Discs Are Rated
Weird Al Yankovic - The Videos
review by Ren C.
Starring Weird Al Yankovic
Running Time: 74 minutes
Studio: Image Entertainment/Scotti Bros.
Retail Price: $29.99
Specs: Full-Screen, Color and Black & White, Dolby
Weird Al Yankovic is one of the long-standing, and in my
opinion, funniest parody artists in music. He is certainly
the best recognized and best selling. It's hard to believe,
but he has been releasing albums for almost two decades,
dating back to his college years. This compilation brings
together all the videos that he produced through 1996,
twenty-two in all. Through these videos, we get a sense of
Yankovic's development, and the development of popular
culture in general. Part of the fun of this collection is
remembering the original song that inspired the parody.
Over the course of the twenty-two videos, there are some
inspired moments, and some admittedly low ones as well. We
start with "Ricky", which is a parody of Toni Basil's 80
classic "Mickey", turned into what could have been an "I
Love Lucy" outtake. Next up is "I Love Rocky Road", coming
from Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll".
"Eat It" is perhaps the best-known Yankovic song,
providing a hilarious send up of Michael Jackson's "Beat
It". "I Lost On Jeopardy" is Al's recounting of his game
show nightmare, and an apropos parody of Greg Kihn's
"Jeopardy". "This Is The Life" is from the soundtrack to
the little-seen movie "Johnny Dangerously", which starred
Michael Keaton and Danny DeVito. It, as with most of
Yankovic's originals, doesn't quite stand up to the
Thankfully, we jump right back into them, this time with
Al's shot at Madonna, "Like A Surgeon." "One More Minute"
is a fairly morose love ballad, actually, more like a
break-up song. Again, it suffers the Yankovic original
curse, with the video not being enough to redeem the song.
"Dare To Be Stupid" is one of my personal favorites, and
is the exception to the rule with Yankovic originals. This
video screams 80s, and in this case that is definitely a
compliment. "Living With A Hernia" is great poke at James
Brown's "Living In America", both in nature of the song, and
of the video.
"Christmas at Ground Zero" is one of the funniest
Christmas songs I have ever heard, and has to be seen to be
believed. Rest assured, you won't be hearing it on your
local radio station this Christmas, not unless they have a
bit of a sadistic streak. "Fat" is our second shot at
Michael Jackson, this time sending up "Bad", and doing so
quite well. "Beverly Hillbillies/Money For Nothing" is an
amazingly accurate recreation of, obviously, Dire Straits'
"Money For Nothing."
"UHF" is the title track from the soundtrack of the same
name. The movie, which has become a cult classic, poked fun
at many different assets of pop culture, and the video does
the same, taking shots at, among others, Prince and Guns N'
The latter section of the presentation contains Al's 90s
work. "Smells Like Nirvana" was arguably his comeback song,
and does an excellent job of parodying Nirvana's "Smells
Like Teen Spirit." "You Don't Love Me Anymore" is another
of Yankovic's morose love ballads. "Jurassic Park" is a
great tie-in to the movie, set to the music of "Macarthur
"Bedrock Anthem" is a two in one parody of the Red Hot
Chili Peppers, hitting both "Under the Bridge" and "Give It
Away" in one song. "Headline News" is the ultimate time
capsule for its day, hitting both the major news story and
one-hit wonders Crash Test Dummies (remember them?) "Amish
Paradise" is a controversial send-up of Coolio's "Gangsta's
Paradise", and is certainly funnier. "Gump" is a great
improvement on the original, "Lump" by the Presidents of the
United States of America.
The final video is something of a strange inclusion. It
is merely the credits to the Leslie Nielsen movie, "Spy
Hard", but without any of the actual credits. Apparently,
Yankovic got the rights to the sequence, but without
including any of the actual actor's names, what have you.
It's very strange to view the sequence as it appears here,
and then to see the actual movie. Still, the song is a
great parody of the typical Bond opening song.
Needless to say, for any Weird Al fan, this is just about
the ultimate collection. The only things missing here are
his two most recent videos (which appear on the "Weird Al
Basically, these videos look slightly better than they
did on television. Obviously, the more recently released
videos look the best, with the older ones showing some wear,
but certainly not enough to make them unpleasant. There is
a small amount of grain, but aside from that, they stand up
very well for being almost two decades old. All the videos
are full-screen, with the exception of "Spy Hard", which is
directly from the movie, so is in widescreen.
While I would have loved to see this in Dolby 5.1, stereo
is what we get. It's certainly acceptable for these videos,
as none really are system workouts anyway. Strangely
enough, there is a brochure included with the DVD that
details the different audio formats.
Nothing. There are some notes within the case of the DVD
regarding when each video was made, what it parodies, and
who directed it, but aside from that, nada. Subtitles, a
little behind-the-scenes footage, or even commentary by
Yankovic would have been nice, but having all these videos
in one place, I take what I can get.
Like I stated earlier, just having all these videos in
one place is fantastic. Fans of Weird Al should drop
whatever they're doing right now, run out, pick this up and
enjoy. Sadly, if you're not a Weird Al fan, there's not a
lot here to entice you to pick this one up. The audio and
video is about what you'd expect from a collection like
this, and features are non-existent. High recommendation
for Weird Al fans, recommendation to rent for non-fans.
(4/5, NOT included in
(2.5/5, NOT an average)