The word weird is right there in his name, but over the past 30 years, Al Yankovic has proven himself to be a pretty regular, decent, hard-working guy. He's a long-haired vegan, he plays polka on the accordion, and his favorite jokes often include food or nerdy staples like Star Wars, and if he's got a fetish for pickled giraffe rib, he's done a good job of keeping it secret.
An especially good job, considering how incredibly accessible he's made himself to the media throughout his career. Radio shows, reporters, late-night television -- the man knows how to promote his corny brand of delightful cultural criticism disguised as pop parody. We'll have some more coverage of his upcoming show (this Saturday at the Mizner Ampitheatre) later this week.
First, though, at one point during my interview with Weird Al, for no reason whatsoever, I asked if he wanted to play a quick game of word association. With a Florida theme. So we stopped the other questions (about his method, his inspirations, the worst things people can do at his shows) and did just that. Afterward, we picked up the interview where we left off.
New Times: Is it all right if we play a quick game of word association? (Because I'm not terribly original and I figure it might allow for several fast jokes in a row.)
Weird Al: Oh, I'm terrible at these...
Oh we don't have to... I just...
No, no, we can give it a shot.
OK, thanks. So we'll do a Florida theme, OK?
So, let's just start with "Florida."
Oh... [laughs] show tunes!
"Gator"...sorry, it was already written on the list.
My daughter Nina. She has a big picture on her wall of a dolphin.
Should we stop?
I think that went well.