Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Rachel Been

An (unofficial) ranking of "Weird Al's" most gut-busting moments, from "White & Nerdy" to "Living With a Hernia."

With his new album "Mandatory Fun," "Weird Al" Yankovic is up to his usual hijinks -- selecting some of the most defining pop songs of the past few years and spoofing them with some devastatingly funny one-liners. He's been doing this for 30 years with an impossibly consistent amount of success, honoring some of pop's biggest stars and typically outlasting them as relevant music-makers. How does Yankovic do it? With razor-sharp wit that never cuts too deep, and an inherent silliness that can make the stone-faced adults giggle like little kids.

'Weird Al's' 10 Biggest Hits | 'Weird Al' Interview | 'Mandatory Fun' Review

Although it's darn near impossible to narrow down "Weird Al" Yankovic's 10 funniest songs, these are the tracks that are the most reliably, universally hysterical, from hit singles to deep album cuts, from some of his earliest hits to his lone Top 10 entry. "Mandatory fun" might be an oxymoron, but these tracks are mandatory for any best-of Yankovic list.

10. "Couch Potato"
Parody Of: Eminem's "Lose Yourself"
From: "Poodle Hat," 2003

2003's "Poodle Hat" is not one of "Weird Al's" most consistent albums, but it starts off with a bang, as Yankovic narrates his couch-surfing adventures with the intensity of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and tons of early-00s TV references.

Best Line: "Shows for next fall, they've already been namin'/'CSI: Boise' and 'Touched By An Uncle' both sound pretty lame 'n'/So does 'Everybody Tolerates Raymond'/And 'King of Queens' jumped the shark the first minute/I can't believe Richard Simmons ain't in it"

9. "Another One Rides The Bus"
Parody Of: Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust"
From: "Weird Al Yankovic," 1983

The highlight of "Weird Al's" self-titled debut album is a rabidly wacky account of riding a public bus, set to Queen's unforgettable melody. Who knew that Al would still be humming along on that loony ride 30 years later?

Best Line: "There's a suitcase poking me in the ribs/There's an elbow in my ear/There's a smelly old bum standing next to me/Hasn't showered in a year"

8. "Everything You Know Is Wrong"
Parody Of: They Might Be Giants
From: "Bad Hair Day," 1996

"Weird Al" is known primarily for his song parodies, but his original tunes (often style homages to other artists) can be pretty gut-busting as well. This one follows "Amish Paradise" on the track list for "Bad Hair Day," is especially fantastic, a weird rollick through the zany stylings of They Might Be Giants.

Best Line: "I was walkin' to the kitchen for some Golden Grahams/When I accidentally stepped into an alternate dimension"

7. "It's All About The Pentiums"
Parody Of: Puff Daddy's "It's All About The Benjamins"
From: "Running With Scissors," 1999

"Weird Al" captured the braggadocio of Puff Daddy and his Bad Boy clan with "It's All About The Pentiums" -- better known as the original "White & Nerdy." The old-school computer disses are combined with pinpoint rhyming, as Al goes in on the hackers, code-crackers and slackers.

Best Line: "Your database is a disaster/You're waxin' your modem, tryin' to make it go faster/Hey fella, I bet you're still livin' in your parents' cellar/Downloadin' pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar/And postin' "Me too!" like some brain-dead AOL-er/I should do the world a favor and cap you like Old Yeller/You're just about as useless as jpegs to Hellen Keller"

6. "Bedrock Anthem"
Parody Of: Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under The Bridge" & "Give It Away"
From: "Alapalooza," 1993

Pure irreverence from Al. Who else would hear the Chili Peppers' biggest hits from "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" and think, "Hmm, this reminds me of 'The Flintstones'?"

Best Line: "Got a car, gonna push it with my feet now/Gonna take my family out to eat now/Jumbo ribs at the drive-in can't be beat now/Made from brontosaurus, baby, not a moo-cow"

5. "Eat It"
Parody Of: Michael Jackson's "Beat It"
From: "In 3-D," 1984

One of "Weird Al's" earliest "food" songs, and still his best: while some prefer his MJ spoof "Fat," Yankovic's parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" helped establish him as his own sort of pop force in the mid-80's.

Best Line: "Your table manners are some cryin' shame/You're playin' with your food, this ain't some kind of game/Now, if you starve to death, you'll just have yourself to blame/So eat it, just eat it"

4. "Pretty Fly For a Rabbi"
Parody Of: The Offspring's "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)"
From: "Running With Scissors," 1999

A constant string of Jewish jokes from a master comedian whose last name happens to be Yankovic. The Offspring's surprise hit is pretty funny in itself, but "Weird Al" soundly one-upped the pop-punkers with his religious riffs.

Best Line: "When he's doing a Bar Mitzvah, now that you shouldn't miss/He'll always shlep on down for a wedding or a briss/They say he's got a lot of chutzpah, he's really quite hhhhhip/The parents pay the moyl and he gets to keep the tip!"

3. "Living With a Hernia"
Parody Of: James Brown's "Living In America"
From: "Polka Party!," 1986

So many of Yankovic's best parodies find the howling humor in common occurrences. A hernia is nothing to laugh about, but "Weird Al's" ode to abdominal pain -- peppered with James Brown "Good God!"s -- still makes our sides hurt.

Best Line: "Walk real funny, bless my soul/Can't play tennis and it's hard to bowl/You can't even do the splits now... Say it!/Better call it quits now/Now I'm sick of all this dancin' anyhow"

2. "White & Nerdy"
Parody Of: Chamillionaire's "Ridin'"
From: "Straight Outta Lynwood," 2006

Yankovic's biggest hit to date -- it made it to No. 9 on the Hot 100! -- "White & Nerdy" is deliriously clever in its revelry of nerd culture, which is right in "Weird Al's" wheelhouse. Some of the lines in the song whizz by so quickly that you need several listens to appreciate the full, hilarious dorkiness.

Best Line: "'Happy Days' is my favorite theme song/I can sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong/I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on/I'm fluent in JavaScript, as well as Klingon"

1. "Smells Like Nirvana"
Parody Of: Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
From: "Off The Deep End," 1992

"Weird Al" could have gone so many directions with a Nirvana parody, but he naturally picked the funniest detail of the band -- Kurt Cobain's enunciation struggles -- to exploit. Two decades after Cobain's death, "Smells Like Nirvana" still sounds like a loving homage to an instant classic -- and Yankovic's most clever parody ever.

Best Line: "And I forgot the next verse/Oh well, I guess it pays to rehearse/The lyric sheet's so hard to find/What are the words? Oh, nevermind…"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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