Most teens rebel by getting regrettable tattoos, partying, or driving too fast. But in the first official trailer for Roku’s upcoming “Weird Al” Yankovic biopic, WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story — which stars Daniel Radcliffe as the polka-loving song parodist — we learn that Al’s motivation was, well, being told that he was too weird.
“I’m tired of people thinking I’m some kind of joke,” a young Al says in voiceover as his movie mom makes the helpful suggestion that she and pops think his best bet would be to “stop being who you are and doing the things you love.” Ouch.
Smash cut to a teenage Al hiding an Accordion World magazine inside his geometry textbook on the school bus and getting scooped up by the cops, who are sad to report to his disappointed parents that he was found at a, gulp, “polka party.” But it’s at that beer barrel bash that we see Al getting the first taste of what fandom feels like when the room erupts in applause as he tickles the 45 keys on his chosen woodwind-adjacent instrument.
Later, hanging with his college chums, Radcliffe hits upon the idea of “making up new words to a song that already exists,” with inspiration hitting when a friend cranks up The Knack’s iconic 1979 power pop anthem “My Sharona” as Al stares at a package of bologna on the kitchen table. Before long he’s wheezing out his future breakthrough hit, “My Bologna,” which gives one of his bros serious chills.
The trailer then introduces the man who would help introduce the world to Al’s talents, radio renegade Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), who helps him hit upon the stage name that would launch Al into international stardom. We also see Al, in his enormous mansion, getting a courtesy call from Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) who lasciviously wonders whether the nerd-on-purpose star plans to parody “Like a Virgin.”
“I’m curious, is that song autobiographical?” he asks sheepishly while a supercut delves into his dark years. “Be as weird as you want to be,” the “I Love Rocky Road” singer tells the audience at an awards show. “You will never find true happiness until you can truly accept who you are.” The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 8 before it hits the Roku Channel, where users can stream it for free beginning Nov. 4.
Watch the WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story below.