Attention Earth: "Weird Al" Yankovic now owns a copy of Teddy and the Yeti
"Weird Al" Yankovic has been one of my icons since the sixth grade, when I was exposed to his "Greatest Hits" album for the first time. Since then I have been lucky enough to meet the man a few times, and each time I come away a little star struck. This is probably because he's not only the greatest comedy artist of all time, but also because he always comes across as a very down-to-earth, rathereasy-going guy.
One of the first times I met him was about ten years ago at a concert at Penn State University. I brought along with me a copy of Spider-Man Unlimited #1 to give him, part of the much maligned "Maximum Carnage" crossover (though it made a pretty good video game, if I'm remembering correctly). The first page of this story features the Spider-Man villain Carnage subdued and being wheeled out to...who knows, prison or something. The character proceeds to sing a violent parody of "Here Comes the Bride", to which one of the guards responds "You're a regular 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Kasady. Emphasis on the 'weird'!" Then Carnage kills a lot of people, as he's known to do.
Al really seemed to appreciate getting to see a reference to himself that he was otherwise unaware of (either that or he was really good at faking it), so this time around, on a concert trip to Atlantic City, I brought with me a copy of 2006's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #13, which interestingly enough had a reference to none other than Harvey the Wonder Hamster, the oft-referenced Weird Al character who even got his own song on the "Alapalooza" album. Yes, another Weird Al reference in a book featuring Spider-Man (with art by Todd Nauck, who drew the Mr. Massive cover to Teddy and the Yeti #2, no less). It's a strange coincidence.
Because I couldn't pass up the opportunity, I stuck a copy of Teddy and the Yeti #1 on the other side of the bag and board, and we chatted about it briefly. I have no idea if Al will flip through it - I know he's said that he grew up on Mad Magazine rather than comics. He might take both books and toss them off a cliff for all I know. But for one fateful moment, I was talking about Teddy and the Yeti with "Weird Al" Yankovic. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around that.
If you ever get the opportunity, check out a Weird Al concert. It's got an energy that tops any other show I've ever been to. Sure, I'm biased, but I think that his shows are the greatest you'll ever get a chance to see, with the many costume changes, video clips, audience interaction and overall showmanship he and his band bring to the stage. Even if the last song of his you've heard is "Eat It", you'll come away feeling like you got your money's worth and more. Trust me.
Here's a shot of him that I got during the show. I'm thinking of framing it.