Weird Al still kickin’ it 32 years later with “Mandatory Fun”

Weird Al Yankovic Mandatory Fun CD cover

The best part of Weird Al Yankovic’s release of his latest album isn’t because he released eight songs along with music videos for free on YouTube.  It’s that the best of his new album Mandatory Fun provides some lyrics that are as good as his early hits.  Maybe there’s no “Eat it” or “Yoda” or “I Lost on Jeopardy” or the “American Pie” parody “The Saga Begins.”  But there is plenty to like in the “Amish Paradise,” “Another One Rides the Bus,” and “Dare to Be Stupid” vein.  And Mandatory Fun is Weird Al’s first number one album in 32 years–his first number one album in the U.S. ever.  With all his classics, how is that possible?

When all things retro and nostalgia have reigned across current pop culture like never before, it’s no wonder everyone is clamoring for the simple fun Weird Al brings to the table.  His album includes 12 new songs, and eight of the them are on YouTube with great new music videos, just like in the heyday of MTV–that old cable network that used to air music videos to accompany the latest hits.  Yes, that MTV.  After the break check out eight of the new songs below.  To hear the other four, like a parody of Imagine Dragons’s song “Radioactive” called “Inactive,” you’ll just have to pick up the album.  It’s available here at, where you can get a digital download of the album with each hard copy purchase.

The album’s big hit so far is “Word Crimes”–Weird Al’s fourth Top 40 song in four separate decades, parodying the song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke:

[Editor’s Note: For the record, I only use quotation marks for emphasis in titles here at because of the restrictions of the font style on this website.  There.  I said it.  I hate when others do it, but what can you do?  Ahem.]

“Handy” is a spoof of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy.”  Basically the lyrics are a laundry list of your typical home repairs over the past year.  But good stuff:

“Sports Song” is pretty simple.  Take any half-time band march and add in lyrics to insult the opposing team.  Definitely fun, and likely to inspire high school band kids to find ways to follow suit:

The best part of “Lame Claim to Fame” isn’t the Southern Culture on the Skids-inspired song but the elaborate stop-motion music video in the style of “Sledgehammer,” the classic 1986 hit song and video from Peter Gabriel:

“First World Problems” is a Pixies inspired look at the dumb and pathetic things the well-to-do of society get enraged over:

“Foil” is a nicely put together parody of Lorde’s “Royals.”  Musically one of Weird Al’s best on the album:

And yes, that’s Nerd Lord Patton Oswalt as the video producer.

“Tacky” is a send up of Pharrell’s song “Happy,” and the video includes comedians Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Kristen Schaal, Eric Stonestreet, and Aisha Tyler.

Finally “Mission Statement,” with a song that plays off of “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” from Crosby, Stills & Nash, will make you cringe about any business meeting you’ve ever attended, or are about to walk into:

Catch up on classic Yankovic with The Essential Weird Al Yankovic available from

C.J. Bunce

One comment

  1. “I got 99 problems, but a switch ain’t one.” Hilarious!

    BTW, for anyone who doesn’t know, there is a petition making it’s way around the Internets to have Wierd Al be the Superbowl half-time show next February. If you are interested, you can check it out here:

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