Weird Al Yankovic Publishes Kids’ Book

02.03.2011

Image courtesy HarperCollinsChildrens.com

Pop music parody king and three-time Grammy winner Weird Al Yankovic published his first children’s book on February 1st, When I Grow Up. Publisher HarperCollins describes the book thusly:

Billy’s classmates may have never considered careers in snail training or sumo wrestling before, but by the time the exuberant eight-year-old is done cataloging his dream jobs, they just might share his belief in unlimited potential!

Virtuoso wordplay, irresistible rhythm, and laugh-out-loud humor abound in the first picture book by the one and only “Weird Al” Yankovic. This unbridled celebration of creativity and possibility invites readers of all ages to consider afresh what they want to be when they grow up.

The book has received critical acclaim from comedian/actor Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille, Robotomy, WordGirl), who called the book “wonderful” via Twitter.

And if you don’t care for Oswalt’s opinion, Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Family Guy) says via Twitter that Al’s book is “great…for story-time reading!”

Granted, Seth Green has no experience in parenting to make him an authority on kids’ books, and Patton Oswalt isn’t one most would look to for recommending good books for kids either.

So would it help if Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich gave this glowing review of the book?

Have a kid? Need a book to read with said kid? @alyankovic just wrote one, and it’s great!

And here’s Al narrating an excerpt of his book via YouTube:

(You can download the entire audiobook on iTunes for $1.99.)

Weird Al’s also doing a book signing tour during February 2011, and new dates keep being added to the schedule at WEIRDAL.COM. Current schedule (courtesy of Yank Blog):

Feb 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Barnes & Noble (at the Grove) 2:00pm
Feb 13 – Van Nuys, CA – Costco 1:00pm
Feb 15 – Irvine, CA – A Whale of a Tale 4:00pm
Feb 18 – Naperville, IL – Anderson’s Bookshop 7:00pm

And here are some recent interview links with Al discussing his book:

– Naperville Sun Times: Yankovic book tour to visit NCC

– CNN: What happened when Weird Al grew up

– IndyStyle.TV: Weird Al Yankovic (video interview)

– MyFoxBoston.com: Weird Al Yankovic Interview (video)

– CelebrityBabyScoop.com: Weird Al Yankovic: “Family is my first priority.”

– Stuff.Co.NZ: The Weird Al Yankovic Interview

– ThePageTurn.com: My Favorite Teacher, by Al Yankovic

– iTunes Podcast – English, Baby!: Grow Up – Weird Al Yankovic (Select episode #3.)

– HarperCollins: Q&A with Weird Al Yankovic (PDF file)

– FaceCulture video interview:

Additional source: World of Weird Al Yankovic

~ Craig “Voiceroy” Crumpton
Publisher, Voice Actors in the News
(and lifelong Weird Al fan/”close personal friend”)

Weird Al Yankovic and Craig "Voiceroy" Crumpton at the 2004 San Diego Comic-Con. (Demotivator caption by Steve Helling.)


‘Weird Al’ Developing Live-Action Movie

01.26.2010

Weird Al Yankovic announced Jan. 25th via his blog that he has signed a deal to develop and direct a live-action TV movie for Cartoon Network.

Although the movie has not officially been green-lit by CN, Al says the script is completed and he’s “about to start a third draft,” adding that “it’s gotten some very positive buzz at the network.”

The movie will feature a “younger, teenage protagonist,” but Al says he will be “making an appearance in it.” Al says he hopes to start shooting the film in the fall, following his 2010 national concert tour (which has not yet been announced).

It’s also worth noting that Al says the movie is the “first thing [he’s] on track to do for [CN].” Al says that CN originally contacted him “to provide some content for them – series, features, animation, live-action… they were open to anything…now all I have to do is start making stuff!”

Update: 1.28.2010 — On Dec. 20, 2009 Al was a guest on Shatner’s Raw Nerve on the Biography Channel where he revealed a more personal side, including discussing for the first time on-camera the loss of his parents in a tragic accident. The complete episode is available in three parts on Biography.com:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Thanks to ShadowWing Tronix of BW Media Spotlight for the heads-up on Weird Al’s appearance on “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.”

