"Weird Al" Parodies The White Stripes, Charles Nelson Reilly

August 4, 2009 3:52 PM ET



The last time we heard from "Weird Al" Yankovic, he was recalling his relationship with Michael Jackson, the man responsible for jump-starting his career, for this Website. Now the suddenly prolific Yankovic has popped up on JibJab today to premiere his new video for "CNR," a tribute to Match Game panelist and actor Charles Nelson Reilly. "CNR" finds "Weird Al" playing the role of both Jack and Meg White, with Yankovic donning Jack's trademark hat and stringy black hair and using the Stripes' classic red-white-and-black motif.

Just as Weird Al is indebted to the White Stripes' "Icky Thump" for the sound of the song, the lyrics borrow just as heavily from those Chuck Norris Facts — for example: "Chuck Norris has counted to infinity. Twice." — except with Charles Nelson Reilly cast as a superhuman that can turn coal into diamonds and figure out cold fusion. Reilly passed away after a bout with pneumonia in 2007, thus depriving him the opportunity of hearing Yankovic tell tales about how "CNR" makes love to a manatee in front of school children at the aquarium and swallows Volkswagens whole.

The White Stripes join Nirvana, Michael Jackson, T.I., Dire Straits and countless more as recipients of "Weird Al" parodies. Prior to his original "Skipper Dan" video, Yankovic mocked the Doors' sound, style and Jim Morrison's meandering poetry with his "Craigslist" video. Both the "CNR" song and video is available now on all digital music outlets. Additionally, JibJab, who animated the clip, are offering members of their website to somehow plaster their own face onto one of the people who are terrorized by Reilly in the video.

Related Stories:
"Weird Al" Yankovic Mocks Doors, Casual Encounters in "Craigslist"
Flashback: Celebrating 20 Years of "Weird Al" Yankovic’s "UHF"

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »