As "Weird Al" Yankovic demonstrates in his new music video for "Foil," a parody of Lorde's minimalist electro-pop smash "Royals," aluminum foil serves two handy purposes: protecting your sandwiches from mold and your thoughts from alien visitors. The "Foil" clip, which premiered Wednesday via College Humor, is the third released so far this week (in a series of eight), all promoting his new LP, Mandatory Fun.
The goofy clip finds Yankovic hosting a TV cooking show with comedy friend Patton Oswalt playing a frustrated director. "That kind of wrap is just the best / to keep your sandwich nice and fresh," Yankovic sings in the first verse, mimicking Lorde's sultry croon. But the second verse finds the parody master shifting his focus, teaching viewers how to shield their thoughts from government spying and the Illuminati with an aluminum foil hat.
Yankovic's first video was "Tacky," a parody of Pharrell's funky smash "Happy." That clip pointed a critical finger at such annoyances as live-tweeting a funeral, proudly displaying a YOLO license plate or printing a résumé in Comic Sans, with featured guests Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Aisha Tyler, Kristen Schaal and Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet all grooving through Los Angeles' Palace Theatre in garish outfits.
Yankovic talked about the challenges of filming that video in a Reddit AMA held earlier this week.
"While it looks like there MIGHT have been an edit somewhere, I absolutely guarantee you, that was all done in ONE CONTINUOUS SHOT," he said. "That was a bit of a challenge for me, because I start the video on a 5th floor fire escape, and I reappear on street level wearing completely different clothes. That means - for EVERY TAKE - as soon as the camera was off me I had to run down 5 flights of stairs WHILE CHANGING MY CLOTHES so I could be on camera again at the end. Definitely got my workout THAT day!"
On Tuesday, Yankovic focused his parody skills on "Word Crimes," a grammar-centric send-up of Robin Thicke's ubiquitous single, "Blurred Lines." In that hashtag-filled clip, Yankovic highlights the evils of improper punctuation, noting the crucial difference between "whom" and who." Thicke himself gave the seal of approval, tweeting, "You should never write words w/ letters unless you're 7, or your name is Prince." Wise words @alyankovic."
In a recent interview with Diffuser, Yankovic talked at length about his "eight video" strategy, which was inspired by the fleeting nature of viral culture. "Things burn really quickly, things tend to go viral for a day, and I figure, 'Well, OK, I'll let each of my videos go viral for day,'" Yankovic said. "Nowadays everybody's trying to figure out what works, and I'm not like every other artist. I'm a special case and there's really no precedent. So I'm just trying to see what works and this seemed like a fun thing to try."