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The top 10 Weird Al Yankovic parodies from the 1990s

Written by: James at Classic Nerd

The '90s were a golden age for Weird Al—but what makes the list?
The top 10 Weird Al Yankovic parodies from the 1990s

A long, long, time ago…

If you just hummed the tune to “American Pie” to yourself as you read those words, you might be a Weird Al fan. Or, technically, a “Weird Al” fan, but for purposes of entertainment, we’ll be leaving the quotation marks off from here on out.

After what can only be described as absolutely crushing the 1980s, Weird Al seamlessly moved into the ‘90s with his ability to satire not only pop music, but popular culture in general. He taps into memes of the moment while mixing in timeless screwball comedy, and we love him for it.

According to some (namely, terrible, terrible people) Weird Al actually struggled commercially in the latter half of the ‘80s. In fact, there are even those who claim that UHF was a flop. I guess you can just put anything on the internet these days.

But Al kept on grinding, and while his overall number of parodies and output dipped in the ‘90s, the quality never changed—in fact, in some cases it got even better.

I remember my friend and I recording the Dr. Demento show from radio onto cassette tape just so we could listen to the latest Weird Al singles over and over (until we finally broke our parents down to buy us the albums). For many of us, Weird Al owned the ‘90s just as much and maybe more than the ‘80s, which makes whittling down this list nearly impossible.

But as we often do here at Classic Nerd, someone has to take on the boldest, most challenging, most urgent topics of our time. These are the best Weird Al Yankovic parodies from the 1990s.

Smells Like Nirvana — 1992

There was a time when I would hear those infamous opening guitar chords and wouldn’t be sure whether it was Nirvana or Yankovic. Also, I was not a very smart kid.

But I was all of 11 when Nirvana exploded onto the scene and roughly 12 when Weird Al released this iconic grunge parody from 1992’s Off The Deep End—one which, once he got through to him, Kurt Cobain immediately approved and said was a sign his band had truly “made it.”

“Smells Like Nirvana” broke the top 40, and if you believe everything you read on the internet, “revived” Al’s career in a big way. Of course, even Cobain knew what it meant to have a song parodied by Yankovic, whether or not it made lots of money (which in this case, it did).

The music video even went on to be nominated for an MTV Video Award at a time when that actually meant something.

Livin’ in the Fridge — 1993

Alapalooza, for a 12-13-year-old (as I was at the time), may as well have been the Beatles’ white album, Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Hell, it might as well have been Beethoven’s entire catalog as far as I was concerned.

It was everything I loved: cover art that reminded me of Jurassic Park, music I recognized, and the type of humor I still gladly laugh out loud for to this day.

And, I suppose, one could argue that Aerosmith’s arc was a bit similar to Weird Al’s in the early ‘90s. Both were looking for a resurgence, although Aerosmith was just blatantly throwing spaghetti at the wall until they finally found something that would stick in the form of any song that could have a video starring Alicia Silverstone.

And apparently, we were close to never having this gem grace our universe—allegedly “Livin’ in the Fridge” was recorded over a month after the rest of Alapalooza when Al felt they needed one more parody to even things out. Aerosmith was the first to grant permission for their single, “Livin’ on the Edge”. Thank God they did.

There’s somethin’ weird in the fridge today…

Just repeat that line to yourself for the rest of the day every time you open the fridge. Trust me, it will make your day much better.

Bedrock Anthem — 1993

With “Bedrock Anthem”, Weird Al did something I’m not sure he has done since—parodied not one, but two songs simultaneously. Genius. (For the record, he did do similar work for “The Plumbing Song” from ‘92, parodying both "Baby Don't Forget My Number" and "Blame It on the Rain" by Milli Vanilli.)

Pulling from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ breakthrough hits “Under The Bridge” and “Give it Away”, “Bedrock Anthem” was less of a parody of its source material and more of a love story from Yankovic to a cartoon he loved—The Flinstones, in case that somehow wasn’t clear.

And as is always the case for Weird Al, the video is brilliant, opening with the bee girl from Blind Melon’s “No Rain” video tapdancing, only to be poked and pushed off the stage. Then we fade to a shirtless Al, doing his best Anthony Kiedis impression. Such a great parody of the ‘90s in general.

Amish Paradise — 1996

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