Weird Al turned 53 years old today, and what better way to say Happy Birthday than picking up the threads of a long-abandoned series? Nothing! There is no better way!
Poodle Hat was released in May 2003. It ended up being the first album Al released without an accompanying video, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
Here’s my ranking of the songs:
12. “Party at the Leper Colony” – This is probably my least favorite Al song of all time, for two reasons: it’s gross and it’s recycled leprosy jokes from when I was a kid. I didn’t feel it was up to Al’s usual standards.
11. “Trash Day” – Another song I dislike, mostly because it’s gross. It’s about the singer letting trash pile up in his house and it is described in great disgusting detail. Blech.
10. “Wanna B Ur Lovr” – Another song I’m not a huge fan of, made up of a bunch of cheesy pickup lines. Just not my type of humor. I will say, though, that I enjoyed this song a lot more when I saw him perform it live.
9. “Genius in France” – I guess this one’s a style parody of Frank Zappa, but I wouldn’t have known that without being told. It’s a long-form song about a fellow who is not popular anywhere in the world except for France. I have to think it’s inspired a bit by the old story of how Jerry Lewis is loved over there, but I don’t have any inside knowledge on that.
8. “A Complicated Song” – A parody of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” talking about some awkward situations the singer has gotten himself into.
7. “Bob” – Style parody of Bob Dylan, but the mind-blowing thing is that the song is made completely of anagrams. Just crazy.
6. “Why Does This Always Happen to Me?” – Terrible, terrible things happen in the world, but right as they are happening, the singer gets irritated by some other smaller thing that has happened directly to him. One of Al’s darker songs, for sure. He sees a friend has gotten killed in a car wreck, and that’s a bummer, but what really gets him is that the friend owed him money! Jerk! Hilariously dark.
5. “Hardware Store” – I worked at a hardware store when I was a teenager, so maybe this one appeals to me more than it would you. But that middle part where he lists a bunch of stuff the store has without taking a breath? I think that appeals to everyone. ”Wouldja look at all this stuff,” indeed.
4. ”Angry White Boy Polka” – I just really enjoy his polkas! This one’s got Eminem, the White Stripes, Kid Rock — the polka is aptly named, I’m saying.
3. “eBay” – I’m not a Backstreet Boys fan necessarily, but there’s no denying the catchiness, so having an Al version of one of their songs is totally boss. Plus, it mentions ALF, so that’s bonus points.
2. “Ode to a Superhero” – A story-of-the-movie-in-song-form about Spider-Man, set to the tune of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.” Listen, that’s just genius on a level no one else is operating on. ”Sling us a web, you’re the Spider-Man!”
1. “Couch Potato” – A TV song to the tune of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” Eminem’s one of those guys who’s got catchy beats and amazing wordplay, but it loses a little something when it’s so cussful. This is one of my all-time favorite Al songs, and I think a lot of it is because of the flow and sound of the song. This song was set to be the lead single and have an accompanying video, but Eminem put the kibosh on it when the video was already in pre-production. Al was “devastated,” but (in true Al fashion) expressed thankfulness that they were still allowed to have the song on the album. Artists should just learn that having Al parody one of your songs is another path to longevity. Let him do his thing, people!
One of my all-time favorites on an album with some of my all-time least favorites. Can’t have light with some darkness, I guess.