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'Weird Al' Yankovic releases new songs from 'Mandatory Fun' album

“It might sound crazy what I’m about to say” to quote singer Pharrell Williams, seems to describe, in part, almost any "Weird Al" Yankovic song. However, in an almost 40-year-career parodying famous songs (in which some have become beloved classics) add brilliant, catchy, amusing, and Yankovic’s music career has had more staying power than some celebrities he has imitated.

Musician Alfred Matthew 'Weird Al' Yankovic attends the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of 'They Came Together' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by David Buchan/Getty Images

Yankovic’s latest album is entitled Mandatory Fun, and he has been releasing videos of his new songs over the past eight days. He kicked off the Mandatory Fun marathon with a parody of the Pharrell Williams’s song, "Happy" renamed "Tacky" and features celebrities such as Jack Black, Aisha Tyler, and Margaret Cho. He released then "Word Crimes", a parody of Robin Thicke’s "Blurred Lines" featuring Pharrell Williams. The video talks about popular mistakes in grammar. Lorde’s "Royals" was renamed "Foil", which focuses on many uses of aluminum foil. He spoofs Iggy Azalea’s monster hit, "Fancy" with "Handy", an ode to the contractor. Weird Al latest parody released today, "Lame Claim to Fame," parodies the Southern Culture on the Skids song, "Camel Walk." The video focuses on menial encounters with celebrities.

A Grammy award-winner and having made appearances on film and television, "Weird Al’s" sometimes dizzying hit songs range from shocking to hilarious. He got his start on the Dr. Demento show with "My Bologna", a parody song of The Knack’s "My Sharona" in 1979. An avid polka player and accordionist, "Weird Al’s" songs have run the gamut of song genres and he has also written some non-parodies, but his most successful works have come directly from pop culture. He has parodied a laundry list of celebrities, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, Nirvana, Coolio, and Rage Against the Machine.

In an interview with CNN, Weird Al stated:

The internet is the new MTV. I’m basically marketing to the online audience. I used to think about, what would the MTV executives like? Now it’s basically, what do I like, what do my fans like?”

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