Weird Al Yankovic is a music legend, being one of only five musicians with a top 40 hit in 4 decades. Others? U2, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Kenny G. He is the undisputed king of parody songs, with some of his parodies becoming more memorable than the original song. As the wise Homer Simpson once said, “He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain even admitted he didn’t realize he had made it until Weird Al parodied “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” With a “biopic” about the singer (with Daniel Radcliffe playing Yankovic) about to be released, now seems like a good time to look at the best songs Weird Al has done on the movies.
6 Jurassic Park
This song is a parody of the song “MacArthur Park”, specifically the version of the song by Richard Harris, the same Richard Harris who was the first Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies. The original is about a breakup. Weird Al’s version is a recap of 1993’s Jurassic Park. The lyrics are filled with clever movie references, with mentions of chaos theory and the scene where a T-Rex kills and eats an avocado, which, according to the lyrics, means they’re not all bad. Although getting disembowelled drives Yankovic a bit crazy. Jimmy Webb, who wrote and sang the original version of “MacArthur Park,” is a fan of Weird Al’s version, and has even invited Yankovic on stage to sing the parody version a few times.
5 spy hard
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Written specifically for the Leslie Nielsen film of the same name, this song is a parody of James Bond theme songs, with the biggest influence being Tom Jones’ title track for Thunderball. Yankovic himself appears in the film’s title sequence, much like Sheena Easton did in For Your Eyes Only. Yankovic even manages to erase the film’s title and does a double take when his own name appears in the credits. As for the songs themselves, it’s pretty funny. Honestly, there are real Bond themed songs that aren’t nearly as good as this song. The song is about the life of a spy, ready for anything. There’s even mention of the spy agency that the spy is working to have a great dental plan, something Weird Al would say the CIA has a better one than the FBI in “Party in the CIA.” Kudos to Yankovic for holding that final score for as long as he did. The producers originally planned to wrap it up, but decided against it when they learned that Weird Al could keep it as long as needed.
“Gump” is a parody of the song “Lump” by the Presidents of the United States of America. It’s a recap of Forrest Gump from 1994. The song itself is quite funny, with the funniest lyrics referencing the scene where the titular character flashes his butt to President Lyndon Johnson when he asks where Forrest was shot. . It’s a testament to the power of Weird Al that his lyrics are so good that they influenced the original song. The final lyrics of Weird Al’s version are “That’s all I have to say about it”, a reference to how Forrest Gump ended some of his stories, including his speech during a protest in Washington DC. When the Presidents of the United States of America sing the original, they sometimes end the song the same way Weird Al did in his version.
20th century fox
“Yoda” is a parody of the Kinks’ song “Lola.” It was released in 1985 on Yankovic’s album, “Dare To Be Stupid.” Yankovic’s version is told from the perspective of Luke Skywalker and recounts the Jedi’s experiences with the former Jedi Master in The Empire Strikes Back. The lyrics are full of humor, as can be seen with lines like “I know Darth Vader really pissed you off/but remember if you kill him you’ll be out of a job”. The song is even comically prophetic, as later lyrics indicate that Luke has signed a long-term contract to make Star Wars movies for the rest of his life. Remember, this song was released in 1985. In 2017, Mark Hamill reprized the role of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, 34 years after Return of the Jedi hit theaters. Luke even has a scene with Yoda in The Last Jedi! It’s impressive the precision with which Weird Al called him.
2 Ode to a superhero
Via: Columbia Pictures
This song parodies Billy Joel’s classic, “Piano Man”. Weird Al’s version recaps the events of Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man movie. One of the best things about the song is how each main character gets hilarious beards, the best two being Norman and Harry Osborn. Harry talks about how he has a crush on Mary Jane, but as the lyrics say, “but to her surprise/it seems she prefers guys/who can kiss upside down in the rain” . Norman talks about how his formula drives him crazy and how he flies around with a “stupid Power Rangers mask”, but he’s scarier without it. No matter what character it’s about, the lyrics are incredibly funny. It’s almost impossible to think of the Billy Joel song and not want to sing “sling us a web/you’re the Spider-Man/sling us a web tonight” instead of the original lyrics.
1 The saga begins
Via: Lucasfilm Ltd.
“The Saga Begins” parodies Don McLean’s classic song, “American Pie.” McLean’s song is about grieving for his deceased musical heroes and the cultural transitions America was going through when the song was first released in 1971. Weird Al’s version is a faithful recap of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Threatens. Sung from the perspective of Obi-Wan Kenobi, “The Saga Begins” is one of the best and funniest songs Weird Al has ever done, especially because it’s such a story. specifics of the film in question. Weird Al’s lyrics are wonderful, with a great chorus in “My, my, this here Anakin guy/may be Vader a day later/now he’s just a small fry.” The really awesome part involves creating the song. Yankovic scoured the internet for leaks about the film’s story and plot before its release. When Yankovic finally saw the film, he only had to change two lyrics before releasing the song. Don McLean himself has admitted his love for the song and even confessed to almost singing Weird Al’s version during concerts because McLean’s kids sang the parody version so much. That’s how you know this song is legendary.