Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Anyssa Bilka

There is nothing funnier to a kid than singing songs with silly and stupid lyrics and when my little sister and I were younger, no one was funnier than “Weird Al” Yankovic. We spent countless hours memorizing the words to every song, laughing hysterically watching his music videos and listening to his albums while putting on our own private concerts in our bedroom. After months of waiting, on November 4th the highly anticipated and “unexaggerated” life story of one of the world’s most overlooked, talented, and hilarious musicians dropped and left audiences in a laughing frenzy. “Weird Al” Yankovic along with Funny or Die and Tango Productions released Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, a mock biopic completely reflecting the bizarre essence that is “Weird Al.” As a longtime fan, I was super excited to see the film but for some reason, was expecting it to be a bit more traditional and informative; I was completely thrown for a loop. I’m not sure why I thought the movie would be serious in tone because it just wouldn’t be “Weird Al” Yankovic if it wasn’t a parody filled with surprises and a barrel of laughs.


Weird: The Al Yankovic Story stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young Alfred Yankovic, fighting to make his dream of “writing new words to songs that already exist,” come true while battling the odds and disapproval of everyone in his life. With the help of his accordion and a few good friends, “Weird Al” Yankovic quickly becomes a multi platinum, mega superstar and climbs to the top of the charts with “original ” songs. Despite having it all, the star struggles with a disapproving father and complicated love life and must analyze what is really important to him. The film itself is a parody of the star’s rise to fame, peppering in wild fictional story lines involving other famous icons such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Pablo Escobar and more. I found the film to be a wildly hilarious, unexpected and a perfect reflection of what “Weird Al” is all about.


It appears that the promotion and release of the movie served as an introduction for “Weird Al” Yankovic to the younger generations. For those who may not be familiar with the legendary star, “Weird Al” Yankovic is an American parody singer who gained fame by rewriting the lyrics to the hits of the time. At an early age, Yankovic began playing the accordion practicing traditional polka music and had an interest in musical comedy. Around the time he was 13, Yankovic would meet his idol, American radio broadcaster Dr. Demento, to whom he gave a demo tape while Demento was speaking at his school. Dr. Demento played the tape a few years later on the air, which gained a lot of attention in the niche community and launched “Weird Al” Yankovic’s career. While in college studying architecture, Yankovic got a job at the college radio station and found inspiration in new wave hits he was spinning. He wrote some of his earliest hits like “My Bologna,” a parody of “My Sharona” by the Knack, “Another One Rides the Bus” inspired by Queen’s chart-topping song, and “I love Rocky Road,” a parody of “I love Rock ‘n Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. His musical parodies along with insanely funny music videos quickly caught the attention of the world and since then, the singer has become a widely known talent and a leading name in music comedy.


Although fans are very excited for the film, it has been a while since we have heard new music from “Weird Al” Yankovic. The singer’s last album Mandatory Fun was released back in 2014 so fans can only hope the film will serve as a catalyst for more “Weird Al” Yankovic music. The star has been busy however, promoting the film, touring with stand-up comedian Emo Phillips, and acting. The star does voiceover for a character in the animated movie, The Soccer Football Movie and has also confirmed on social media that he will join the cast of actress and writer Mindy Kaling’s upcoming adult Scooby-Doo series. For anyone who considers themselves a “Weird Al” Yankovic fan, this movie is a must watch. It’s funny, inspiring, unexpected but most of all, it’s just plain weird. 


Check out the trailer below and Stream Weird: The Al Yankovic Story now for free on Roku here: