Hi, I’m “Weird Al” Yankovic, but you can call me Al. I record songs and make music videos and do concert tours and write books and sometimes do stuff in TV and films. You can Ask Me Anything. Except about the movie Rampart, I will not talk about that.

By the way, it’s a complete coincidence that I happen to be doing this AMA at the same time as the release of my new children’s book My New Teacher and Me!… but I should also mention that if you buy a copy today you will automatically be my new best friend in the whole world.

Look, it’s really me. See?

Still not convinced? Here’s definitive photographic proof. I guarantee this has not been Photoshopped.

Okay… whaddaya wanna know?


My book signing event here in Cincinnati is about to start, so I’m afraid I’ve got to leave. Thanks, everybody, this was really fun! Let’s do it again sometime!

Comments: 8507 • Responses: 57  • Date: 

chocolatesandwiches3278 karma

What is your favorite leg?

alyankovic2975 karma


wizarddray3191 karma

What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you?

alyankovic4189 karma

"What is your favorite leg?"

dougiebgood2716 karma

My old boss is your next door neighbor. I once used your driveway to turn around. Are you okay with that? Sorry I didn't ask 7 years ago.

alyankovic3424 karma

As I've found throughout my life, it's always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Having said that... I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN.

Neo_Unicorn2428 karma

Hello Al!!

Back in 1997, I was a senior in high school on Long Island and a bit on the nerdy and shy side. I was also a BIG fan of yours, and I thought about how much fun the prom would be if you took me. I wanted to write and ask you, but feared your rejection, which I didn’t think I could handle.

As a more mature woman in my 30s who can better handle rejection now...would you have gone to prom with me?

alyankovic3488 karma

Totally! It would have been awesome! Man, I'd hate to live with the kind of regret that YOU'RE probably feeling right about now! Whew!

thegauntlet2424 karma

Was at a place you were at with your wife and kid (our kids were in the same "performance") . Saw hundreds of people throughout the day approach you, ask for a picture, shake your hand and basically distract you from watching your kid perform. I was shocked to see you acknowledge and converse with every person but at the same time I felt bad for you having to deal with people literally every 3-5 mins wanting a picture. Is it hard being Al and maintaining a family life?

alyankovic2765 karma

My wife and daughter deal with fans and crowds pretty well (and I've had a fair amount of practice too) - we're able to navigate in public without too much trouble. And most people are actually pretty respectful of our privacy, so it's rare when a situation gets uncomfortable or out of control.

cracka_azz_cracka2302 karma

My ex-girlfriend's father claims that he wrote "Dare to be Stupid". He has a picture of you and him together and a typewritten set of lyrics. His name is Bryan Baker.

I've always wondered-- is there any truth to this?

alyankovic3124 karma

You mean the BIG FAT LIAR Bryan Baker? No.

lvbnhbq132226 karma

Do you like Kirk or do you like Picard?

alyankovic2935 karma

There are some questions I'm happy to answer freely, and some questions that will never be answered in this or any lifetime. This is one of those questions.

Eaglesfan4272051 karma

At what moment did you realize that your career was going places?

alyankovic3258 karma

Tuesday, 3:18 PM.

StickleyMan1941 karma

I received my first hand job with "I Wanna New Duck" playing in the background. I wanted to say thanks for inspiring her to get in the mood. I'm not sure what that says about her, but still. Thank you.

alyankovic2533 karma

What an amazing coincidence! I... never mind.

dv0rakftw1844 karma

How do we make UHF 2 a reality?

alyankovic2203 karma

Just close your eyes tightly and imagine it...

I'm truly grateful for all the interest in a UHF sequel, but I honestly don't see it happening. I'd love to do another movie, but... I'd prefer to let people just have their fond memories of UHF and try something a little different in the future.

wilkinswontkins1745 karma

Hi Al! Long-time fan. "Dare to be Stupid" was the first album I ever bought. My questions:

  • Have you ever considered doing an album of all original, "non-comedic" music? Sort of a "Normal" Al Yankovic kind of thing?

  • Would you ever consider doing another movie or TV series, if you had more creative control?

  • The "item list" in "Hardware Store" is amazing. How did you do that?

alyankovic2424 karma

  1. That has never appealed to me. I like doing the kind of music that I do, and I'm more than happy to leave the unfunny music to everybody else.

