references to Star Wars in several of his songs and has more than one song exclusively about the franchise, but in my opinion, this one is the best.  Memorable lyric (Yoda to Luke Skywalker): "I know Darth Vader's really got you annoyed, but remember if you kill him then you'll be unemployed..."

4: Smells Like Nirvana (Off the Deep End, 1992) - A parody of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.  The best parody video he's ever made, and a great parody capturing both the angst/nihilism of Nirvana and the general goofiness of Weird Al.  It's clever and funny, and makes fun of Kurt Cobain's often incoherent singing style.

3: White and Nerdy (Straight Outta Lynwood, 2006) - A parody of Ridin' by Chamillionaire.  If you need proof that he studies his subjects, look no further than this rap song about racial profiling and police brutality which Weird Al turns into a song about being a geek.  Can Weird Al rap?  Let's ask Chamillionaire himself: "He's spittin' just like [rapper] Krayzie Bone on the second verse ... The way Krayzie is harmonizing, he does the same thing.  It surprised me.  I didn't know he could rap like that."

2: Like a Surgeon (Dare to be Stupid, 1985) - A parody of Like a Virgin by Madonna.  This is simply one of Weird Al's funniest songs about a guy who finished last in his med school class but he's still a surgeon (just a bad one).  Memorable lyric: "It's a fact, I'm a quack; the disgrace of the AMA because my patients die--yeah my patients die--before they can pay!"  So many one-liners, it's like a Rodney Dangerfield stand-up routine.

1: Fat (Even Worse, 1988) - A parody of Bad by Michael Jackson.  Weird Al did an amazing parody of Beat It, and followed it up with this even better parody of Bad.  It's a perfect parody wherein Weird Al turns into an grossly obese man leading a gang of fat guys while singing about being fat.  Yeah, okay, it doesn't sound like much, but just check it out.

So this list excludes all of Weird Al's original (non-parody) work.  It was also crazy difficult to narrow down--there are so many good choices.  Where available, I'm linking the song names to the videos as well, since his video parodies are often right-on as well (for example, in Smells Like Nirvana, he got the same actor to play the janitor that Nirvana had in their video).  Here's a link to a side-by-side comparison someone did of Weird Al's versus the Michael Jackson original, so you can see just how good Weird Al's is.  What's your favorite Weird Al parody?  Let me know in the comments below.  And please email, share, or tweet this post to your friends!

6 comments:

  1. Eat it and Like a Surgeon are some other greats. Nicely done.

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  2. Was never a huge Weird Al fan, but he does do a great job creating intelligent and witty parodies without needing to curse.

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  3. Great list. Weird Al is so under-rated. I always liked the "saga begins" for a Star Wars Parody. Anything that trashes the new prequels is ok in my book.

    Agree about Amish Paradise. One of his best songs.

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  4. Sadly, I think of White and Nerdy as the original song.
    Love that Weird Al was part of a How I Met Your Mother storyline recently.

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  5. Amish Paradise
    The Saga Begins
    Another One Rides The Bus
    Addicted To Spuds
    Spider -Man

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