"Weird Al" Yankovic with Emerson College

Songwriter / Performer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-hour interview for the American Comedy Archives at Emerson College, “Weird Al” Yankovic talks about his early years, and his first break, getting his music played on the “Dr. Demento” radio show. He describes the types of parodies he does, and how he tends to stay away from satire and political humor. He recalls his television show, AL TV, and his experiences interviewing guests like Eminem. Yankovic speaks of dealing with fame and celebrity, and what his fanbase expects of him. He discusses his “White & Nerdy” music video, which featured Donny Osmond, as well as his cult classic feature film “UHF.” He speaks of the challenges of being a comedian in the music industry, and consideres the question “Was it worth it?” Bill Dana and Jenni Matz conducted the interview on February 10, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA.

"I'm amazed every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror and I'm still 'Weird Al.' I love my job, and I'm glad I get to keep doing it."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his first national television appearance, on Tomorrow, with Tom Snyder
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his television show, AL TV, and on interviewing Eminem
"Weird Al" Yankovic on advice to aspiring comedians and performers
"Weird Al" Yankovic on dealing with fame and celebrity
"Weird Al" Yankovic on the challenges of being a comedian in the music industry
"Weird Al" Yankovic on the legalities of doing parodies of other artists' songs
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on mixing comedy with his early accordion musical act, and on getting his break on the "Dr. Demento" radio show; on his process for writing song parodies
On doing parody versus satire, and on artists' reactions to his parodies, including Coolio and Kurt Cobain; on his television show, AL TV, and on interviewing Eminem; on the legalities of doing parodies of other artists' songs; on doing parodies of Michael Jackson songs
On dealing with fame and celebrity; on shying away from political humor; on his fanbase and what they expect of him, and on most of his music being family-friendly
On his stage persona versus who he is in real life, and on making it in the music industry; on dealing with the business aspect of show business; on his first national television appearance, on Tomorrow, with Tom Snyder
On his influences; on which of his songs received the biggest reaction from the public, and on his "White & Nerdy" music video; on his longevity as a comedian, and on performing for hostile crowds early on
On picking the songs he parodies; on how seriously he takes comedy; on advice to aspiring comedians and performers, and on his then-future
On his feature film "UHF"; on the value of comedy; on the question, "Was it worth it?", and on what he finds funny
On the challenges of being a comedian in the music industry; on how long the process of writing and recording his songs takes, and on his parents
Shows

AL TV

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his television show, AL TV, and on interviewing Eminem

Tomorrow (1973-82)

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his first national television appearance, on Tomorrow, with Tom Snyder
Topics

Advice

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on advice to aspiring comedians and performers

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his influences

Fame and Celebrity

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on dealing with fame and celebrity
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his fanbase and what they expect of him

Pivotal Career Moments

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his influences

Pop Culture

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on dealing with fame and celebrity
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his fanbase and what they expect of him

Television Industry

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on advice to aspiring comedians and performers
Professions

Comedian

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his stage persona versus who he is in real life, and on making it in the music industry
"Weird Al" Yankovic on dealing with the business aspect of show business
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his longevity as a comedian
"Weird Al" Yankovic on performing for a hostile crowd early on in his career
"Weird Al" Yankovic on picking the songs he parodies
"Weird Al" Yankovic on how seriously he takes comedy
"Weird Al" Yankovic on advice to aspiring comedians and performers
"Weird Al" Yankovic on the challenges of being a comedian in the music industry
"Weird Al" Yankovic on how long the process of writing and recording his songs takes and on his parents

Performers

View Profession
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his stage persona versus who he is in real life, and on making it in the music industry
"Weird Al" Yankovic on dealing with the business aspect of show business
"Weird Al" Yankovic on his longevity as a comedian
"Weird Al" Yankovic on performing for a hostile crowd early on in his career
"Weird Al" Yankovic on picking the songs he parodies
"Weird Al" Yankovic on how seriously he takes comedy
"Weird Al" Yankovic on advice to aspiring comedians and performers
"Weird Al" Yankovic on the challenges of being a comedian in the music industry
"Weird Al" Yankovic on how long the process of writing and recording his songs takes and on his parents
Genres

Comedy Series

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his television show, AL TV, and on interviewing Eminem

Talk Shows

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his first national television appearance on Tomorrow, with Tom Snyder
People

Michael Jackson

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on doing parodies of Michael Jackson songs

Donny Osmond

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"Weird Al" Yankovic on his "White & Nerdy" music video featuring Donny Osmond

All Interviews

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