There's a Move to Put "Weird Al" Yankovic in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they're Probably Right
Nobody has done comedy and satire in music better than "Weird Al"
When I was a kid, I listened to a LOT of “Weird Al” Yankovic. I have most of his early albums on tape. I have the 1994 boxed set “Permanent Record”. I still know all of the words to “Yoda.” So yeah, I listened to a lot of “Weird Al.”
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve listened to “Weird Al” less and less, probably as much as my general crankiness as anything else. Even if “White and Nerdy” perfectly describes me.
I did discover recently, however, that there is an effort to put “Weird Al” in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Twitter account @InductWeirdAl has been on a one person(?) crusade recently to make this happen. And they’re probably right.
Think about it:
“Weird Al” went has six Platinum albums (one of which was Double Platinum), three Gold albums, one Platinum and four Gold video albums, a Platinum single and a Gold single;
He’s a five-time Grammy winner;
He still is regularly touring and selling out shows across the country;
He parlayed his fame into an incredibly underrated movie, UHF.
More importantly than the numbers, however, is he contribution to the genre. Writing satire is easy, but writing good satire is incredibly hard. Now, try to write fit that satire into music and a lyrical scheme that somebody else wrote. Now, go and record that song in an effort to best emulate the musical style that you are parodying. Now, go make a video that parodies the artist but also reflects the song.
See how hard this is now?
Plus, he’s probably the most famous accordion player of all time.
“Weird Al” Yankovic is a different story. He’s one of our most beloved, consistent and enduring entertainers, a legend, national treasure and comic genius who broke out of the novelty music ghetto to have a career for the ages. No one can deny that over the course of his four decades as a recording artist Al has left an indelible and overwhelmingly positive mark on the world of pop music and pop culture.
But then there’s the Kurt Cobain anecdote. The legendary late front man of Nirvana said he felt like he truly made it when Yankovic released “Smells Like Nirvana” That reaction, more than anything else, speaks volumes about Yankovic’s contribution to rock and roll.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, more so than other organizations of its ilk, is rife with politics and nonsense in their selection process. But there are many, many far less qualified honorees than “Weird Al.” Consider me a member of the movement: #GetWeirdAlInTheHall