Related posts:
– 11.18.2009 — Professor Yankovic Explains Auto-Tune
– 7.03.2009 — Weird Al Yankovic News Round-Up


Professor Yankovic Explains Auto-Tune

11.18.2009

And the 2009 award for “Best Comedic and Edumacational Use of a Celebrity Cameo in a YouTube Video” goes to…

Related post: 8.20.2009 — Weird Al Joins the Blogosphere


Weird Al Joins the Blogosphere

08.20.2009

…and with a WordPress blog, no less!

Al’s Blog

And in his first post, he announces:

One week from today (Tuesday, August 25), my 5-track digital EP “Internet Leaks” will be officially released. It’ll be on iTunes, Amazon… you know, all the usual places.

The fifth and final track from “Internet Leaks” is called “Ringtone.” It will be released the same day as the EP – Tuesday the 25th. The video for it was done by the guys behind Current TV’s hilarious show “SuperNews” – and it will world-premiere this Friday night as part of a half-hour special show that I’m co-hosting with SuperNews creator Josh Faure-Brac. For more info on the show and where you can see it, go here.

By the way, if you DO purchase “Internet Leaks” now, you’ll be able to take advantage of iTunes’ “Complete My Album” function when the full album becomes available. You’ll be able to painlessly add the missing tracks, and the full purchase price of “Internet Leaks” will be deducted from the cost of the album.

Al adds that “Al’s Brain” completed a successful run at the Orange County Fair with “a quarter of a million people” now having watched his 3D movie. The exhibit now moves onto the Puyallup Fair (near Seattle, WA) scheduled for September 11-17, 2009.

Previous post: 7.03.2009 — Weird Al News Round-Up.


Article Updates: Weird Al Yankovic, Bill Kopp/Brad Garrett, ‘Chowder’/Tara Strong

07.13.2009

I have been quietly adding some updates and additional links to some previous articles since last week, so since I can’t do “bumps” on previous posts, here’s what’s new:

– Due to a high volume of blog traffic from fans searching on Weird Al Yankovic following the recent opening of the “Al’s Brain” exhibit at the OC Fair, I have added nearly a dozen new links and updates to both my previous articles: Explore Weird Al’s Brain, and Weird Al Yankovic News Round-Up.

Bill Kopp has provided an update with a little more info [click here] on the Dumb Bunny and Jackass series he is developing with Brad Garrett.

– Added some info regarding an autograph signing event for Chowder to what has become the second most-read article on this blog since March: The Last Recording Session for ‘Chowder’?


Weird Al Yankovic News Round-Up

07.03.2009

Due to an increasing number of search hits on my blog for Weird Al Yankovic, I’m taking this opportunity to clean out my backlogged bookmarks related to Al from the last few months.

7.17.2009 — Al directs Beatles legend Paul McCartney in this photo (via Twitter).

7.12.2009 — I’ve added more links to my previous article on the “Al’s Brain” exhibit at the Orange County Fair in California.

7.11.2009 — Weird Al debuts a new music video, “Skipper Dan”:

– Join your fellow “Close Personal Friends of Al” for AL FEST 2009 at the Holiday Inn in Costa Mesa, CA on Saturday, August 1st. Special guests include Dr. Demento, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz (Al’s drummer), Jim “Kimo” West (Al’s guitarist), a performance by The Valtierra Latin Orchestra featuring Rubén Valtierra, and a “UHF” 20th anniversary celebrity panel. More details are available at AlFest2009.com. And if you want a preview of what to expect from the event, check out this article from The OC Register.

The Wall Street Journal interviews Al “on Michael Jackson, YouTube, and Turning 50.”

Rolling Stone Magazine: “Michael Jackson Remembered: Weird Al Yankovic on Imitation as Flattery.”

Spinner.com interviews Al on his “love/hate relationship with the internet.”

– From the looks of a recent Twitpic, Al will be reprising his role as “Uncle Muscles” for an upcoming episode of [adult swim’s] Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job.