  2. Absolutely. I'm pitching a few ideas around town right now.

  3. I sang really, really fast!

happymaskmonster1704 karma

Is Coolio still upset about Amish Paradise?

alyankovic2361 karma

Coolio's cool with me now. We ran into each other a few years ago and it's all water under the proverbial bridge.

TownIdiot251558 karma

When I moved to Albuquerque, I went to The Sizzler and asked them about your song in which they were mentioned, and they had no idea what I was talking about. How could they forget the employee of the month who put out a grease fire with his face?

Also, when you sang "Albuqueruque" at the Toledo zoo a few years ago, you said "one armed" hamafrodite instead of "one-nostriled", and then played it off by rambling on a bit about how he also had one arm. I thought it was planned until I saw illegal tapes of you performing in other towns and saw that it was a legitimate mistake on stage, and my question is do you guys practice to keep going on with the riffs in the music in case something like that happens? Because you made it seem like it wasn't a mistake and I thought that that was pretty impressive.

alyankovic3070 karma

There are no mistakes on stage. I wrote all those songs, and I reserve the right to change the lyrics AT ANY TIME.

areallysmallusername1532 karma

Do you age?

alyankovic3027 karma

Well, the picture in my attic sure does!

bernerbits1518 karma

What is one question that nobody has ever asked you in an interview, that you really really really wish someone would ask?

alyankovic2956 karma

May I give you this box full of money?

Bleach-Free1429 karma

Is there a parody that you've made that you wish you could un-make?

alyankovic2285 karma

I've done parodies in the past that I'm... well, let's say not as proud of as I'd like to be. But I've found that even my crappiest songs have their fans. Humor is subjective, after all.

btbcorno1412 karma

My girlfriend stuck at work wants to know "Have you ever had the balls to perform 'I'll Sue Ya' in New Jersey"?

alyankovic2205 karma

Absolutely. My fans have senses of humor, after all. The biggest reactions I get for "Canadian Idiot" are when we play it in Canada.

BackedCopCar1326 karma

What did you find to be the hardest song to parody?

alyankovic2053 karma

The hardest songs to parody are the ones that don't have a whole lot of words, or are extremely repetitive. That's why I did my '80s George Harrison parody "This Song's Just Six Words Long" - where I basically just make fun of the repetitiveness of the song.

live62151101 karma

What are the chances of a reissue campaign featuring your early albums happening? It would be great to have those albums with all original artwork, comprehensive liner notes, and (perhaps?) bonus tracks.

alyankovic1644 karma

Given the state of the music industry, I wouldn't hold my breath. But I'd love to see that too!

Minifig811097 karma

I own all your albums (including a few of the rare box sets) but I'm genuinely curious how do you feel about music piracy?

alyankovic2453 karma

I think it's only wrong when it happens to ME - then it really SUCKS!

Such_Great_Heights_1096 karma

Hey Al, I'm a huge fan and such. I have 3 questions for you.

  • Who is your favorite comedian?
  • What type of music do you listen to?
  • What shampoo do you use?

alyankovic1314 karma

  1. I can't/won't say that I have just one favorite comedian. Check out whom I'm following on Twitter - that will give you some idea of my taste in comedy.

  2. A little bit of everything, but I prefer music that some might label "alternative."

  3. Whatever's in the bathroom shower.

Our-Year1024 karma


alyankovic1953 karma

I probably would say Paul McCartney. He agreed to do a cameo in a short film I made a couple years ago called "Al's Brain in 3-D" ... which he certainly didn't need to do because he's freaking Paul McCartney. Even though I was a lifelong fan before, that catapulted my admiration into the stratosphere.

OLEVAR956 karma

Hello Al! What was the best response you had from an artist you asked to parody?

alyankovic2138 karma

Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits said, "Well, okay, but you have to let me play guitar on it!"

JO728952 karma

Hello Al! I'm coming to your book signing on Saturday. Anything I can bring you? Snacks? Drink? Snorkel?

alyankovic2163 karma

Maybe try bringing a BOOK. It's a stinking BOOK SIGNING, after all.

