Pigging Out On "Weird Al"

Parody master's GRAMMY-winning spoof on Michael Jackson's "Bad" featured in this week's GRAMMY winners edition of Forgotten Videos
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic in "Fat"
January 20, 2012 -- 3:42 pm PST

Welcome to Forgotten Videos, GRAMMY winners edition. For some, these videos are forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Our aim is to take you on a little trip down memory lane or help you discover new music, GRAMMY-style.

"Weird Al" Yankovic

If one thing is certain in the career of GRAMMY-winning parody master "Weird Al" Yankovic, he loves a good parody dish with a hearty side of the King of Pop. Based on Michael Jackson's No. 1 hit "Bad," "Fat" not only is an anthem for the calorie-challenged who have "more chins than Chinatown," its arguably Yankovic at his zany best.

Comedy fans will recall Yankovic first parodied Jackson's smash "Beat It" with the foodie-laced "Eat It" in 1984. Yankovic's song nearly reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned him his first GRAMMY for Best Comedy Recording, so he fittingly decided to come back for seconds.

Starting with a vignette based on the extended video for Jackson's "Bad," a trim Yankovic is confronted in an empty subway by his former hippo-sized homies, who offer Ding Dongs, pizza and burgers and question his allegiance to their artery-blocking exploits. But Yankovic ultimately has enough and throws down the ultimate battle of the bulge in declaring, "You ain't fat, you ain't nothing!" In transforming into a tubby dancing bada**, Yankovic proceeds to wobble around with his portly posse, while scarfing down a ham sandwich on whole wheat and mimicking Jackson's moves and vocal nuances to a tee.

"Fat" is featured on Even Worse, an album with a cover based on Jackson's Bad album cover and containing parodies of songs by artists such as George Harrison, Billy Idol and Tiffany. Though the song could only manage No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100, the "Fat" video tasted good enough to Recording Academy voters, who awarded Yankovic the GRAMMY for Best Concept Music Video in 1988.

While artists such as Paul McCartney and Prince have denied Yankovic permission for the use of their songs, Jackson reportedly was a big "Weird Al" fan, and bought copies of Even Worse for his friends. "[Jackson] doesn't have to let me do this kind of stuff," Yankovic once remarked. "The only reason he would let me is because he has a great sense of humor."

Taking his food obsession to the next level, in 1993 Yankovic released The Food Album, a compilation featuring "Fat" nestled alongside favorites such as his "La Bamba" parody ("Lasagna") and his parody of the Knack's "My Sharona" that helped launch his career in 1979 ("My Bologna"). In 2003 he won his third GRAMMY for Best Comedy Album for Poodle Hat, an album containing parodies of songs by Backstreet Boys and Eminem.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Yankovic is showing no signs of slowing down. His most recent album, 2011's Alpocalypse, is the highest-charting album of his career, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard 200. True to form, the album contains parodies of songs by current pop stars such as Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Ke$ha. And Yankovic is looking for a fourth GRAMMY helping, as Alpocalypse is a current nominee for Best Comedy Album for the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

In a 2011 interview with Maximum Fun, Yankovic intimated he is still carrying some serious weight: "It's a pretty heavy thing to realize that this far into my career I'm actually sort of peaking."

Have you ever seen the guy who says, "Yo Ding Dong man, Ding Dong yo," in the pastry aisle at the supermarket?

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