I was a weird kid. (Yes, it's true. I'm as shocked as you are.)
While other kids argued the merits of The Beatles vs. the Dave Clark
Five (really!), I just absorbed it all without much feeling one way or
another. And then I discovered novelty recordings. First it was
Allen Sherman, the original
trick pony. Then I got to hear my older brother's Tom Lehrer.
And I knew that I was not alone, that there were other weird kids in
In high school it was a lot easier to find the other weird kids. And
college was weird nirvana, at least in Computer Science, at least
where I went. Which is where I first
discovered Dr. Demento. And his most successful disciple, the aptly
named "Weird Al" Yankovic. From a slow start, "Weird Al" has become
more than just another novelty act, showing occasional flashes of
brilliances like The Saga Begins, his take on Star Wars:
Episode I that's both tighter and more entertaining than George
Lucas's version. Or his parody of Gangsta's Paradise on this
album, which translates the song from the hood to an Amish farm.
Brilliant? Or sick and twisted? Actually, it's both.