By Melissa Hunter
Rolling Stone published their 12th exclusive "Michael Jackson Remembered" piece. This time with the one, the only, the struggling desperately to remain relevant: "Weird Al" Yankovic. Uhh, really?
When you take away the people who have been interviewed on Larry King, the "Today" show, MTV, People Magazine, and CNN on the King of Pop, you're pretty much left with "Weird Al" and Mario Lopez. I would've gone with Mario but I'm a sucker for dimples.
In all fairness, Yankovic did lampoon two of Michael's songs, both of which made him a household name in the '80s. And he met him, like, two times. They're basically Facebook friends.
Yankovic says, "The first time around I pursued Michael Jackson about a song parody, it was a shot in the dark. We're talking about the most popular and famous person in the known universe, and here I was, this goofy comedy songwriter. He not only returned our phone calls, but he approved it. He thought it was a funny idea. Then when we did the second parody, 'Fat,' he was nice enough to let us use his subway set for the video, so he's always been very supportive."
Thank goodness Michael approved those songs. Where would the world be without Weird Al in a fat suit grabbing his crotch jiggling in a garage? Not a world I'd like to know, that's for darned sure.
Yankovic's Michael Jackson spoofs earned him a gold record. Apparently anything related to MJ turns to gold. Later in his career, "Weird Al" tried to get him on board for another parody of his song "Black or White."
"Michael wasn't quite so into [the idea], because he thought 'Black or White' was more of a message song, and he didn't feel as comfortable with a parody of that one ... and because he wasn't so into it, I decided to go with Nirvana, which wound up revitalizing my career."
And what, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" isn't a message song? Don't you know the depth of the plight of '90s angst-ridden grunge high schoolers? Also, looking forward to Yankovic's follow-up piece: "Kurt Cobain Vaguely Remembered Fifteen Years Later: 'I Saw Him This One Time In Concert.'"
"Weird Al" closes it off saying, "I don't know what kind of career I would have today if it hadn't been for Michael Jackson. In a very real sense, he jump-started my career. 'Eat It' basically changed me from an unknown into a guy that got recognized at Burger King."
There you have it, guys. We all wondered what Michael Jackson's lasting legacy would be and now we know: kind of giving "Weird Al" Yankovic a pseudo-career. You can close that chapter of the history books.