Saturday, October 17, 2009

That Joke's Not That Funny Anymore

Dixie says two barks

Long running music parody expert "Weird Al" Yankovic recently released an EP of music on ITunes called Internet Leaks. I downloaded it for my brother who's a huge fan. I've liked some of Yankovic's parodies over the years, the interpolation of the Kink's "Lola" and Star Wars resulted in the humorous "Yoda", "Eat It" was as well known as the gloved one's original for a time and "White and Nerdy" was pure genius. He even had an original song called "Christmas At Ground Zero" that I liked. Yankovic had the ability to take a specific geek skill, making up your own silly lyrics to songs, and use it to build an audience of folks who get to hear catchy music their way.

With Internet Leaks it seems Yankovic wants to try to be a touch more original. Instead of doing direct copies of others hits, he wants to graduate to copying performers. With the exception of "Whatever You Like", a fair parody of the rap hit of the same name, the songs evoke a certain artist. "Craigslist" tackles The Doors (said to include Ray Manzarek The Doors keyboardist), "CNR" is all White Stripes nervous frenzy and "Ringtone" takes Queen for a ride. While it's easy to see who Yankovic has set his sights on with these parodies, the lack of a hook to sell the whole thing causes the enterprise to crumble. Maybe Yankovic is tired of stealing hooks with his goofy humor, instead trying to come up with something to funny to say while imitating a performance style.

This combo falls flat, only "Ringtone" managed to get a half smile out of me as I sat through this tuneless dreck. It's a disappointment in that usually "Weird Al" can deliver at least one winner per outing. Here he strikes out. That leaves everyone else P-P-P-Poker, P-P-P-Poker faced.

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