• 10 “Weird Al” Yankovic songs that are secretly dark af

    ”Weird Al” Yankovic is the best-selling comedy recording artist of all time. His 2014 album Mandatory Fun was the first comedy album to debut #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. His music is loved across the globe and spans across generations young and old. While Weird Al’s music is family-friendly (there’s no swearing, foul language or graphic sexuality), the songs can get a little…weird. If you dig deep enough into the Weird Al archives, some of the songs are super dark.
    Laughspin brings you the darkest Weird Al songs ever made. For the purpose of this list, I’ve only considered songs off of Yankovic’s 14 studio albums. To weigh the darkness, I’ve considered both subject matter and how many people died. An interesting side-note: All of these songs happen to be originals by Yankovic, not parodies. I guess that’s what happens when this accordion-wielding comedian is left to his own devices!

    10. Weasel Stomping Day – Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)

    This lovely, cheerful song is about the ritual murder of an entire species. The song takes us to a town with a beloved holiday tradition of crushing weasels to death. As the song goes, “It’s tradition; that makes it okay.”

    If thoughts of weasel skull-crushing, spine-snapping, and gut-squirting leave you queasy, lyrics like, “All the little girls and boys love that wonderful crunching noise,” will certainly leave you concerned for the well-being of this town’s youth!

    Lyrics aside, the truly darkest parts of the song are the sound effects. The middle of the song features a 20-second lyricless interlude of crushing and squealing noises. The DVD that accompanied the initial album release revealed that these noises were, in part, recorded by Weird Al’s young daughter. For additional delightful darkness, watch the music video animated by Robot Chicken.

    9. You Don’t Love Me Anymore – Off the Deep End (1992)

    This anti-love song recounts a series of events proving our narrator’s partner is no longer in love with him. The song starts relatively tame. The lover “made it with the whole hockey team,” and told “all [her] friends that I’m the Antichrist.” That’s not so bad compared to having your brakes disconnected, your bathtub filled with piranhas, your coffee poisoned, or your house burned down.

    The most graphic line comes at, “You slammed my face down on a barbecue grill.” While that’s quite a horrific picture, the crescendo of the song’s darkness comes from the lyric, “You drilled a hole in my head. Then you dumped me in a drainage ditch and left me for dead.” It appears as the relationship declined, so did the scorned lover’s creativity in her many murderous plots.

    By the end, our lovesick hero is still—somehow—alive. Disfigured and thoroughly abused, but alive. That’s why this song lands at #9.

    8. Christmas at Ground Zero – Polka Party! (1986)

    Christmas at Ground Zero is one of the most unapologetically dark Weird Al titles in his catalog. It’s hard to miss when the title quite accurately sums up the premise of the song. A holiday staple in many depraved homes, this song observes typical Christmas traditions maintained amid a nuclear attack. Despite mentioning atom bombs, the end of humanity, and the expected mutations from nuclear fallout, there are no explicit deaths in Christmas at Ground Zero. If there were, this song would rank a lot higher.

    Released in 1986, the song’s juxtaposition is written for the sake of humor. Hearing it in 2019, it comes off as a creepy reflection of complacency in the face of terror. Weird Al fans began sharing this song again in December 2016 when then President-elect Donald Trump discussed nuclear weapons on Twitter.

    7. The Night Santa Went Crazy – Bad Hair Day (1996)

    By now, it’s safe to assume that a ‘traditional’ Weird Al Christmas song is anything but wholesome. The Night Santa Went Crazy recounts, “the night Saint Nick went insane” after he “realized he’d been gettin’ a raw deal.” Santa goes on to bomb the toy workshop, take elves hostage, and grind up “poor Rudolph into reindeer sausage.”

    While there are no confirmed human deaths in the song, there is immense emotional trauma. As dark as the album version gets, it gets, well… even worse. The super dark Christmas song first appeared on Weird Al’s 1996 album Bad Hair Day. However, an “extra gory” version of the song first shows up on his Amish Paradise single. Instead of Santa going to prison for 700 years, he gets shot in the head. As if it could get any darker, it even includes the line, “Yes little friend, now that’s his brains on the floor.” Since the extra gory version wasn’t the official release, The Night Santa Went Crazy only lands at #7 on this list.

    6. Good Old Days – Even Worse (1988)

    In classic Weird Al fashion, Good Old Days takes a happy melody and expertly adds deeply chilling lyrics. While reminiscing about the ‘good old days,’ the song’s protagonist describes “torturing rats” and “pulling the wings off of flies” in his sad, lonely basement. Okay, weird. But boys will be boys, right? The next verse describes burning down the neighborhood grocery store and the look on the kindly shop owner’s face when he “bashed in his head.”

    Already, Goold Old Days belongs on this list. However, the song gets more twisted the longer you listen. The last story he recounts is of his high school sweetheart and what transpired after the homecoming dance. “I tied her to a chair and I shaved off all her hair.” Then he abandoned her in the middle of the desert—how romantic. He concludes by saying, “Sometimes in my dreams, I can still hear the screams. Oh, I wonder if she ever made it home?” While there is no confirmation of murder, it’s certainly implied.

