|The much-requested fan favorite|
|-Shout! Factory promotional material|
EPISODE GUIDE - SHOW HISTORY
THE WEIRD AL SHOW
IS NOW AVAILABLE TO WATCH
ON SHOUT! FACTORY TV!!!
WATCH ON TV AND DEVICES VIA THE APP!
THE WEIRD AL SHOW
RELEASED ON DVD 8/15/06!!!
Australian Region 4 DVD released September 4, 2006!
Canadian issue released September 26, 2006!
3-Disc feature-filled set now in stores!
Commentaries on every episode and beyond by Al, director Peyton Reed, producer Tom Frank, animation director Keith Alcorn, animator Paul Claerhout, production artist Tim Hatcher, Judy Tenuta, Danielle Weeks, and Emo Philips!
Theme song karaoke!
ORDER THE WEIRD AL SHOW NOW!!!
This is it! It's official! Weirdal.com has announced that Shout! Factory will be releasing the entire thirteen-episode series of The Weird Al Show on DVD in 2006!
Some might recall that Shout! was one of the three DVD labels we had been asking folks to send requests to. Was this all by chance, or did we pull off another UHF here? Either way, WOO-HOO!!!
It's not entirely necessary, but it might be nice to send Shout! Factory an e-mail to thank them for picking up the series and making plans to release it. It might also show the company that there are enough (paying) fans of the series to justify producing groovy special features for the set. Already "commentaries and junk" are being promised. Bring on the junk!
Funny enough, since Weirdal.com understandably had the scoop on the news, TVShowsOnDVD.com became literally swamped with e-mails from fans passing the info along. As they said on the site, "Okay, okay...enough already! Gord and I have the e-mail equivalent of a phone ringing off its hook!"
Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, either by writing to Dick Clark Productions, e-mailing Shout! Factory, voting in online polls, agreeing to be interviewed for this site, or whatever! We did it, gang!!!
As a friend and fellow fan has already rightly said, this truly is a dream come true.
November, 2003 Update
The brand new DVD "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection is now in stores. For bonus materials the DVD includes clips from The Weird Al Show, marking the first time anything from the series has been released on home video!
Click here to order the DVD now!
October, 2003 Update
Click here to vote for The Weird Al Show DVDs at TVShowsOnDVD.com
(you need to register to the site first)
September, 2003 Update
Click here to take Rhino Home Video's cartoon DVD poll
(and be sure to type The Weird Al Show in the "Other" slot!)
NOTE: This poll has since been closed.
Check out our final, sensational, most muppetational monster interview of the year with costumer designer Julie Rae Engelsman!
Check out our mini-interview with Fatman animation director Keith Alcorn!
You really don't have to, but if you want to, check out our....ahem, "interview" with actor Eddie Deezen!
Special ALCON Weekend Update
Check out our interview with make-up and hair designer Roseanne McIlvane!
Check out our interview with actor Brian Haley (The Hooded Avenger)!
Check out our interview with series writer Zeke K!
For some, The Weird Al Show was just a figment of the imagination. They have heard stories about it, this supposed Saturday morning television series starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, but they never believed it to actually exist. And outside of a lone Big Boy promotional comic book and a track on Al's Running with Scissors album, there was very little evidence convincing them otherwise.
However, a lucky few do vividly remember such a program from the 1997-1998 television season. Many recall having to wake up at the crack of dawn to turn on their local CBS station. Of course, recollections will vary from person to person, as CBS affiliates all across the country decided to schedule the show at different times, and even on different days, than each other (including a truly bizarre Tuesday afternoon at 2:30PM timeslot on one station). This gave The Weird Al Show less of a uniformed network feel than it did one of syndicated weekend programs from the '80s, such as Small Wonder and Sha Na Na.
The Weird Al Show wasn't alone in this scheduling nightmare. The other programs in CBS's Saturday morning line-up all became victims of the same fate. Wheel of Fortune 2000 (with the ultra-annoying yet disturbingly sexy "Cyber Lucy"), The New Ghostwriter Mysteries, Sports Illustrated for Kids, and even the long-running Beakman's World were bandied about the schedule at the affiliates' whim.
"As well-produced as these shows are, the kids aren't watching them," said Lucy Johnson, CBS's Senior Vice-President of Daytime-Children's Programming and Special Projects, in a January 1998 press statement. How could the kids watch them if many of them didn't know the shows even existed? With the exceptions of scant press releases and wire reports, CBS's promotion for the line-up consisted entirely of commercials shown during those very programs. If one wasn't able to catch any of the shows in the three-hour block, they would have thought that CBS had completely abandoned Saturday morning programming. And for a short time before, CBS was actually considering it. The network had once dominated Saturday morning with kid-friendly cartoons such as Garfield and Friends, Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles...plus CBS was home of the definitive Saturday morning program, Pee-wee's Playhouse. However, in the mid-90s CBS had seen most of its Saturday audience turn their eyes toward other networks such as Fox and The WB, not to mention cable outlets like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. The network was ready to pack it all in. Fortunately though, a recent FCC ruling required that networks had to provide three hours a week of educational programming. CBS saw this less of a restriction and more of an opportunity. They would stand out among the X-Mens and Winnie the Poohs of the world by turning their entire Saturday morning block into live action educational kids shows. They renewed their mainstay Beakman's World, but where are they going to find new programs that will fit in the same format? Who would be crazy enough to pitch such a series? Who would be weird enough?
