“Weird” Al Yankovic first got attention back in the 1970’s with homemade recordings of parody songs performed by a boy and his accordion on the Dr. Demento radio show. Dr. Demento is long gone from the airwaves, but Weird Al seems to be stronger than ever some 30 years after he first took a swing at the song “My Sharona” with his song “My Bologna”. Indeed, “Weird” Al Yankovic’s latest album, Mandatory Fun, is a huge hit during its first week of sales. “Weird” Al has the number one album on the Billboard charts, moving 104,000 copies of Mandatory Fun.
“For the last decade and a half, the music industry has been in sort of a free fall, with everybody trying different things to see what works,” said Al. “I just thought this is a good idea that makes the most sense. Let’s give it a shot, and see if it works.”
Apparently, it’s worked very well. A year after Weird Al wowed audiences at Bonnaroo, and three years after “White And Nerdy” got Weird Al an insane amount of hip-hop credibility, the world’s most famous song parody artist has matched one of the big comedy lights, Allan Sherman, whose 1962 album My Son, The Nut, was the last comedy album to be a number one hit. Al turned to a variety of partners to pay for his music videos, from Nerdist to Funny or Die, and launched 8 videos in 8 days as part of an unprecedented marketing blitz that pushed them all into viral status; Weird Al’s Alpocalypse album had videos for every song on it, but Al didn’t need to do that this time.
His polka song, “NOW That’s What I Call Polka!” has topped the Spotify viral charts in seven countries.
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