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Weird Al's 'Mandatory Fun' is a funny sort of masterpiece
LA Times ^ | July 15, 2014 | Randall Roberts

Posted on 07/19/2014 9:30:46 AM PDT by a fool in paradise

The success of any great piece of art is determined by a few key factors. Does it accomplish what it sets out to achieve? Does it illuminate some essential aspect of the human condition? Does it change those who are exposed to it — rewire the circuitry, add new ideas that disturb the status quo? Does it build on the art of others, in the process crafting something profoundly new? Most important, does it advocate for the enduring relevance of tinfoil?

Under these guidelines, Weird Al Yankovic's new "Mandatory Fun" is a stone cold masterpiece. Its goal remains the same since Yankovic changed the game with "My Bologna" and "Eat It": parodying hit songs to create gut-busting laughter. Thirty years later the Weird One hits every note....

Weird Al Yankovic

"Mandatory Fun"

(RCA Records)

4 stars

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Humor; Music/Entertainment; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: hollyweird; humor; music; noveltysongs; parodies; popmusic; weirdal; weirdalyankovic

1 posted on 07/19/2014 9:30:46 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
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To: GeronL; Revolting cat!; Slings and Arrows
I miss Homer and Jethro.


2 posted on 07/19/2014 9:32:04 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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3 posted on 07/19/2014 9:33:48 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I don’t know any of the songs being parodied on this album.

Then again, I couldn’t name 20 different pop divas from the 70s or 90s either.


4 posted on 07/19/2014 9:34:45 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I believe Weird Al has a very large dictionary.


5 posted on 07/19/2014 9:37:02 AM PDT by Cruising Speed
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To: a fool in paradise

People are loving this, which is great, because we love Weird Al. The guy truly is a genius.


6 posted on 07/19/2014 9:37:50 AM PDT by jocon307
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To: a fool in paradise
"Weird Al" Yankovic - Word Crimes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc&list=UUshnCkfV7U6DqR4IHbQbI7Q

7 posted on 07/19/2014 9:40:05 AM PDT by conservative98
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To: a fool in paradise

“I’m So Tacky” is Weird Al’s best work since “Eat It.”


8 posted on 07/19/2014 9:40:06 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: Yo-Yo
Forgot the link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsWo8apgLys

9 posted on 07/19/2014 9:41:22 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: jocon307

I saw him in a Ramones music video I watched last week.

Ramones Aid (Something To Believe In)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VV5wFBtC_o


10 posted on 07/19/2014 9:41:45 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: a fool in paradise

Yeah, that’s a big drawback. The folks that are lucky enough not to be exposed to the actual current pop stuff have no real connection when it is parodied. A shame, I always liked Weird Al.

Freegards


11 posted on 07/19/2014 9:47:19 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Ransomed

Here’s a guy who probably starting goofing on popular music songs in college or something, found that he had a gift for it, and parlayed it into a successful career. And the world is richer for it.


12 posted on 07/19/2014 9:50:04 AM PDT by fhayek
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To: a fool in paradise

Right now the Mandatory Fun marching band scene on youtube is being played backwards!!

Copyright issues? I thought the way around that was to mirror image the video.

I like reversed humor (see Rebecca Black for examples) but this is ridiculous!


13 posted on 07/19/2014 9:51:18 AM PDT by elcid1970 ("In the modern world, Muslims are living fossils.")
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To: Ransomed

It serves to help the public “recognize” the songs when they hear the originals in public.

But on the other hand, it also works like the Nazi swing recordings where OTHER messages were slipped into the song and the listener may start casually slipping in the parody phrasing instead of the original, regardless of who sings it.


14 posted on 07/19/2014 9:51:19 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I never quite understood the appeal of Weird Al. Nothing he does seems at all funny to me.


15 posted on 07/19/2014 9:52:38 AM PDT by KevinB (Barack Obama: Our first black, gay, Kenyan, Muslim president!)
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To: jocon307

He truly is brilliant. I remember when he got his start on Dr. Demento.


16 posted on 07/19/2014 9:52:57 AM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Great vid by ShorelineMike! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOZjJk6nbD4&feature=plcp)
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To: fhayek

Absolutely, that’s his gimmick. Very talented. It’s just that if there’s no point of reference to modern pop you don’t get the full Weird Al effect. Nature of the beast. I know he does some original songs or at least he used to, has ever did an oldies parody album?

Freegards


17 posted on 07/19/2014 9:53:52 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: fhayek

I don’t know if Dr. Demento is still on the air, but a local (then syndicated) radio show (and affiliated compilation albums) helped spread word of Al’s talents.

To find anything like that in any kind of music these days, you are supposed to “pay” for radio.

I’ll listen to talk radio or CDs in my car and if I have the internet at home/work, why would I ever PAY for radio when I can stream a good live/archived program that wasn’t simply playing songs in a random order?


18 posted on 07/19/2014 9:53:56 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: KevinB

I’m agnostic on it.


19 posted on 07/19/2014 9:55:12 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: fhayek
Here’s a guy who probably starting goofing on popular music songs in college or something, found that he had a gift for it, and parlayed it into a successful career. And the world is richer for it.

