Weird Al Yankovic - vocals, accordion; Steve Jay - bass, ethnic percussion, banjo, vocals; Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz - drums, percussion, vocals; Jim West - guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals
Weird Al Yankovic began his career in the late-1970s as a novelty act playing the nerdy fool who thinks accordions and polkas are cool. His shtick was doing bombastic polka remakes of current MTV hits. He appeared briefly in 1981 on the Tom Snyder Show on NBC, who laughingly ushered him off the show with the phrase, "Great performance, Al. Don't quit your day job."
While most other novelty acts would have come and gone with one flavor-of-the-minute song parody on the radio, not Yankovic. He had the phenomenon of MTV waiting for his career. By combining goofy song parodies with over-the-top and very funny music videos, Weird Al Yankovic went from being a novelty act to a bona fide Grammy Award winning music personality.
This show from 1984 is classic Weird Al, and most of his witty parodies from the time are here. "It's Still Rock' N' Roll To Me" becomes "It's Still Billy Joel To Me"; Greg Kihn's "Our Love's In Jeopardy" becomes "I Lost On Jeopardy"; Tony Basil's "Hey Mickey" becomes a tribute to the Lucy & Desi as "Ricky." Jim Croce likely rolled over in his grave when he heard "If I Could Make Love To A Bottle," and the same could be said for Freddie Mercury with his rocked out accordion ode to Queen in "Another One Rides The Bus."
His best work on this night was a very funny remake of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" with a confession about overeating, simply entitled, "Eat It." And while there are some very funny bits here, you need to see him in his absurd costumes and quirky facial expressions to get the true impact of his comedic skill. Still, this show taped in Buffalo, NY for the King Biscuit Flower Hour has some highlights and surprises, including an appearance by radio host, Dr. Demento, who does a version of the novelty song, "Shaving Cream."
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