‘Weird Al’ Yankovic — whose three decades in show business have included hit parodies of songs by the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Nirvana and Avril Lavigne, among many others — surprised the lone employee at Coast City Comics Monday evening with a visit before his concert approximately across the street at The State Theatre.
Jarrett Melendez said he was in the middle of the store fetching a game for a customer when Weird Al came in, so he missed the star’s entrance, and it only dawned on him that he had a celebrity browser when he passed by a “wall of hair” on his way back to the counter.
For those unfamiliar with Weird Al, his long, dark hair is very recognizable.
“He was very nice, and I told him I loved his Disney special as a kid, and he was flattered,” Melendez told me in a brief telephone interview. “I overheard some other fans who gathered around him said they’re big fans of his, and he was very nice.”
Melendez said he gave Weird Al a T-shirt featuring actor Bill Murray, and Yankovic took his place among famous Coast City Comics guest by doodling a goofy face on the store counter (famed comic book artists like Sean Murphy and Nick Bradshaw, among others, have drawings on the Counter of Fame).
Melendez said his favorite Weird Al song is “Amish Paradise,” a takeoff of Coolio’s 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” (a song that, itself, borrowed heavily from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise”).
That’s a good choice. I go back and forth, but I think right now I’d say my favorite Weird Al tune is “White and Nerdy,” a parody of “Ridin’” by Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone.
Doors open to The State Theatre show at 7 p.m. and the show is due to start at 8 p.m.
I’ve seen Weird Al live before, and he manages to fairly quickly get into the fat suit from that classic music video to “Eat It,” the redo of the King of Pop’s “Beat It.”
I’m sad to say it’s been this long since I’ve seen him perform, but his live show often has comical video vignettes you can’t easily find elsewhere, and at the time natural disaster movies were big — stuff like “Twister” and “Volcano.” So Weird Al had a trailer for his own movie titled “60 Percent Chance of Showers,” in which Yankovic himself played a park ranger desperate to get kids inside, you know, just in case.
“Party in the CIA” — a spoof of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” — is another more recent favorite. Since we’re in the mood, here’s a Weird Al music video of that one: