Look, the whole point of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is that it’s the “Weird” Al Yankovic approach to biopics — which is to say, a gleeful parody that refuses to take itself seriously and makes a ton of shit up. So very little about the movie should be considered actual truth, beyond the fact that the genre-defining musical artist (played here by Daniel Radcliffe) does in fact play the accordion and does in fact write musical parodies of songs. (His kung fu commando skills… remain unconfirmed.)
So consider this humble fact check less a ruthless interrogation of Weird as a narrative and more an opportunity to reflect on Yankovic’s journey, and all the joy he’s provided to fans over the years. For while the film might play fast and loose with the particulars of the man’s life, in doing so it ends up being a very apt tribute to his legacy.
Also, believe it or not, there are a couple of nuggets of truth buried in this film — you just have to look past the massive number of celebrity cameos and copious drug use. Read on for our fact check of the “Weird” Al movie.
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.]
Did “Weird” Al Yankovic’s Father Really Hate His Passion for Music?
It seems that as opposed to the film’s depiction, both Nick and Mary Yankovic were loving and supportive parents. (They very sadly passed away in 2004, due to carbon monoxide poisoning.)
In a 2021 podcast interview, Yankovic talked about how his parents felt about his career, saying, “They humored me — I mean, they didn’t try to talk me out of it.” In fact, maybe the earliest resistance to his career came from his mother, who didn’t care for Dr. Demento and tried to forbid young Al from listening to the show. Later in life, his father would literally bring a photo of Yankovic to stores, so he could brag about his famous son.
So Al’s Dad Didn’t Really Lose a Hand in a Factory Accident?
I’m assuming not, based on the video above.