- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 28, 2018

“Weird Al” Yankovic was awarded a star Monday on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, literally cementing the musician’s legacy nearly 40 years since launching a career that culminated in becoming the country’s foremost song parodist.

“This is so far, far beyond anything I could have possibly imagined when I was in college recording songs with my accordion in a bathroom,” Mr. Yankovic, 58, said during an unveiling ceremony on Hollywood Blvd.

Engraved in the sidewalk opposite historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the star is the 2,643rd added to Walk of Fame since its creation in 1958, putting Mr. Yankovic’s tribute not far from similar ones honoring fellow entertainers ranging from his comedic influences, Spike Jones and Stan Freberg, to artists whose songs he’s spoofed, including Queen and Michael Jackson.

“I kind of feel like this may be my one real shot at immortality, because I know that now my name is going to basically be here until the end of civilization,” said Mr. Yankovic. “Which, lets face it, is probably like three or four months away,” he joked.

While attending California Polytechnic State University in 1979, Mr. Yankovic used a campus bathroom in lieu of a recording studio to cut a parody of “My Sharona” by The Knack called “My Bologna.” He sent a copy of the song to Barry Hansen, the syndicated radio host known as Dr. Demento, who subsequently played the tune to nationwide audiences and helped launched the artist’s career.

“If more people were weird like him, wouldn’t we have a much better world?” Mr. Hansen, 77, said during Monday’s event. “He’s had a longer and more fruitful career than anyone else ever who’s ever created and performed funny music, and no one’s ever done it better.”

“The way that you do something is the way that you do everything, and Al does everything the best way that it can be done,” agreed Thomas Lennon, a writer and actor who also spoke at Monday’s ceremony. “There are no half-efforts with Al. Somehow there are not even typos in emails he sends from his phone.”

Mr. Yankovic ultimately earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture upon graduating from Cal Poly in 1980, three years before the release of his eponymous debut record. He since released a total of 14 studio albums rife with both parodies and original numbers, including most recently 2014’s “Mandatory Fun,” the first comedy album ever to debut at the spot on the Billboard Top 200 charts, along the way earning accolades including four Grammy Awards among 11 nominations.

“He is one of only four artists to have had Top 40 singles in each of the last four decades,” said Leron Guble, the president and chief executive of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the organization that oversees the Walk of Fame. The three other artists to hold that distinction are Michael Jackson, Madonna and U2, said Mr. Guble – all artists parodied at least once by Mr. Yankovic.

“It’s just an honor knowing that my name, my name, is going to be walked on, spit on, and let’s face it, urinated on, for generations to come. That’s a legacy, my friends,” said Mr. Yankovic.

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