“Weird” Al Yankovic, the beloved song parodist responsible for such seminal send-ups such as “Fat” and “Eat It,” is nominated yet again for tonight’s Grammy for Best Comedy Album for last year’s Mandatory Fun. Thanks to a recent swell in popularity due to his frequent work with Nerdist and close friend Chris Hardwick, as well as a targeted viral marketing campaign, Fun became the first comedy album ever to debut at number one on the Billboard charts, according to Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo! Music.
Yankovic has previously been nominated a staggering 14 times, winning three of those. Perhaps most impressive is Yankovic’s longevity; his first Grammy win came in 1985. Now, 30 years later, Yankovic is the favorite — not only amongst fans, but even amongst those in the category whom he opposes — to win the golden gramophone in one of the most competitive fields the category has ever seen.
Nominated alongside Yankovic are Patton Oswalt for Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time, Jim Gaffigan’s Obsessed, Louis C.K.’s much-heralded Oh My God, and Sarah Silverman’s We Are Miracles. As Justin Cecil at AXS reports, C.K.’s Oh My God, his fifth one hour special, has already won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.
Yankovic returned from a self-imposed five-year hiatus from recording, during which time the 55-year-old was married. 2003’s Poodle Hat, 2006’s Straight Outta Lynwood, and 2011’s Alpocalypse were welcomed by the twinkie dog-eating musician’s cult fan following, but Mandatory Fun saw Yankovic return to form with such works as “Word Crimes,” a parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” that bemoans those most egregious grammatical offenders.
Yankovic implausibly rose to fame when, at the age of 16, syndicated comedy radio personality Dr. Demento spoke at Yankovic’s school and the boy who would be “Weird” Al gave the DJ a homemade tape of his recordings, which were accompanied by the accordion his parents had given to him. The good doctor gave the young Yankovic a break and played his first single, “Belvedere Cruisin’,” on his radio show. Demento would later take Yankovic on his first tour after the success of “Another One Rides The Bus,” a parody of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”
The 57th Annual Grammy Awards, the music industry’s premiere night, airs tonight on CBS at 8 p.m. and is also available streaming live on the web. Last year’s event saw its largest audience ever as 28.3 million viewers tuned in to watch.