Review Summary: This is the story of a guy named Al…
To call “Weird” Al Yankovic one of this era’s greatest comedians is an understatement, to say the least. His craft is far different in style and tone to other legendary jokesters like George Carlin, Chris Rock, Mitch Hedberg, or Jerry Seinfeld, but he could still easily be placed up there with those other classic joke tellers. Despite his differences from regular comics, his quirky demeanor, impressive diction, likable personality, and his absurdist fashion of satire have made him one of the most well-liked nerds in all of pop culture. Not to mention Al’s genius methods of promotion, video making, and his fantastic relationships with the artists he parodies. All of this comes together to make some of the most enjoyable comedy music of all time, with Yankovic’s humorous satires and original compositions are catchy and tight in their own right.
One may think that a record by the self proclaimed weirdo, such as Running With Scissors
, would be inherently pigeonholed as merely a novelty record with no significant value to be found. Sure, with most comedic musicians, this is the case, with only one or two tracks standing out to the listener. With this record, however, the very clever jokes made in both the singles and the deeper cuts keep the listener engaged and chuckling. The faithful, but still satirical, renditions of well remembered songs like “Pretty Fly (For A Rabbi)” and “The Saga Begins,” which are parodies of “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)” and “American Pie” respectively, are both ludicrous and whimsical. These well meaning mockeries fit well with the transformative and tongue-in-cheek style parodies of artists such as Nine Inch Nails, on “Germs,” and The Rugburns, on “Albuquerque,” as well as genre parodies, like the third wave ska inspired “That’s Your Horoscope Today” and the zydeco influenced “My Baby Is In Love With Eddie Vedder.” These songs are mostly carried by their abstract whimsy, but the music itself is also extremely well performed, catchy, and tight, with obvious influences from pop and polka.
The likability of a record like Running With Scissors
is truly hard to find. Disregarding the blatantly silly execution of Al’s tracks, songs like “Jerry Springer,” “Grapefruit Diet,” are pumped full of personality. Yankovic has a knack for creating cheeky tunes that playfully poke fun and offer legitimate enjoyment for the listener, especially if they are looking for a light-hearted record, full of energy and passion. And, with these points made, Running With Scissors
makes a case for “Weird” Al’s legendary status in both comedy and pop culture. The timelessness of his jokes, his knack for simple, yet witty, lyrics, and his legitimate talents as a musician has made him a favorite for music fans of all kinds and the king of auditory humor.