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UHF

{{#invoke:main|main}} In 1989, Yankovic starred in a full-length feature film, co-written by himself and manager Jay Levey, and filmed in Tulsa, Oklahoma called UHF. A satire of the television and film industries, also starring Michael Richards, Fran Drescher, and Victoria Jackson, it brought floundering studio Orion their highest test scores since the movie RoboCop.<ref name="robo">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> However, it was unsuccessful in theaters due to both poor critical reception and competition from other summer blockbusters at the time such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, Batman and Licence to Kill.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The failure of the film left Yankovic in a three-year slump, which was later broken by his inspiration to compose "Smells Like Nirvana".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The film has since become a cult classic, with out-of-print copies of the VHS version selling for up to $100 on eBay until the release of the DVD in 2002.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} Yankovic occasionally shows clips from the film at his concerts (to which MGM, the film's current owner, initially objected in the form of a cease and desist letter).<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In an apparent attempt to make it more accessible to overseas audiences, where the term UHF is used less frequently to describe TV broadcasts, the film was titled The Vidiot From UHF in Australia and parts of Europe.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

UHF shows the creation of Yankovic's signature food—the Twinkie Wiener Sandwich. The snack consists of an overturned Twinkie split open as a makeshift bun, a hot dog, and Easy Cheese put together and dipped in milk before eating. Yankovic has stated that he has switched to using tofu hot dogs since becoming a vegetarian, but still enjoys the occasional Twinkie Wiener Sandwich.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Notable television appearances

Yankovic had a TV series called The Weird Al Show, which aired from September 1997 to December 1997 on CBS. Though the show appeared to be geared at children, the humor was really more for his adult fans (as such, it is often compared to Pee-wee's Playhouse). The entire series was released on DVD by Shout! Factory on August 15, 2006.

Yankovic has hosted Al TV on MTV and Al Music on MuchMusic many times, generally coinciding with the release of each new album. For Poodle Hat, Al TV appeared on VH1 for the first time. A recurring segment of Al TV involves Yankovic manipulating interviews for comic effect. He inserts himself into a previously conducted interview with a musician, and then manipulates his questions, resulting in bizarre and comic responses from the celebrity.

VH1 produced a Behind the Music episode on Yankovic. His two commercial failures (his film UHF and his 1986 album Polka Party!) were presented as having a larger impact on the direction of his career than they really had. Also, Coolio's later disapproval of "Amish Paradise" was played up as a large feud. Much was also made over his apparent lack of a love life, though he got married shortly after the program aired. The episode was updated and re-released in early 2012 as part of the "Behind the Music Remastered" series.

Yankovic has done voice-overs for several of animated series. He appeared in a 2003 episode of The Simpsons, singing "The Ballad of Homer & Marge" (a parody of John Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane") with his band. The episode, "Three Gays of the Condo", in which Marge hires Yankovic to sing the aforementioned song to Homer in an attempt to reconcile their marriage, later won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)". Yankovic also had a cameo in a 2008 episode, titled "That '90s Show", during which he records a parody of Homer's grunge hit "Shave Me" titled "Brain Freeze" (Homer's song, "Shave Me", was itself a parody of Nirvana's "Rape Me") making Yankovic one of only a handful of celebrities to appear twice on the show playing themselves. He appeared in the animated Adult Swim show Robot Chicken, which provided him with a music video for the song "Weasel Stomping Day".<ref name="adult">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1 | citation |CitationClass=audio-visual }}</ref><ref name="about">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Yankovic is the voice for Squid Hat on the Cartoon Network show, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. He is also the announcer of the cartoon's eponymous video game adaptation. Yankovic had a guest appearance voicing Wreck-Gar, a waste collection vehicle Transformer in the Transformers: Animated cartoon series;<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> previously, Yankovic's "Dare to Be Stupid" song was featured in the 1986 animated film The Transformers: The Movie, during the sequence in which the Wreck-Gar character was first introduced; as such, the song is referenced in the episode. He also plays local TV talent show host Uncle Muscles on several episodes of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! along with other appearances on the show. Weird Al has also supplied the voice of one-shot character 'Petroleum Joe' on The Brak Show. He also voiced himself on a Back at the Barnyard episode, and he appeared as a ringmaster who helps the regular characters of Yo Gabba Gabba! organize a circus in a 2007 episode of the children's show. In 2011, Al appeared as himself in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases!"<ref>Not April Fools: Scooby-Doo On Batman: The Brave and the Bold | The Mary Sue</ref> In 2012, Al was extensively featured in the sixth season episode of 30 Rock called "Kidnapped by Danger", where Jenna tries to come up with a "Weird Al-proof" song,<ref name="30rock">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> as well as appearing on two episodes of The Aquabats! Super Show!, playing two different characters as the superhero SuperMagic PowerMan and as the President of the United States. In 2014, he appeared in the fourth season My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Pinkie Pride" as Cheese Sandwich, a rival party planner to Pinkie Pie.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Yankovic performed at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards singing a comedic medley of songs based on the themes of several Emmy-nominated shows such as Mad Men and Game of Thrones.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

