Dec. 7, 2022

Midweek Mention... Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Midweek Mention... Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is a biographical parody film directed by Eric Appel, who co-wrote the screenplay with "Weird Al" Yankovic. The film is a satire of biopics and wildly exaggerates Yankovic's life and career as an accordionist and parody songwriter. Sidey recently watched this one and you now listen to his sales pitch!

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Until next time, we remain...

Bad Dads



Sidey: Right. I watched a movie at the weekend.


know I watched two actually, that weren't homework ones, but this one I wanted to talk about because, well, you need to have some stuff to. To put out there when the World cups on. So we we're gonna talk about weird, I think it's just called weird.

The weird Our Ya or the Al Yankovich story probably is so weird. The Al Yankovich story, you're familiar with it. You know that that's about,

Reegs: Yeah. And Daniel Radcliffe as well.

Sidey: Raiffe. So they're doing like the press sort of tour at the moment and sometimes they're together and it's like obviously like one of the gags is they don't fucking anything like each other.

Like Danny Radcliff's little. Al Young is fucking like a bit of a giant. And I guess right out the gate, if you are not a fan of weird


that kind of music, this will probably leave you pretty fucking

Reegs: Mm-hmm.

Sidey: because it's that kind of humor. But we watched uhf. And it does have that kind of humor in it.


Reegs: is it?

Is it a biopic

Sidey: It's a biopic, but probably 99% of it is false.

Reegs: Okay.

Sidey: Alright, so we'll get into, yeah.

Pete: Okay.

Reegs: And it's

gonna be absurd. And

Sidey: yeah, it is absurd. Not, it's not uhf.

Reegs: Is it skittish? Does it go into like,

Sidey: it has episodes of his life and like the big songs and some stories around it, but they're so like often complete bullshit.

Reegs: All right. Well spoil it for us

Pete: So,

it's a bit, so it's like a mock biopic really. Okay. Yeah.

Sidey: And he, he obviously acknowledges that you can't not acknowledge it because of some of the stuff that happens in the movie. So it starts off and he is like 12, 13 years old and he is sitting at the dinner table and his parents are very, very strict.

Especially his father's like pretty, I wouldn't say violent, but he is fucking super strict and they do the. The national, you know where the Americans gotta recite all

Reegs: the pledge.

Sidey: Yeah.

And he changes the words to it at the dinner table and his father goes fucking mad. And then his mother says, look, we've been talking, your father and I, we think it's better if you just stop being the person you are and don't do anything that you love.

And that would be a lot easier for us. So it kind of goes on along that tone. And then one day

Reegs: is this Radcliffe yet or is

Sidey: no, it's some other guy. He's really good actually. And his dad's just like relentlessly, like, you're gonna come and work in the factory with me. He tells this anecdote about how someone's been brutally fucking killed in a workshop accident.

He's got like caught in a machine and died. He goes, So anyway, there's an opening if you wanna, if you wanna come and work with us this summer. He's like, no, that's not who I am. That's not what I wanna do. And then one day an accordion, door to door accordion salesman comes to the house and he's just transfixed with his fucking thing.

And he's like, oh, that's amazing. And

Reegs: dad Boddy was a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman for a while.


Sidey: Kind of the same. Anyway, the old man comes home and just beats the shit outta this guy in front of weird al, like just relentlessly puling him. And he goes out the the, the mum says, right, go out and fucking clear your head.

And she agrees to buy an accordance like appease this man while he is dying on the floor. And she says to him, you can only play, you know when your father's out the house and he's gotta be in secret. So he literally plays in the closet

Reegs: Brilliant, brilliant.

Sidey: and then. Later on, obviously his dad finds out and goes fucking ballistic at him.

And it's one of the, my favorite lines in the whole movie. He's just fucking screamed, you don't understand me, you d know. I'll show you one day. I'll be arguably one of the best accordion players in a very, very niche genre of music that storms out the house.

Reegs: What music is he playing on his accordion?

Sidey: It's just so he, he goes to, that's when it kicks off.

Cause he goes to a party, some like the cool kids in his school, like, ow you gotta come to this. So I can't go to a party, like my parents will kill me and they like basically bully him into turning up. And it's like, it's, it's a court music at this party. So he does it like solo on the accord. They're all blown away by how cool he is So then it like, it, it moves on. And uh, then we see him living in a, he's got an apartment with three mates.

Reegs: It's a hideous instrument.

Dan: I nearly just spa beer everywhere when he said that. I do well to keep.

Reegs: It is a hideous, hideous

Sidey: It's not as bad as the bagpipes, but it's right out

Reegs: It's up

Sidey: Bagpipes are fucking catastrophic, but this is dreadful. But it sounds pretty good when he does it cause he is very good at it anyway.

