Al" Yankovic for the year 2000200120022003 200420052006 2007 MTV Video Vanguard Award
Lifetime Achievement Award!
friend, you made it :>!
This page has been
set up by popular demand!! It's a petition of sorts to "gently
nudge" MTV in the right direction for this year's MTV Video
Vanguard Award. I feel very strongly that MTV should grant this
year's award to the hardest-working accordion player in
mock-and-roll, "Weird AL" Yankovic! And I sent a letter to MTV
News stating that fact! After posting the text of the letter at
Al" Yankovic newsgroup, there was much clamoring for an
online petition to sign. So here it is!
Just sign in the
customized HTMLGear Guestbook below. HTMLGear was chosen because of
its flexibility; not only can you sign your name, but you can also
put down your own comments on this idea, as well as let everybody
know the address of your own "Weird Al" web page. And then
everybody can view your entry afterwards.
If you haven't
seen it yet, directly below is the message I sent to MTV News, and
then right below that is where you can click over and add your own
online John Hancock to the petition.
Thanks muchly :>!
MTV Powers That Be:
So here's the deal:
I'm sure you're all sitting
around the conference room table snackin' on stale munchies wondering
just who to give the MTV Video Vanguard Award to at this year's Video
Music Awards. Do you attempt to give it to the Artist Who Is Such A
Pain To Talk To These Days? Should you consider Whitney Houston,
strictly for longevity's sake? And did you give it to Queen already
But never fear, Val is here, to
lend a voice to recognizing a very credible candidate. You've
shamelessly passed over him in your various too-cool-coolest video
countdowns and you never consider his work in the usual video award
categories. And just recently he was totally cheated (read: screwed)
out of even having a chance of winning a Grammy for his latest work.
But now you, MTV, have a chance
of righting this great wrong all around by considering him for a long
overdue Video Vanguard Award. Yes, I think you know where I'm going
with this, and so I'll give those who haven't caught on yet a chance
to get on the same page --
Ladies and Gentlemen: "Weird
Now I know MTV (and VH1) let Al
do a special program of his music and comedy at the end of last year
-- but I think you did it because you felt guilty for not better
recognizing Al's contributions to music video history in your other programs!
I will bring out the big guns if
I must! Michael Jackson was the first recipient of the Vanguard (and
it was briefly named after him) -- and Al's been making music videos
at least as long as Michael!
As Al's VH1 Behind the Music
special reminded us all, Al has been around for *twenty years* -- and
still going strong! In concert, some of his most celebrated numbers
are for artists and bands that aren't even around anymore! And he's
gone where even Madonna hasn't gone before -- he's directing his own
videos, plus he's directing videos for other artists!
If it's angst you want, remember
that Al's original songs and the videos he's made for them have been
cruelly underrated, undershown, and all around underappreciated!
There are *still* people out there who think Al has never written an
original song. These people especially need enlightening!
Or if you need controversy,
there are some truly confused reporters at ABC's 20/20 who recently
listed Al as violent because of his "The Night Santa Went
Crazy" tune (No, I'm not kidding; look it up!).
(If I must be tacky, I will:
Al's been around longer than nearly all of the Video Vanguard Award
recipients chosen in the 1990s!)
And try to remember the history
that Al has behind him, not the least of which is Stan Freberg, Allan
Sherman, and the late Shel Silverstein. These men and the generations
that spawned them remembered to place a value on laughter. Are we to
let our generation's representative
of that go unrewarded?
What other proof do you need
that "weird"-ness aside, Al is an artist whose hard work
and success deserve much better and greater recognition?!
Come on, MTV, it's up to you.
It's gotta be "Weird Al" Yankovic for the first Video
Vanguard Award of the century--!!
Humbling Essay Correction Notes: 1) The
Vanguard was indeed briefly named for Michael Jackson, but he was not
the first recipient of it. Back in 1984, the first
MTV Video Vanguard Award was presented
jointly to The Beatles, David Bowie, and Richard Lester. 2) MTV did
indeed nominate Al for a regular MTV Video Music Award: Best
Male Video for "Smells Like
Nirvana" in 1992 [he lost to Eric Clapton's "Tears in
Heaven."]. 3) The Artist Who Is Such A Pain To Talk To These
Days changed his name back to Prince... but I bet he's still a pain
to talk to these days :P! )
2006 Video Music Awards boasted some great performances--and it's
absolutely hilarious to me that because of sites like YouTube, that the
networks have given up in a way and this year's show is freely, entirely
available online! How things have changed (although it's too bad that little
Justin Timberlake fella has become such a nobody--and does anyone
even remember Beyonce ;>?). But once again, no big lifetime award
But maybe, just maybe, the events of this week
will change all that! TODAY is not only Al's 47th birthday, it's also the
week that his "White & Nerdy" single is in the Top 10! That's even better
than "Eat It" all those years ago! And Al's new CD, "Straight Outta
Lynwood," is in the Top 10 CDs!
aka the CNN story via Reuters/Billboard:
'Weird Al' Yankovic finally hits the top 10,
POSTED: 9:59 a.m. EDT, October 23, 2006
w/pic caption, "Weird Al" Yankovic is enjoying his biggest chart
successes since he started recording in the late '70s."
