by Graham Pierrepoint
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is, of course, a long-standing celebration of some of the biggest names in movies, from directing to acting and more besides – but it’s also host to many more US celebrities, those of whom have earned their place on the hallowed public catwalk for reasons as diverse as contributions to music, TV, sports and otherwise – even US President Donald Trump has his own plaque on the sidewalk, which was famously adorned by a cheeky miniature take on the then-candidate’s proposals for a perimeter wall effectively blocking Mexico. However, it may surprise you that there are still some stars out there who haven’t yet been honored on LA’s most famous sidewalk – and one of the US’ longest-enduring musicians is set to make his debut there soon.
Weird Al Yankovic has been a fixture of the pop charts since the early 80s, giving him a career older than some of the most popular acts grabbing number ones around the world today – and of course, as his name suggests, he’s something of a special case. Yankovic is arguably the most famous and most successful comedic musician of the past thirty-to-forty years, having made his name creating and performing parodies of popular tunes with a tongue-in-cheek slant. To this day, his most popular hits from the 80s include ‘Eat It’ (Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’), ‘Like a Surgeon’ (Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’), and ‘Another One Rides The Bus’ (Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’). He experienced a career renaissance ten years ago in the form of ‘White and Nerdy’ (lampooning Chamillionaire’s ‘Ridin’ Dirty’), and his most recent album, ‘Mandatory Fun’, was the first to top the US charts.
Therefore, it’s perhaps not surprising that Yankovic is being honored – but it has taken considerable time! The wacky shirt-wearing accordion master has maintained more or less the same backing band line-up since his early days, and he is widely regarded as one of the nicest guys in the business – approaching each artist he parodies for permission to do so even when he’s legally protected.
So therefore – long may Weird Al Yankovic’s wacky streak continue – and it’s about time the Hollywood Walk of Fame paid tribute to his genius.