Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I've been fond of the music of Weird Al Yankovic ever since I was a kid. I was also a fan of his short lived 1997 Saturday morning show, The Weird Al Show. Of course, I wasn't a kid then--I was 22 when in premiered--but I still had a fondness for Saturday morning TV and for Al. Which is a good thing, because it was a great show.

Now it's available on a 3 disc DVD set containing all 13 episodes. The show is similar to Pee Wee's Playhouse, though I don't like comparing Al to Pee Wee, since Al's never been caught spanking the monkey in a porno movie theater.

The basic plot is like this: Al is a TV show host who lives in a cave with his pet hamster. He has all sorts of wacky friends, like The Hooded Avenger and Val Brentwood - Gal Spy. In each episode, Al learns a valuable lesson with the help of these (and other) friends. He also watches TV a lot, with short parodies substituting for TV shows (the Fred Huggins show stuff is hilarious). He makes really gross foods, and Harvey the Wonder Hamster does the occasional death-defying stunt. He has a cartoon called Fat Man about an overweight, and rather dim witted, superhero and his hyper-intelligent hamster sidekick.

About the only thing that dates show are the musical guests. He had one just about every few episodes, but unfortunately they were bands designed to appeal to kids, and as such bands often do, they have largely faded into obscurity. The only one I still remember is Hanson, and the only thing I remember about them is that I though they were one of those lame-ass boy bands who were designed primarily to separate prepubescent girls from their money.

The has-been bands don't really detract from the series. The only thing is annoying is the fact that they've included all the show breaks (the WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK stuff), which gets old after the first episode. Despite that, I still give The Weird Al Show 4.5 yo-yos.

Note 10/06/06: I eventually listened to the commentary on the shows. It was very informative, but got a bit racy in points. I wouldn't recommend letting young children listen to the commentary. Not that I expect they'd want to.

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