A brief list of television shows on which Yankovic has appeared is available on his official website.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Directing career

"Weird Al" Yankovic has directed many of his own music videos; he has directed all of his music videos from 1993's "Bedrock Anthem" to 2006's "White & Nerdy". He also directed the end sequence of 1986's "Christmas at Ground Zero" (an original piece juxtaposing Christmas with nuclear warfare) from his Polka Party! album and the title sequence to Spy Hard, for which he sang the title song.<ref name="vidfacts">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Yankovic wrote, directed and starred in the short 3-D movie attraction "Al's Brain: A 3-D Journey Through The Human Brain", a $2.5 million project which was sponsored by and premiered at the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, California, in 2009.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The project included a brief cameo by Sir Paul McCartney, which Yankovic directed during McCartney's appearance at the 2009 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Fair CEO Steve Beazley, who supported the project, considered the project a success and explored leasing the exhibit to other fairs; the second appearance of the exhibit was at the 2009 Puyallup Fair in Washington.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

He has also directed several videos for other artists, including Hanson (the Titanic sequences in "River"), The Black Crowes ("Only a Fool"), Ben Folds ("Rockin' the Suburbs"), Jeff Foxworthy ("Redneck Stomp" and "Party All Night"), Blues Explosion ("Wail"), and The Presidents of the United States of America ("Mixed Up S.O.B").<ref name="vidfacts"/> He has cameo appearances in his videos for Blues Explosion, Hanson (as the interviewer), and Ben Folds (as the producer fixing Folds' "shitty tracks").

On January 25, 2010, Yankovic announced that he had signed a production deal with Warner Bros. to write and direct a live-action feature film.<ref name="alyankovic.wordpress.com">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Although Yankovic previously wrote the script for UHF, this was to be the first movie Yankovic directed.<ref name="alyankovic.wordpress.com"/> Yankovic stated that he would not be starring in the movie, as Cartoon Network wanted a younger protagonist. During an interview on Comedy Death-Ray Radio, Yankovic revealed that though Cartoon Network "loved" his script, the network decided that they were no longer intending to produce feature films. Yankovic initially stated that he would instead shop the script around to other potential studios,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> but in 2013 revealed that the project had been scrapped as "it was really geared for Cartoon Network" and that he had "cannibalized jokes from that script to use for other projects."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Writing

