Weird Al Yankovic is an anomaly.
The comic songwriter has been making music since the mid-’70s and has been famous—and, indeed, part of the public musical consciousness—for almost as long with hits that parody Michael Jackson, Coolio, Madonna, and more.
Today, the 62-year-old California-born Yankovic is still making music and touring the world. Most recently, he turned up in Seattle, Washington, and sang his version of “Peaches” with Presidents of the United States co-founder Chris Ballew.
And while he’s been super popular, he has no rival. Usually, when someone is such a hit at something, competition arises. But there is no competition for Yankovic. He’s a one-of-one.
But what does the comedian and artist have to say about his craft? About the world at large, about life and love? About humor? To get to the bottom of this, we’ve dived deep into the 25 best Weird Al quotes. So, let’s check those out now, shall we?
1. “As my father used to tell me, the only true sign of success in life is being able to do for a living that which makes you happy.”
2. “There are a lot of songs that would ostensibly be a good candidate for parody, yet I can’t think of a clever enough idea.”
3. “I write and write and write, and then I edit it down to the parts that I think are amusing, or that help the storyline, or I’ll write a notebook full of ideas of anecdotes or story points, and then I’ll try and arrange them in a way that they would tell a semi-cohesive story.
4 “People that were a little nerdy in high school would look up to me and know it gets better.”
5. “One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in my career is keeping my material topical even though I only release albums every three or four years.”
6. “There aren’t that many superstars around anymore.”
7. “I’m watching the charts every week and hoping something will pop into my head.”
8. “I like the guitar-driven music of Nirvana at its peak. At that point, I thought there was a lot of really exciting music coming out.”
9. “As much as people are griping about the Internet taking sales away from artists, it’s been a huge promotional tool for me.”
10. “It’s hard to force creativity and humor.”
11. “I know now that everything I write, I’m going to put out, and I’ll have to live with it for the rest of my life.”
12. “I was a huge fan of ‘Mad’ magazine when I was 11, 12, 13 years old. I’d scour used bookstores trying to find back issues, and I’d wait at the newsstand for a new issue to come out. My life revolved around it.”
13. “In the ’80s, I was putting out an album virtually every year, I think mostly based on fear—that if I didn’t, people would soon forget about me.”
14. “I suppose I had my rock star fantasies while I was singing into my hairbrush in the bathroom mirror, but I never really consciously said, ‘OK, this is what I’m going to do for a living and I’m going to be Weird Al.'”
15. “You fake something until you’re good at it.”
16. “So that’s why one of my rules of parody writing is that it’s gotta be funny regardless of whether you know the source material. It has to work on its own merit.”
17. “At this point, I’ve got a bit of a track record. So people realize that when ‘Weird Al’ wants to go parody, it’s not meant to make them look bad… it’s meant to be a tribute.”
18. “If something is good enough, it can be out there and people will see it.”
19. “I’ve done a movie and a TV series, and someday I’d like to do a successful movie and a successful TV series. That would be nice.”
20. “I mean, I hate to gloat, but I’m extremely satisfied with my position in life and the way things have worked out for me.”
21. “When I was a kid, I thought I was going to be an architect because when I was 12 years old I had a guidance counselor that convinced me that that was the best career choice for me.”
22. “Probably 90 percent of my albums have polka medleys.”
23. “It becomes more important to me as time goes on to make every album the best thing I’ve ever done, so it’s a lot of self-imposed pressure that also kind of slows me down a bit.”
24. “You don’t need to be defined by your job.”
25. “The irony is of course that my career has lasted a whole lot longer than some of the people I’ve parodied over the years.”