10. Like A Surgeon: Released in 1985 on his Dare to Be Stupid album, “Like A Surgeon” is a parody of Madonna’s smash “Like a Virgin.” The video is hilarious even featuring a lion just like in Madonna’s video for her song. The lyrics talk about how Al being a surgeon…sort of, with sidesplitting lines like, “I finally made it through med school/Somehow I made it through/I’m just an intern/I still make a mistake or two/I was last in my class/Barely passed at the institute/Now I’m trying to avoid, yah I’m trying to avoid/A malpractice suit/Hey, like a surgeon/Cuttin’ for the very first time/Like a surgeon/Organ transplants are my line.” It peaked at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Recording in 1986. One of his early showings, “Like A Surgeon” was just the beginning of Yankovic’s musical genius.
9. Addicted to Spuds: Released on his 4th studio album, 1986’s Polka Party!, “Addicted to Spuds” was a parody of Robert Palmer’s monster smash “Addicted to Love.” When Yankovic did the song live, he substituted the hot black dressed models in Palmer’s video for potatoes that looked like Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head and talked about loving all kinds of potatoes with lyrics like, “Potato skins, potato cakes/Hash browns, and instant flakes/Baked or boiled or french fried/There’s no kind you haven’t tried/You planned a trip to Idaho/Just to watch potatoes grow/I understand how you must feel/I can’t deny they’ve got appeal/Whoah/You like them whether they are plain or they’re stuffed, oh yeah/Better face the facts, it seems you can’t get enough/You know, you’re gonna have to face it/You’re addicted to spuds.” HILARIOUS!
8. Confessions Part 3: Off of Yankovic’s 2006 album Straight Outta Lynwood, “Confessions Part 3” was a parody on Usher’s hit “Confessions Part II.” On the original, Usher sings about confessing his infidelity and how the girl he cheated with is now pregnant, Yankovic confesses as well but about gross things he’s done like using his girlfriend’s toothbrush to clean the grout in the bathroom. Some of Yankovic’s confessions are downright gross but listeners and hardcore “Weird” Al fans were left in stitches with lines like, “Now this is gonna be the hardest thing I ever had to do,/Gonna tell you everything I left out of parts one and two/Like remember when I told you I knew Paulie Shore (Paulie Shore)/That’s a lie, I don’t know what I said that for/I borrowed your chapstick (from you)/Without asking I tried out your nose hair trimmer (too)/And by the way your diamond ring is cubic zirconium,/I killed your goldfish accidentally, just replaced it with another one.” Which one’s confessions are worse? At least, one can laugh at Yankovic’s confessions.
7. Couch Potato: Off of his 11th studio album, 2003’s Poodie Hat, “Couch Potato” was a parody on Eminem’s track “Lose Yourself.” Eminem expressed concern that a music video for the song would hurt his career but Yankovic did eventually release a video for the song, in which Yankovic talks about how much television he watches. I think he names almost every cable station at the time in this song, which has lines like, “Look/If you had/One shot/To sit on your lazy butt/And watch all the TV you ever wanted/Until your brain turned to mush/Would you go for it?/Or just let it slip?/Yo… “You’re gonna lose your mind watchin’ TV” They told me, they’d scold me/But I’d still tune in every show (show)/My cable gets C-SPAN, TV-Land, and HBO/The Travel Channel, Discovery, and Lifetime (yo).”
6. Smells Like Nirvana:This parody of the popular grunge band Nirvana’s monster hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” came off of Al’s 1992 album Off the Deep End. The video for the song was shot on the same sound stage as the original and featured many of the same extras including the janitor. In the video, Yankovic dressed up like Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and mumbled intelligible lyrics poking fun at the fact that no one really knew the lyrics of the original anyway with lines like, “What is this song all about?/Can’t figure any lyrics out/How do the words to it go?/I wish you’d tell me, I don’t know/Don’t know, don’t know, don’t know, oh no/Don’t know, don’t know, don’t know… Well, we don’t sound like Madonna/Here we are now, we’re Nirvana/Sing distinctly? We don’t wanna/Buy our album, we’re Nirvana/A garage band from Seattle/Well, it sure beats raising cattle/Yeah.” I couldn’t decide which I liked best, Yankovic’s parody or Nirvana’s song, LOL!
