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The Genius of Weird Al Yankovic

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For those who haven't been disconnected from the world over the last couple of weeks, "Weird" Al Yankovic has been busy promoting his new album Mandatory Fun. It's an ingenious promotional campaign where he put out new videos every day for over over a week.

Personally, the last thing I remember from him is Amish Paradise. That was nearly twenty years ago and it has been thirty years from his heyday in the 1980s. Everything is cyclical and Weird Al is showing that he still has some cheese on his fastball (to evoke my favorite Eckersleyism... hopefully the "weird" and you can see why he's been successful.

I've been racking my brain for hours trying to come up with anyone who has done it better. I can't think of anyone who has one of these:

Weird Al being weird - via The Atlantic

This has got me thinking about the value of being an expert versus being good in a lot of little things. I find it very difficult to focus on one or two things. I know this may not surprise anyone given my previous cheese tangent, but sometimes I feel like I have a little ADD, switching from one thing to the next. I think I see more value in getting somewhat proficient in a new skill than trying to squeeze the last ounce of perfection in a current skill such as blogging.

I've often wondered about how this translates to my blogging in general. Regular readers know that I usually don't take time to find an image and put it into article. In fact, and I hate to admit it, but I don't proofread many of articles. While it's easy to just say it's "Lazy being lazy", it's really because I've got a lot of other things going on. These other "things" often contribute to the very thing that I think get people to read my articles. For example, looking for investment properties is not quick or easy. However, having been there and done it, I can confirm it is a lot of work... but it also can deliver a large amount of "relatively" passive income.

To bring this back to Weird Al, I wonder if he's continually practicing his music to play better polka. My hunch is that he isn't. I'm sure he's continually trying to write better parodies and honing his craft there. I'd love to ask if he's trying to squeeze the last ounce of comedic genius out of his brain or if he's learning new skills because that's of interest to him. My hunch there is that it is the former.

Posted on July 23, 2014.

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2 Responses to “The Genius of Weird Al Yankovic”

  1. J. Money says:

    yeah, he’s a marketing genius to the max. not only with songs everyone already knows and loves (or hates), but just with everything he puts his energy and passion into. which is what I think gets him as far as it has. sure he may be an expert in certain areas, but it’s his DRIVE and singular mission that just propels him like no other. and for that, he gets rewarded handsomely :)

    I struggle with focus and A.D.D. too (actually, I’ve officially been diagnosed with A.D.H.D.) but whenever I do focus on just *one* thing it’s amazing. I’m in the middle of offloading a few of my projects as we speak, and can’t wait to see what happens when I reapply myself again :)

    Great post.

  2. robyn says:

    there are generalists and there are specialists. they both have their place in the fabric of society. if i have a stomach ache i see my GP. if i have a stomach pain, lower left, with 103 fever, can’t walk, continuous vomiting, i see a gastroenterologist or surgeon [appendectomy, chron’s, celiac] if i have an obscure legal or tax problem you better believe i want someone who spends their life on that issue. if i need some basic legal or accounting work done, then a generalist is fine.

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