31 Weirdest Easter Eggs in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’
“Weird Al” Yankovic has one of the most intense, loyal, obsessive, and just plain weird fanbases in all of pop culture. He knows his fans will listen to his albums and watch his videos again and again, so he fills them with neat little details you won’t notice on your first, second, or even twenty-seventh listen.
And… I… the author of this article, should know. I wrote the book about 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 with several other books on the pop parodist, including 2020′ Jthe weird accordion to al: ridiculously ill-advised vanity editiona 500-page guide to his life’s work in music, TV and film, and the newly released coloring book The Weird A-Coloring to Al: Cynical Movie Cash-In Editionjust out.
In any event. Yankovic is greeted enthusiastically Roku fake biopic Bizarre: the story of Al Yankovic, which recently won the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and opens to a deafening buzz. Although the film is very not a true account of the real life of Al Yankovicit is filled with many references to the tradition of Weird Al.
Here are 31 nifty Easter eggs and deep references you might have missed 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 Magazinee : Crazy magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman can be seen in the background of several scenes, a tribute to Al’s love for the magazine, a major influence on his music and films. Mad numbers can also be found in Al’s childhood bedroom.
- bing crosby: Al’s father mockingly compares his son to Bing Crosby, a father famous for his coldness and emotional abuse like Al’s in the film.
- Music man: Thomas Lennon’s viciously abused and anachronistic accordion salesman is a parody of con man Henry Higgins from The music man.
- Polka night: As a teenager, Al attends a wild and loud polka party, a nod to his unsuccessful 1986 album, Polka Party!
- Comedy shot! Bang! The cop who brings young Al back to his parents from polka night is played by podcast host Scott Aukerman Comedy shot! Bang! and its television adaptation, which featured Al as the conductor in its fifth and final season.
- The group: Although they are never mentioned by their full names, Al’s housemates who became band members are his real band Steve Jay, Jim “Kimo” West, and drummer Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz.
- UHF: When Al snatches a ticket for the band’s auditions, a flyer for Kuni’s karate school – which featured prominently in the film UHF – can be seen in the background.
- Punk: Al auditions for a punk band while playing a solo 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.
- Science of mystery: One of the punks who rejects Al’s audition is played by the comedian and Mystery Science Theater 3000 host Jonah Ray, who released a “Weird Al” Yankovic punk cover EP titled You Can’t Call Me Al.
- Future foods: When Al is making 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 near the bus station with good acoustics is a reference to him recording “My Bologna” in a bathroom for The Dr. Demento Show very early in his career.
- Big record deal: Al being mockedly 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.
- Record company: Will Forte and the real Al play the Scotti Brothers, the real owners of the label that released Al’s albums.
- Rocky path: Al debut “I Love Rocky Road” in a punk club is more plausible than you imagine! The original was recorded by Joan Jett, a member of founding punk band The Runaways, and Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols backed Jett during his initial recording.
- Origin of Funny or Die: The rowdy 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 which is in the video for “Foil”.
- Fish heads: When Dr. Demento says the Scotti Brothers wouldn’t recognize real talent if he hit them in the face with a fish, it’s a winking tribute to Barnes and Barnes’ most popular song “Fish Heads.” from the story of Dr. .Demento Show.
- Art Brut : Demento compares Al to Wildman Fischer, a popular foreign artist on The Dr. Demento Show.
- Dirk Diggler: Demento’s pool party is a parody of Boogie nights.
- Devote: The men in red hats from the Demento pool party scene are members of Devo, the inspiration for Al’s “Dare to be Stupid.”
- Theater: Pee-Wee Herman does the dance he did for “Tequila” at Demento’s pool party
- Emo: Salvador Dali is played by Emo Phillips, who starred in UHF and opened for Al on several tours.
- Queen: John Deacon, the Queen member no one recognizes even after saying his name, is the only songwriter credited with “Another One Bites the Dust”, meaning he would have a financial incentive for Al to parody 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 recording original of “Another One Rides the Bus” and “Musical” pet-rock virtuoso Mike Kieffer, whose particular specialty enlivened Al’s early albums.
- LDS: In the film, Dr. Demento doses Al with LSD. In real life, Al shared a manager (Jay Levey) with Dr. Demento and LSD guru Timothy Leary.
- BCB: The Yankovic Bump refers to “The CBB Bump”, or gains popularity after someone appears on the Comedy shot! Bang! Podcast.
- India : 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 through Section 27. The number 27 has a special meaning in Al’s mythology. (However, in real life, he doesn’t drink)
- The doors: Al drunk and shirtless insulting the fans is a parody of a similar sequence in Oliver Stone The doors.
- Love in real life: The woman seated next to Al’s character during the closing ceremony is Al’s real wife, Suzanne Yankovic.
- RIP Coolio: The crazy-haired man scowling at Al as he performs “Amish Paradise” is the late Coolio, who objected to Al’s parody before making peace with him.