"Weird Al" Yankovic's zany parodies of hit songs like "Beat It" ("Eat It") and "Like a Virgin" ("Like a Surgeon") catapulted him to infamy in the '80s, back when pop culture was in dire need of some deflation. He never got critical props for his oddball iconoclasm, though, and after his 1989 film, UHF — which, by the way, is one of the funniest movies ever made — tanked at the box office, most wrote off Yankovic as a washed-up novelty act. He's had the last laugh, though: Beginning with successful parodies of Nirvana and Coolio in the early '90s, Yankovic's career enjoyed a renaissance that stretched to 2006, when his hit single "White & Nerdy" — a self-effacing sendup of Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone's "Ridin'" — introduced the curly-haired jester to a new generation. If there's any justice to history, Yankovic will one day rank up there with hallowed satirists like Voltaire. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the laughs.
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