Jokaroni843 karma

Good day sir! What is the best venue you have played in and what made is so great?

alyankovic2012 karma

I might have to say, in all my years of playing live, probably Bonnaroo, which I did just a week ago. I had 10,000 people going completely insane - it was beautiful. At the end of the show I just stood at the end of the stage and tried to soak in all the energy - I'd never felt anything quite like it.

dakotacage834 karma

Which one of your parodies do you consider your favorite so far? Edit: corrected grammar.

alyankovic2282 karma

My stock answer is "White & Nerdy," because I did a lifetime's worth of research in order to write those lyrics.

bathtub_jen771 karma

who would you not dare parody, if anyone?

alyankovic1679 karma

There's nobody off limits. Everybody should just take a number, I'll get to you all eventually.

alexbgoode84759 karma

My wife and I were married on June 9th and not only did we play one of your songs at our wedding (The Saga Begins), but your concert in Dallas during your Alpocalypse tour was our second date! So thank you for being awesome and rocking my whole life!

Question though: What makes you laugh and can you even listen to music and NOT come up with a parody?

alyankovic1233 karma

Being shackled to a wall and tickled with peacock feathers makes me laugh.

99.9997% of the time I listen to music, I'm not simultaneously coming up with a parody in my head.

zachgilbertson710 karma

Can you make a homepage for my dog?

alyankovic1466 karma

Could. Shan't.

curlymike702 karma

Hey Al, thanks for stopping by!

A few years ago it was reported that you were writing and directing a feature film, but Cartoon Network Dropped it and you were shopping it around studios-- is that movie still in the works?

alyankovic1241 karma

Not really - it was really kind of geared for Cartoon Network. And I've already cannibalized jokes from that script to use for other projects.

spcms696 karma

Who would you want to play you in your biopic?

alyankovic2043 karma

Well, Aaron Paul is the obvious choice. If he's not available, maybe Alanis Morissette.

aSoullessGinger640 karma

What was Leslie Nielsen like? How awesome was it working with him in Naked Gun?

alyankovic1063 karma

Leslie was amazing, and it was an enormous thrill working with him. He took such joy in his work and was always fun to be around on set. Terribly sad that he's no longer with us.

Malthous604 karma

Which celebrity that you have met is even 'weirder' than you are?

alyankovic1589 karma

Well, let's see... hmmm... MOST OF THEM.

A_Dog_Chasing_Cars596 karma

Hi Mr. Yankovic, thanks for doing the AMA!

What's the best/funniest gift a fan has ever given you?

What is your favourite movie?

Is it true that if I kill you, I become you?

alyankovic1170 karma

  1. Hard to pick, but I've gotten some amazing fan art over the years.

  2. Top Secret

  3. Only one way to find out! Wait...

Number1AbeLincolnFan552 karma


alyankovic768 karma

I've always been a big fan of kid lit - I loved Dr. Seuss when I was a small child and I've always been a huge admirer of Shel Silverstein - so when I was offered a chance to do children's books by HarperCollins, I jumped at it. Nathan Rabin and I wrote that biography/coffee-table book which came out at the end of last year, so I don't have any hankering to release anything else of that ilk - and I don't have any real strong desire to write novels. So, I think I'm sticking with the children's books.

phyllodactylus552 karma

How should I spend this Saturday?

alyankovic1612 karma

Pondering your mortality and eating Doritos.

thekwyjibo549 karma

Will UHF ever be available on blu-ray?

alyankovic1281 karma

Man, I would love that. My manager has been looking into it, but MGM is saying things like "There's not enough interest" and "Nobody's buying Blu-Rays anymore." Feel free to have a flash mob protest in their parking lot.

Alias28544 karma


alyankovic1191 karma

I'm always glad to hear when my music helps people get through difficult times in their life. But your aunt was right, I AM disgusting.

Quick answers to your questions:

  1. No - I get asked that a lot, and it's very flattering, but I think if people enjoyed UHF, I should just let them keep their fond memories of it and not do UHF The Next Generation.

  2. You can call me Al.

  3. Yes - out of respect for them I won't mention any names, but it's happened a few times.

  4. Not up front, but they get royalties.

  5. There would be way too many legal clearances necessary for a retail release - so feel free to nab copies from friends or off the Internet.


chainsaw_sharkfart518 karma

I have a few questions: 1. How many push-ups can you do? 2. On a scale from 1-10, how much do you like scales from 1-10? 3. If you could have any ONE superpower, what would it be?

