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The "Weird Al" Curse

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Nathan Strum



is nearly upon us. And if you're a pop culture icon... be afraid. Be very afraid.


Of course, if you are a pop culture icon, the odds of you actually reading this blog right now are pretty-much zero. :ponder:


Anyway, you've heard of the "Superman" Curse, the "Diff'rent Strokes" Curse, and the "Poltergeist" Curse, right? Where a string of seemingly improbable deaths or tragedies are all coincidentally related to a single pop culture event or phenomenon?


Well, I've got my own theory: The "Weird Al" Curse.


Now, some people may just chalk it up to coincidence that tragedies have befallen so many victims of "Weird Al's" satirical mocking.


Some may also chalk it up to "bad decisions", or "natural causes", or "random chance". Or even "reasonable percentages based on the length of Al's career, the number of people he has parodied, and the average likelihood of a given tragic event happening to any member of the population in general regardless of them being a celebrity or not".


Well, I don't know about any of that.


But what I do know, is that I sure wouldn't want to be Lady Gaga right about now.


For a whole lot of reasons.


Just check out this list* that I semi-painstakingly "researched", and judge for yourself!


Rec. Date   Song Title                           Album (release date)                    Parody of (original artist)           Notes

9/14/80     Another One Rides The Bus            Weird Al Yankovic (4-83)                Another One Bites The Dust (Queen)    Lead singer - Freddie Mercury - deceased (AIDS),
                                                                                                                              November 24, 1991

3/14/82     My Bologna                           Weird Al Yankovic (4-83)                My Sharona (The Knack)                Lead singer - Doug Fieger - deceased (cancer),
                                                                                                                              February 14, 2010

2/11/83     Buckingham Blues                     Weird Al Yankovic (4-83)                Original composition                  Couple divorced August 28, 1996; Princess Diana -
           (Original song about Prince Charles                                                                                deceased (car accident), August 31, 1997
           and Princess Diana)

2/11/83     Ricky                                Weird Al Yankovic (4-83)                Mickey (Toni Basil)                   Series stars - Desi Arnaz - deceased (lung cancer),
           (Parody about "I Love Lucy")                                                                                       December 2, 1986; Lucielle Ball - deceased (aortic 
                                                                                                                              aneurysm), April 25, 1989

10/1/83     Mr. Popeil                           In 3-D (2-84)                           Original composition                  Samuel Popeil - deceased, July 17, 1984; Ronco - 
           (Original song about Samuel Popeil                                                                                 filed for bankruptsy, June 14, 2007
           - father of Ron "Ronco" Popeil)        

12/12/83    The Brady Bunch                      In 3-D (2-84)                           The Safety Dance (Men Without Hats)   Keyboardist - Allan McCarthy - deceased (AIDS), 1995;
           (Parody about "The Brady Bunch")                                                                                   Series star - Robert Reed - deceased (colon cancer),
                                                                                                                              May 12, 1992

12/12/83    Theme from Rocky XIII                In 3-D (2-84)                           Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor)           Lead singer - Dave Bickler - developed polyps on
                                                                                                                              vocal chords in late 1983, forcing him to leave the
                                                                                                                              band. But on the positive side, he didn't have to
                                                                                                                              sing "Eye Of The Tiger" for like, 10 years.

12/13/83    Eat It                               In 3-D (2-84)                           Beat It (Michael Jackson)             Michael Jackson - career meltdown; deceased (drug
                                                                                                                              overdose), June 25, 2009

12/13/83    King Of Suede                        In 3-D (2-84)                           King Of Pain (The Police)             Drummer - Stewart Copland - broke collarbone in 1986,
                                                                                                                              resulting in abandoning efforts to record their sixth
                                                                                                                              album and hastening the break-up of the band. But man...
                                                                                                                              isn't Synchronicity II still one of the best songs ever?

3/10/84     It's Still Billy Joel To Me          Dr.Demento Basement Tapes #5 (12-96)    It's Still Rock and Roll To Me        Billy Joel - divorced Chrstie Brinkley, August 25, 1994.
                                                                                        (Billy Joel)                          Seriously... how stupid do you have to be to do *that?*

1/3/85      George Of The Jungle                 Dare To Be Stupid (6-85)                Remake of original theme song         Series creator - Jay Ward - deceased (kidney cancer),
           (Theme from TV series)                                                                                             October 12, 1989

8/4/86      Addicted To Spuds                    Polka Party! (10-86)                    Addicted To Love (Robert Palmer)      Robert Palmer - deceased (heart attack),
                                                                                                                              September 26, 2003

8/4/86      Living With A Hernia                 Polka Party! (10-86)                    Living In America (James Brown)       James Brown - deceased (congestive heart failure and
                                                                                                                              pneumonia), December 25, 2006

8/5/86      Here's Johnny                        Polka Party! (10-86)                    Who's Johnny? (El DeBarge)            El DeBarge - jailed for drug possession, 2008;
           (Parody about "The Tonight Show")                                                                                  Johnny Carson - deceased, January 23, 2005;
                                                                                                                              Ed McMahon -  deceased, June 23, 2009

1/30/87     Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White   Even Worse (4-88)                       Original composition                  According to Wikipedia, Vanna is an avid crochet
           (Original song about "Wheel of                                                                                     and knitting enthusiast
           Fortune" model Vanna White)

2/18/88     Alimony                              Even Worse (4-88)                       Mony Mony (Billy Idol)                Billy Idol - nearly lost a leg in a motorcycle accident,
                                                                                                                              February 1990

2/18/88     Fat                                  Even Worse (4-88)                       Bad (Michael Jackson)                 See previous Michael Jackson entry

2/18/88     I Think I'm A Clone Now              Even Worse (4-88)                       I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany)     Tiffany - killed by a giant Gatoroid on the SyFy
                                                                                                                              channel, January 29, 2011, which was *totally* cool!

