Weird Al Explains How He Conquered the Internet
When I said I was going to interview “Weird Al” Yankovic this past weekend, people asked me how he was going to find the time. The guy is everywhere right now. I was a little confused myself about how he could possibly squeeze in a casual conversation in the lounge at The Standard Hollywood, a hotel on the Sunset Strip.
It wasn’t until I actually saw him stroll into the lobby that I really believed the All-Time King of Song Parody, and reigning Emperor of the Internet could take a moment away from darting all over the digital landscape to talk to the likes of me. He had an entrourage of one in tow: Jay Levey, his manager, creative soulmate and director of UHF (a movie that was released 25 years ago yesterday). Jay is a small, taciturn, businesslike man who puts Al’s elastic, always-on persona in stark relief.
But when Yankovic sat down wearing low-key, normal people colors, it was clear that he wasn’t out of breath, and he was capable of devoting his full attention to an interview. I couldn’t help but ask how this was possible.
"I have to say, the synchronicity with the release of ["Mandatory Fun"] is pretty mind boggling even before we get into all that," he said. "I had been doing all sorts of promotional stuff, like, months and months before I even knew I had an album coming out, and everything started to happen right around the time of the release." He was referring to his recent appearances in other people’s work: "Epic Rap Battles of History,” where he rapped with animal agression while dressed as Isaac Newton, and Drunk History with Derek Waters, in which he played Hitler.
But he emphasized that some of his recent everywhere-ness was happenstance, his performance as Hitler being a prime example. “It tied into the whole totalitarian theme on the album art. And there are things that are coming out over the next few weeks, like ‘Hotwives of Orlando.’ I did a little bit on that show, and that came out the same day as the album. All this stuff is sort of happening, y’know, at the same time.”