31 Weirdest Easter Eggs In Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
The world’s foremost expert on Weird Al explains all the weird — and hilarious — deep cuts you might have missed in the new movie.
“Weird Al” Yankovic has one of the most intense, loyal, obsessive, and just plain weird fanbases in all of pop culture. He knows that his fans will listen to his albums and watch his videos over and over and over so he fills them with neat little details you don’t pick up on during the first, second, or even twenty-seventh listen.
And...I...the author of this piece, should know. I wrote the book on Al, and with Al, in the 2012 coffee table book Weird Al: The Book (which is credited to Nathan Rabin with Al Yankovic), then followed it up with multiple other books about the pop parodist, including 2020’ The Weird Accordion to Al: Ridiculously Ill-Advised Vanity Edition, a 500-page guide to his life’s work in music, television and film, and the recently released coloring book The Weird A-Coloring to Al: Cynical Movie Cash-In Edition, which was just released.
Anyway. Yankovic’s rapturously received Roku faux-biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which recently won the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and is opening to deafening buzz. Even though the movie is very much not a real account of the actual life of Al Yankovic, it is filled with many references to Weird Al lore.
Here are 31 nifty Easter eggs and deep-cut references you might have missed in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda: The surgeon who revives “Weird Al” Yankovic in the opening scene is Al’s close friend Lin-Manuel Miranda, the subject of Al’s “The Hamilton Polka”
- Mad Magazine: Mad magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman can be seen in the background of multiple scenes, a tribute to Al’s love for the magazine, a major influence on his music and films. Issues of Mad can also be found in Al’s boyhood bedroom.
- Bing Crosby: Al’s dad mockingly compares his son to Bing Crosby, a famously cold and emotionally abusive father like Al’s in the movie.
- Music Man: Thomas Lennon’s viciously abused and anachronistic accordion salesman is a parody of con artist Harold Hill from The Music Man.
- Polka Party: As a teen, Al attends a wild and raucous polka party, a nod to his unsuccessful 1986 album Polka Party!
- Comedy Bang! Bang! The cop who brings young Al home to his parents from the polka party is played by Scott Aukerman, host of the podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! and its television adaptation, which featured Al as the bandleader in its fifth and final season.
- The Band: Though they’re never mentioned by their full names, Al’s roommates-turned-bandmates are his real-life band Steve Jay, Jim “Kimo” West, and drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz
- UHF: When Al tears off a ticket for band auditions a flier for Kuni’s Karate School —which was prominently featured in the film UHF — can be seen in the background.
- Punk: Al auditions for a punk band by playing a one-man, accordion version of “Beat on the Brat”, a song he covered for a Dr. Demento punk compilation. Demento, incidentally, was also one of the first DJs to play The Ramones.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: One of the punks who rejects Al’s audition is played by comedian and Mystery Science Theater 3000 host Jonah Ray, who released an EP of punk “Weird Al” Yankovic covers called You Can’t Call Me Al.
- Future foods: When Al makes the bologna sandwich that inspires “My Bologna”, Cap’n Crunch and Raisin Bran can be seen in the background, foreshadowing their appearance in “Eat It.”
- Bologna: Al recording “My Bologna” in a bathroom is a nod to “My Bologna” being recorded in a bathroom near the office of KCPR, the college radio station where Al was a DJ.
- Big record deal: Al mockingly being offered a 14-album deal with Scotti Brothers is a nod to Al actually recording 14 studio albums with his band collected on the Squeeze Box box set.
- Record label: Will Forte and the real Al play the Scotti Brothers, the real-life owners of the label that put out Al’s early albums.
- Rocky Road: Al debuting “I Love Rocky Road” in a punk club is more plausible than you might imagine! It was written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker of The Arrows (who put out their own version in 1975) but was made famous by Joan Jett, a member of the seminal punk band The Runaways, and The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones and Paul Cook backed up Jett on her initial recording of it.
- Funny or Die origin: The heckler at the punk rock club is played by comedian and author Patton Oswalt, who played Dr. Demento in the Funny or Die sketch that inspired the film and is in the video for “Foil.”
- Fish heads: When Dr. Demento says that the Scotti Brothers wouldn’t recognize real talent if it hit them in the face with a fish, it’s a winking homage to Barnes & Barnes’ “Fish Heads”, the most popular song in the history of the Dr. Demento Show.
- Outsider art: Demento compares Al to Wild Man Fischer, an outsider artist popular on The Dr. Demento Show.
- Dirk Diggler: Demento’s pool party is a parody of Boogie Nights.
- Devo: The men in red hats in the Demento pool party scene are members of Devo, the inspiration for Al’s “Dare to be Stupid”
- Playhouse: Pee-Wee Herman does the dance he did to “Tequila” in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure at Demento’s pool party. Elvira, who appears in the iconic scene as a biker chick under her real name, is also a partygoer at Demento’s big pool party.
- Emo: Salvador Dali is played by Emo Phillips, who costarred in UHF and has opened for Al on multiple tours.
- Queen: John Deacon, the Queen member no one recognizes even after he says his name, is the sole credited songwriter of “Another One Bites the Dust”, which means that he would have a financial incentive in Al parodying his song.
- Accordion case: Al being accompanied by a guy banging on an accordion case and a man making flatulent noises with his hands is a reference to his drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz “playing” the accordion case on the original recording of “Another One Rides the Bus” and fart-rock virtuoso“Musical” Mike Kieffer, whose peculiar specialty livened up Al’s early albums.
- LSD: In the film, Dr. Demento doses Al with LSD. In real life, Al is managed by Jay Levey (who directed UHF), who has also managed Dr. Demento as well as the late LSD guru Timothy Leary
- CBB: The Yankovic Bump references “The CBB Bump”, or increases in popularity after someone appears on the Comedy Bang! Bang! Podcast.
- Indy: Al angrily tells Demento that he won’t be the new Indiana Jones, a character he parodied in UHF.
- 27: When Al shows up drunk for his show and is confronted by his band members, it’s by Section 27. The number 27 has a special meaning in Al’s mythology. (However, in real life, he does not drink)
- The Doors: Al drunkenly, shirtlessly insulting fans is a parody of a similar sequence in Oliver Stone’s The Doors.
- Real-life love: The woman seated next to Al’s character at the closing awards ceremony is Al’s real-life wife Suzanne Yankovic.
- RIP Coolio: The man with the crazy hair scowling at Al while he performs “Amish Paradise” is the late Coolio, who famously objected to Al’s parody before later making peace with him.
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