It might sound crazy what I'm about to say...but Weird Al has just scored his first number one on the Billboard 200 with his new album "Mandatory Fun."
The album was released only one week ago and sold 103,000 copies to secure the top spot. 'Mandatory Fun' is Weird Al Yankovic's fourteenth studio album, so he will surely be happy his efforts have finally paid off. It is also the first comedy album to reach the top spot since Allan Sherman's 1963 release 'My Son, The Nut'. Previously the closest Al had come was a Number 2 with 1996 single 'Amish Paradise'.
Weird Al is pop's leading nerd genius
Weird Al announced his new album with a week-long celebration, posting a new music video and single to his website every day for eight days. The comedy star is known for his parodies of popular songs, including 'Eat It' (Michael Jackson's 'Beat It') and 'In Da Tub' (50 Cent's 'In Da Club') and his "polkas" which are creative mash-ups of various pop songs set to a jaunty tune. The new album sees artistics including Pharrell and Iggy Azalea get the paraody treatment, with Williams' song 'Happy' becoming 'Tacky', an ode to bad fashion choices, and Azalea's 'Fancy' becoming 'Handy', a tune about being good at DIY.
One of the highlights from his new album is the Robin Thicke 'Blurred Lines' paraody, 'Word Crimes', which gives listeners a valuable lesson in using correct grammar and spelling.
Is Weird Al's parody of 'Fancy' as catchy as the original? Yes. Yes it is.
However, paraodies of popular songs have been rife in the past few years since Al's last album was released in 2011, and video sharing sites such as Vevo and Youtube make it easier than ever for anyone to produce some musical comedy. Al spoke about the issue with NPR.org and hinted he may soon follow suit and think about new ways to release his tracks.
"I have to be careful about [saying it's my last album] that, because a lot of people listen to that and say 'Oh, Al's retiring!'" Yankovic explained. "I am not retiring, I intend to keep making music like I have in the past. All I'm saying is, there's a pretty good chance this is the last conventional album."