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Readers’ Poll: Favorite Weird Al Yankovic Songs

Selections include ‘White and Nerdy,’ ‘Amish Paradise’ and ‘Eat It’

weird al white and nerdy

Chris Polk/FilmMagic for VH1 - Off Air Creative

Quick, how many musical acts can you name that hit the scene in the very early Eighties and are still going strong? It's a pretty short list. U2, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Prince and Madonna probably came to mind, but it would be wrong to not include Weird Al Yankovic. As the massive success of "White and Nerdy" proved in 2006, he's clearly as popular as ever. VH1 Classic just updated Weird Al's Behind the Music, so we figured this was a good time to poll our readers on their ten favorite Weird Al songs. Click through to see the results. 

By Andy Greene

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8. ‘Smells Like Nirvana’

By 1992, Weird Al's career was in a bit of a downward spiral. He scored a gigantic hit in 1988 with "Fat," but then people foolishly stayed away from the theater when his masterpiece UHF hit theaters in the summer of 1989. (I'm not being sarcastic, the movie gets funnier every time you see it.) He spent 1990 and 1991 licking his wounds and waiting for his next target. Then Nirvana released "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and he knew it was time to return. The video for the song actually features the same janitor from the original clip and managed to spoof it almost shot-for-shot. It made the album Off The Deep End a massive success, showing the world that Weird Al was no flash in the pan. 

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7. ‘Dare To Be Stupid’

The two nerdiest musical acts in history may well be Devo and Weird Al Yankovic, so the combination of the two is almost unimaginable. In 1986 Yankovic released "Dare To Be Stupid." It's not a parody of any specific Devo song, but rather a style parody that encapsulates their sound. The video also recreates some of their most iconic looks. The whole song is a long stream of stupid advice that goes against conventional wisdom: "You better put all your eggs in one basket/You better count your chickens before they hatch/You better sell some wine before it's time."

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6. ‘Yoda’

Long before I knew anything about the Kinks, I knew every word to Weird Al's "Yoda." I remember asking my friend Matt Neff what the song parodied. He went, "Uh…I think it's some real old song." There was no Internet back then, so information was hard to come by. The song is, of course, a parody of "Lola" by The Kinks. I remember hearing it on the radio and being like, "Oh, so THAT'S where Weird Al got 'Yoda' from." (I had a similar experience seeing Spaceballs long before I ever saw Star Wars. "Oh, Chewbacca is like Barf!") The 1985 song is a longtime favorite of Weird Al fans, and it's closed out his concerts for the last quarter-century. That's always a real bittersweet moment because you're sad the show is over, but you're delighted to hear "Yoda." 

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5. ‘The Saga Begins’

When Weird Al prepped his 1999 LP Running With Scissors he knew that the pop culture story of the summer was going to be Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace. He learned everything he could about the plot from the Internet, and wrote a song about it to the tune of Don McLean's "American Pie." The fact that the movie was so terrible makes the song even funnier, especially when he delves into the intricate details of the stupid plot: "And in the end some Gunguns died/Some ships blew up and some pilots fried/A lot of folks were croakin'/The battle droids were broken."

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4. ‘Eat It’

Weird Al's 1984 Michael Jackson parody "Eat It" forever changed his life. Before the video hit MTV, Yankovic was a moderately successful parody songwriter destined for the Dr. Demento Hall of Fame and a lifetime of obscurity. But "Eat It" was so incredibly funny that it charted around the world and turned him into a legitimate celebrity. It was just one of Yankovic's many great Eighties songs about food. There are many people who can write a funny song about sex and drugs, but it takes a mad genius to write hysterical songs about potatoes, lasagna and rocky road ice cream. 

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3. ‘Albuquerque’

Weird Al and Neil Young don't have very much in common, but they both wrote amazing songs called "Albuquerque." Both songs are about journeys to the New Mexico city and both see the city as a place to escape their troubles, and eat some food. Neil Young dug their fried eggs and country ham. Weird Al, predictably, delved deep into the cuisine. He sings about apple fritters, bear claws, Bavarian cream-filled donuts, sauerkraut and warm root beer. Also, Neil Young's "Albuquerque" is 4:02 and Weird Al's is 11:23. It's the longest song in his catalog and one of the craziest, but his fans love it and he's done it live in concert quite a bit. 

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2. ‘White And Nerdy’

Weird Al didn't realize it at the time, but when one-hit-wonder wuss-rockers James Blunt and Daniel Powter made it difficult for him to parody their shitty songs for his 2006 LP Straight Outta Lynwood, they did him a huge favor. It forced him to think of a new song to parody, and he focused his sights on "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire. He transformed the song about driving with drugs in the car to the greatest ode to nerd culture every written. The song has been viewed nearly 68 million times on YouTube, and it actually hit the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. Sadly, none of his singles over the past six years have managed to be this riotously funny. 

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1. ‘Amish Paradise’

I've heard Weird Al sing the lines "I've been milking and plowing so long that even Ezekial thinks that my mind is gone" about 400 times, and I think I've laughed every single time. This maybe his single funniest song, and our readers definitely agree. It crushed most of the competition, though "White and Nerdy" did come in a relatively close second. This is also supposedly the song that caused Weird Al his greatest controversy, though the whole thing was really blown out of proportion. Weird Al always gets permission for his songs, and in this case, the record label did give their okay. After it came out, however, Coolio complained to the press a few times that Al had "desecrated" the song. The two of them were photographed together at an event in 2006, and the whole issue seems to be long in the past.