Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Henry Pratt on “Weird Al” Yankovic


This is entry #34 in our 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Henry Pratt (Marist College)
Artwork: “Weird Al” Yankovic, Dare to Be Stupid, CBS Records [1985].  Audio Cassette. 
Words: Most people don’t realize that comedy is the hardest thing to do well in music, and that Weird Al is America’s greatest living musician. His best album was released whenever you were 13, which is exactly the age at which I purchased Dare to Be Stupid. The parodies demonstrate that Weird Al has more talent than, e.g., Madonna or Huey Lewis, plus he’s funny. The originals are awesome, particularly the title track, which out-Devo’s Devo. “Yoda” sums up everything great about Empire, back before Yoda became a CGI monstrosity. And the polka medley even incorporates “Relax.” Beat that, Arcade Fire!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.