Exploiting the Archives: "Weird Al" Yankovic edition


Well, folks, I am pleased to report that after months and months of feverish anticipation, feverish planning and feverish preparation, I am only one day away from seeing American pop parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic perform at Chicago’s Vic Theater as part of his The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour. 

It’s a tour unlike any other that finds the parodist and hit-maker boldly eschewing the hits and the parodies in favor of the kinds of originals, pastiches and deep album cuts I have been extolling in The Weird Accordion to Al, my obsessive, song-by-song exploration of every single solo song Al has released, beginning with 1979’s “My Bologna.” 

The project is an extension of the work I did as the co-author of the 2012 coffee table book Weird Al: The Book, which remarkably enough, is credited to Nathan Rabin & Al Yankovic. That’s a credit I never could have envisioned when I was a nerdy, comedy-obsessed kid who looked up to Al as my hero, role model and the inspiration for my short-lived third grade band, Nathan and the Rockers, of “Like a Sturgeon” school yard fame.


Needless to say, I have a little bit of history with Mr. Yankovic and while the vast majority of the writing that I’ve done on the beloved national treasure can be found on this here site, I unsurprisingly have written about Al and his life’s work for other, less self-indulgent and professional websites as well. 

When I was working with Al on Weird Al: The Book, for example, I interviewed him for Set List, a column at The A.V Club where musicians discuss select songs from their career. It’s kind of a musical version of the Random Roles column that Will Harris does such a fantastic job with and it was a pleasure getting the stories behind the songs straight from the man himself

A few years later , when 2014’s Mandatory Fun gave Al his first number one album, Time asked me to write about Al as our last pop star and I was all, “Sure!” 

I’ve also, not surprisingly, written about Al more than once over at Splitsider, where I praised an episode of Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast featuring Al for my Pod-Canon column before similarly shining a cyber-light on Runaway Brains, a Rob Kutner- written mini-series that smartly cast Al as a computer

Given my love of Comedy Bang Bang, it’s not terribly surprising that I also wrote about how Al helped the TV version of Scott Aukerman’s podcast institution end on a high note .


One of the extras in the Weird Accordion to Al book will be episode-by-episode recaps of Al’s season of Comedy Bang Bang, so if you love Al and that show the way I do, that’s something to look forward to. If not, well, there’s lots of other stuff there as well. 

The plan now is to go Al’s two shows in Chicago this week, then to his two Milwaukee dates, and then Wabash Indiana, Augusta, Georgia and then finally the show in my hometown of Atlanta on April 15th. 

It’s gonna be great! So if you see me at a show, say hi! And if so inclined ,why not check out my GoFundMe for the big tour! 

In conclusion, Yay “Weird Al” Yankovic! 

Join a nice community, get access to patron-exclusive content and be a mensch over at https://www.patreon.com/nathanrabinshappyplace

AND/OR contribute to the GoFundMe for the tour, which has lots of neat rewards at discounted prices at https://www.gofundme.com/mediumweirdtrip