Thanks for your many years of keeping my family and I entertained, I feel like I owe you a Twinkie Wiener Sandwich.

alyankovic952 karma

  1. 3 more than you.

  2. 7.536

  3. The power to floss my teeth in my sleep.

not-my-cabbage-corp513 karma

Exactly how much of your life has been spent living in an Amish pardise? And how's the food?

alyankovic903 karma

  1. Less than 3%.

  2. Okay, I guess.

DeezyCheezy501 karma

I read somewhere that you promised Kurt Cobain that you wouldn't make your parody of Smells Like Teen Spirit about food. But if you HAD written it about food, what food would it be about?

alyankovic974 karma

Scalloped potatoes.

PwnZer500 karma

Big Fan here of both your music and all of your work in the 'Alternative' comedy scene (Tim & Eric, Comedy Bang Bang, etc.) really psyched about this AMA.

1)You've slowly lost your glasses, why change?

2)What shampoo do you use?

3)In your interview with Nardwuar it seemed very tense between you two, did I just interpret that wrong or is there another side to the story?

alyankovic898 karma

  1. Actually I lost my glasses pretty quickly - right after my LASIK surgery in 1998. If I don't need to wear glasses anymore, why should I? I'm all about KEEPING IT REAL.

  2. Whatever they have in those little bottles in the hotel shower.

  3. Nardwuar and I were having a great time - I love being interviewed by him. If there was any tension, it certainly wasn't on MY end!

ViridisLeo494 karma

Have you ever written a song then said "This is too inappropriate" or "This is too offensive" And scrapped it?

alyankovic990 karma

No - all my editing takes place in the concept stage. I might have an IDEA and think that, but never would I write a whole song and then say, "Wait a minute - this is completely inappropriate!"

lmxbftw484 karma

Have there been any songs you thought were "too good" for parody, or had a hard time deciding to parody? I'm guessing no, but I've always thought it was interesting that you devoted an entire polka to Bohemian Rhapsody. That's the only song to enjoy that distinction, I think?

Also, what convinced you to change your hair and shave your mustache? That was such an iconic look!

alyankovic860 karma

I've never been afraid to tackle a beloved, iconic song ("American Pie," anyone?) so no, I've never felt a song was "too good" to parody. My parodies are done with love and respect. Well, in most cases.

bengalgod422 karma

I have been a fan of your work since I was seven. My parents used to take me on incredibly long car trips, and I had only a greatist hits cassette and a Food Album cassette to keep me sane when I couldn't stand any more Ray Stevens. Your sense of humor and your style have been a soothing beacon affixing me to reality for over two decades now that I'm 30.

But that wasn't a question, so I'd like to know, how do you like board games? Wanna hang out?

alyankovic668 karma

  1. I like them just fine - I play them with my daughter all the time.

  2. Yeah, okay.

Ohmiglob277 karma

Hey Weird Al, Thank you in advance for doing this AMA. I had a summer camp consular who introduced me to your music, we went through your entire discography at least 4 times. Including an advance copy of craigslist that he got from you. One of my favorite memories of summer camp was driving for hours listening to your songs. Anyways to my question,

1) Do you have a process to choosing your parodies? Do you just Ad-lib to the radio?

2) How did the cover to MF DOOM's song "Accordion" come about?

3) Did you get any reaction from DOOM about the cover?

EDIT: The cover [link] Thanks to /u/Chucke4711!

alyankovic455 karma

  1. No, I don't freestyle my lyrics - they're the result of a fairly substantial amount of time and effort.

  2. I was the guest accordion player for the Roots on an episode of the Jimmy Fallon show, and while we were rehearsing Questlove suggested we jam on the MF DOOM song. He recorded our performance, and it went kind of viral. I LOVED playing with the Roots - one of the coolest things I've ever done.

  3. I'm not aware if DOOM's heard it.

superslider77267 karma

Were you able to get that rabid wolverine out of your underwear? Also, please do a song with The Lonely Island!

alyankovic748 karma

First of all, I don't particularly mind the rabid wolverine in my underwear. And secondly, I love The Lonely Island and would be happy to do anything they wanted me to do that didn't involve dolphin torture or genital mutilation.

