What is truth and what is fiction in Stranger: The Yankovic’s Story

Stranger: The Jankovic Story He begins with the film’s theme, “alien” Al Yankovic himself, promising that what viewers will see is a “completely real, not at all fake” autobiography of his life and career. And it’s not as if Jankovi? would lie about something like that, right? So… I think we’re done here. toe nail Mimosa, anyone?

But wait, not so fast. During the first minutes of amazing (which streams for free on Roku), it becomes clear that the movie isn’t In fact Interested in honestly telling us the true story of the Parody Man. Instead, the entire movie is itself a parody, one that makes fun of the predictable formula of musical biographies. But while some of the plot points in the script, written by Jankovi? and director Eric Appel, are clearly made up, there are several moments where the lines between fact and fiction aren’t entirely clear. We have done our best to answer your most pressing questions about amazingBelieve below.

Did Weird Al’s parents really not approve of his career?

Although they were strict in other respects, Jankovi?’s parents didn’t stop him from entering the polka – in fact, they bought Jankovi? . His father worked in a steel mill, perhaps the inspiration for “The Factory” repeatedly referred to as his obscure job.

Did Yankovic’s roommates really become his bandmates?

While Steve, Jim, and Bermuda rely on real, longtime members of Yankovic’s band — guitarist Steve Jay, guitarist Jim West and drummer John Schwartz, all of whom have worked with Yankovic for over four decades — it’s not true that they were all roommates. The movie gloats with this apt review of history when the three roommates suddenly start supporting Yankovic during a performance of “I Love Rocky Road”: Alan asks why they never mentioned they could play instruments before, and one replies, “I guess it doesn’t seem relevant yet” .

Was “My Bologna” really recorded in a bathroom at a bus stop?

The bathroom, yes. Bus station, no.

Did Weird Al really get famous the way he does it amazing?

Kind of, though, as the movie plays with the details, in a wink and self-aware way. in amazingJankovi? sends the “My Bologna” cassette to the Captain Buffoon Show, making him an instant celebrity. (This comes immediately after Bermuda gave a lengthy talk about how hard work and time it takes to make music.)

Both men wear top hats, large sports glasses, and bushy beards.  Hansen wears a tie and T-shirt under a tuxedo, while Wilson wears a T-shirt with the word
Left: Barret Hansen, better known as Dr. Demento. Right: Ryan Wilson as Dr. Demento amazing.
Image illustration by Slate. Photos by Vinnie Zuffante / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images and ROKU.

In fact, radio presenter Dr. Demento was the first to play Yankovic’s music on air, when Yankovic was only 16 years old, and it was an original song, “Belvedere Cruising,” not a parody. Jankovi? wasn’t an instant star, but his fame grew in college and beyond, with Dr. Demento continuing to feature his music on radio, including “My Bologna.” Dr. Demento plays a key role in amazingwhere he was played by Ryan Wilson, but in the movie he finds out Jankovi? at the party and becomes more of a manager.

Did Oprah Winfrey interview Weird Al?

Winfrey's face lit up as she waved.  Bronson smiles at someone invisible off the camera.  A row of brightly decorated T-shirts and a shelf with shoes can be seen behind them.
Left: Oprah Winfrey. Right: Quinta Bronson as Opera amazing.
Image illustration by Slate. Images by Jim Smeal/Getty Images Plus and ROKU.

I did, in 1984, on am chicagoAlthough the film deliberately exaggerates Jankovi?’s fame and success, the actual interview is very different from what we see in amazing.

Did Weird Al Really Write “Eat It” Before Michael Jackson Released Beat It?

This may be obvious, but many viewers seem really unsure: No, “Beat It” was released in 1982 and “Eat It” was released in 1984, with Yankovic impersonating Jackson’s music video as well.

Here’s the joke: The movie pretends Eat It is the original song and Beat It is the parody. “What kind of a disease nerd changes the words to someone else’s song?” Asks Yankovic angrily, even more baffled when he learns that Beat It isn’t about eggs or something weird like that – it’s just a regular song.

So you could say that in the real-life movie version, Weird Al got “Normal Al” -ed?

You can already say that.

OK, but did Weird Al really date Madonna?

The two women had tore their dirty blonde hair and wore headbands decorated with large bows.  They wear short jackets and many sets of interlacing necklaces.
Left: Madonna will be. Right: Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna amazing.
Image illustration by Slate. Images from Mondadori via Getty Images and ROKU.

No, and according to him, they only met once, in 1985. “I talked to her for maybe 45 seconds backstage,” Jankovi? told Jimmy Fallon during the promotion. amazing. “That’s the extent of the relationship.”

In the movie, Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood) seduces and manipulates Yankovic into a parody of her song “Like a Virgin” in order to enjoy a surge in sales. In fact, Jankovi? says Madonna led him to write “Like a Surgeon” — but only indirectly. As he told NPR, “From what I heard, she was just kind of musing out loud with a friend of hers one day.” Oh, I wonder what Weird Al’s—”like a surgeon”—would do—”because it seemed like the obvious thing to do. Her friend knows my boss, and I got the news. And I thought, Well, not a bad idea.”

Does Weird Al really have a drinking problem? Did he really do LSD?

An actor who takes drugs and alcohol to eventually hit rock bottom is a staple of the musical biopic formula, and the movie sure shows Yankovic finding inspiration for “Eat It” while accidentally stumbling. It also drank on several occasions during the downward spiral. In fact, Yankovic – as he tells Madonna in the movie before falling in love with her tricks – is not much of a drinker. He once said in an interview with Paul F.

Did Weird Al really win a Grammy for “probably not the best technically but arguably the most famous accordion player in a very specific genre of music”?

While Jankovi? appears to be a lock for this category, it unfortunately does not exist. It has won five true Grammys, however: Best Comedy Record for “Eat It” in 1984, Best Music Video for “Fat” in 1988, and Best Comedy Album for “Fat” in 1988. poodle hat In 2003, Best Comedy Album for mandatory fun In 2014, the best special edition package or special box for Pressure Box: The Complete Works of “Weird Al” Yankovic In 2018. He was nominated a total of 16 times.

Was Coolio Really Angry About Weird Al’s “Amish Heaven”?

Coolio can be seen angry in the audience, if only for a few seconds, as Daniel Radcliffe’s Jankovi? performs the song at the end of the film. True, the rapper famously opposed Weird Al’s parody of “Gangsta’s Paradise”, saying that he never gave permission for the parody. However, the two eventually reconciled, and Coolio later described the song as “funny as shit” after he finally listened to it. Jankovi? posted a photo of himself cuddling Coolio on Instagram in September following news of the rapper’s death.

In a grayscale image, Pablo Escobar is smiling at the camera.  In color, Castro's forehead is wrinkled and he has a thick mustache.
Left: Pablo Escobar. Right: Arturo Castro as Pablo Escobar amazing.
Image illustration by Slate. Images from the Colombian National Police and Rocco.

Was Pablo Escobar really a fan of Weird Al? And did he really tempt Weird Al to perform at his birthday party by kidnapping Madonna? And did Weird Al really travel to the jungle to save it and then kill Pablo Escobar and his comrades? And did Madonna really suggest that they control the drug cartel together? And did she really order the assassination of Weird Al at the Shrine Auditorium in 1985? And did Ronald Reagan really speak at Weird Al’s funeral? And did Weird Al really make his way out of the grave as in the post-credits sequence?

Yes, all of this for sure, sure, really Event.


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