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Weird Al: Forefather of the YouTube Spoof

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Old 10-05-2008
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Weird Al: Forefather of the YouTube Spoof
When "Weird Al" Yankovic packs for the road, he brings the following items: One red leather Michael Jackson jacket, one foam-rubber double chin, one Segway, one garden hoe, one silver dress suit, five Amish beards, five Jedi robes, and two accordions. That's actually just a partial inventory, as Yankovic employs so many costumes and hairpieces during his shows that a makeshift dressing room must be set up directly behind the stage—a sort of musical-parody triage unit. His performances usually last two and a half hours, and between each song he slips back to this space, where a wardrobe assistant affixes whatever wig or fake appendage he needs for the next number. When he reemerges, he'll have morphed into one of his countless music-video personas: There's Yankovic as the bearded laborer from "Amish Paradise" (a riff on Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise"), as the marble-mouthed grunge singer from "Smells Like Nirvana" (a satire of "Smells Like **** Spirit"), and as the diet-obsessed nag from "Eat It" (a parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It"). At some point, Yankovic will switch into an old bowling shirt or thick, aviator-style glasses, his standard uniform in the '80s and '90s: Yankovic has been imitating others for so long that nowadays he occasionally has to imitate himself. Weird Al Yankovich "Hey Ricky" This year marks the 25th anniversary of Yankovic's first music video, "Ricky," in which he reimagined Toni Basil's "Mickey" as an ode to I Love Lucy....

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