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Weird Al Admits He Had A Tough Time With The Response To His First Movie UHF

As the reigning uber-jester of parodies gleefully vandalizing hit songs, films, and TV shows, accordionist/singer/master-spoofer "Weird Al" Yankovic can also lay claim to co-writing and starring in the 1989 movie, "UHF" (via IMDb), which sent up everything from "Wheel of Fortune" to "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

The fact is, Yankovic's one-of-a-kind career has roots dating back well before "UHF" debuted at the box office. The singer/songwriter began lovingly defacing pop music in the late 1970s when it occurred to him that "My Sharona" by one-hit wonders The Knack might actually be improved by morphing the title into "My Bologna." Recorded in a lavatory in the college building where he was a DJ for a weekly radio show, the parody became the pre-Net equivalent of a viral smash. Its success eventually led to Yankovic establishing himself with additional hit spoofs, including "Eat It," "Like a Surgeon," "Amish Paradise," and dozens of others. In addition, Yankovic would bring his wacky-yet-accessible comic sensibility to numerous TV shows, specials, and films (per Weird Al Fandom). This said, Yankovic admits that despite his eventual rise to fame when "UHF" initially premiered, he was caught by surprise and not in a good way.

Al Yankovic was wrongly led to believe UHF would be a blockbuster success

Speaking with Yahoo Music's Lyndsey Parker recently about his alt-facts-biopic "Weird: The Al Yankovic Story," the star revealed that while it flopped originally, "UHF" subsequently received a bit of vindication from fans. "People have kind of come around to [UHF]," he said. "And they look at it very nostalgically now and it's a 'cult classic,' but it did not get good reviews."

At the time of the movie's release, Yankovic says he had been lulled into a false sense of euphoria about the film's prospects, noting that when Orion Pictures screened "UHF" for test audiences, it actually did very well. "The test scores were through the roof; it was like one of their biggest, highest-testing movies ever," Yankovic told Yahoo Music. He added that the studio repeatedly assured him the movie would be a major box office money-earner and that it would immediately launch him on a solid, long-lasting film career. "I was being built up like this, and then literally after the first weekend when it underperformed at the box office, I was [treated like] a ghost at Orion Pictures." As it turned out, the whole experience had a profoundly negative impact on the performer. "It was kind of devastating," he explained, adding that, "I probably had a couple of years licking my wounds before I could kind of come back and be creative again."