LILY E. HIRSCH
Forward by DR. DEMENTO
Weird Al: Seriously
March 15, 2020
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
This book is the first to address in a serious way the impact and meaning of the music of “Weird Al” Yankovic. Though everyone knows his name, Yankovic is often dismissed as a novelty. His music builds on a rich American tradition of parody song, with many levels of signification—humorous, insulting, political, often at the same time. His songs, including his original compositions, make us laugh but also have a point of view, be it on society, popular culture, food, or words themselves. Very few other artists have created music so dense in meaning and for so long, and it’s high time we recognize Yankovic’s cloyingly humorous appeal.
Through original interviews with the man himself, Lily Hirsch addresses Yankovic’s relationship to past parody song as well as his unique approach to the art form. Focusing mainly on his fourteen studio albums, the book explores his music based on themes like insult, politics, race, and word abuse. It also discusses his reputation as one of the music industry’s good guys. In today’s age of incivility (political and otherwise), his nice-guy persona stands out and has helped win him fiercely loyal fans who’ve found in his music a certain acceptance and affirmation. This book is for those fans but also invites music enthusiasts of all stripes to consider and reconsider Yankovic’s music.