5. Eat It: Off of his second studio album, 1983’s In 3-D, “Eat It” was a parody of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” It was Yankovic’s highest-charting U.S. single on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 12 until “White & Nerdy” peaked at number 9 in October 2006. “Eat It” earned Yankovic a 1984 Grammy Award in the Best Comedy Recording category. In the video, Yankovic parodied the gang members featured in Jackson’s video doing silly stuff instead of inciting a gang war like in Jackson’s video. In the song, Yankovic talks about just giving in and eating certain foods with such lyrics as, “How come you’re always such a fussy young man/Don’t want no Captain Crunch, don’t want no Raisin Bran/Well, don’t you know that other kids are starving in Japan/So eat it, just eat it/ Don’t want to argue, I don’t want to debate/Don’t want to hear about what kind of food you hate/You won’t get no dessert ’till you clean off your plate/So eat it.” Stuffing your face as opposed to joining a street gang, only Yankovic could have come up with this and music fans ate it up, LOL!
4. Fat: Off his 1988 album Even Worse, “Fat” was Yankovic second parody of a Michael Jackson song, this time he was parodying MJ’s “Bad.” In the video, Yankovic dressed like Jackson did in his video for “Bad” but Yankovic got “Fat” instead of “Bad” and wore a fat suit and had similarly overweight dancers dance around him. The lyrics are ingenious including, “Your butt is wide, well mine is too/Just watch your mouth or I’ll sit on you/The word is out, better treat me right/’Cause I’m the king of cellulite/Ham on, ham on, ham on whole wheat, all right…Because I’m fat, I’m fat, come on/(Fat, fat, really really fat)/You know I’m fat, I’m fat, you know it/(Fat, fat, really really fat)/You know I’m fat, I’m fat, come on you know/(Fat, fat, really really fat)/Don’t you call me pudgy, portly or stout/Just now tell me once again who’s fat.”
3. Amish Paradise: Off of Yankovic’s ninth studio album, 1996’s Bad Hair Day, “Amish Paradise” was a parody of rapper Coolio’s smash track, “Gangsta’s Paradise.” In Coolio’s version, he raps about his dangerous lifestyle whereas in Yankovic’s parody, he sings about living an Amish lifestyle. Similar elements were in both videos but Yankovic’s imagery and lyrics were truly witty such as, “As I walk through the valley where I harvest my grain/I take a look at my wife and realize she’s very plain/But that’s just perfect for an Amish like me/You know, I shun fancy things like electricity/At 4:30 in the morning I’m milkin’ cows/Jebediah feeds the chickens and Jacob plows… fool/And I’ve been milkin’ and plowin’ so long that/Even Ezekiel thinks that my mind is gone/I’m a man of the land, I’m into discipline/Got a Bible in my hand and a beard on my chin/But if I finish all of my chores and you finish thine/Then tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1699We been spending most our lives/Living in an Amish paradise/I’ve churned butter once or twice/Living in an Amish paradise/It’s hard work and sacrifice/Living in an Amish paradise/We sell quilts at discount price/Living in an Amish paradise.”
2. White and Nerdy: Off of Yankovic’s 2006 album Straight Outta Lynwood, “White and Nerdy” was a parody of rappers Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone’s hit “Ridin.” Whereas on the original, Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone rap about their thug lifestyle, Yankovic sang about his nerd lifestyle and wanting to friends with gangstas. In the video, which also featured Donny Osmond, has Yankovic singing about being a pro at Dungeons & Dragons and about which Star Trek captain he likes best. Absolutely hysterical!
1. eBay: Off of Yankovic’s 2003 album Poodie Hat, “eBay” is a parody of the Backstreet Boys mega hit,“I Want It That Way.” Yankovic sings about buying and obscure items on the infamous auction site. The lyrics are absolutely genius as Yankovic sings about buying the weirdest stuff like, “Tell me why (I need another pet rock)/Tell me why (I got that Alf alarm clock)/Tell me why (I bid on Shatner’s old toupee)/They had it on eBay… Wanna buy (that Farrah Fawcet poster)/(Pez dispensers and a toaster)/(Don’t know why … the kind of stuff you’d throw away)/(I’ll buy on eBay)” Completely brilliant!!