Hirsch insists that it is high time that we look at, listen to and talk “about the various aspects of Yankovic’s art that merit serious attention,” to move the reader to revisit Yankovic’s music and listen with fresh ears...Hirsch [makes] a good case for Yankovic’s artistic bona fides while still keeping things hopping.
[Hirsch] combines a close reading of Yankovic’s work with thorough research, explaining that his success is rooted in both his clever turn of phrase and his willingness to take on complex themes. The author searches for deeper meanings, asking probing questions: What is Yankovic saying about race, religion, and gender? What is really going on in “Angry White Boy Polka”? While this scholarly treatment may sound too serious for such entertaining fare, Hirsch keeps the tone energetic...and livens the text with funny anecdotes and interviews with Yankovic and his band members. This engaging read skillfully documents the hard work that goes into being silly; readers will emerge with a newfound respect for Yankovic.
There's something dangerous about serious analysis of comedy, but musicologist Hirsch's look into the discography of pop parodist 'Weird Al' Yankovic keeps things fun. After a brief look at his influences (including Dr. Demento, who wrote the introduction), she mines literary and socialcriticisms and, backed up by an exhaustive survey of Yankovic in the media, dissects his work toprove that he is more than just a novelty act....Hirsch is clearly a fan, and her geeking out over Yankovic's terrible (wonderful) puns and keen (and keenly juvenile) sense of the absurd will endear the book to readers who are fellow Al-colohics.
1/17/2020: Thanks to the podcast "We're All Yankovics" for geeking out with author Lily E. Hirsch!Link: http://www.lowdownmedia.info/podcast/188-serious-interview/
2/26/2020: Author interviewed on "Dave & Ethan's 2000-inch Weird Al Podcast."Link: http://2000inch.com/episode-43/
3/9/2020: Read author Lily Hirsch's new interview with The Bakersfield Californian.Link: https://www.bakersfield.com/entertainment/music/word-crimes-weird-al-seriously-takes-academic-look-at-beloved/article_5d8bd396-5e53-11ea-b9b5-171bc7bcff4c.html
4/1/20: Lily Hirsch joined WAMU's The 1A to discuss parody and "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah."Link: https://the1a.org/segments/the-sounds-of-america-hello-muddah-hello-faddah/
7/18/20, Podcast: Author Lily Hirsch talks to Rock N Roll Archaeologist Christian Swain.Link: https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/pantheon?selected=PAN2041293482
11/30/20: In his latest interview with Rolling Stone, Weird Al named book one of his favorite quarantine reads; “So, How Was Your 2020, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic?” Link: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/weird-al-2020-survey-1093373/
12/29/20: The Washington Post named their review of the book one of their “Most-read reviews of the year.” Link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/2020-book-reviews/2020/12/24/21bf6806-45f1-11eb-a277-49a6d1f9dff1_story.html
6/16/21: Author Lily Hirsch joined Dave & Ethan to discuss her book on their podcast. Link: http://2000inch.com/episode-111/