The artist formerly known as “Weird Al” Yankovic has announced his plans to give up comedy and pursue a serious music career.
Hollywood Hills, California – Musician Alfred ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has decided it’s time to make a change. After nearly four decades of writing humorous and parody pieces, he’s ready to get serious about his career.
And by serious, he means it’s time to put out a non-comic album.
“A man has to grow up sometime,” Yankovic said. “I’m fifty five, for Pete’s sake, and dabbling in satire and puns is a young man’s game. There’s so much I have to say, and I’m just not saying it through my music, at least not yet.”
The name ‘Weird Al’ is a household word all around the globe; he is as loved in Japan, Norway, and Brazil as in the United States. He got his start in the late seventies playing his accordion at local coffeehouses, but his big break came when Dr. Demento, the host of a syndicated radio program playing a variety of comedy pieces decided to air his homemade cruise anthem, Belvedere Cruisin’. From there, he became as much a brand as an artist, the face of comedy in music.
“He’s been such a mainstay to comedy in general, and on my show in particular,” said Barret ‘Dr. Demento’ Hansen. “Even though we’re not a broadcast program any longer, we play his music through our online show every week.”
“It’s a shock to see him leave the business. And not the hand-buzzer kind of shock, either.”
For the artist, who has asked to be called Alfred Matthew Yankovic, the decision to stop recording comedy is a natural evolution of his career. “I’ve done everything. Metal, rap, folk, polka – oh geez, I’ve done a lot of polka! – but every new song I release is just seen as a joke.” He thought about that statement for a moment, then added, “It has been a joke.”
The decision to seek a serious music career is not one that he made lightly. He sought the counsel of his wife, Suzanne, and the pastor of his church, both of whom have been supportive of the change.
“This has been difficult for Al,” his wife confided. “He doesn’t want to disappoint his fans. He loves them as much as they love him. But he has to be true to himself. And really, we’re already filthy rich, so why worry about a little mid-life crisis?”
But why now, just after his latest CD, Mandatory Fun, became his first-ever chart topping album? When interviewed after the release of Mandatory Fun, he claimed his long-term contract was finally over, and that the 2014 release would be his last traditional album.
“The name Mandatory Fun sort of says it all,” he told us. “When your whole career centers on comedy, fun becomes mandatory. And when fun is mandatory, it just stops being fun. Besides, I’d like to go out on a high note, and having Mandatory Fun top the charts seemed like a sign. It was just the right time.”
What kind of music can we expect from the artist formerly known as Weird?
“My first choice was Christian screamo,” he admitted, “but then I realized people might take that as a parody all on its own. I’m a huge fan of New Wave, the electronic rock of the eighties, but nobody listens to that anymore. Right now I’m in talks with Christopher Lee – you know, Saruman – to work on his latest symphonic metal album, a serious rocker called Charlemagne: Die by the Sword.”