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I guess I just like liking things

Weird Al Week


Remember when Weird Al had a Saturday morning show? If you’re a fan of Al and haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. If you’re not a fan of Al, first of all, that’s a strange life decision, and second, this show probably isn’t what you’re after, as it’s pretty much all Al doing Al stuff.

I don’t think it makes much sense to go through this show the same way we went through Better Off Ted. While there’s a plot that the episode sorta hangs on, it’s mostly an opportunity for short spoofs and gags. I think we’ll approach it more from a “this is what happened” angle, which will help those of who who don’t have it handy to watch.

Episode 1: Bad Influence

Aired: September 13, 1997

Guest stars: Barenaked Ladies, Downtown Julie Brown, Patton Oswalt, Kevin Weisman

The Theme Song, which explains the premise of the show pretty well:

Oh, this is a story ’bout a guy named Al
And he lived in a sewer with his hamster pal
But the sanitation workers really didn’t approve
So he packed up his accordion and had to move
To a city in Ohio where he lived in a tree
And he worked in a nasal decongestant factory
And he played on the company bowling team
And every single night he had a strange recurring dream
Where he was wearing lederhosen in a vat of sour cream
But that’s really not important to the story

Well, the very next year he met a dental hygienist
With a spatula tattooed on her arm (on her arm)
But he didn’t keep in touch
And he lost her number
Then he got himself a job on a tater tot farm
And he spent his life-savings on a split-level cave
Twenty miles below the surface of the Earth (of the Earth)
And he really makes a might fine jelly bean and pickle sandwich
For what it’s worth

Then one day Al was in the forest trying to get a tan
When he heard the tortured screaming of a funny little man
He was caught in a bear trap and Al set him free
And the guy that he rescued was grateful as could be
And it turns out he’s a big-shot producer on TV
So he gives Al a contract and whaddya know
Now he’s got his very own Weird Al show

Today’s Lesson: Don’t follow people who can get you into trouble. Think for yourself.

Plot summary: Al met a guy named Spike who is “cool” and says he’ll get Al into “the cool club.” Spike visits Al and gets him to do a bunch of things that he says “all the cool guys are doing.” Turns out, Spike’s kind of a jerk, but it takes Al a while to figure it out.

Bits and Pieces:

  • Al has two new inventions that we see in this show. Maybe he works for Veridian Dynamics?: X-ray spray and super buoyant edible ping pong balls
  • Al mentions playing “43-Man Squamish,” which turns out to have been made up by MAD Magazine.
  • Spike wants to use Al’s X-ray spray to see what’s in Christmas presents and learn the combinations for locks
  • Harvey the Wonder Hamster shows up, complete with theme song, then he rides a radio control car off a jump and then parachutes to safety. SPike suggests doing it again, but with no parachute and some explosions. (This is not done.)
  • “I am so cool!” Al declares after dipping his arms in molten chocolate
  • Spike steals Al’s X-ray spray!
  • Al makes a sandwich: hickory flavored asphalt with anchovy jello on whole wheat bread – “If you’ve got blacktop and you’ve got gelatin, you’ve got good eatin’!”
  • Al’s Eyeball chair for watching TV is perfect and creepy at the same time.
  • TV shows: Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood spoof; Pirate Day Care commercial; Fashion Report (in which Al learns that tearing off his pant leg is no longer cool)
  • Pizza Quick commercial: we save time by not putting the pizza in a box.
  • Things Spike wants Al to do: tear off his pant leg, dip his hands in molten chocolate, shave off his right eyebrow, wear rabbit ears, get rid of Bobby, break stuff
  • Bobby the Inquisitive Boy is aptly named.
  • “Accidents are just one of the many Mysteries of the Universe” – Al
  • The tips from the “Safety and You” educational film:
    -When you’re out in public always check to make sure no spies are following you
    -If you find a spider on your shirt, roll, roll on the ground. Spiders are icky.
    -And if you lose a pants leg, call home right away so your friends won’t beat you up for looking like a dork.
    -Don’t let your parents drive backwards in the rain, it’s just not safe.
    -If Dad needs to take a nap, tell him to do it in a bed, that’s what they’re made for.
    -And never ever let your dog drive the car
  • Al’s mailbag is a recurring gag throughout the show’s run
  • Seymour (played by Patton Oswalt), Spike’s nerdy-looking friend shows up and dispels all the notions of “cool” and “initiations” and Al finally realizes that Spike is ot a good guy to hang around.
  • The Hooded Avenger (Al’s superhero neighbor) has retrieved Al’s X-ray spray!
  • And then the Barenaked Ladies show up in Medieval clothes
  • Al gets a lot of visitors for living in a cave twenty miles below the surface of the Earth
  • BNL sings “Shoe Box”
  • The show ends with Al saying “Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye goodbye goodbye!”

I don’t know that we’ll go through the whole series, but I wanted to include at least one episode for Weird Al Week. If Al was in a videogame we could cover all of our bases this week, but I don’t think he is.


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