NEW YORK CITY – Weird Al Yankovic is respected worldwide for his funny and sometimes daring song parodies.
The singer has been going strong for over 35 years, but it appears as if he ran into a bit of trouble earlier this month as he tried to talk his way into performing on Saturday Night Live.
In what some people may believe is an absolute travesty, Weird Al has never once been invited to be on SNL.
Considering he has been around nearly as long as the show has been airing, many fans began rallying for the show’s producer, Lorne Michaels, to invite Weird Al to the set for a performance.
The rallies began early last year as a single handwritten petition was passed from fan to fan, beginning in Weird Al’s hometown of Los Angeles, and working its way to the East Coast since January.
Once the smudged, crumpled and vomit-stained single piece of paper made its way to the Big Apple earlier this month, it contained nearly 50,000 signatures – nearly 30% of which had to be written in invisible ink due to lack of space. It was dropped on Lorne Michaels’ desk in the first week of June, but neither Weird Al nor his agent have been contacted by SNL.
“We just can’t believe that, despite the support we’ve received, we still haven’t received an invitation,” remarked Yankovic’s agent, Frye Basquette. “Weird Al has contributed enough to American culture to the point where he should at least be considered for a musical appearance on the show.”
If Weird Al were to be invited, it would be his first appearance. In 2012, Yankovic was impersonated by ultra-hack Andy Samberg, who generated exactly three laughs during his entire eight-season tenure on the show. The parody of the parody-man was generally well-received by Weird Al, but he believed it was time for a well-deserved invite.
“Al stayed up all night and wrote a song that he thought would sway Lorne in our direction,” added Basquette. “He centered the song around two of the most well-respected and talented cast members of the past 25 years. “
The song, entitled “(Sittin’ On) The Rock of the Fey,” which directly parodied soul machine Otis Redding’s 1968 orgasmatronic smash hit “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” was written to try and raise his appeal to Michaels, who was looking desperately for talent to save his tanking maelstrom of a show. But apparently, Michaels has so far completely ignored Weird Al’s clever creation, which contains lyrics such as:
“Sittin’ on the Rock of the Fey,
Wishin’ that I was on Saturday,
Sittin’ on the Rock of the Fey,
Wastin’ this career of mine”
It has yet to be determined whether or not Yankovic will be noticed by Michaels, but so far it does not look good. Michaels has a reputation for either exclusively inviting guests or accepting guest proposals within three-tenths of a second.
Weird Al’s petition and proposal have been in the hands (or trash cans) of SNL executives for weeks now, so the rally and single-sheet petition may have been a total waste. Record executives and fans have both shared their disdain in recent weeks.
“I’m really disappointed,” said Weird Al super-fan Donna Battaccia. “I’ve been listening to Weird Al for most of my life and I think he deserves at least a three minute set on such an influential yet recently-crappy television program.”
The song parody has drawn direct attention from Chris Rock and Tina Fey, the two former cast members who Weird Al pays homage to in the song. A cover was even designed for the single, which includes a clever depiction of Fey and Rock as natural features, with Weird Al sitting on and adjacent to the two SNL stalwarts, Rock and Fey, respectively.
There’s no clear answer as to why Weird Al has not been invited after 35 years in the business. Perhaps SNL executives have something against bringing a competing comedian and parody-man into their world for a night or perhaps the vomit-stained petition grossed out Michaels and his cronies.
No matter the case, the world continues to wonder why the artist of classics such as “It’s All About the Pentiums,” “Eat It” and “Amish Paradise” has not made an appearance on one of the world’s biggest comedy stages.