Happy Birthday Weird Al!

Young Al and his accordionAs he celebrates his 47th birthday today — one day after the 40th anniversary of his first accordion lesson — Weird Al Yankovic is enjoying the biggest commercial and critical success of his career. His new album, Straight Outta Lynwood, debuted at #10 on the Billboard album chart and the first single, “White and Nerdy”, has climbed as high as #9 on the singles chart. It’s the first time that Al has cracked the Top 10 in either chart.

Weird Al’s recent resurgence has also garnered critical appraisals of his role in popular culture. In the Village Voice last week, Jonathan Zwickel called Al a genius, noting that he has “always been out of fashion, which, if pop culture has taught us anything, makes him permanently in fashion.” Meanwhile, in Slate, Sam Anderson referred to Al as a “troubadork” whose “quintessential joke is to transfer the bravado and intensity of rap (or rock, or punk) into the mouth of some iconically unhip figure.” High praise for the author of “My Bologna”

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