– Al’s latest song and music video, “Craigslist” [embedding link disabled] is a style parody of The Doors, and the track features keyboards performed by The Doors’ Ray Manzarek. When the video premiered on the web in June, Al told Spinner.com:

“I thought it would be anachronistically weird to have me as Jim Morrison screaming about Craigslist. That just seemed so completely wrong that I thought I had to do it. [Craigslist is] a big part of my life personally and it’s a very big part of pop culture. [It’s] certainly one of the major portals and it was very inspirational to me. My research involved going through all the categories and finding some of the more bizarre entries and posts. There’s the missed connections, the random obscure items, people who just want to rant about something. I tried to get a feeling of the whole Craigslist experience into the song.”

Wired.com Blogger GeekDad ranks his picks for the top 10 Weird Al songs, complete with YouTube links.

NPR’s Marc Hirsh explains why Al is a “Stealth Pop Musicoligist.” And on a related note, NPR’s program All Things Considered has launched a series called “You Must Hear This” with “chart-topping and critically-acclaimed musicians talk about the recordings they consider essential listening” (according to a press release). Weird Al is listed among the program’s guests, and an archive of his broadcast will be available on NPR.org once it airs.

– Comedian/actor/TV personality Michael Ian Black explains why he loves Weird Al.

– Al masters new songs at Bernie Grundman Mastering.

– Al joins Mike Nelson for a RiffTrax commentary on Jurassic Park.

Transformers fansites TFW2005.com and Seibertron.com offer highlights of the Botcon 2009 panel Q&A with Weird Al and voice actor David Kaye discussing Transformers Animated.

Other previous related post: 4.13.2009 — Weird Al vs Malcolm McDowell


Explore Weird Al’s Brain

04.22.2009

Poster pic courtesy OCFair.com.

Poster pic courtesy OCFair.com.

I never would have imagined that the brain of musical comedian/actor Weird Al Yankovic was worth $2.5 million dollars, and yet that’s how much it cost to produce the exhibit: “Al’s Brain — 3-D Journey Through The Human Brain” which will debut at the Orange County Fair in California July 10 – August 9th. [Link: Press Release.]

The 10-minute 3D film is a mix of animation and live-action footage hosted by Weird Al, who also served as writer and producer for the project.

Furthermore, the film features “The Brain Song” — an original 3D computer-animated music video Weird Al wrote and produced exclusively for the exhibit. “I studied hard for this song,” Yankovic said in an interview with The OC Register. “I pretended like I took a class in the working of the brain and this is my final exam, this is my thesis paper.”

The OC Register interview with Weird Al includes a great many more details out the exhibit, although I feel the need to offer a correction that this is *not* Al’s “first computer-animated music video.” That distinction belongs to the “Beverly Hillbillies” music video from the UHF movie soundtrack, although to clarify it did use a mix of live-action and computer-animation. So I’m assuming this will be Al’s first music video that’s *entirely* 100% computer-animated.

Update 6.11.2009: Weird Al’s official YouTube Channel has a promo video for the exhibit. And an official site has launched as well — AlsBrain.com — with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, merchandise, schedule, and exhibit info.

Additionally, the exhibit will appear at the Puyallup Fair September 11-17 near Seattle, WA, and at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China. Additional dates are yet to be announced.

Update 7.12.2009: Costa Mesa’s Daily Pilot has an article with more details on the exhibit, including quotes from Al and a photo preview.

And on a related note, the “controversy” regarding the exhibit to which Al is referring in the above link is covered in a report by The OC Register which states that that project is estimated to be “4 percent over budget during the next two years.” The report adds: “A theater is being built for the project, but it will not be ready in time for the July fair, so [the exhibit] will be housed in a temporary tent.”

Elsewhere, Weird Al announced via Twitter that he has a cameo voice in an upcoming episode of Nickelodeon’s hit series, Back At The Barnyard, and that he is in the studio this week “recording 4 new tracks” for his new album (planned for release in 2010) which he posted a photo for as well.

And just because I can, here’s a photo of me with Weird Al, who made a surprise appearance at the 2004 San Diego Comic-Con. (Demotivational poster caption by Steve Helling.)

Weird Al Yankovic and Craig "Voiceroy" Crumpton at the 2004 San Diego Comic-Con. (Demotivator caption by Steve Helling.)

Previous news: 4.13.2009 — Weird Al vs Malcolm McDowell.