Charts: After A 31-Year Wait, 'Weird Al' Yankovic Hits No. 1 With 'Mandatory Fun'

The comedian-singer's latest is the first chart-topping comedy album since 1963

After more than 30 years on the charts, comedian-singer "Weird Al" Yankovic earns his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as "Mandatory Fun" debuts atop the list. The first comedy set to top the chart since 1963, it logs the largest sales week for a comedy album since 1994.

Yankovic arrived on the Billboard 200 back on May 21, 1983 with his self-titled album, featuring "Ricky," his spoof of Toni Basil's No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single "Mickey."

"Mandatory Fun" was released July 15 through Way Moby and RCA Records and sold 104,000 copies in the week ending July 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was promoted by a well-received daily viral video campaign that launched Monday, July 14. Starting with his parody of Pharrell Williams' "Happy," Yankovic released eight music videos for the album through the week on various sites, like The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, Nerdist, CollegeHumor and YouTube.

"Mandatory Fun" is the first comedy album to top the Billboard 200 since Allan Sherman's "My Son, the Nut" spent eight weeks at No. 1 beginning on the chart dated Aug. 31, 1963. A couple of comedy sets came close since then, including Steve Martin's No. 2-peaking "A Wild and Crazy Guy" back in 1978 and a pair of No. 2 Cheech & Chong titles in the early 1970s. In general, comedy albums don't sell incredibly well; accounting for just .6 percent of album volume in 2014. In 2013, comedy sets generated just .5 percent. (A fun funny stat: "Mandatory Fun" represents 13 percent of all comedy albums sold in 2014.)

Yankovic's sales week is not only his biggest since SoundScan started tracking sales in 1991, it's also the largest for a comedy album since 1994, when "The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience" sold 118,000 copies in the week ending Jan. 2. That compilation album was presented by the animated duo and had comedy skits interspersed with rock songs from the likes of Anthrax and Aerosmith.

In total, "Mandatory Fun" is the third top 10 album for Yankovic, who previously visited the region with 2006's "Straight Outta Lynwood
(No. 10) and his last album, 2011's "Alpocalypse" (No. 9). The latter debuted with 44,000 in its first week - less than half of his new album's first-week sales. (Yankovic's previous best SoundScan-era sales week came when "Lynwood" bowed with 73,000.)


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