Photo by Richard Shotwell Invision/AP
Four-time Grammy Award-winning comedy music sensation Alfred “Weird Al” Yankovic was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this morning. Weird Al has been delighting fans with his skills and humor since his first spot on the Dr. Demento Radio Show in 1976. Since then he has released numerous albums, made movies, TV shows, and even written a couple of children’s books. He has guest starred on countless TV shows and has become a cultural icon that has had us singing his versions of popular songs every time they come on the radio.
Al’s first album, the self-titled “Weird Al” Yankovic, was released in 1983 and he won his first Grammy just a scant two years later for Best Comedy Recording with his hit parody of Michael Jackson’s Beat It, titled Eat It. He went on to be a highly celebrated musician known all over for his unconventional humor, witty song parodies, and ability to play to many different audiences by keeping his material family friendly and current. In a personal interview with him back in 2005, Al had mentioned that even though there is definitely a marketable quality to keeping his music clean and free of profanity, he simply feels he just doesn’t need it as opposed to specifically having to censor himself.
His fan base is something impressive in its own right. It seems you can truly be a fan of any genre of music but eventually, everyone comes together over Al. You can be in the middle of a public event and if American Pie starts to play, you can safely bet the farm that somewhere, someone is singing The Saga Begins over it. Other bands love him too. It has been widely documented that Al gets permission from the artists he parodies for his albums and many of them consider it an honor to be included in his work. He has become so recognized as the voice of comedy music for so long that all over the internet you can find songs he didn’t have anything to do with that are misattributed to him because they are parodies or just because they are funny.
In an attempt to give their favorite accordion playing funny man something back, his fans have been working tirelessly to get him his own star on the historic 18 block tourist destination. The “Weird Al” Star Fund Campaign started in 2005 as an attempt to raise the required amount of money (through donations and benefits) that has to be paid to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in order to sponsor someone for the walk. When the campaign started the price was $15,000 but while they tried to raise money in the years since then the price has been raised three times. The price paid to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce when the nomination was accepted in 2017 was $40,000. Today, the plan to get Al his star finally came to fruition.
Al was joined on stage by the man who started his career, Dr. Demento. The good doctor began his oration on Al thusly,
I’ve known him for so long I knew him before he was weird, well before he was “Weird Al” anyway. People began calling him “Weird Al” because he’s a little different, and he took that as a badge of honor. All I can say about that is if more people were weird like him, wouldn’t we have a much better world?
After Dr. Demento left the stage, long time personal friend of Al, Thomas Lennon (Reno 911), came up to tell the story of how he and Al became great friends when they bumped into each other at Staples one day and attested to his character, intelligence, and success.
Al’s knowledge of everything can make it feel sometimes like you’re talking to Watson, the IBM super computer that won Jeopardy. If that computer had also written “Dare to be Stupid.” …There are almost as many awards in his house as there are Hawaiian shirts.
Al’s speech was a refreshing mix of heartfelt thanks and his personal style of humor we all have come to adore.
It’s just an honor knowing that my name, my name, is gonna be walked on, spit on, and let’s face it, urinated on for generations to come. That’s a legacy my friends. By the way, I’m sorry I even have to say this… please, please don’t pickaxe my star, ok guys? I mean, I know it’s all the rage these days but that’s not cool, y’know, just please don’t do that. Unless, unless at some point in the future I do something unfathomably monstrous and evil in which case sure, fine, go ahead. Makes sense, but anything short of that please limit yourself to spitting and urinating ok? Have some class people. I can not thank the fans enough. All of this, everything today, this is all you guys, 100%. I’m not getting the star through the efforts of a record label or a movie studio or a TV company or any other corporate entity, this is completely because of the fans. I love you guys and I am now and forever grateful for your support. Thank you so much.
You’re welcome, sir; and from all of us here at ZFOEntertainment, congratulations.