You know you’re old when you have to Google to figure out what "Weird Al" Yankovic is parodying

I am sorta wishing I had a 12 year old kid right about now – their friends could taunt my imaginary child with such jabs as “Your Daddy’s so old he has to do a Google search to figure out what “Weird Al” Yankovic is parodying!” (In response to which I imagine the other kids would shout, “Oh snap!” but probably not, because it’s not the 1990s anymore.) This seems to be official confirmation that I’ve let pop culture pass me by, and this message comes from “Weird Al” Yankovic… who is twenty years my senior.

“Weird Al” Yankovic’s new album, Mandatory Fun debuted at number one on the charts and seems like his biggest album to date. I’m a big fan, so it’s nice to see him get this sort of recognition – he’s had big singles in the past, but nothing like this has ever happened in his career, and he’s been at it for decades and is now in his mid 50s! It’s incredible, but I can’t truly enjoy it because, for the most part, I have no idea what he’s talking about.

I did know that Alan Thicke (Growing Pains, yo!) had a son who is a singer, but I’m sorry, I had no idea that’s what was happening here. I just thought this was one of those Weird Al originals, like “You Don’t Love Me Anymore,” which doesn’t parody a specific James Taylor song, but just his general style. A quick Google search informed me of all – Robin Thicke. Got it.

But maybe there are a few on this new album I can connect with – at least on some level. I do still live on earth, so “Royal” isn’t completely foreign to me.

This is a bit more down to my level. “Happy” is completely and totally inescapable, but not only that: Yah! I know the people in this video! And some of them were popular in the 90s! (That’s Margaret Cho, right? Please let that woman be Margaret Cho!)

I never thought about it before, but parody is so tied to context. If you’ve got no context, you’ve got no joke. Somehow at 54, “Weird Al” hasn’t lost sight of his audience at an age where most people start going blind. The dude is a great musician and comedian, but he’s also a savvy businessman. So, let me wrap up by saying Congrats, Al! You deserve it!

Meanwhile, I’ll go study the top 40 pop charts while simultaneously searching for hair loss solutions.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on August 1, 2014, in music review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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