Toby Canham / Getty Images file
YouTube may have helped longtime parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic reach
a whole new generation.
Overall, Al is on a serious roll, and MTV would
be crazy not to finally acknowledge it (or at least acknowledge how
hot Donny Osmond still is ;>)!!
(Thanks to John for telling me about CNN
MTV Award Update (March
See, the 2004 MTV Music Awards
were so, um, "eventful," that I just couldn't, uh, uh, find the words
to talk about them until now--!
OK, in all seriousness, I missed
the show when it premiered and never quite caught up with it due to suddenly
own close family loss. It hurts every single day, but I'm healing every
But as far as I can tell, MTV was
a big "Empty-V" when it came to giving out a hall of fame/video
vanguard award to anyone. Sigh. Where is the love, MTV? Where is the
So where does this leave the MTV
Video Vanguard Award--if indeed there is still an award by that name? Does this
"MTV Lifetime Achievement Award" replace the "MTV Video Vanguard
Award" -- and am I gonna have to change the name of the petition
In any case, sorry for the lapse
in updating -- but this page will be here until MTV comes to their
senses and bestows a Lifetime Achievement Award to Al... even if daughter Nina
has to come on stage to pick it up because Dad "doesn't move as fast as he
used to -- and that leg behind the head thing? Over!"
MTV Vanguard Award Update (September 6,
You know, I'm starting to think
that MTV isn't paying me any attention!!!
OK, seriously, U2 won the MTV
*Video Vanguard this year, and I honestly couldn't be happier -- 'cause it's
ridiculous that they didn't have one yet either!! I mean, dang! MTV
celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and while that's a considerable
milestone, it's still a little young to be so deeply forgetting your early
But I will fighton,
charging forward with a loaded accordion, and I'm not afraid to use it ('cause
what I'm really afraid of is dropping it on my foot)! It's Weird Al for the
MTV Video Vanguard Award 2002!!!
* Perhaps as a thank you for making a "surprise"
appearance on this year's show, the "King
of Pop" coming on to dance onstage at the end of *N SYNC's performance of
their hit song, "(Dirty) Pop" (although it was hardly a surprise
to any visitors to MichaelJackson.com in the last couple of days, which
breathlessly reported that it was "a rumor"), the MTV Video Vanguard
Award went back to its previous moniker, the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard
Award. It's sorta ironic that U2 would be the first to get the award under this
new old name, as it was U2 which won a prize Michael deeply wanted, the 1987 Grammy Award for Album
of the Year; U2's "Joshua Tree" won instead of MJ's
"Bad." If you ever see a tape of the show, MJ's intense
disappointment at losing is written all over his face.
MTV Vanguard Award Update (September
Agh!!!! Did you see the MTV Video
Music Awards last night? Keeping their cards close to the vest, MTV
did not announce that they would be presenting the MTV Video
Vanguard Award this year -- to the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Yes, I know visions of
"Bedrock Anthem" are floating through your head right
So is this a defeat? Certainly not!
As I said before, it gives us a whole year to keep the pressure on
MTV! When they present the MTV Video Vanguard Award in 2001, let's
make sure that it goes to the one and only "Weird Al" Yankovic!
Weird AL for the MTV Video
Vanguard Award 2001!!!
If you'd like to promote the
"Weird AL" for the MTV Video Vanguard Award Petition on
your web site, you can use my hastily-made, cheerily-cheesy banner
Use this code: <!-- Start of
Weird AL Banner Code --><A HREF="http://www.valsadie.com/weirdal/index.html"><IMG
WIDTH="480" HEIGHT="60" VSPACE="0"
HSPACE="0" ALT="Weird Al Yankovic Petition Banner"
BORDER="0"></A><!-- End of Weird AL Banner
FYI: The previous domain, "popculturemaven.simplenet.com"
has since disappeared into the cyber-ether and is now permanently "www.valsadie.com".
