Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is out now, and it’s simply 108 minutes of absurd joy.
It stars Daniel Radcliffe and is a parody of the musical biopics that have become so popular in the last few years. Could you expect anything else from Weird Al?
Here’s a handy list of the things that are actually true in the movie, and which ones have been more than a little embellished:
TRUE: A door-to-door salesman did come to Al’s house and sparked his interest in the accordion.
FALSE: His parents didn’t support his music, and Al had to practice the accordion in secret. In reality, Mr. and Mrs. Yankovic were perfectly supportive of their son.
TRUE: “My Bologna” was recorded in a public restroom, just not at a bus stop.
FALSE: “My Bologna” was Weird Al’s first hit.
TRUE: Dr. Demento is a real person and was instrumental in launching Weird Al’s career. He did not, however, come up with adding “Weird” to Al’s name as the movie suggests.
FALSE: Al’s career trajectory was pretty much completely different from what the movie portrayed, starting with the fact that his roommates became his bandmates.
TRUE: The percussion on “Another One Rides the Bus” is actually from a Al’s drummer, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, hitting an accordion case as was shown in the movie.
FALSE: Al had drug and alcohol issues that caused a turbulent phase in his career.
TRUE: Oprah did interview Weird Al, but the real interview had a “slightly different vibe” from what the movie portrayed.
FALSE, of course: “Eat It” was written before “Beat It,” and Michael Jackson’s song is a parody of Weird Al’s original.
TRUE: The “Yankovic bump” is actually a thing.
FALSE: Madonna romantically pursued Weird Al so that he’d write a song parody of “Like a Virgin,” and the two had a torrid romance.
TRUE: The Hawaiian shirts, if not the excessive shirtlessness, are a staple of Weird Al’s style over the years.
And finally, FALSE: Several truly outlandish scenes that obviously ever happened, but that I’m going to list out anyway so you get a sense of this movie’s vibe.