News Column

'Weird Al' concert at Brady Theater big on laughs

October 20, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 20--Things got weird in Tulsa on Saturday night ... again.

Comedian and musician "Weird Al" Yankovic returned to Tulsa, with a concert culminating about a month of celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the making of Yankovic's film "UHF," a cult-classic comedy filmed in Tulsa.

Yankovic performed several songs off his latest album, "Alpocalypse," and many of the hits that have made him one of the biggest influences in pop culture in the past 30 years.

The show Saturday night at the Brady Theater was special for Yankovic, not just because Tulsa was where "UHF" was shot but because it was his 149th and last show in the "Alpocalypse" tour.

"I can't tell you how extremely grateful we are to the city of Tulsa for all of the support over all the years," Yankovic said.

"The only thing I can think of to give back is ... DRUM SOLO," he yelled and jumped over to the drummer, who sat there staring into the audience in silence, producing only laughs.

Yankovic was in town last month for more events to mark the anniversary, including a showing of the film and getting a janitor's closet named after him at Rogers State University -- a reference to a memorable scene from the movie.

Yankovic also was a part of a fundraiser for RSU Public Television, appropriate because in "UHF" Yankovic's character held a fund drive to save a television station he inherited.

The movie made a lasting impression on Tulsans, too, apparently. Audience members recited lines from the movie when clips were played during costume changes, a pair in the front row waved spatulas (maybe from Spatula City?), and a son and dad were dressed in muscle suits as Conan the Librarian and Rambo from "UHF."

"I remember as a kid, they were filming it and there were all these rumors at school, and it was all people talked about," said Douglas Hamilton, who grew up in Tulsa but now lives in Lawrence, Kan. He was dressed as Rambo in a muscle suit. His dad, Bob Hamilton, was dressed as Conan the Librarian.

Douglas Hamilton said he and his brothers had all of Yankovic's albums and listened to him frequently as kids. He said Yankovic has an ability to spoof pop culture and music that few people possess.

"He's able to lampoon different genres and songs that appreciate the music while pointing out the ridiculousness of all of it," Douglas Hamilton said.

Yankovic opened the show rocking his accordion like no one else can to a polka melody called "Polka Face," with polka versions of songs from Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.

Other songs included "TMZ," "You Make Me," "Smells Like Nirvana," "Party in the CIA," "Canadian Idiot," "Amish Paradise," "White and Nerdy" and "Fat."

Each song had a costume change and was performed well, with Yankovic making things weird and hilarious with his flailing dancing and head-banging while playing an accordion.

Video clips played between songs that were mentions of Yankovic in television and movies from the past several decades showed just how far and wide his influence has reached. After more than 150 songs and selling more than 12 million records, Saturday's show proved he still has his wit and humor and that crowds love it. Especially in Tulsa.

Jerry Wofford 918-581-8346

jerry.wofford@tulsaworld.com

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