Publicity for the page already!
(OK, technically it's a dis, but
remember, "there's no such thing as bad publicity!")
[See this long-gone page from 2000 again, courtesy of the Internet
Archive Wayback Machine -- the Internet never forgets!]
Clickophony (box at end of column):
Some online obsessives have petitioned
to get "Weird Al" Yankovic an MTV Video Vanguard award.
Prompting two questions: Who cares about getting an MTV Video
Vanguard Award? And who cares about "Weird Al" Yankovic?
(Link courtesy of Val the E-mailer.)
Party in your
library with the accordion-playing Clown Prince of Mock 'N' Roll! For two
decades, the Grammy Award-winning "Weird Al" Yankovic has written and
performed original comic tunes and famous song parodies of rock stars Michael
Jackson, Madonna, and Puff Daddy. Little known is he was high school
valedictorian and holds a degree in architecture. Al chose to craft songs
instead of buildings, drawing on his love of reading.
Al's music videos online, from "I Lost on Jeopardy" to "White
& Nerdy" (although "Ricky," "I Love Rocky
Road," "Eat It," "Christmas at Ground Zero," and "Bedrock Anthem" are missing--!?) at Yahoo! Music Unlimited Music to Play & Share!
Especially see Al-Aholics
Anonymous by the (irrepressible!) Marty "Gumby" Lick,
and also Yankovic!
was put together by "Happy" Steve Chai. (You cannot be
told what Yankovic!
is. You have to see it for yourself...)
Weird Al's marriage broke the hearts of
Last, but not least, I'm not the
only one with a "Weird Al" petition! Check out the one below. C'mon
MTV, it's All About Al!
Weird Al Update (April
The recent accidental death of
Al's parents was absolutely heartbreaking. I just want to thank Al for
introducing us to the wonderful people who raised him and letting us know of
and share their love of life, something that they obviously passed on to him.
May the immortality of happy memories eventually triumph over the present pain
Val's July 2000 Concert Report!
(slightly edited from the original
Weird Al newsgroup entry)
Petition Val Gets Al's
Autograph!/Merrillville IN Show 07/03
And I wanted to tell Al about
the petition directly, but Tough Security Guy said we could only get
autographs and move along (in effect). I had printed out my entry
from the petition for Al to sign -- but while waiting in line I got a
better idea (I guess?). I wrote the petition's web address at the
bottom of the entry and asked Tough Security Guy if I could give it
to Al. He said he would have to take it and look at it and decide
whether or not to give it to him (because we all know how much harm
can come from a computer print-out!). Right then it was my turn so I
gave my small notebook to Al, we exchanged greetings, he signed his
name, and we exchanged thank yous. And I left. I don't know if Tough
Security Guy decided to give the paper to Al or not. I hope so!
In any case, there's still that
copy of the entire petition that was sent to Close Personal Friends
of Al. If Al doesn't know about this petition by now, it's not 'cause
I haven't tried--!
I did get to meet guitarist Jim
West after the show also (I had spotted him walking around the
theater parking lot before the show--?!) and also keyboardist Ruben
Valtierra (who wore shades throughout the show, to cover up the eye
injury--?) and got their autographs as well. I missed bassist Steve
Jay (the coolest guy in the universe, you know :>) and drummer/weirdal.com
webmaster Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz (so I didn't get to
chastise him in person for not linking to the petition from the
weirdal.com web site ;> ;> :>!!!)
If you were at the Merrillville
show, you may have spotted me -- because, unless I missed someone
(and the ushers don't count), I believe I was the only black woman in
Great show, too! I
think we all know the setlist by now, and it was fun to see
live. And it was a blast to *finally* hear "Free Delivery (Our
Toppings Go On and On)" and "Laundry Day (Gotta
Keep 'Em Separated)"
after reading about them here on the Weird Al newsgroup for so long.
In any case, I want to thank the
newsgroup regulars for letting me know that it really was possible to
see Al after the show. I've been to several artists' concerts over
the years and it's been my experience that the singer is already
zooming down the highway while the final notes of the encore are
still ringing in my
ears. So I was skeptical, but I stuck around anyway. And then the
above happened. So thanks so much!!
This page was originally published on Yahoo! Simplenet/Valsadie.com on March
23, 2000. Date of most current update: 08/02/2009. This page's exact
address is: http://www.valsadie.com/weirdal/index.html.
Check out this page's HTML source to see all the cool keywords in the
header! Web site created entirely by firstname.lastname@example.org
(with special thanks to Squirrelygirl Linda W. for first suggesting
it :>). Copyright 2000-2010.