TessandraFae160 karma

Has anyone ever made a parody of one of your original songs? How do you feel about folks making parodies of your songs?

alyankovic332 karma

Well, I'd be living in a glass house if I had a problem with that, wouldn't I? I've heard a number of parodies of my original songs - one of which is a big favorite of my daughter's (Steve Goodie's parody of "Hardware Store" called "Dumbledore").

Jesusbait138 karma

Dare to be Stupid is the greatest album ever. Also, thanks for making my childhood wonderful!

alyankovic161 karma

Thanks, and my pleasure!

GoldMoat124 karma

How and why did you write the chant you sing after/during Yoda at concerts? I had a DVD with one of your concerts on it, and when I was a really tiny kid that was my favorite part, but have also always been fairly confused about its existence.

alyankovic201 karma

That's just something that's grown over the years - we started doing the Indian chant part in the early 90's, I think, and we've just kept adding to it every tour, to the point where it's now just this incredibly long, crazy thing.

skjoldan121 karma

Hi Al, I wanted to say, thanks for finally coming to Europe a couple of years ago, went to London from Denmark just to see you, and it was all worth it.

Are you planning to come back to Europe Again??

And will you make a UHF 2?

alyankovic202 karma

It was a real thrill for me to do my (truncated) European tour a couple years ago. It's very expensive to fly all the equipment overseas to perform there - I wish I could perform there a lot more often, but we have to wait until we can line up a tour where I don't wind up losing money. I remember I was quite sick when I was in the UK - I desperate want to go back and show the fans there what I sound like when I DON'T have strep throat!

Griftr93 karma

How do you maintain your glorious mane of hair?

alyankovic195 karma

I hot-glue the follicles to my scalp every morning. It's painful and time-consuming, but well worth it.

happysteve85 karma

So what had you learned from your "Internet Leaks" experiment? Will you be doing so again for the new album?

alyankovic173 karma

"Internet Leaks" served a few purposes - it allowed fans to enjoy 5 of my songs a couple years before the full album came out, and it allowed me to play those songs in my live show, and it even got me an extra Grammy nomination! But I'm not inclined to do it again, because when Alpocalypse finally did come out, a number of fans groused that they were disappointed because they'd heard half the album already. So ultimately, I think I'd like my next album to be perceived as all new material when it comes out in 2019.

caseyk2768 karma


What was it like getting permission from Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, B.O.B. and Bruno Mars to parody them on Alpocalypse? Did you ever hear a response to your parodies from them?

Also, what were the videos for "Couch Potato" and "You're Pitiful" going to look like? What would we have seen had you gotten actual permission to shoot them?

Have a great tour! See you at the Boulder Theater next month! I'll be wearing my "Craigslist" shirt!

Your pal, Casey

alyankovic119 karma

  1. Actually, no, I haven't heard back from any of them, but I did get their permission in advance, so I'm assuming they're okay with what I did!

  2. The "Couch Potato" video was going to be a big budget, heavily produced clip where I recreated pretty much every show name-checked in the song. The "You're Pitiful" video would have been a direct parody of the "You're Beautiful" video - and part of me is actually glad I didn't have to do that one because I would have had to take my shirt off (as James Blunt did), and I didn't want to have to work out in a gym for 2 months to prevent the world from being grossed out by my less than stellar physique.

TheLazyRedditor67 karma

Whats one thing you want to do before you die?

alyankovic210 karma

I'm gonna go with "death rattle."

bcorn359 karma

Do you usually write the lyrics once you find a song you'd like to parody, or do you have the lyrics written out waiting for the right song to adjust them to?

alyankovic279 karma

Yes, I had the lyrics for "Eat It" written in 1974. I was SO HAPPY when Michael Jackson came out with "Beat It" 9 years later so I could finally put them to good use!

gou1535 karma

Not often someone gets to express gratitude to a respected musician. Between accordion playing and innovative lyrical genius, you're a very multi-talented individual which I highly respect and admire. I start everyday at work listening to "Your Horoscope for Today." (I'm a Pisces). Just wanted to say thanks, keep doing what you're doing, and... uh... question...

As a multi-talented individual, what talent do you have that not a lot of people know you have, or that no one knows you have?

Thanks Al.

edit - grammatical

alyankovic88 karma

I can paint highly detailed images on the head of a pin. As long as the pin is at least 3 feet wide.