On February 5, 1997, CBS announced that they and Dick Clark Productions would co-produce thirteen episodes, a full Saturday morning season, of a new kids series called The Weird Al Show. The official Weirdal.com web site had been hinting in the previous weeks of a new "project" that Al was working on. Many fans assumed it was going to be a new album or an appearance in a movie. Needless to say the entire Al fan community was floored by the news. For the first time ever, "Weird Al" Yankovic was going to have his own weekly television series!
In the February 6 wire report for the series, Dick Clark Productions announced that Al "portrays an inventor living in a secret subterranean workshop. He is joined by a stream of visitors, ranging from playful characters to celebrity guests to his pet hamster." There was even some scuttlebutt about the series premiering early, as soon as August 16. Al and his band commenced a four-month national concert tour on June 19 to promote both the show and the album Bad Hair Day.
Perhaps the biggest news came on June 10, when Surge Licensing was tapped to market products for The Weird Al Show. Surge President Mark Freedman fully expected to have Weird Al Show licensed products available in every imaginable category. Dick Clark Productions picked the right people for the job, since Surge was the company responsible for making the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles household names within months of the cartoon premiering in 1987. Was lightning about to strike twice? Would fans finally see licensed Weird Al clothing, and toys, and breakfast cereal, and edible underwear? Well...okay, maybe not cereal.
Although The Weird Al Show actually first aired on September 13, fans apparently didn't mind waiting. Its premiere garnered bigger ratings than any other program on the CBS Saturday line-up. Critical reviews were average but optimistic. Regular performers from the series such as Danielle Weeks and Gary LeRoi Gray started endorsing products such as cameras and IHOP. The show was attracting quite an audience, perhaps fueled by the fact that Al was getting some rather big guests such as Drew Carey, Hanson, and Barenaked Ladies...plus a slew of quirky celebrities such as Dweezil Zappa, John Tesh, and Dick Van Patten helped give the show the appeal of a cult series. And of course, Al often brought his past co-stars and close, personal friends onto the show, including Bill Mumy, Judy Tenuta, Kevin McCarthy, Gedde Watanabe, Victoria Jackson, David Bowe, Stan Freberg, Emo Philips, and of course his band (particularly a rather funny running gag with Bermuda in the "Talent Show" episode).
However, not everyone who was asked to participate in the show accepted. Leslie Nielsen and Fran Drescher are two notable exceptions, and animation director John Kricfalusi (creator of Ren and Stimpy) turned down Al's offer to produce the animated opening sequence--but let's not talk about him anymore. Trying to take advantage of filming the show at the NBC Studios, Al often grabbed guests from The Tonight Show since his studio was right next door. Jay Leno was reportedly not too pleased about Al "borrowing" his guests.
It is not known how far the series was distributed internationally. Canadian fans, however, were able to watch it on the Global network, which at times even premiered new episodes before CBS did!
With this great new show chugging along on CBS, what could possibly go wrong?
On January 8, 1998, CBS announced that it would completely revamp its entire Saturday morning schedule, citing abysmal overall ratings.
CBS's ratings were averaging a 0.6 (and a 3 share in the 2-11 age bracket), far behind WB's 2.2 average, ABC's 3.5, and Fox's 3.7. CBS's plan to overhaul the line-up meant stripping away all the live-action programs and replacing them with educational cartoons from Canada's Nelvana animation studio. This of course meant it was time to say good-bye to The Weird Al Show.
Al was disappointed but not stunned by the announcement, nor would he have been excited about doing a second season on CBS. Originally, both Al and Dick Clark Productions vowed to find a new home for The Weird Al Show, but either those plans never materialized or nobody else was interested.
The final episode broadcasted on September 12, 1998, "Bad Influence," was also the first episode to air almost a year earlier to the date. Plans for licensing were of course scrapped, and never a word was spoken about a home video release or reruns turning up on cable. For many, "The Weird Al Show Theme" on Running with Scissors was almost a non-sequitur...although the show's opening sequence and clips became video highlights during Al's 1999 and 2000 concert tours.
As the fifth anniversary of this short-lived television series came and went, the question remained, "Where can I see The Weird Al Show?"
This began this quest to get the show released on home video and back onto the TV sets of Al fans everywhere.
For more on The Weird Al Show, check out The Unofficial Weird Al Show Home Page!
The Weird Al Show ©1997 Dick Clark Productions, Inc. Press photos by Monty Brinton. Special thanks to David Tanny.