He's got smarts, mad rhyming skills and a sense of humor that ranges from the infantile to the surprisingly sophisticated. He's got a degree in architecture from Cal Poly Tech. He's directed music videos for artists including The Black Crows, Ben Folds and Hanson. (Hanson, people!) He's polite, getting the original artist's permission to use his or her song in a parody before releasing it commercially. And he's philanthropic! All proceeds from his Lady Gaga spoof "Perform This Way," off his new album that was released this week, will go to the Human Rights Campaign.
Say what you will about parody as his choice of medium, Weird Al is a talented performer. Before you scoff at my juvenile tastes, consider all the genres he's tackled over the years: pop, grunge, rap, country, do-wop and, of course, polka. He's spoofed Nine Inch Nails, Madonna, Coolio, Michael Jackson, MC Hammer and Rage Against the Machine, along with many others. I dare you to name another artist with that much versatility!
He's also a nerd at heart. Star Wars is a favorite parody choice of his; "Yoda" is set to Eric Clapton's "Lola," and "The Saga Begins," a song about the first prequel, is set to Don McLean's "American Pie." The man even works chemistry jokes into his album art. Al is the chemical symbol for aluminum, and its atomic weight is 27. Hence, 27 appears on several of his album covers, including Running with Scissors and Straight Outta Linwood. In addition, he's the author of a children's book, When I Grow Up, in which he uses his prodigious rhyming skills to encourages kids to follow their dreams, no matter how wild.
If you're still not convinced that Al is a nerd crush-worthy target, consider a few of the facts he offered in the article 25 Things You Don't Know About Weird Al. (It's as though Al opened a door into my heart!)
- "I don't believe in capital punishment, except for people who consistently use bad grammar."
- "When I'm performing, I never give 110%, because that's metaphysically impossible."
- "Favorite Horseman of the Apocalypse: Pestilence."