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 Weird Al Yankovic Remembers Collaborating with Michael Jackson

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PostSubject: Weird Al Yankovic Remembers Collaborating with Michael Jackson   Thu May 10, 2012 3:44 am

Weird Al Yankovic Remembers Collaborating with Michael Jackson in the Making of "Eat It" and" Fat"!

Until 1984 Yankovic was just another accordion-playing nerd from Los Angeles and cult hero—music industry code for “virtually unknown.” That was the year he released the album “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D, which included a spoof of Jackon’s mega-hit “Beat It” called “Eat It.” “Eat It” was a smash hit, thanks in part to Yankovic’s clever music video, a shot-for-shot takeoff on Jackson’s “Beat It” music video. Peaking at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Eat It” remained Yankovic’s highest-charting single for 22 years.

Yankovic remembers Michael Jackson and their collaboration:

The first time around I pursued Michael Jackson about a song parody, it was a shot in the dark. We're talking about the most popular and famous person in the known universe, and here I was, this goofy comedy songwriter. Michael not only returned our phone calls, but he approved it. He thought it was a funny idea. Then when we did the second parody, "Fat," he was nice enough to let us use his subway set for the video, so he's always been very supportive.

The first time I met him in person was long after I had gotten permission to do "Eat It" back in 1984.There's a contract somewhere that has his signature next to mine, proving that we are the co-writers of "Eat It," which is surrealistic in and of itself.The first time I actually ran into him was backstage at one of his concerts, this was maybe four years later, when Even Worse came out with my second parody, "Fat."I went backstage, and he was seeing a lot of people, but I brought along a gold record of Even Worse to present to him, and he was very gracious and thanked me for it and said some nice things.

After the fact, I thought, "That's probably the last thing Michael Jackson needs, another gold record for his storage locker."Seeing him in person was amazing, it was otherworldly. He was and continues to be so iconic, it's hard to even conceive of him as a human being. He always was bigger than life.

Our second meeting was a TV show taping. He was performing "Black or White," and I remember Slash was onstage and I talked to [Michael] briefly afterwards. He told me he would play my movie, UHF, for his friends at Neverland Ranch, and he was very soft-spoken, very quiet, but always very friendly to me.

I considered parodying "Black or White" around that time. Michael wasn't quite so into it, because he thought "Black or White" was more of a message song, and he didn't feel as comfortable with a parody of that one, which I completely understood, and in a way, he did me a huge favor, because I was already getting pegged as the guy who did Michael Jackson parodies, and because he wasn't so into it, I decided to go with Nirvana. I don't know what kind of career I would have today if it hadn't been for Michael Jackson. In a very real sense, he jump-started my career. "Eat It" basically changed me from an unknown into a guy that got recognized at Burger King!!!

When MJ passed away, Weird Al posted the following on his twitter:
"Sorry, but my feelings about MJ tragedy cannot be adequately articulated in 140 characters".

Here is the "Eat It" video by Yankovic:

and the"Fat" Video:

Comparison between Bad and Fat:

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