‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’ Review: Al Yankovic Gives Biopic A New Definition


Sheridan Daley, Writer

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, brings satire and eccentricity to the story of  how “Weird Al” came to be. The film focuses on how Al’s (Daniel Radcliffe) sheltered childhood and hidden talents of songwriting and playing the accordion led him to become a chart topping parody artist. During the start of his college experience Al’s roommates (Steve Jay, Jim West, and Jon Schwartz) have yet to see his witty song writing abilities; it is soon after that Al goes on to write “My Bologna” right before their eyes. He then finds success on local radio before approaching the Scotti Brothers (Al Yankovic, Will Forte) for a record deal in which he is immediately turned down. After putting on his first live performance with the assistance of a band composed of his college roommates, in a bar full of biker maniacs, his idol and fellow parody artist Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson) stumbles upon his undeniable potential to be the next big thing.


While Al is mentored by Dr. Demento, he gets the chance to meet stars such as Andy Warhol (Conan O’Brian), Gallagher (Paul F. Topkins), Tiny Tim (Demetri Martin), and John Deacon (David Dasmachian) at a pool party where he writes “Another One Rides The Bus” on the spot as challenged by Wolfman (Jack Black). While on his road to success Al pursues Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) who ultimately manipulates him to further her own career, leading to the fracturing of Al’s relationships with Dr Demento, Steve, Jim, and Jon, which is soon resolved. By the end of the film Madonna can be seen as the head of a Mexican drug cartel while Al continues to succeed until his career comes to an abrupt end.


With a screenplay by Al Yankovic himself and Eric Appel, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is purely redundant. The majority of the lines in the film are idiotic but in a laughable way. About 90% of the story is fictitious or overly exaggerated for comedic value, which I truly cannot complain about. There were several times that I felt the plot wasn’t incredibly concrete although, it is understandable that a film such as this one with so many creative liberties taken would not feel fully cohesive. Everything about the film from costumes, writing, cinematography, hair and makeup was spot on. Evan Rachel Wood perfectly captures Madonna’s essence with the added touch of a striking resemblance to the icon. While Daniel Radcliffe brings a new aspect to the role of Weird Al that was surprisingly funny, though Radcliffe does not actually sing I was pleased to hear that Yankovic re-recorded several of his biggest hits for the actor to lip sync to. Rainn Wilson captures Dr. Demento perfectly with equal parts blunt and whimsical. The overall performances that the actors brought to the table were not always individually great but, were able to balance each other out. 


Moving onto the more visual aspects of the film, every costume featured in the film was almost 100% accurate to the originals seen on Yankovic, Madonna, and more. One of my favorite parts of watching the film was pointing out costume pieces that I recognized. Although a certain piece of the film really stuck out to me, I was especially impressed with the depiction of Al’s live performances. I saw him perform live back in 2019 and besides a spectacular show there were several numbers that Al has seemed to keep the same over the years such as “Amish Paradise”, which is honored in the film. Despite the number of live performance scenes being low I did not overlook these smaller details. 


To conclude, with Yankovic himself being awfully involved in the project it is guaranteed to make you let out more than just a few laughs. Though Weird Al can be seen in various films and television series’, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is something that will likely not be forgotten amongst his catalog. 


My Rating:🪩🪩🪩🪩/5

(Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is now streaming on the Roku channel)