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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Comedy

‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ embraces humor, drama


“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” was released by The Roku Channel on Nov 4. starring Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al. 

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” was released by The Roku Channel on Nov 4. starring Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al. 

The film was said to be a biopic based on the true life story of Weird Al, but in good ol’ Yankovic fashion, it appears to be a parody with extreme exaggerations. Is it truly based on his life? Or is it just another one of his parodies?

Exaggeration No. 1

 Yankovic’s father is depicted as an extremely violent and disapproving father. 

Fact Check

 Yankovic’s father wasn’t the absolute douchebag portrayed on screen. 

“We had to (depict my father like that) because this is a standard Hollywood biopic,” Yankovic said to NPR News. “You can’t have a biopic unless you have a troubled childhood and a dramatic arc where your parents are fighting against your inner essence.”

However, this film also does a decent job of balancing seriousness with classic humor.

“Daniel was always our first pick because I was just so impressed by his acting range because he can play comedic roles extremely well,” Yankovic said. “And he also does very serious, intense and dramatic roles very well.”

Nevertheless, Radcliffe truly committed to this role. He stated in an interview with Seth Meyers, that he grew out his mustache and took accordion lessons from the master himself, Weird Al.

The cameos for this film are buzzworthy. The movie features cameos from Jack Black, Lin Manuel Miranda, Conan O’Brien and Weird Al. 

But the excitement doesn’t end there. There are real-life celeb personalities depicted in this movie from Hulk Hogan and Oprah Winfrey to Andy Warhol and Madonna.

Speaking of Madonna, her depiction in this film is clearly a parody.

Exaggeration No. 2

 Madonna shows up at the door of Weird Al’s mansion, then he and Madonna have sex, and start a romantic relationship.

Fact Check

 Yankovic confessed that he did not have a sexual romantic relationship with music superstar Madonna. He told NPR that he only met Madonna backstage for about 45 seconds.

 “That’s the extent of our actual relationship,” Yankovic said. “But I took that one little nugget of truth and expanded it into a whole dramatic arc.”

In the movie, Madonna becomes obsessed with Weird Al due to the Yankovic Bump, which is not a myth at all. 

“The Yankovic Bump is an actual thing because whenever I do a parody song, the original artist actually experiences a spike in record sales,”  Yankovic said.

Although there are some truths to this biopic, overall, this film is clearly a joke, but that’s the point.

In the movie, Yankovic spends his early adulthood as a struggling musician, but later he gets inspired to parody The Knack’s “My Sharona” into a song about making a bologna sandwich. His friends are so impressed that they encourage him to record the song. 

The scene is pretty hilarious, dramatic, exaggerated and at times this movie seems to poke fun at its ridiculousness.

Exaggeration No. 3

 Weird Al records the “My Sharona” parody, “My Bologna,” and mails it to a DJ named Captain Buffoon. After only a few minutes, the DJ receives the tape and plays Yankovic’s record on air, announcing that the song has reached No. 1. 

This occurs right after Yankovic’s friend lectures Yankovic about being realistic about becoming a star. Yankovic’s friend states that becoming an overnight sensation is a myth. However, Weird Al doesn’t become a sensation overnight—he becomes a sensation in just a few minutes.

 It’s clearly an exaggeration of what really happened.

With this movie, Yankovic said that he is sending a deeper message about biopics and wants viewers to take away from the parody that being weird is okay. 

“The whole joke is that biopics take so many creative liberties that they really can’t be trusted whatsoever…biopics are made purely for entertainment purposes,” Yankovic said.

This biopic is ridiculous, but it is also hilarious, entertaining and touches the heart. Anyone who hasn’t watched it yet should. They will get to see some of their favorite celebs and personalities, chuckle and sing along to Weird Al’s classic original songs.

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