As a matter of fact, Weird Al has a degree in architecture from California Polytechnic State University.

20 posted on 07/19/2014 9:59:31 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: a fool in paradise

Yeah, having a melody that everyone knows right away from hearing it a million times but having mocking clever lyrics and wacky music was a huge in for Al. If you have never been annoyed by the originals in the first place it’s a harder bridge to cross for sure.

Freegards


21 posted on 07/19/2014 10:02:56 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: a fool in paradise

Dr. Demento


22 posted on 07/19/2014 10:03:21 AM PDT by struggle
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To: a fool in paradise

Who was it that did the classic “When It’s Apple Blossom Time In Orange, New Jersey, We’ll Make A Peach Of A Pair”?


23 posted on 07/19/2014 10:05:51 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: a fool in paradise
Wierd Al is on the plane
24 posted on 07/19/2014 10:07:08 AM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: KevinB
In my opinion, "Weird Al" Yankovich is the greatest comedian in the history of show business. Better than Steve Martin, better than Bob Hope and even funnier than Norm MacDonald.

I no longer know the originals of songs he parodies so the only versions of those songs that I know are as done by Weird Al.

For example, "Amish Paradise." I still never heard the original "Gangster's Paradise" but I somehow think I am the better for it.

25 posted on 07/19/2014 10:07:38 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: a fool in paradise

I saw Weird Al perform at a local college. His show was outstanding. He is a very talented musician, very funny, and his routine was very entertaining.


26 posted on 07/19/2014 10:08:54 AM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters for Freedom and Rededication to the Principles of the U.S. Constitution)
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To: Ransomed; GeronL
Yeah, having a melody that everyone knows right away from hearing it a million times but having mocking clever lyrics and wacky music was a huge in for Al. If you have never been annoyed by the originals in the first place it’s a harder bridge to cross for sure.

Not only that the "melodies" of some songs like the GRAMMY WINNING (it beat out the Beatles' Yesterday for song of the year!) Winchester Cathedral are difficult to make (more) fun of.

Homer and Jethro still gave it a try.

Winchester parody begins at 5:55

Winchester Cathedral...
You're driving me mad...
I don't know who sings it,
but it's mighty sad.

I'll really be glad when
this song disappears.
It's set music back now
at least 50 years.


27 posted on 07/19/2014 10:15:19 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: a fool in paradise

The Kinks music has a lot of humor in it, too.


28 posted on 07/19/2014 10:17:18 AM PDT by uncitizen (Buckle up! We're on the Facism Fast Track!)
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To: JimRed
I don't know but Homer and Jethro did i crept into the crypt and cried on their There's Nothing Like An Old Hippie album.


29 posted on 07/19/2014 10:18:32 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Elian Gonzalez sought asylum and was sent back to Cuba, send these kids back to THEIR parents.)
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To: Yo-Yo

Looks like Weird Al has his Tiny Tim vibe going on


30 posted on 07/19/2014 11:15:35 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: conservative98

Now THAT is a clever song, typical Weird Al quality, and even cleverer video. Best grammar song since:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDwXHTcodNg


31 posted on 07/19/2014 11:21:55 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: Yo-Yo

Excellent. The guy doesn’t age, although I do notice his conspicuous gray roots. BTW this proves the greatness of the song Happy. It has enough energy to support an ecosystem of parodic material.


32 posted on 07/19/2014 11:34:43 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Yo-Yo

Saw it. Couple of days ago, hilarious.


33 posted on 07/19/2014 11:37:51 AM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: a fool in paradise

The original song which is just fantastic:

http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=y6Sxv-sUYtM


34 posted on 07/19/2014 11:42:01 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: a fool in paradise

Yep I used to listen to Dr D on the Might Met (KMET) ever sun night.. Weird all was a guy that just sent in tapes.. still my favorite Weird Al was another on rides to bus.

by the way Oingo Bring got part of it start on Dr. D


35 posted on 07/19/2014 11:52:31 AM PDT by tophat9000 (An Eye for an Eye, a Word for a Word...nothing more)
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To: a fool in paradise

Yeah, baby. HUGE Zappa can right. In fact, I have Camarilla Brillo playing as I type.


36 posted on 07/19/2014 1:38:14 PM PDT by lefty-lie-spy (Stay metal. For the Horde \m/("_")\m/ - via iPhone from Tokyo.)
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To: a fool in paradise

A very good album.

I counted two duds on it: “My Own Eyes” and “Mission Statement”, on the first listen, don’t thrill me. The rest are pretty darn good.

“Word Crimes” is brilliant.

“Sports Song” is just funny, if not necessarily appropriate for little or insensitive ears.

“First World Problems” and “Lame Claim to Fame” do a good job ribbing modern navel gazing.


37 posted on 07/19/2014 4:47:16 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: Drew68
No, he has no degree in architecture. He stopped his studies and went into music.

< /I know way too much about stuff that I don't need to know>

38 posted on 07/19/2014 4:49:11 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: a fool in paradise

Ha! — “Hands Across Your Face”

One more reason to like the Ramones.


39 posted on 07/19/2014 11:53:19 PM PDT by Yardstick
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