    5. I Remember Larry – Bad Hair Day (1996)

    I Remember Larry is deeply, deeply dark. What makes it so great is the murkiness isn’t revealed until nearly halfway through the song. It starts as a recollection of pranks that “Larry” has pulled on the song’s narrator. The pranks start off tame like phony phone calls and wedgies. Eventually, the deceits escalate to a level that includes actual toxic waste. While odd and certainly criminal in nature, nothing Larry pulled was quite dark enough to land on this list.

    The song proves how twisted it is when the narrator “pranked” Larry back. He recounts breaking into Larry’s house, dragging him into the woods, and stuffing him in a plastic bag. Don’t worry: Larry would have loved the prank. At least that’s what we’re told.

    4. Melanie – Even Worse (1988)

    Melanie is the first song that comes to mind when considering a true PG-13 Weird Al song, but still pretty messed up—especially in a #MeToo world. Melanie is the singer’s dream girl, a woman he’s been lusting after ever since he used his telescope to watch her shower. While this may be Weird Al’s first song about a guy stalking and creeping on a woman, it wasn’t his last.

    In 2006’s Straight Outta Lynwood, Weird Al parodied Taylor Hicks’s Do I Make You Proud with Do I Creep You Out. In it, he describes saving a woman’s gum, feeling the “warm spot on (her) chair,” wanting to put her fingers in his mouth, and feeling the need to carve her name into his leg. While definitely odd, it’s not as depraved as Melanie.

    The main character, rejected by Melanie after tattooing her name on his forehead, jumps out of the window a story above her apartment, committing suicide right in front of her. He says, “Now I may be dead, but I still love you,” which is a haunting end to a low key delightful song.

    3. Albuquerque – Running with Scissors (1999)

    Clocking in at over 11 minutes, Albuquerque is Weird Al’s longest song. It’s also one of his darkest.

    Albuquerque starts off with a clear case of child abuse. The narrator’s mother ties him to a wall and force-feeds him nothing but sauerkraut until he’s 26-years-old. All because he asked his mother, “What’s up with all the sauerkraut?” The lowest point comes after a terrible plane ride to Albuquerque ends with a crash that kills everyone on board—except for the narrator. Oh, and the plane ran out of peanuts before the crash. Tragedy.

    Time for some math! Because there is mention of an in-flight movie, and the fact that there is a middle seat, we have to assume this was a large aircraft. The largest passenger aircraft that regularly lands at Albuquerque International Sunport is the Boeing 737-900 which has a seating capacity of 189 and would be staffed by at least two pilots. We can only truly confirm the deaths of the people who are mentioned as being on the plane (as well as the implied two pilots): two large Albanian women, the flight attendant, and the kid behind the narrator. With all of this in mind, the total death toll in Albuquerque is somewhere between six and 188.

    2. Why Does This Always Happen to Me? – Poodle Hat (2003)

    Easily one of the catchiest Weird Al songs, Why Does This Always Happen to Me? is undoubtedly one of the Grammy winner’s darkest tunes.

    The song starts with a horrific earthquake that crushes 30,000 people. This leaves our narrator understandably upset because, of course, the news of this incident interrupted an episode of The Simpsons.

    He also tells us about how he stabbed his boss in the face after being politely asked to replace the printer toner. We also learn about a road trip where he witnessed a deadly 12-car pile-up. Amid the “brains and guts and vital organs splattered everywhere,” he notices his “friend Robert’s disembodied head.” At first, he’s sad at his friend’s passing but later resolves that the friend was a jerk because he hadn’t yet returned a borrowed five bucks. Dark.

    1. One of Those Days – Polka Party! (1986)

    I hadn’t initially considered One of Those Days as being the gloomiest song in Weird Al’s repertoire. Upon closer review, I realized it is the darkest thing the @midnight regular has ever released.

    The song revolves around Weird Al’s genius juxtaposition of the inane and the insane while describing “cliché” bad days. Everything that could go wrong seems to go wrong for this guy. He’s late to work. He leaves his Beatles records out in the sun. Yankovic’s heightening leaves him tied up by Nazis and his mother run over by a steamroller. Things turn apocalyptic when “the bomb” gets dropped, resulting in the world blowing up “and now everybody’s dead.” The song literally states that everyone on earth dies.

    In 1986, when this song was released, the world population was just under 5 billion people (4,953,376,710 to be exact, according to geohive.com). 4,953,376,710 die in a Weird Al song. What a miserable way to die. And that’s why One of Those Days is number one on our list!

    Ethan Ullman

    Ethan Ullman is a comedian based in upstate New York. He produces Pretty Much the Best Comedy Show at Proctors and Storytime Time at Mopco Improv Theatre in Schenectady. In his free time, Ethan enjoys collecting Weird Al memorabilia and working on his upcoming Weird Al podcast. Connect with him via @EthanUllman on Instagram or Twitter.

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