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Weird Al Yankovic interview: The “Cliff Notes of music”

Weird Al Yankovic spoke with Monsters and Critics at the unveiling of his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It took 13 years for Weird Al Yankovic to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Fans were petitioning the city and donating funds since 2005.

When he finally unveiled his star at 6914 Hollywood Blvd., Yankovic celebrated his achievement in the most satirically Weird Al way possible.

“I asked, ‘If it’s possible at all, can the star be directly next to my two all time greatest musical influences, Roy Clarke and Barry White? And also, I don’t want to be pushy, but if I could be within 200 feet of a Hooters,’” Yankovic observed. “So ladies and gentlemen, dreams do come true.”

Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al Yankovic looking serious.

Yankovic’s acceptance speech was full of the sort of brilliant satire that fuels his comedic music. You can read a full report here.

After the unveiling, Yankovic spoke with Monsters and Critics about his star’s location, his upcoming tour and future music plans now that he’s sworn off releasing full albums.

Weird Al Yankovic
Yup, it’s finally here. Weird Al Yankovic’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Monsters and Critics: You joked about being next to Hooters, but this is a prime location, isn’t it?

Weird Al Yankovic: Oh yeah.

M&C: Lots more people will see this than the ones way down the street, aren’t they?

WAY: Ana [Martinez of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce] made it happen. She’s the one that hooked me up.

M&C: I had the opportunity to listen to your back catalog on a long drive, and it occurred to me I wasn’t just revisiting on all the Weird Al albums I listened to in my life. It was all the music you documented by parodying it. Have you ever thought of yourself as a sort of historical documentarian?

WAY: I don’t really think of myself that way but a lot of fans have noted that my albums are sort of like time capsules. You listen to any given album and it sort of reflects what the music was like of that period. So a sort of Cliff Notes of music, if you’re not following popular music you can listen to one of my albums and at least get a sense of it.

M&C: Have changes in music ever made it more challenging to parody popular songs?

WAY: No, it makes it interesting because pop music is always changing. I’m a big fan of pop music and as long as it changes, I just change right along with it.

Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al Yankovic strikes all the familiar poses at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

M&C: You’re already planning a new tour, Strings Attached. Are you working on a new album?

WAY: I’m probably not going to be doing any more albums per se. I will continue to do new music. There’s nothing in the works right now but I anticipate at some point there will be. The next tour is, I’m guessing, not going to feature any new music. It will feature some songs that we’ve never done live before. It’s sort of a greatest hits plus rarities, retrospective. It’s a little bit of everything but probably no new music.

M&C: Are you saying Mandatory Fun is your last album ever?

WAY: Probably, yeah.

M&C: Is that because there are other ways to release music now?

WAY: Basically, yeah. I’m not retiring. It feels sort of ironic for me to say that when Mandatory Fun debuted at number one and was a history making release. I just feel it doesn’t make sense for me to wait until I have 12 songs and put them all out at once. I’d rather just come up with something and just put it out there.

Fred Topel has been a journalist since 1999. Over the decades he’s written for About.com, Hollywood.com, CraveOnline, Rotten Tomatoes and Slashfilm. Fred brings Monsters and... read more

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