|The much-requested fan favorite|
|-Shout! Factory promotional material|
NEW! EPISODE GUIDE NEW!
Noggin address - Dick Clark address - Show History - Our Objectives - BTBFAQ
THE WEIRD AL SHOW
IS NOW ON DVD!!!
Also available on iTunes!
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. 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) politely turned down Al's offer to produce the animated opening sequence. Can you imagine Al drawn in Spumco style? Actually, 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?"
It was time to do something to answer that question!
We have two options in bringing the show back: Getting the show rerun on television, or getting the show released on DVD (which we have just done).
For the former route, our best bet right now would be getting the series aired on Noggin. Here's why....
Noggin is owned by Viacom, which also owns both VH1 (which has been unbelievably good to Weird Al ever since 1999) and CBS (the show's original network). Those factors may make the show easier for Noggin to get. Also, if the show is kept in the Viacom family of networks, there is always the chance that it could cross over onto its more-mainstream sister networks such as VH1 or Nickelodeon
Noggin is primarily an educational/entertainment channel, which would fit The Weird Al Show like a glove
Believe it or not, but Noggin has lots of pop culture value by airing a lot of "retro" PBS shows like The Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact, and episodes of Sesame Street dating back to the show's premiere in 1969. Surely an audience that gets into this kind of "hip" nostalgic programming would welcome someone like Weird Al
In addition to the daytime Noggin programming, in prime time the station becomes "The N," focusing on adolescent lifestyle with programs such as Daria and Clarissa Explains It All. A big part of Al's fan base can fall into this age group, and The Weird Al Show's guests such as Dweezil Zappa, Barenaked Ladies, and Hanson would be a big teenage draw
Noggin is still a relatively new network and at this point produces very little original content. Since it seems as if they're mining both the PBS and Viacom vaults for programming, this may very well be the perfect time to work in something like The Weird Al Show before the inevitable happens and they start producing more and more original content.
Late at night, Noggin sometimes airs two hour blocks of various oddball shows. Can one imagine how cool a late night mini-marathon of The Weird Al Show would be??
Noggin already has in its library a great show in a similar style to complement Al's, Square One Television
So, if you have 39 cents lying around for a stamp, here's what you can do...
Please write a polite letter to Noggin. If you have the network in your home, tell them what you think of it (or lie, if you have to!). Strongly suggest, beg, or plead for reruns of The Weird Al Show.
If you don't have Noggin (and we do understand that not many people do still), you can mention that their picking up The Weird Al Show would generate some buzz and cause a lot of Weird Al fans to incessantly ask their cable and satellite companies to carry the network. You could also bring up the point that with both the UHF DVD and Al's latest album Poodle Hat becoming instant hits, and with DVDs of the show itself out this summer, there will soon be a high demand for The Weird Al Show, which again would create exposure for any network that would be wise enough to air it....
Mention the wide age appeal Weird Al has, and that it could become a hit no matter which block of programming they air it in.
As already brought up earlier, you could always mention that The Weird Al Show could be aired back-to-back with Square One, creating a zany comical educational block.
Be creative! If you'd like to add some visual flair to your letter, by all means feel free to use the "We Want The Weird Al Show" graphic at the top of the page. (Note: please ask for permission first before using it on an actual web page)
When you're done, be sure to send it to the following address:
You can also try e-mailing the following additional networks
i (formerly PAX)
Now then, there is also the option of trying to get the show released on home video.
For this to be done, we would only need to convince one entity: Dick Clark Productions, the show's producer.
At first, it didn't seem as if Dick Clark Productions would release the entire series if they even listened to our badgering, especially since the company seems to like to focus on compilations and such. But with the capacity of the DVD format, the entire thirteen-episode series could most likely be squeezed onto just two DVDs (heck, five episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and bonus features have ample room on one side of a DVD...so, what's one or two episodes more?).
So in addition to writing to Noggin, if you have another 39 cents, you can also write to Dick Clark Productions at:
It may be the only way these become a reality....
Can I send e-mails instead?
If this is something you feel strongly about, go right ahead. However, it is not really recommended, either. Time and time again physical letters have proven to be much more effective than e-mail. There's just a certain amount of dedicated purpose present when someone sits down to write (or type and print) an actual letter in this rapid "point and click" world of ours.
And, as a studio representative has recently said in this kind of matter, it's easier to delete countless fan e-mails than it is countless envelopes.
Will there be an online petition?
After thinking long and hard about it, the decision is no. Not to slam on them or anything (or to blow off the fans who have requested for one), but online petitions are rather hit-and-miss in their effectiveness. The recent successful Willy Wonka DVD petition, in which fans were understandably upset about the movie not initially being released in widescreen, was a fluke in that it worked. True, it was deafeningly large (close to 20,000 people signed it), but rumor has it that Warner Bros. was going to release the widescreen version anyway and was just waiting to see how much demand there was for it.
And unlike a bonafide cult classic like UHF, The Weird Al Show wasn't around long enough to generate this large-but-silent fanbase that the former did. Not enough signatures would result in that.
Also, online petitions are only as effective as what people write in them. As great as it is that "Jared" in "your face, TX" thinks that "WIERD ALL ROXX!!!", someone at Noggin would read that and assume he has some kind of unique mental handicap. Believe it or not, but that would affect a petition as a whole, making it seem frivolous and less heartfelt.
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.