It’s been almost 40 years since “Weird Al” Yankovic started writing and recording parody songs, but he’s arguably as popular as he’s ever been. He’s capitalizing on that success with the upcoming Mandatory World Tour, which stops at ACL Live at the Moody Theater on August 20.
Yankovic kicks off the tour — which goes through more than 100 cities in North America, Europe and Australia — with a five-night run at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas (May 12-16). Two Oklahoma cities get him directly after, but he won’t make his way back to Texas until August, when he also visits Houston (August 18), San Antonio (August 19) and Dallas (August 21).
Yankovic was inescapable in the lead-up to the release of his 2014 album, Mandatory Fun, last July. He debuted a slew of clever videos that all went viral, including “Tacky,” a parody of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”; “Word Crimes,” parodying Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”; and “Foil,” parodying Lorde's “Royals.”
The videos garnered more than 46 million views in the first week. Yankovic also set the U.S. record for having the most tracks from one album on Spotify’s viral top 10 at one time, taking the first four spots.
Because of the unique promotion aimed at the digital age, Mandatory Fun debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking the first No. 1 album of Yankovic’s career and the first time a comedy album had gone to the top in over 50 years.
More proof of his longevity: When “Word Crimes” debuted, Yankovic became only the third singer — with Madonna and Michael Jackson — to have top 40 singles in each of the past four decades. Of course, Jackson and Madonna both helped him do so by allowing him to record songs like “Like a Surgeon” and “Eat It.”