‘Mandatory Fun’ by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

At this point, I think it’s safe to say that “Weird Al’ Yankovic is a national treasure in pop culture. For more than 30 years, he has poked fun all just about every pop music icon and trend. From Michael Jackson to Nirvana to Coolio to Pharrell Williams, the man has spoofed their hits and music videos.

This week, he has released another album full of gems that poke fun at a lot of contemporary hits (ie: earworms). “Mandatory Fun” is hilarious, at times brilliant (“Word Crimes” definitely strikes a chord for me at the copy desk) and a fun album. He even does a Pixies-inspired song that is way better than the new album the Pixies put out this year with “First World Problems.”

Plus, the videos he is putting out (one each day of the week for eight days) are great. The first one for “Tacky” ( a spoof on Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”) features  Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black dancing much in the same, obnoxious way Williams does in his video. To be honest, “Happy” has been one of those songs I hear all the time, and I find it to be about as likable  as being punched in the face. So yeah, I was really glad it was parodied by Al.

I also enjoyed “Foil,” the parody of Lorde’s “Royals.” The switch from food to Illuminati-inspired paranoia was a nice move. Also, the video has Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant. So, yeah. I enjoy that.

Today, the video was “Handy,” a spoof of “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea. I am not too familiar with the original song, so this video really didn’t do much for me.

His other stylized song (like “First World Problems, which he uses a band’s style over a direct parody of a specific song) is “My Own Eyes,” a take on the Foo Fighter. I’ve read other reviews which state this was not that great, but I personally really enjoyed it.

All around, I think this is his best album since 1996’s “Bad Hair Day.” Maybe it’s because of the influx of overly catchy pop songs in the past year, or whatever. Not every track is gold, but I’d say 9 out of the 12 are solid.

Anyway, here is the video for “Word Crimes.” Also, Huey Lewis and Al spoofing one of my favorite scenes from “American Psycho.”


1 thought on “‘Mandatory Fun’ by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

  1. I am very much in love with Word Crimes. The world would be a better place if everyone internalized the information in that music video, and finally we have words for the catchy tune that we can sing without being creepy.


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