I’m finally getting off my duff on the Weird One’s birthday (he’s 57 today) after seeing him in concert for the third this July…and having my brief FaceTime with him.
This Summer we saw him again on a second take for the Mandatory Fun tour. Last year it was at the ACL Moody Theater and then at Bass Hall. The shows were relatively similar but who cares! Weird Al and his band for 30-plus years are incredibly talented. I love all the costume changes with segues of media showing all his cameos or pop-culture references he’s permeated into. In many ways, he is the champion to millions, especially unpopular kids like me listening to his earlier albums back in North Dakota with my friends Jon, Mike, Paul and Jason. When I had my own block of time to be on Marquette’s “radio station” WMUR, I would even squeeze in a song of his every month. “Such a Groovy Guy” comes to mind along with “Fat” when that a new release. I was still a true fan since Weird Al had fallen out of favor with the masses by the late Eighties.
This is definitely going into my “nerd tomb.”
Highlights of this tour: He kicks off with “Tacky” and has his path from the green room to the stage timed out for the song’s duration. Walking and singing at the same time is quite a feat. The first time we went to this show, we were in the fourth row so Somara was one of his “victims” he hit on for “Wanna B Ur Lovr” and it was on the big screen for all our friends to witness. What I loved almost as much was when our neighbors tried to record the moment and he put his hand over the lens of their phone. Yeah people, be in the moment, stop trying to be a cinematographer.
So after waiting 34 years to meet him (I first saw him on MTV for the video “Ricky” in 1982), what did I have to say? I wanted tell him how wonderful he was to that little girl on his team when he was on Family Double Dare in 1988. He knew all the answers to the questions but he’d whisper them into her ear and let her tell them to the audience. He was like, “Oh yeah, that show hosted by Marc Summers.” I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with meeting him too. Here’s a guy with rabid fans who probably want to spill their life stories on him yet he just embraces it like a pro. I think he is in that minority of celebrities with his head on straight and knows how much he is adored especially when his fame ebbed for a while. I’m just grateful he didn’t give up.
How did we meet him? Well, these days if you look really carefully when buying concert tickets, some shows offer VIP stuff. With Weird al, make sure you get the meet n’ greet too. I made this mistake in 2015.
Hot damn! I also found a link to the episode of Family Double Dare he appeared on against Lou Ferigno. The picture quality is poor but check it out. If you ever have to take the physical challenge, you want Al in your corner! Meanwhile, despite all the sadness of 2016, Al is cheering us up by being the band leader for Comedy Bang Bang‘s last season and is starring in a new cartoon on Disney XD.
Happy Birthday Al!