2/18/88     This Song's Just Six Words Long      Even Worse (4-88)                       Got My Mind Set On You (George        George Harrison - deceased (lung cancer),
                                                                                        Harrison)                             November 29, 2001

12/20/88    Money For Nothing/                   UHF Sountrack And Other Stuff (7-89)    Money For Nothing (Dire Straits)      Series star - Buddy Ebsen - deceased, July 6, 2003
           Beverly Hillbillies                                                                                                (admittedly, he was 95); Also, "The Beverly Hillbillies"
                                                                                                                              was remade into a 1993 feature film, kicking off the
                                                                                                                              whole 'remaking TV series into bad movies' trend

2/25/89     Stanley Spudowski's Theme            UHF Sountrack And Other Stuff (7-89)    Theme song for Michael Richards'      Michael Richards - just Google him for November 17, 2006
           (aka Fun Zone)                                                               TV show in the movie "UHF"          

5/25/89     Isle Thing                           UHF Sountrack And Other Stuff (7-89)    Wild Thing (Tone Loc)                 Series stars - Jim Backus (pneumonia), July 3, 1989; 
           (Parody about "Gilligan's Island")                                                                                 Alan Hale, Jr. (thyroid cancer), January 2, 1990; Natalie
                                                                                                                              Schafer (cancer), April 10, 1991; Bob Denver (pneumonia,
                                                                                                                              throat cancer), September 2, 2005; - deceased

12/3/90     I Can't Watch This                   Off The Deep End (4-92)                 U Can't Touch This (M.C. Hammer)      M.C. Hammer - filed for bankruptsy, April, 1996

12/3/90     The White Stuff                      Off The Deep End (4-92)                 You Got It (The Right Stuff)          Not so "New" anymore, are they? Ha! Take that!
                                                                                        (New Kids On The Block)

12/30/90    The Plumbing Song                    Off The Deep End (4-92)                 Baby Don't Forget My Number/Blame     Rob Pilatus - deceased (suspected overdose),
                                                                                        It On The Rain (Milli Vanilli)        April 2, 1998

1/27/92     Smells Like Nirvana                  Off The Deep End (4-92)                 Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)     Kurt Cobain - deceased (suicide), April 5, 1994

7/16/93     Achy Breaky Song                     Alapalooza (10-93)                      Achy Breaky Heart                     Once a star in his own right, Billy Ray Cyrus is now 
                                                                                        (Billy Ray Cyrus)                     forever doomed to be known as "Hannah Montana's Dad"

7/16/93     Jurassic Park                        Alapalooza (10-93)                      MacArthur Park (Richard Harris)       Richard Harris - deceased (Hodgkin's Lymphoma),
                                                                                                                              October 25, 2002

8/18/93     Livin' In The Fridge                 Alapalooza (10-93)                      Livin' On The Edge (Aerosmith)        Did you see Steven Tyler's daughter in the last "Hulk"
                                                                                                                              movie? What made her think she could act?

1/3/96      Gump                                 Bad Hair Day (3-96)                     Lump (The Presidents of the           "Forrest Gump" director Bob Zemekis went insane and
           (Parody about "Forrest Gump")                                                United States of America)             now just makes horrible "mo-cap" movies

1/3/96      Phony Calls                          Bad Hair Day (3-96)                     Waterfalls (TLC)                      Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes - deceased (car accident),
                                                                                                                              April 25, 2002

1/15/96     Syndicated Inc.                      Bad Hair Day (3-96)                     Misery (Soul Asylum)                  Bassist - Karl Mueller - deceased (throat cancer),
                                                                                                                              June 17, 2005

3/27/96     Spy Hard (Main Title)                single (5-96)                           Theme song for Spy Hard movie         Leslie Neilsen - deceased (complications from pneumonia),
                                                                                                                              November 28, 2010; Plus, he was in "Scary Movie 4"

4/19/99     It's All About The Pentiums          Running With Scissors (6-99)            It's All About The Benjamins          Started referring to himself as "P. Diddy"
                                                                                        (Puff Daddy)

4/19/99     Jerry Springer                       Running With Scissors (6-99)            One Week (Barenaked Ladies)           Seriously... why is "The Jerry Springer Show" still on TV?
           (Parody about Jerry Springer)                                                                                      Maybe we're the ones who are cursed...

4/20/99     The Saga Begins                      Running With Scissors (6-99)            American Pie (Don McLean)             Two words: Jar-Jar Binks
           (Parody about "The Phantom Menace")


*Note: this list doesn't even take into account all of the people "Weird Al" has included in his Polka Medleys, or those incidentally mentioned as part of broader parodies. 'Cause man, if I did that, this would be a downright bloodbath of terror, doom, and destruction. And we wouldn't want that.

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