He's living with his four mates, his three mates, and they like going around the room like saying what we wanna do, oh, this is balls on my day job, shit, I'd really like to do this. And they al, what do you wanna do? And like the strings go and the hero music comes on. He goes, I wanna make up words to songs that already exist,

And he like, really triumphantly? It's fucking crazy. And they're like, oh, you should do one now. And he is like, I can't, I can't do it on the spot. And then he just goes to, they go, go make us a sandwich. And that's when he writes Mylo.

Reegs: Oh yeah, yeah.

Sidey: My Shona.

Reegs: My Shona.

Sidey: Yeah. So there's that one. Then they go, he ends up

Reegs: up my bologna. Is it?

Sidey: they say bologna, Yeah. I don't, yeah, that's what I would've said. But that's what I said. Film Anyway. It moves on. It moves on at pace. His rain Wilson appears as his manager. They do a show at You know, one of those biker bars where like out in the middle of nowhere where basically everyone who plays dies and gets fucking killed from his

Reegs: I'll terminate too.

Pete: at them.

Sidey: So there's a Yeah, basically exactly like that. So there's like this proper punk rock band on like thrashing everything around. They get like turfed out and then he comes on and does like an accordion song. Then they all love it and it'll fucking go crazy. And then he, he, he meets Rain Wilson, who plays a character called Dr.

Demento, who I think is a real person. He's from like

Reegs: I really like Ray Wilson as

Sidey: He's good. and then he drags him to this party. And like everyone who's, it's all played by like recognizable people. And the people that they're playing, you would recognize that as like, Andy Warhol's there, Peewee Herman Salvador Darley and John Deacons.

Just there like randomly much all these weirdo. And they're like, there's the bass guy from Queen Like gone fucking weird guy. Like play us a song, like make up a song now and that he does another one.

Ride the bus.

It's fucking really good. And Daniel Radcliffe is fucking immense. Like he's I think fucking really good, like his comedic chops are great. He's what one. One of the things I like most about Danny Radcliffe right, is that obviously fucking made it big early and then he is just clearly decided, right.

I'm not gonna keep making like blockbuster stuff.

Reegs: He's just gonna do what's interesting to him.

Sidey: Yeah. Like niche stuff or whatever is interested to me cuz I, the pressure's off me and I just do what the fuck I want. Yeah. So he make stuff like this, which great

Reegs: Or Swiss Army man that we, cause you were turned around on it. You didn't like Radcliffe, did

Dan: No, Was it But the Swiss Army man. Prove to me how wrong I was. He's, he's brilliant.

Sidey: And I don't actually think, like, I watched Guns at Kimber, wasn't a huge fan of that.

Reegs: Oh, it's the same,

Sidey: say, but I still think like kus for like, just doing what you want,

Reegs: He was still pretty interesting and different and yeah.

Sidey: Then he, so he gets a be in his bonnet about being known as the parody guy.

Right. So, Ray Wilson tricks him into taking acid and he has this trip and when he comes out of it, he's written Eat it. But in the film, Eat it has come before. Beat it. So Michael Jackson's best. So Michael Jackson's is the parody version. So Madonna comes along cause there's a thing in the film, and it is true that when he parodies you, you get the, the Al Yankovich bump so that the real song gets big as well

Pete: right?

Reegs: yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sidey: So Madonna comes on the scene wanting the Al Yankovich bump as so she starts shagging him just to, so he par her, but he's there. I'm not doing Paros anymore, but she doesn't know, she hasn't told him that she's using it.

You know

Reegs: which is the one that he does of Madonna's

Sidey: like a virgin.

Reegs: Oh yeah, of course it is. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sidey: So she's like a bit Arie, that he's now like a serious artist, and he says why they, they fucked? And he's like, oh, I was so fucking like annoyed about about eating, which as you know, is the original like version of that song. I really lean into how stupid it is.

And there's a subplot, which becomes the main crux of the thing where.

Pablo Escobar wants him to play at his 40th birthday, and he is like, I don't do that shit anymore. Like, I'm a serious artist, I'm a musician. I write songs. Anyway, what happens is Madonna is kidnapped by Pablo Escobar and he

Reegs: who's playing Madonna.

Pete: I was gonna ask that.

Sidey: Rachel, Evan Wood.

Reegs: right? I know the name. I

Sidey: from Westworld.

do Dolos and Westworld.

Pete: Oh, yep, I know who you mean.

Sidey: Oh, he has to go and rescue her. And this is where it starts to get a bit uhf. He's, he's their like, shirt off with the Uzi, like the Rambo bit from uhf. Escobar's

like really camp and stupid. And he's talking like, oh, that was so extra and all this. And there's a thing where Al's been wearing a platinum, like a medallion and they're CDs, but he's won his platinum to represent all his platinum fucking records or whatever.

