I've been a fan of Weird Al since I can remember. My earliest memory of his work is through his mockumentary, "The Compleat Al." Not sure what gemstone the copy I have crawled out from underneath - there aren't any commercials, but if I rewind too far, I'm subjected to Jane Fonda pelvic thrusting in an 80's exercise video. I'm surprised the VCR hasn't snacked upon the whole tape, actually - my friends and I did a lot of stop-rewind-replay during our favorite scenes. What child wouldn't find it amusing to see a goofy guy spastically dance around and launch himself chest first over a bar (from the Eat it video) or toss an obviously fake replica of cute wittle Harvey the Wonder Hamster carelessly over his shoulder and into a wall (from his Al TV stint on MTV)?
So when I read in the Cape Gazette that he'd be in Delaware on June 16th, flailing around on stage at this year's annual Comedy at the Beach show to benefit the Jefferson School and the WBOC’s Bless Our Children School Supply Drive, I may have done my own spaz dance.
Weird Al did not disappoint. He started out on stage with his accordion, wearing one of his legendary loud shirts and singing a polka medley of pop songs. (Awesome photos are courtesy of Cape Gazette photographer Dan Cook) Two huge screens flanked the stage, playing the original music videos - Weird Al's voice protruding from Lady Gaga's lips was giggletastic.
In between the many costume changes, the screens were used to entertain the crowd with funny Weird Al appearances and related clips. Among my favorites were portions from his fake interview with Jessica Simpson and Space Ghost interviewing him. Frighteningly flexible, isn't he?
Not only can he can wrench his foot behind his head, his character and voice range is excellent. As a child, many of his parodies I heard before the original, including one of my favorites, "Smells Like Nirvana." I became a huge fan of Nirvana a few years later in my angsty teenage years, and was thrilled to recently discover in Rolling Stone that Kurt Cobain hadn't realized his music had made it big until Weird Al parodied his "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
There are many Weird Al parodies whose original songs I still couldn't name, but he only played a handful of those at the concert. I have heard songs years later, pondered at the strange sense of deja vu, and finally had it dawn on me that it's the same melody as a particular Weird Al song. He does a lot of style parodies, too. The only song of his that I had never heard before was "Wanna B Ur Lovr," which was allegedly modeled after Beck's music if he were to trying to sound like Prince. Weird Al swaggered into the audience, dressed in a day-glo orange and black animal-print suit, and belted it out to the ladies. He stopped in front of my mom and crooned, "Stop, drop and roll now 'cause baby, you're on fire. I'll bet your outfit makes a lot of noise in the drier."
Weird Al certainly didn't skimp on the menu for his show - he stuffed in as many of his big hits as possible, including the delectable Michael Jackson parodies, "Eat It" and "Fat." He's still rocking the suit after all these years! And I had to agree that he really looked good in black for "Amish Paradise," fool! He even rolled out on a segway, sporting bling and a red doo-rag for "White and Nerdy." And I've never ever been a fan of Star Wars before, but his "Yo-yo-yo-yo Yoda" song sure is catchy and I couldn't help but sway to"The Saga Begins."
I nearly fell over when Weird Al came out in the yellow radiation suit and broke into Dare to Be Stupid. I've never heard it on the radio, so was not expecting it to be included that night. It holds a special nerdy part of my heart - not only was it the finale video in "The Compleat Al" film, but it was also the Junkion's theme song in "The Transformers: The Movie" cartoon from 1986. Plus, Weird Al's original video features an army of Mr. Potato Heads - how could I grow up not adoring it and its creator?! It's so easy to do!
*rides away into the sunset on a plastic cow*