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Weird Al's Best TV And Movie Moments

Who doesn't love "Weird Al" Yankovic? Okay, besides Prince (via Billboard). Yankovic has been one of the world's most beloved entertainers for years now, with a music career that has outlasted a significant portion of the musicians he's parodied in song. Of course, Yankovic's career transcends music. He's appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, usually as a version of himself. He even starred in his own 1989 feature film, and had a children's show in the mid '90s. 

Here, we're going to catalogue his best work in that field. To clarify, we're only going to talk about his TV and movie work: It would take someone with the strength of Harvey the Wonder Hamster to make a thorough list, inclusive of both music videos and his years of web-exclusive content. Even so, this gives us about four decades of material to cover — we're picking apart something the size of the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota here. From his turn on "The Simpsons" to his time in the DC universe, these are "Weird Al" Yankovic's best TV and movie moments.

The Naked Gun

"Weird Al" Yankovic has appeared in all three "Naked Gun" movies. In "The Naked Gun 2½," he plays a criminal who gets knocked out by dumb luck after Frank Drebin opens a door into him. In "The Naked Gun 33⅓," he plays himself attending the Oscars. But it is his appearance in the first "Naked Gun" movie that is the best of the lot.

The movie begins with Frank Drebin infiltrating a meeting in Beirut held by the leaders of every major country hostile to America. He takes them out and expects to return home a hero, an assumption that seems justified when he's greeted by a cheering crowd and expectant press. Upon landing, however, he's informed that his lover has left him. In no mood for celebration, he tries to spill his guts to the dead quiet press ... until Capt. Ed Hocken tells him, "They're not here for you. 'Weird Al' Yankovic is on the plane." As Frank turns around, Yankovic disembarks in front of gorgeous women seeking autographs and a much more excited press corps.

30 Rock

In the "30 Rock" episode "Kidnapped by Danger," one of the show's best, Yankovic gets to play a version of himself. But this time, he isn't a jovial guy everyone loves — he's a threat the stars of "TGS" must outfox.

Jenna is excited to unveil "Kidnapped," a song promoting her upcoming TV movie ... only to find out Yankovic had already parodied it. The video for "Knapsack" features Yankovic, dressed as Jenna, singing about a backpack's broken zipper. Ever the narcissist, Jenna refuses to see this as a compliment and fears it will tarnish her upcoming performance of the song on "Late Night." Tracy warns Jenna, "You don't wanna mess with 'Weird Al,'" and makes it clear that any song she creates will be parodied by him. The two then work on making a song that will be impossible to parody. Soon enough, however, they realize that it's nearly impossible to come up with something Yankovic can't mock. Eventually, they decide to do a song about pizza: He can't possibly parody it, because it's too weird already.

Jenna performs her new, completely ridiculous pizza song on "Late Night," much to the surprise of Jimmy Fallon. The next day, she finds out that Yankovic has indeed parodied her pizza song — by turning into a regular song. Jenna and Tracy are thrilled to have been "Normal Al'd." Yankovic then performs a parody of the "30 Rock" theme over the closing credits, including a requisite dig at NBC's ratings.

Spy Hard

"Spy Hard" is one of many middling comedies that thinks casting Leslie Nielsen is enough to recapture some of that Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker magic. It's not necessarily as bad as its rating on Rotten Tomatoes suggests, but it's not exactly memorable. As the Deseret News noted, "You know you're in trouble when the highlight of a movie comes during its opening credits." And who performs those excellent opening credits? "Weird Al" Yankovic, that's who.

In keeping with the movie's spy theme, the "Spy Hard" opening is a parody of the sleek title sequences that appear in every James Bond movie, with "Thunderball" being the most obvious inspiration. Yankovic sings a Tom Jones-ian song about a secret agent, full of overwrought metaphors regarding his thrill-seeking nature and his ability to attract beautiful ladies. All the while, silhouettes of women of various shapes and sizes swim behind him, occasionally bumping into each other and causing problems. It ends with him holding onto a note for so long that, in reference to the longstanding rumor that Jones passed out while singing "Thunderball," Yankovic's head explodes.

Some of Yankovic's best work are his stylistic parodies — original songs which capture the feel of a genre or artist, rather than parody one specific work. The "Spy Hard" theme is a prime example of this. No wonder it has kept an otherwise forgettable movie alive.

How I Met Your Mother

"Noretta," a Season 7 episode of "How I Met Your Mother," sees Ted Mosby search for a buddy with whom to see "Weird Al" Yankovic in concert. Towards the end of the episode, he insists to his friends that he sent Yankovic the idea for "Like a Surgeon" in a fan letter. It's a story they've all heard countless times before, and they mock him for telling it again. Ted's clearly a huge fan, but he's also known for being overly passionate and occasionally exaggerating. There's no way it's true, right? Well ... 

