Weird Al Yankovic’s new album Mandatory Fun has shot to the top of the Billboard charts. This is the first time a comedy album has reached the number one spot since 1963. Al’s latest effort has also earned the largest number of sales of any comedy album since 1994.
A lot of Weird Al’s new parodies and original songs have been circulating the internet rapidly, creating a swarm of Weird Al viral hits like “Foil,” a parody of Lorde’s “Royals;” or “Word Crimes,” a parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” You can see the music videos for Weird Al’s parodies below.
Weird Al’s “Word Crimes”
Weird Al’s “Foil”
USA Today reported that Weird Al’s Mandatory Fun has sold over 104,000 copies in the week ending July 20. Other runner-up albums behind Weird Al include Jason Mraz’s Yes! at the number two spot, followed by Rise Against’s The Black Market. The Inquisitr recently reported that Ed Sheeran’s newest album Xreached the top spot in the U.K., but it’s only made it to the number 6 spot on Billboard’s Top 200, nowhere within striking range of Weird Al Yankovic.
According to the New York Daily News, the last comedy album to top the charts before Weird Al was Allan Sherman’s album My Son, The Nut, released way back in 1963. Billboard reported that a few comedy albums have come close to Weird Al’s spot since the 60s, including Steve Martin’s A Wild and Crazy Guy which peaked at number two in 1978. Some Cheech and Chong albums also came close to the number one spot in the early 70s.
Ever the humble guy, Weird Al told the news he was shocked by the success of Mandatory Fun.
“Even the notion of it happening nearly caused my head to expode,” Weird Al said. “I never thought it was an option for me as someone making comedy albums.”
Many people have praised Weird Al for his viral marketing strategies, releasing all of his videos in rapid succession and spreading them across social media platforms. Added to that, Weird Al’s new songs have tackled some very internet-friendly topics, such as the famous “first world problems” joke. You can watch Weird Al’s music video “First World Problems” below.
Also, parodying super-popular songs certainly contributed to Weird Al’s incredible album sales. But most artists he parodies feel privileged to have the great Weird Al use their song. For example, Imagine Dragons claim they felt honored by Weird Al’s parody of “Radioactive,” which you can read more about here.