Fact vs. fiction: Here’s the truth behind ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

Fact vs. fiction: Here’s the truth behind ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

The new Daniel Radcliffe movie is a loopy parody on musician biopics. .

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. Weird: Al Yankovic Story

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Christian Holub

WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

Hopefully no one takes Weird: The Al Yankovic Story at 100 percent face value. The brilliant conceit at the heart of the new film from director Eric Appel is that it parodies popular musician biopic films in much the same way that “Weird” Al Yankovic himself parodies pop songs. Weird, which stars Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, gets quite outlandish and cartoonish by the end of its runtime. There are some nuggets that contain truth within this surreal tapestry.

Allow us to help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 01: “Weird Al” Yankovic and Daniel Radcliffe attend the “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” New York Premiere at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on November 01, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

‘Weird’ Al Yankovic with ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ star Daniel Radcliffe.

| Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty

Was Yankovic pressured by his parents not to pursue music?

Yes and no. Yankovic’s parents, Julianne Nicholson and Toby Huss, are hilariously strict. At one point, Huss’ character shatters his son’s beloved accordion. That’s all a bit exaggerated, but Yankovic said in a recent L.A. Times interview that his parents really were conservative and disapproved of him listening to goofy novelty music.

Yankovic’s father never tried to destroy his beloved accordion. However, the musician did buy it from a traveling salesman like the one used by Thomas Lennon. In that L.A. Times interview, Yankovic explained that the salesman actually presented him with a choice between an accordion and a guitar. He chose the guitar, and the rest is history.

Is Dr. Demento a real person?

Yes!

Yes! Yankovic went on to become the most-played artist in the history of The Dr. Demento Show.

Did ‘Weird’ Al really have a relationship with Madonna?

No, Yankovic never actually dated Madonna. They did share an interesting connection. Madonna, unlike any other artist Yankovic parodies over the years came up with the idea for her parody. As Yankovic recounted at the film’s New York Comic Con panel, Madonna wondered aloud to a mutual friend about when he might transform her hit “Like a Virgin” into “Like a Surgeon.” Yankovic was intrigued by the idea and agreed to take it on board.

Does ‘Weird’ Al really make original music?

Yes, though they don’t appear in the movie. Radcliffe’s Yankovic portrayal is tainted by the success of his parodies and he eventually tries to make original music. Weird plays a silly trick here, pretending Yankovic wrote “Eat It” before Michael Jackson did “Beat It”. This is obviously false. Yankovic has a lot of original songs in real life. Usually, there are only a few per album. In fact, Yankovic’s most recent tour was dedicated to playing these originals live.

Was Yankovic really assassinated by Pablo Escobar’s cartel?

No!

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WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story

Daniel Radcliffe stars as “Weird Al” Yankovic in a satirical biopic about the parody musician’s life and heightened versions of his runnings-in with celebrities like Madonna, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Demento, and more.

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