The episode's stinger cuts to "Weird Al" Yankovic himself, begrudgingly going through fan mail in 1985. He gets to Ted's letter, skims the bulk of it, then reaches the part he dreads most: The suggestions for new songs. He exclaims, "Why can't they just leave me alone?!" before making a couple sarcastic remarks ... until he thinks for a second about the proposed title, "Like A Surgeon." Seemingly struck by divine inspiration, Yankovic improvises a few lines, then frantically runs to the studio.

Though Yankovic has a reputation as one of the nicest men in show business, it's easy to imagine him getting frustrated with countless fan letters featuring awful parody suggestions. Getting to perform that frustration on TV in period-appropriate attire? Classic "Weird Al."


Between 1984 and 2006, MTV and VH1 periodically aired "Al TV," a surreal comedy series starring Yankovic. The series' fake interviews, which consist of re-edited existing interviews with notable names like Madonna and Snoop Dogg made to look like Yankovic is the interviewer, remain its most prominent segment. The best and most infamous of these fake interviews is the one featuring Eminem.

In a rare turn of events, Yankovic came into this segment with an axe to grind. "Couch Potato," a parody of Eminem's "Lose Yourself," is the lead single off Yankovic's 2003 album, "Poodle Hat." His team had plans for a music video, but were forced to hold off until Eminem heard the final mix. As Yankovic told Yahoo! Music, "Eminem was fine with me having the parody on my album but said he was afraid that a Weird Al video might detract from his legacy." Yankovic was "extremely disappointed."

Yankovic's fake interview with Eminem aired in a 2003 episode of "Al TV." Halfway through the interview, Eminem mentions that artists should be allowed to express themselves however they want. Yankovic responds, "So you think, for example if somebody wanted to do, oh, I don't know, a parody of somebody else's video, they should be able to artistically express themselves and just do it?" Em is at a loss for words, and later "admits" that "Couch Potato" is better than "Lose Yourself."

The Simpsons

"Weird Al" Yankovic has appeared on several episodes of "The Simpsons." The best and easily most memorable guest spot arrives in Season 14's "Three Gays of the Condo." This episode sees Homer move in with two men who live in Springfield's gay district, following a fight with Marge. Marge tries to win Homer back by hiring "Weird Al" Yankovic to perform a song about them. Yankovic, along with his accurately Simpsonized band, says he got there "as soon as her check cleared."

Yankovic regretfully admits he received Homer's awful ideas for song parodies, and, when asked which one is the best, says, "They were pretty much the same." Homer responds, "Yeah, like you an Allan Sherman," which is easily Homer's smartest joke from the show's post-golden era. Yankovic then performs a parody of John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane" called "Homer and Marge," which convinces Homer to go on a date with Marge. Another verse of the song is performed over the credits.

Yankovic has a less memorable but still on-brand appearance in Season 19's "That '90s Show." As a despondent Homer watches "Weird Al" parody a song by his grunge band, he is offered a piece of wisdom: "He who is tired of 'Weird Al' is tired of life."

The Weird Al Show

"The Weird Al Show" ran for just one season in 1997. As Yankovic told Rolling Stone, he'd been trying to get a children's show going for years, and only got one on the air by claiming it was educational. In truth, "The Weird Al Show" is similar to "Pee-wee's Playhouse": It's a show ostensibly meant for kids, that also happens to be full of subversive humor.

Yankovic, who hosts the show from his apartment in a subterranean cave, learns a different lesson every week regarding things like peer pressure, the value of honesty, and other such standard children's fare. But all sorts of absurdity happens along the way. The show often features celebrity guests, who either play versions of themselves or bizarre characters, and performances by bands like Barenaked Ladies and Hanson. In between, there are cartoons, fake TV shows, and other oddball segments.

The show's high points are numerous, ranging from "Macho Man" Randy Savage wrestling Harvey the Wonder Hamster to Gedde Watanabe's return as Kuni from "UHF." One moment sums up the show better than any other, however: The introduction of Yankovic's imaginary friend. In response to a fan letter about imaginary friends, "Weird Al" says there's nothing wrong with having one — in fact, he still has an imaginary friend. "I call him Gilbert," he says, as the friend in question enters the frame. This Gilbert is Gilbert Gottfried, who proceeds to yell that he's a real person to an oblivious Yankovic.

Yankovic's appearance on The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder

"Weird Al" Yankovic has performed his music for decades, and still makes the talk show rounds whenever he has a new album to promote. But when he made his first national TV appearance on "The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder" in 1981, he was just some kid with a strange hairdo, unknown to anyone who didn't religiously listen to Dr. Demento. His spot still makes for fascinating TV, especially knowing how big he's since become. Yankovic performs "Another One Rides The Bus" wearing multicolored pants and jumping around barefoot. Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz provides the beat by drumming on Al's accordion, and adds various noises by honking or blowing on horns.

