“Is it just me, or has Weird Al taken over the internet?” is the question everyone has been asking this week. The answer is a definite YES!
In fact Rolling Stone said, this visual onslaught appears to be working: Mandatory Fun is on pace to top the Billboard 200 for the first time in Yankovic’s career, as long as he can hold off Jason Mraz’s Yes! One thing’s for sure: According to Billboard, Mandatory Fun will definitely give “Weird Al” his best first week album sales since Neilsen SoundScan started keeping track in 1991.
Al’s #8videos8days takeover of the internet started with “Tacky” Monday and continued with parodies like “Foil“, “Word Crimes” and “Handy” BUT I have been waiting since last Summer for today’s video, “Lame Claim to Fame” to debut because my “lame claim to fame” is that my friend, Tim Thompson directed the video.
Tim has been a Weird Al fan since he was a kid, so he was more than excited to create a video for one if his favorite artists. It took him more than ten sets of ink cartridges, more than 1,000 cut-outs of Weird Al’s face, 30 pairs of scissors and one year to complete the stop animation video.
As some people have noticed in the comments section on YouTube and Weird Al’s Facebook page – there are A LOT of references in this video. Pretty appropriate for a man known for his parodies, don’t ya think? Well, I won’t spoil all of the references throughout the video, but here are some to take note of and that you may not have known otherwise:
The opening scene
1.) Overall this is a stylistic reference to Food by Jan Svankmajer.
2.) The cow painting on the back wall was painted by MC Lars. Tim was able to do this video because Al was a fan of Lars’ “This Gigantic Robot Kills” video, which Tim directed. The two first met in elementary school and have been friends ever since. Tim asked him to paint the cow because he remembered Lars drawing it on papers while they were in class together and “moo”ing. Pretty perfect for a video that is influenced Southern Culture on the Skids and homage to his friend.
3.) A VHS copy of Johnny Dangerously is on the table, notable because Weird Al’s video “This is the Life ” was made for that movie.
4.) The two portraits on the wall are Steve Jay Al’s Bassist and Jim Kimo west his Guitarist. There have been a lot of people commenting on the video asking if it’s Neil Young – nope, its a band member! Tim wanted to make sure the entire band was highlighted in the video, so you’ll see all of them throughout the video.
The rest of the video
5.) [0:18] The cashier is actually the director, Tim Thompson.
6.) [0:19] Each of the food items are references to Weird Al’s music – do you know which songs? Also, that Bologna sat in Tim’s fridge for months.
7.) [1:04] bottom right-hand drawing is a personal drawing from MC Lars to Tim congratulating him on being able to work with Al, a childhood hero of both of theirs.
8.) [1:23] Redrum is a reference to The Shining and at [1:24] you can see the creepy twins appear for a half of a second with Al’s face.
9.) [1:54] Steven A.K.A. Al’s dentist appears to sneeze on Russel crow and light-saber battle him, he was also in MC Lars’ “Flow Like Poe” video
10.) [1:58] The preview of suggested EweTube videos are actually some of Tim’s other videos including student work and Reel Big Fish’s “Don’t Stop Skankin’” – Bonus points if you can find the second video listed online.
11.) [2:05] Ten extra points if you can name all the people in the theater – 20 points if you can name the classic actors in the photos on the walls!
12.) [2:17] Yes, that is Dr. Demento, the man who first discovered Weird Al and apparently knows Kevin Bacon. No joke, I didn’t know who Dr. Demento was until I asked Tim and we listened to every Dr. Demento record in the house.
13.) [2:18] Reference to “This Gigantic Robot Kills” since that was the work that got Al’s attention.
14.) [2:39] KCPR – Reference to the college radio station where Al was a DJ and got the name “Weird Al”
15.) [3:39] My actual Lame Claim to Fame – I was animated into a Weird Al video.