Yankovic wrote When I Grow Up (ISBN 978-0-06-192691-4), a children's book released on February 1, 2011 and published by HarperCollins.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The book features 8-year-old Billy presenting to his class the wide variety of imaginative career possibilities that he is considering. Yankovic stated that the idea for the book was based on his own "circuitous" career path.<ref name="cnn book">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> The book allows Yankovic to apply the humorous writing style found in his music in another medium, allowing him to use puns and rhymes.<ref name="cnn book"/> Yankovic worked with Harper Collins' editor Anne Hoppe—the first time that Yankovic has had an editor—and found her help to be a positive experience.<ref name="cnn book"/> The book is illustrated by Wes Hargis, who, according to Yankovic, has "a childlike quality and a very fun quality and a very imaginative quality" that matched well with Yankovic's writing.<ref name="cnn book"/> The book reached the No. 4 position on The New York Times Best Seller list for Children's Picture Books for the week of February 20, 2011.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref>

Yankovic also wrote a sequel to When I Grow Up, 2013's My New Teacher and Me! (ISBN 978-0-06-219203-5).

Yankovic became the first guest editor for Mad Magazine for their 533rd issue, published in April 2015.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Web media

In 2008, Weird Al joined Michael J. Nelson as a guest on the RiffTrax treatment of Jurassic Park.

On November 10, 2009, Weird Al was a guest "internet scientist" on Rocketboom's "Know Your Meme" video series, in the installment on the topic of Auto-Tune, hosted by Jamie Wilkinson.

{{safesubst:#invoke:anchor|main}} Eric Appel produced a Funny or Die movie trailer for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, a fictional biographical film that parodies other films based on musicians; Yankovic (played by Aaron Paul) is seen hiding his "weirdness" from his parents (Gary Cole and Mary Steenburgen), making it big using song parodies with the help of Dr. Demento (Patton Oswalt), falling in and out of love with Madonna (Olivia Wilde), and fading into alcoholism and being arrested, at which point his father finally admits he is "weird" as well. Yankovic himself plays a music producer in the short.<ref name="rs 13th album"/><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

For The Nerdist Podcast, Weird Al began hosting a new comedic celebrity interview web series, Face to Face with 'Weird Al' Yankovic, on April 3, 2012. The series features Al TV-esque fake interviews with movie stars.

Al has appeared on numerous other webshows, including CollegeHumor Originals, LearningTown, Some Jerk with a Camera, Team Unicorn, and Epic Rap Battles of History appearing as Sir Isaac Newton in a battle against actors portraying Bill Nye, the Science Guy (YouTube star Nice Peter), and Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Chali 2na of the group Jurassic 5).

Other media

Yankovic competed on a week of Wheel of Fortune taped at Disney's Hollywood Studios in March 1994.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> He also competed on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!

Weird Al joined the band Hanson in their music video for "Thinking 'bout Somethin'" in which he plays the tambourine.

Yankovic contributes backing vocals for the song "Time" on Ben Folds' album Songs for Silverman.

Yankovic also appeared in Halloween II as himself on a news channel.

Yankovic was also one of many celebrities who took part in the NOH8 Campaign against Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Yankovic was approached by a beer company to endorse their product. Yankovic had turned it down because he believed that "a lot of my fans were young and impressionable."<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Yankovic later posted on his Twitter account that he never regretted the decision.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In 2009, Yankovic was a special guest on an episode of G4's Web Soup where he came as Mark Gormley at first.<ref>Weird Al Yankovic Melts Down on Web Soup on YouTube (uploaded December 11, 2009)</ref>

In 2011, Yankovic guest starred as the character "Banana Man" in an episode of Adventure Time. The same year, he appeared as himself in the How I Met Your Mother episode "Noretta".

In 2012, he appeared as himself along with Alice Cooper, Bret Michaels, and Maria Menounos in The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange for the Christmas special, and sung with Alice, Bret, and Orange.

On May 31, 2014, Yankovic won the ACE Award (Amateur Cartoonist Extraordinaire) from the National Cartoonists Society at its awards banquet in San Diego.<ref>68th Annual Reuben Awards results</ref>


"Weird Al" Yankovic sections
Intro   Early life    Career    Personal life    Music career    Other work    Misattribution and imitators    Fan-driven campaigns    Discography    Videography    Filmography    Awards and nominations    References    External links   

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