One night when I was a teenager, my Mom came in to a darkened room to check on me. She was concerned, and rightly so – she heard me crying, sobbing uncontrollably. I’ll never forget her eyes…and her softly asking me what was wrong. I couldn’t speak. I was trying to catch my breath. All I could do was hold up this:
That’s not a joke. It actually happened. Yes, I had been crying…literal tears of laughter…listening to my first ever “Weird Al” record. I had headphones on so Mom didn’t hear that part of it. I was so happy, so filled with unmitigated joy. From that point on, I was a HUGE Al fan, getting all his albums, all the video tapes released, you name it, I had it. He was, and remains, the best.
Over the years, I have been blessed to catch up with Al and his band (including the very awesome John “Bermuda” Schwartz, whom I’m pictured with here) many times. This all happened before the pay to meet folks backstage era we are in today, it was just lucking into things. What can I say, blessed.
Still, when I heard an Al “biopic” was being made, I was more than a little concerned. He had done one over twenty years ago, The Compleat Al, and it was fantastic. I own a copy of it – on BETA, mind you – that Al signed for me countless years back. I didn’t think it was possible there was any chance this new one could top it.
I was wrong. I was so very wrong. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is the funniest movie I have seen in many, many years. As I think about it, I honestly cannot tell you what else would even be in the ballpark of this, and yes, that includes my beloved Compleat Al or UHF or, well, anything else by anyone else. So many hysterical moments…and I will keep this as spoiler free as I can…but as a teenager of the 80’s the Dr. Demento’s grotto is worth watching it all by itself. Tons more, but again, SPOILER FREE around these parts…except for, oh what the heck…we get a cameo by “WWF Intercontinental Champion Hulk Hogan”!!!
Pretty much the entire movie had me gasping for breath I was laughing so hard. So hard I was literally crying, just like when I was that kid that had his Mom so concerned. I cannot say enough good things about this movie, so CHECK IT OUT.
After the mailbag, of course. 😉
Thomas M writes…”What was the first time you were ever recognized in public for being the Wrestlecrap guy?”
I don’t remember the first, but I do know my favorite as it happened most recently. I was at All Out (yes THAT All Out) and a couple folks recognized me and came up to shake hands. That’s happened a bit over the years and I am always a little sheepish about it, as I just consider myself as some geek with a website. This time was different though, as RD Jr. was with me and he had never experienced that and I could tell he was just a bit proud of his old man. That was cool. I love my kid more than anything, and seeing that look on his face is something I will forever cherish.
Ralph A asks…”Perhaps long winded question: If the powers that be agreed and allowed you to produce a wrestle crap documentary type show season of 8 episodes, perhaps 2 stories per ep, with re-enactments and special guests. What stories and inductions would you start with and what would be the season finale?”
Long winded question gets a long-winded answer. I wouldn’t want to have stuff that made me angry, I’d want it to all be fun, so stuff like Eddiesploitation and the InVasion would be off the list. I’d love to have folks with a sense of humor about it all on there. I’ve been binging Rob Van Dam interviews of late and that guy is hilarious, so I’d want folks like that who can, you know, laugh at themselves and the absurdity of the wrestling business. Swoggle would be a must as he is also incredibly funny. So let’s see, sixteen segments…let’s go with it would be the Gooker (ILM on special effects); the Red Rooster (Ben Stiller will be playing Terry Taylor); That Weird AWA Cereal Show (Tony the Tiger weighs in on how much he hates Buzz the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee); The Menagerie (gotta get us some Rebel!); Al Wilson (played by Tom Hanks), Claire Lynch (with Shelly Duvall in the starring role); Isaac Yankem (with commentary by Dr. Britt Baker DMD); Repo Man (gotta be Barry Darsow, ain’t nobody can take his place); the Warrior comic books (just show the pages with a smooth jazz musical pad); Mae Young (Merryl Streep stars); Dungeon of Doom (recreated in stop motion); Hulk Hogan movie retrospective (with Hogan giving us Paul Bunyan tales of how the academy overlooked him); Cheatum (Dylan Postl, you’re up); Piledriver (discussion with top musical acts of today and how it influenced their artform); The Ken Patera Story (Ronald McDonald and Grimace appear to share the emotional trauma they experienced); and it would all wrap up with the Black Scorpion. No need to produce anything for that, we’d just air Blade’s Revenge of the Scorpion in its entirety.
No, and I never needed to. Because now I probably need to find it and induct it.
Ryan D asks…”Ever eaten at a Ground Round? Best ppv attended live?”
Yes, believe it or not. Several times. Many times. When I was a kid, that was considered a classy affair, right up there with the very sadly short-lived PO FOLKS (“it’s gooder then grits!”). I don’t believe those places still exist, but if they do, I’d be totally down with revisiting that part of my past.
Best PPV…gotta go with the first ever Double or Nothing in Las Vegas. I was there with Stu Saks, long time writer for Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and we were both completely blown away by the sheer atmosphere at the event. Going back further, I loved Spring Stampede ’94,King of the Ring ’93 and WrestleMania VIII. Those events were absolutely a blast. And yes, I am that old.
Jon M writes…”As you have one of the portrayals of this character on Wrestlecrap’s website banner, how would you rank these portrayals of the Joker from worst to best: Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix?”
I kinda find doing lists somewhat absurd, which is why Blade and I did The WrestleCrap Book of Lists to lampoon the idea. But that said, since you asked so nicely I’ll do it. And this one is pretty tough, as all are great and in many ways not comparable at all. However…here we go, from worst to first: Jared Leto (I get what he was going for, but it wasn’t for me); Joaquin Phoenix (Joker was an awesome movie I never ever want to see it again); Mark Hamill (great, yes, but I rank the animated stuff lower than live action films); Heath Ledger (absolutely fantastic), Jack Nicholson (absolutely fantastic with nostalgia on top), Cesar Romero (absolutely fantastic with even more nostalgia on top).
And with that, I am off to watch a Batman movie. No no, totally lying – I am going to watch Weird again. And if you haven’t, you should too. (Oh yeah, and don’t forget to send questions rightchere!)