In a 2007 interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Al recalled, "I was scared out of my mind ... It was thrilling and terrifying." He noted that he wasn't exactly headlining, as he was one of three acts Snyder described as "three kids doing wacky, nutty things." According to Yankovic, one of these three acts performed a tune called "The Space Shuttle Shuffle." That ditty might not have become a hit, but "Another One Rides the Bus" certainly did.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

"Weird Al" makes an unforgettable appearance on the penultimate episode of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "I Have a Date Tonight." In this installment, three suitors pursuing Rebecca, the titular "crazy ex-girlfriend," try to come up with a perfect date on a fixed budget. Greg decides to use his money to rent out a hot air balloon. The balloon renter, Bernie, is played by "Weird Al" Yankovic, sporting a top hat and bow tie. After wrapping up his pitch, he breaks out his accordion and warns, via song, that "There's No Bathroom" in the balloon. This tune isn't just funny, it's a musical callback to "Where's the Bathroom?" from Season 1. Bernie promises that the ride will be worth it, but begs his customer, "Please don't poop in my balloon." It's really hard to get feces out of wicker.

This is a brief spot, but Yankovic's instant recognizability completely makes the scene. Plus, it's one of only a handful of times he's ever gotten to play the accordion in someone else's song — much less a song from one of the most acclaimed musical productions of the past decade.

BoJack Horseman

"Weird Al" Yankovic's turn as Captain Peanutbutter, older brother to Mr. Peanutbutter, on "BoJack Horseman" lines up perfectly with what fans had come to expect from this show: It's funny, but also undeniably sad. It's also one of the few performances requiring Yankovic to handle somewhat dramatic work, even if that drama lies below a layer of anthropomorphic canine antics.

Season 3's "Old Acquaintance" sees Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter visit his family in the Labrador Peninsula. Captain Peanutbutter is a little more mature than his younger brother, but he shares the same light-heartedness. When Diane ends up alone with Captain Peanutbutter, however, he starts uttering nihilistic thoughts. After she fights with Mr. Peanutbutter, who denies that anything is wrong, the two brothers finally speak. Captain Peanutbutter reveals that he has a twisted spleen and needs surgery. This leads to a brief, silly, and heartfelt moment.

Captain Peanutbutter returns a few more times in smaller spots, but his first appearance is the most impactful. It also shows that "Weird Al" Yankovic is capable of injecting some drama into his comedy.

Teen Titans Go!

"Teen Titans Go!" specializes in strange cameos, fourth wall breaks, and generally being a little too smart for its own good. Yankovic has voiced more than one character on the goofy series, but his best role arrives in a double-length Season 3 episode appropriately titled "Two Parter." Here, he portrays one of the biggest foes in the entire DC universe in his classically weird way.

The Justice League is kidnapped by Darkseid in "Two Parter," which spurs the Teen Titans to take up their idols' personas and rescue them. Once Darkseid confronts the wee heroes, he begins to lay out his dastardly plan in a gravelly voice. Starfire offers him a cough drop, which changes his tone to a much higher pitch — one Cyborg recognizes as similar to "Weird Al" Yankovic's voice. 

Darkseid is amused by this: "If only I was half as evil! To earn a living by making songwriters look like fools!" When Cyborg tries to claim that Yankovic's music is "all in good fun," Darkseid retorts, "What's fun about undercutting musicians by subverting their words and compromising their artistic integrity?! 'Weird Al' is a true monster!" This slight against "a national treasure" makes Cyborg, and eventually the rest of the Titans, finally fight back.


It's impossible to talk about "Weird Al" Yankovic's best movie moments without mentioning his own movie, 1989's "UHF." Directed by his manager Jay Levey and co-written by Levey and Yankovic, it follows the story of George Newman (played by "Weird Al" himself), an imaginative man with no steady employment history. More specifically, it follows George as he runs Channel 62, a UHF station he rescues from the brink of bankruptcy with surreal and satirical programming.

Though the movie is a great showcase for Yankovic's talents, it's also one of the rare productions in which he's arguably the most normal guy present. He acts as a straight man to the absurdity he enables, ranging from a pre-"Seinfeld" Michael Richards' performance as a janitor-slash-slapstick kids' show host named Stanley, to karate teacher Kuni's (Gedde Watanabe) stint hosting the game show "Wheel of Fish." "UHF" proves that "Weird Al" Yankovic's knack for parody transcends music — Stanley's "Network"-esque monologue about his mop alone shows that Yankovic could master all forms of media if he wanted to. "UHF" also gives him a chance to play a relatively normal character and indulge in zaniness. You will never forget the sight of "Weird Al" Yankovic playing a ripped Gandhi in Channel 62's "Gandhi II."