“Weird Al” Yankovic is going rogue. The 58-year-old comedic musician is temporarily dropping his theatrical multi-costume-change concert of parodies for a stripped-down performance of all originals. Dubbed “The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour,” Yankovic will bring his new road show to The Paramount in Huntington on Saturday, March 17, and the Apollo Theater in Manhattan on March 22 and 23.
“At the end of the last tour, I was putting on my fat suit for maybe the 1,500th time and I had sort of an epiphany. I thought, next time I go out I don’t want to be going through all these theatrics,” Yankovic says. “I’ve been looking forward to this tour more than any other because it’s a real palate cleanser. It caters to the hard-core fans playing all the deep cuts.”
Yankovic will offer a rotating set of original songs like “Dare to be Stupid,” “Nature Trail to Hell,” “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” and “My Baby’s in Love With Eddie Vedder.”
“The songs are not serious,” Yankovic says. “They are intended to be comedy but just not based on somebody else’s music.”
JUST A TASTE
While the first 75 minutes of the 90-minute show will be reserved for Yankovic’s original compositions, he will dip into the hits toward the end.
“On the last tour we’d sit around in a tight semicircle and play an unplugged medley of the hits,” Yankovic says. “We will be doing a version of that.”
When asked which parody he’s most proud of, Yankovic cites “ ‘White & Nerdy’ [a funny twist on “Ridin’ ” by Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone] because not only was it my biggest hit, it’s probably my most autobiographical.”
Yankovic seeks approval from artists before recording anything for a parody.
“Ethically, it’s just the right thing to do. I respect songwriters and artists. I would never want to do something they had a problem with,” Yankovic says. “I always like to take the high road to make sure they are on board, they get the joke and are not offended.”
One breakthrough came early in his career when Michael Jackson allowed him to mock his hit “Beat It” with the goofy parody “Eat It.”
“Michael Jackson thought it was funny,” Yankovic remembers. “Getting his approval gave me a lot of leverage with other artists. I could say, ‘Well, Michael Jackson is OK with it, why aren’t you OK with it?’ ”
Sometimes Yankovic has gone to great lengths to get those approvals. He once flew to Denver and waited backstage for Iggy Azalea to pitch “Handy,” a parody of her hit single, “Fancy.”
“She was literally walking offstage, I jumped in front of her and was like, ‘Hey Iggy, it’s “Weird Al” Yankovic. I wanted to know if I could do a parody of your song.’ She looked at me like a deer in headlights,” Yankovic recalls. “Iggy said, ‘I’d have to look at the lyrics.’ I whipped them out. She said, ‘Looks OK to me,’ and I said, ‘Thank you very much’ and got back on the plane to LA.”
NO MORE ALBUMS
Although he has had a successful recording career since 1983, releasing 14 studio albums, Yankovic says he doesn’t intend to do any more. He prefers the immediacy of putting out digital singles on iTunes. Earlier this month, Yankovic dropped a new single, “The Hamilton Polka,” featuring a mashup of all the songs from the Broadway musical into a five-minute polka-style jam.
“It’s nice not to have to hold onto the songs and hoard them until I have a dozen, then put them all out at once,” Yankovic says. “I enjoy the freedom of being able to put out stuff whenever I think it’s appropriate instead of having to wait.”
‘Weird Al’ Yankovic
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m., Saturday, March 17, at The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. Also 8 p.m. March 22-23 at Apollo Theater, 253 W. 125th St., Manhattan
INFO 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
TICKETS Paramount: $39.50-$89.50, $279 VIP meet and greet; Apollo: $45-$79.50, $282.50 VIP meet and greet
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