Lily E. Hirsch, "Weird Al: Seriously" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020)


Funny music is often dismissed as light and irrelevant, but Weird Al Yankovic’s fourteen successful studio albums prove there is more going on than comedic music's reputation suggests. In this book, for the first time, the parodies, original compositions, and polka medleys of the Weird Al universe finally receive their due respect. In Weird Al, Seriously, musicologist Lily Hirsch weaves together original interviews with the prince of parody himself, creating a fresh take on comedy and music’s complicated romance. She reveals that Yankovic’s jests have always had a deeper meaning, addressing such topics as bullying, celebrity, and racial and gender stereotypes. Weird Al is undeterred by those who say funny music is nothing but a low-brow pastime. And thank goodness. With his good-guy grace still intact, Yankovic remains unapologetically and unmistakably himself. Reveling in the mischief and wisdom of Yankovic’s forty-year career, this book is an Al-expense-paid tour of a true comedic and musical genius.

Franz Nicolay is a musician and writer living in New York's Hudson Valley. His first book, The Humorless Ladies of Border Control: Touring the Punk Underground from Belgrade to Ulaanbaatar, was named a "Season's Best Travel Book" by The New York Times. Buzzfeed called his second book, the novel Someone Should Pay for Your Pain," a knockout fiction debut;" and Rolling Stone named it one of the best music books of 2021. He teaches at Bard College.

Your Host

Franz Nicolay

Franz Nicolay is a musician and writer living in New York's Hudson Valley. He teaches at Bard College.
View Profile