So he gets shot, Escobar shoots him

And he is down, but he, you know, takes a show off. He's got the bullet, he takes one off and just throws it and it fucking like Decapitates Escobar. But Madonna knowing now that she won't get the bump from Al, she takes over his cartel.

Reegs: it's a bit unbearable.

Weight this bit. Is it?

Sidey: bit. I did actually think that a little bit at the time. So he, he has to leave her, she, she tries to gun him down actually. And she's just like opening fire with this gun and there's. White powder flying all over the place. Cuz it's just like in big blocks

Dan: Madonna has now become the,

Sidey: takes over the cartel.

Dan: and she's just done a full Tony

Reegs: Yeah, she's gone full Scarface. Yeah.

Sidey: And he's basically disenfranchised now with the whole music business. It's just obviously led him down a dark path, which he's not content with. So he, he actually goes to. Work in the factory.

He's, and then he's sort of spoken about it and it's been pretty obvious that he's got daddy issues. So he thinks, well, you know, if I go and work in the factory, might win back the old man's favor. And everything he's been doing is to kind of try and, you know, win favor with his old man, get his respect, which he's never had.

So he goes to work in the factory and the old man comes up to him, and then they have this, this reconciliation where he says, I don't want you to work here. You know, or, you know, I could never said it, but I, you know, you're amazing. You're better, you are better than this. And then he, he takes a moment and he shows him all his his scrapbook of how he used to pay the accordion and it ruined him, and all this sort of shit.

Fucking so stupid.

And then we get there, the upside. Now he sort of like tries to recover and he goes to the Grammys, he's nominated and he, he wins and he starts doing his exception speech. Like it's just fucking ludicrous. But the whole time he's doing his exception speech. There's a guy in like full camo gear with like a fucking huge assault rifle just in the front row, like getting ready and he is like just waiting for your signal. And as he As he's like holding his Grammy loft, he just fucking gets executed.

Madonna like gives the order to like shoot and it just comes up on the screen. Weird. Al was executed at the Grammy's 1985 and that's like, its the end

Reegs: Brilliant. I remember

Dan: that way to go.

Sidey: I had so honestly, so much fun watching this movie.

Reegs: Yeah, sounds good.

Dan: Okay.

Sidey: Really, really enjoyed it. It's like it flies by, it's like 80 minute, 90 minutes, whatever it

Dan: you've made me chuckling enough with this though. I think I'm gonna

Sidey: if you don't like the songs though, I mean it will leave you cold if you're not, cause a lot of the songs are in it, like the real

Dan: I like that uhf, I say, I think I remember at the time it wasn't funny the whole way through, but it had plenty to,

Sidey: this is stronger than

Dan: and laugh and, and then I'll give it a go.

Yeah. Nice.

Pete: So would you, would you recommend it? I mean, I, I'm not, I only know Al Yankovich. I've heard his name obviously plenty, but I know him from the film that we watched and a couple of the, like the parody songs back in the day. And he did the, the theme tune, like the theme music for Captain Underpants, which is a big hit in my house.

But, so it's not the, but I don't know a great deal for, so I'm not writing 'em off. But is it for someone who doesn't really know a great deal about it, is it worth a, I mean, you're not gonna learn anything cuz none of it's true, right?

Sidey: I mean, the songs are true. They record the fair on Mylo.

Bathroom. That's true. That did happen. Okay.

Reegs: Did he write it or anything? Was he involved in

Sidey: in the film? Yeah. It, so it started out as a skit. It was a, you know, that fun or die website thing. It was a 10 minute skit about. 10, 12 years ago, which they've now expanded into a full movie. So the guy who did the skit is the director of the film.

Okay. So it's just like, it's a super exaggerated version of some of the stuff that happened.

Reegs: not too like self-aware and knowing, is it cuz it's, it's obviously quite meta, isn't

Sidey: it? Well, yeah. And he's in it. He plays a music exec that turns him down. Yeah.

Reegs: But is that stuff okay? They

Sidey: out? I think so. I mean, I loved it, but it, it, I. Is fair with that? The whole point of it is that it is completely self-aware. Yeah. And but bogus as.

Reegs: but it's, it's not that winky winky stuff cuz it's more like a

Sidey: Yeah, a hundred percent. That it's a hundred percent a celebration. And so that's the point.

Like, if you don't like those songs, you're gonna be like, well this is just fucking stupid. I do so it's fine for me.

Reegs: I'd see it just for Radcliffe.

Sidey: Radcliff, yeah. He's great. And it, like, they look fucking nothing alike. But it's just, it just works. It's fucking great. And I wanna listen, like I wanna get the soundtrack as well.

That's fucking cool. I'm on it.