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The time has come. “Weird Al” Yankovic, the biggest selling comedy recording artist of all time, has returned to demolish the pop landscape with Alpocalypse, his first full-length studio album in nearly five years.
Few would have guessed that Yankovic, who as a shy, accordion-playing teenager got his start sending in homemade tapes to the Dr. Demento Radio Show, would go on to become the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history with over 12 million album sales. Now entering his fourth career decade, he has won 3 Grammys (with 14 nominations) and won countless awards and accolades for Weird Al classics like “Eat It,” “Like a Surgeon,” “Fat,” “Smells Like Nirvana,” “Amish Paradise,” and “The Saga Begins.” Yankovic is also well-known for his cult-hit feature film UHF (1989), his late ‘90s CBS Saturday morning series The Weird Al Show and the numerous AL-TV specials that he’s made for MTV and VH1 over the years. His previous album Straight Outta Lynwood (2006) spawned the Billboard Top 10 single “White & Nerdy,” the video for which spent two months at #1 on iTunes and garnered over 100 million hits on the Internet.
Since then, he released his greatest hits package The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic (Legacy), wrote, starred in and directed the themed attraction Al’s Brain: A 3-D Journey through the Human Brain (featuring cameos by everybody from Fabio to Paul McCartney) and accumulated over 2 million followers on Twitter. And with the recent release of his children’s book When I Grow Up (HarperCollins), Al now adds “New York Times Bestselling Author” to his resume. An app version of the book for the iPhone and iPad is also available.
Alpocalypse was released on June 21, 2011, charting at #9 Billboard – the highest debut of his storied career. The first single from the album is the Lady Gaga parody “Perform This Way.” This song has already had its fair share of controversy… suffice it to say that after a number of crossed wires and a crazy one-day media firestorm, all is well – the song has Lady Gaga’s full approval and blessing. Yankovic directed the video clip for “Perform This Way,” and his proceeds from the single and video were donated to the Human Rights Campaign. Alpocalypse has been nominated for two Grammy Awards for the 2012 ceremonies -- for Best Comedy Album and Best Short Form Video for the “Perform This Way” Music Video.
Alpocalypse also features parodies of Miley Cyrus (“Party In The CIA”), Taylor Swift (“TMZ”), B.o.B Featuring Bruno Mars (“Another Tattoo”) and T.I. (“Whatever You Like”). The album’s requisite polka medley – “Polka Face” – features accordion-driven versions of songs by the biggest artists of the day, including Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Britney Spears, P!nk, Lady Antebellum, Katy Perry and of course, Lady Gaga.
The album also features a fine assortment of Al originals, including the Doors homage “Craigslist” (with keyboards by original Doors member Ray Manzarek), the twisted love song “If That Isn’t Love” (with Taylor Hanson on piano) and the provocatively-titled magnum opus “Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me.”
On Saturday, October 1, Comedy Central debuted “Weird Al” Yankovic LIVE! – The Alpocalypse Tour, filmed July 16 at Toronto’s venerable Massey Hall. The unabridged version of the concert was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 4. Weird Al (and his band) continues to tour with his high-energy, rock and comedy multimedia extravaganza throughout the world.