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30 Rock: Crank Yankovic

by Ethan Alter March 23, 2012 10:08 am
<i>30 Rock</i>: Crank Yankovic

Like almost every kid that came of age in the late '80s/early '90s, I went through a big Weird Al phase. Back then, there were still these things called cassette tapes and I soon amassed a healthy collection of Yankovic's albums. Favorite songs? "Eat It" of course. "The Rye or the Kaiser" was another (especially since it spoofed a song from one of the greatest sequels of all time, Rocky III) and you can't forget about "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long," "I Think I'm A Clone Now" and "Yoda."

But we all have to grow up sometime and I hopped off the Weird Al train sometime after the back-to-back releases of "Off the Deep End" and "Alapalooza", both of which have their fair share of classic Yankovic tunes. (The Nirvana take-off "Smells Like Nirvana" and its accompanying video remains one of the all-time amazing parodies.) I hadn't given the guy a thought in years, but in recent weeks he's re-entered my pop-culture consciousness in a big way. Last month, he popped up as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, "WTF with Marc Maron" for an engaging, lively chat. And then last night, he demonstrated his musical prowess on a great episode of 30 Rock, producing a parody and then an anti-parody of two Jenna Maroney tunes, which she had written for her role as Jack's wife Avery in the made-for-TV movie, Kidnapped by Danger. (Yankovic's guest spot was great, but a special shout-out also has to go to Billy Baldwin for so brilliantly impersonating his older brother Alec. He's welcome back anytime.) Sadly, neither Weird Al's parodies or Jenna's originals have been posted online, but you can enjoy his take on the 30 Rock theme below. Watching this makes me want to pull my old audio cassettes out of storage. Although, I don't know that I'd have any way to play them anymore...




And watch a special interview and behind-the-scenes footage with Weird Al here:




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