“Weird Al” Yankovic has been very busy since the release of his 2014 LP Mandatory Fun, which became the first No. 1 record of his four-decade career. He’s launched four nationwide tours and served as the bandleader on Comedy Bang! Bang!, and even co-wrote a biopic about his life starring Daniel Radcliffe that arrives on Roku this week.
One thing he hasn’t done is release a single parody song, and he tells Rolling Stone that probably won’t change any time soon, if ever. “I’m not so focused on that,” he says. “If a brilliant idea pops in my head, I guess I’d do it. But I’m leaving that to other people for the time being. I’m not retiring. I’m not saying I’m never gonna do another one. But it’s just not my focus right now.”
This may seem like an odd declaration considering that Yankovic is the most famous song parody artist to ever live, and songs like “Fat,” “Amish Paradise,” “Smells Like Nirvana,” and “White and Nerdy” are his biggest hits, but he says he’s simply burned out with the pop game.
“I spent decades of my life obsessed with the Billboard charts, and living and breathing musical trends,” he says. “I’m just taking a little break from that and trying to do other things that I’m interested in. And again, if a great idea strikes me, then certainly I’ll do that. But I don’t want to try to force it just for the sake of feeding the pipeline.”
Mandatory Fun was the last record Yankovic was obligated to create under a long-term record contract. As the cheeky title suggests, it was made somewhat under duress. He has no plans to make another one. “I think I’m probably done doing conventional albums,” he says. “I’ll still put out music whenever I feel like it or whenever it’s appropriate. I wrote a new song for the end credits in this movie. I’d like to think that I’ll continue doing music, but I’m kind of tired of doing the conventional albums.”
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Yankovic wrapped up the second incarnation of this Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour at New York’s Carnegie Hall on October 29. Four of the shows were delayed because he came down with Covid during the tour, and he’s making them up in February. He has additional live shows for 2023 that he hasn’t announced yet, but his plans beyond that are unclear. “We’re going to be doing some more touring outside of North America next year,” he says. “And beyond that, I don’t really have anything on my calendar besides a few things coming later this year I’m not allowed to talk about yet.”
“I’m happy to say that things tend to drop into my lap unexpectedly,” he continues. “So maybe based on this movie or the tour, I’ll get offers that I’m not even aware of right now. I just never know what’s going to come up.”