“My Bologna.” “Eat It.” “Like a Surgeon.” In a career that spans almost 40 years, Weird Al Yankovic has released a long list of hits, and while it’s easy for “serious” music fans to scoff at his tongue-in-cheek parody songs, there’s no denying his success: The curly-haired crooner has multiple platinum albums and five Grammy wins in his trophy case. Now he’s getting the movie treatment: Roku is releasing Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, a biopic about his life and career with Daniel Radcliffe in the starring role. The first trailer was released today, and it’s a wild ride through this off-the-wall musician’s backstory.
The film goes deep into Yankovic’s history, starting with his childhood days living with parents who were less than supportive of his musical talents. (“Your dad and I agreed it would be best if you just stopped being who you are and doing the things you love,” his mom says at one point.) Nevertheless, he continues on his musical journey, accordion in hand. He soon goes from playing polka gigs to stumbling on his first hit: Inspired by a half-eaten packet of lunchmeat and The Knack’s “My Sharona” playing on the radio, he comes up with “My Bologna.” After playing an early demo on his accordion and singing, it’s clear he has created something special.
“Dude, I’ve got chills,” one of his friends says.
From there, the trailer follows Yankovic’s rise to superstardom, including his discovery by a manager (played by Rainn Wilson) who gives him the moniker “Weird Al,” more hit songs, record deals, and an encounter with none other than Madonna (played by Evan Rachel Wood). She promptly helps Yankovic experience the booze- and drug-soaked darker side of the music industry, but the romance also leads to another one of his hits: “Like a Surgeon,” a parody of “Like a Virgin.”
In the end, Weird Al triumphs over his doubters, and while onstage at an awards show, he delivers a powerful message that underlies all of his music.
“All I wanna say is, be as weird as you wanna be. You will never find true happiness until you can truly accept who you are.”
Wierd will premiere exclusively on Roku on Friday, Nov. 4.
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