For his 14th and final conventional studio album, “Mandatory Fun,” Weird Al Yankovic teamed up with fun and funny websites to produce eight music videos, and is releasing them one per day.
As Yankovic told NPR’s Weekend Edition, “I wanted to really do what is ostensibly my last album with a big splash. I wanted the first week to be big; I wanted every single day of release week to be an event. I wanted a video to go viral for an entire day and have people talking about that video, and then the next day they’re talking about a new video. I just thought that would be a really fun way to do it, to make a big deal out of release week.”
He also talked about how YouTube and the digital age have forced him to step up his game with song parodies.
“When I do my parodies, because of YouTube, I’m never the first person to do a parody of a certain song,” Yankovic said. “And all the obvious ideas seem to be taken already, so nowadays when I do a parody I try to think of an angle that might be a little bit different or left-of-center that somebody else hasn’t thought of already. And I don’t think anybody, to this point, had done a “Blurred Lines” parody about proper use of grammar.” Hence, “Word Crimes.”
But he doesn’t look at his online competition as a problem or as a threat.
Actually, I don’t view it as a competition at all. I think it’s wonderful that there’s a level playing field now. Anybody can upload their videos to YouTube and you don’t have to get the blessing of some record executive somewhere to get your stuff heard. If your stuff is good, chances are people will hear it. I did have the field to myself pretty much throughout the 80s and 90s, and it’s more of a challenge now because I have to make sure my material rises above on its own merits. I can’t just say “Well, I’m the only person with a major label recording deal.” Now I have to compete with the thousands and thousands of people that are also putting out comedic songs and parodies.
Buy “Mandatory Fun” on iTunes or Amazon:
Day One: July 14, “Tacky,” via Nerdist. Inspired by Pharrell’s “Happy.” Featuring Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black.
Day Two: July 15, “Word Crimes,” via Vevo. Inspired by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” with T.I. and Pharrell.
Day Three: July 16, “Foil,” via CollegeHumor. Inspired by Lorde’s “Royals.” Featuring Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Elaine Carroll and Andrée Vermeulen.
Day Four: July 17, “Handy,” via Yahoo! Screen. Inspired by Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.” Featuring Eddie Pepitone, Justin Giddings and Ted Hollis.
Day Five: July 18, “Sports Song,” via Funny or Die. Featuring: “Weird Al” Yankovic, John Schwartz, Ian Jay, Steve Jay, Brian Warwick, Brett Warwick, and The Riverside Marching Tigers
Day Six: July 19, “First World Problems,” via Popcrush. In the style of The Pixies.
Day Seven: July 20, “Lame Claim to Fame,” via Amazon. In the style of Southern Culture on the Skids.
Day Eight: July 21, “Mission Statement,” via The Wall Street Journal. Inspired by “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills & Nash.