True fact: Right now, this very minute, in autumn 2009, three decades after he ducked into a college radio-station bathroom to record “My Bologna,” “Weird Al” Yankovic is absolutely more popular than he ever has been in his life, and we can prove it, with math:
2006’s Straight Outta Lynwood, Yankovic’s 12th album, debuted at #10 on the Top 200, making it his first Top 10 album ever. Its first single, the wondrous “White and Nerdy,” reached #9 on the Billboard Hot Singles chart, making it both Yankovic’s first Top 10 single and his highest-charting single ever (besting the personal best set by “Eat It,” which reached #12 on the singles chart back in 1984). The video for “Nerdy” was in iTunes’ top 10 for like a year. More weirdness: “Nerdy” performed a second-week jump on the singles chart from #28-#9, making Yankovic one of a very few artists to have only one top 40 single in three successive decades.
Part of this is due to the Interweb machine, which Yankovic has been using masterfully of late, part of it is nostalgia for us dorkwad 30somethings who grew up with this stuff and are gleefully fascinated to see that it’s still funny, and part of it is the UNBRIDLED BARELY CONTAINABLE GENIUS, which is collected this week in a new greatest-hits comp, The Essential ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, featuring two discs of material picked by the man himself and liner notes from music snob Stephen Thompson. But you don’t care about that. All you want to know is HOW you can get your sticky, slightly orange hands on one of these things without paying for it. This is where Popdose becomes your angel.
E-mail us a reason, in one sentence – seriously, if we see periods in there, you are TOAST, Sally – why you deserve this magical collection sent to your home. We will either pick the best response, or the winner at random, depending on how late in the day we end up reading them.
Al performs tonight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; he’ll be doing the new White Stripes style parody “CNR” and a Web-only exclusive performance of the classic Even Worse nugget “Good Old Days” for the Web. It is OK to cry at that second one. Or the first, for that matter.