JUNE 9, 2007

Meg of Skokie, IL asks: Al, how appropriate or inappropriate is the tour material in terms of a 10-yr-old? It's now made the top of the birthday list, and as a parent, while I'd love to see the tour, I need to know about kids...? Thank you very much!

I see every demographic in the audience at my live shows, from toddlers to geriatrics. And we do put on a "family-friendly" show... although that doesn't mean it's a squeaky-clean G-rated kiddie show. You should be aware there is some cartoon violence and a little bit of what some people might call "adult themes." But there's no harsh profanity, and nothing that I think you would find terribly offensive. As always, you should use your best judgment as a parent, but if your child wouldn't be traumatized by, say, an issue of MAD Magazine or an episode of The Simpsons, I'm pretty sure he or she wouldn't have any problems at all with my live show.

Susan M of Tallahassee, FL asks: How come the DualDisc doesn't contain the video for "White & Nerdy"? It's a fantastic disc, a fantastic song, and a fantastic video; I just don't understand why there are lots of other (great) videos but not that one.

We weren't able to finish that video until just a couple weeks before the scheduled release of the album. I would have included that video if I could have, but to do so would have meant delaying the release of "Straight Outta Lynwood" by a couple months, and obviously I wanted to get the album out as soon as possible (before the parodies got too dated). Of course, the video is available on iTunes (in fact, it was the #1 best-selling music video for a couple months!) and I'm hoping it will also be available on some kind of DVD compilation in the future. Actually, I can't wait until HD-DVD or BluRay discs are more prevalent in the marketplace - most people have only seen the video in low res on MySpace or on You Tube, and as I've said before, we shot the thing in HD... it looks gorgeous!

Ally of Ohio asks: Hey Al, in your video for "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" why doesn't the cartoon look like you???

Actually, when the animator Doug Bresler sent me his original animatic, the character in the video did in fact look a lot like me. But my note to him was that the video should not be too "cartoony" - it should be more or less an animated version of what the video would have looked like if we had shot it in live action. (And before you ask, no, it wasn't ever in our budget to shoot an 11-minute live-action music video.) Anyway, if we were doing the video in live action, I would almost certainly be playing a character, not "Weird Al" - and therefore I instructed Doug to give the guy a more generic hairstyle. So if you don't like that, blame me.

Mike of Phoenix, AZ asks: Al, can you list some of the actors with cameos in the "White & Nerdy" video? I think I got Donny Osmond...

Right - of course, that's Donny Osmond dancing behind me (playing "Krayzie Bone" to My "Chamillionaire")... Seth Green is the guy obsessed with action figures (he's basically playing himself)... Judy Tenuta is the woman on the couch who graciously accepts my gift of a surge protector... the two gangstas in the car at the beginning of the video are Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele from MAD TV... and of course there are the 18 MySpace friends that I cast as extras.

Howard & Cindy Wilson of Hamilton, Ontario asks: On the back page of the CD insert, you mention Nickelback in the credits. Can we ask what inspiration they provided you with? P.S. We ourselves are not beer-swilling hockey nuts, but we do know several, eh.

Nickelback was nice enough to give their permission for me to use their song "Photograph" in the latest polka medley. I typically get clearances for the songs in the medley before I actually arrange it... and when I was putting "Polkarama!" together, I just couldn't find a way to incorporate the Nickelback song into it where it didn't sound wedged in or tacked on - so unfortunately I had to leave it off. You may notice that I also mentioned T Pain in the "special thanks" - similarly, he had given his blessing for me to do a parody of one of his songs. At the last minute, I decided against recording the song for the album, but if you come to one of my live shows this summer, you may hear a snippet of it somewhere in the medley...


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By the way, if you'd prefer not to waste our time (and yours), try to avoid the following questions:

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  4. Would you like to hear my incredibly lame idea for a song parody?
  5. Where ís that five bucks you owe me?

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