Friday, March 2, 2012

Revisiting the Police Academy Movies

By ScottDS

I’m not ashamed to say the Police Academy films were staples of my childhood. I realize these films have a reputation as some kind of cosmic punch line whenever the subject of bad movies comes up, but they still make me laugh. All told, there were six films released between 1984 and 1989 and a seventh released direct to video in 1994 – I’ll focus on the first six.

Police Academy (1984) – The new mayor has instituted an open door policy at the Metropolitan Police Academy and now all of society’s rejects are free to apply. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’ll graduate. Meet Carey Mahoney (Steve Guttenberg), a delinquent who gets arrested for wrecking a car and is sent to the academy as punishment. He befriends his fellow cadets, including – but certainly not limited to – human beatbox Jones (Michael Winslow), human giant Hightower (the late Bubba Smith), the soft-spoken Hooks (Marion Ramsey), and my favorite character, the gun crazy Tackleberry (the late David Graf). He also falls for Cadet Thompson (a young Kim Cattrall), weirds out the amiable but clueless Commandant Lassard (George Gaynes), and becomes a nuisance for Lt. Harris (G.W. Bailey) who takes an instant dislike to him. In the end, after a citywide riot, the band of misfits ends up saving the day and graduates with flying colors.

I can’t deny the film was a hit but looking back at it now, it’s oddly dated in a way the other films aren’t. Many of the clothes and hairstyles reek of “late-70s” instead of mid-80s. There’s also some awkward racial stuff (were people still using the term “jigaboo” as recently as 30 years ago?) and at the end of the day, the film isn’t directed or edited very well. There’s a “stop and start” quality with plot scenes followed by random gags followed by plot again. Many of those gags, including a bit where one cadet has a run-in with the Commandant’s towel-clad wife, simply aren’t constructed very well at all. Also, like many institutional comedies of the period, the film suffers from split personalities: the first half of the film has your standard hijinks and character development (such as it is) while the second half throws in a completely arbitrary conflict. In this case, it’s a riot, which is started when one of our heroes absentmindedly throws an apple at someone. Even the much superior Stripes has a similar problem.

On the plus side, the characters are quite likable. They all come to the academy with their own problems but they eventually learn to trust each other and they prove themselves in the line of duty. And yes, as immature as the film is, there are some laughs to be had. This film started the “tradition” of characters stumbling into a gay leather bar called The Blue Oyster and, for whatever reason, it still makes me laugh. (When I was a kid, I simply assumed some men liked to dance with each other!) “Back in the old days, there were johnsons as far as the eye could see.”

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985) – A vicious gang, led by the eccentric Zed (Bobcat Goldthwait) has taken over the streets and Captain Pete Lassard (Howard Hessemen, playing the brother of George Gaynes’ character) is desperate. He calls in our favorite cadets from the first film and hijinks ensue. Stepping in for Harris is Lt. Mauser (Art Metrano) who wants Captain Lassard’s job. We’re also introduced to Mauser’s lackey, Proctor (Lance Kinsey), and innocent merchant Sweetchuck (Tim Kazurinsky), both of whom will appear in future films. Mahoney ends up getting suspended and infiltrates the gang but we know the cadets (now graduates) will end up saving the day.

I don’t know why but I can’t help but like this movie. Yes it’s stupid but there’s an actual plot, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Goldthwait is a force of nature and Tackleberry has a nice romantic subplot involving fellow officer Kirkland (Colleen Camp) who shares his penchant for guns and motorcycles. They get married at the end of the film and her crazy family also shows up in the next two installments. There’s a great shoot-out at Sweetchuck’s chandelier store (what other kind of store could it be?!), Jones gets to show off his martial arts skills for the first time, and there’s a funny – and rather un-PC – scene with the two Lassards at a Japanese steakhouse. The humor is still immature and you can tell they were trying to tone things down for the kids (unlike the first film, there are no scenes involving hookers hidden in podiums) but it’s all harmless fun. “You people go about your business or I’ll crack some heads!”

Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986) – Due to budget issues, the governor has decided to close one of the state’s two police academies so the competition is on between Lassard’s academy and (now Commandant) Mouser’s academy. Mahoney and the gang end up training a new bunch of screw-ups who, in turn, prove themselves in the line of duty. The climax involves a jet ski and boat chase and along the way, we revisit The Blue Oyster and several characters from the previous film, including Zed, Sweetchuck, and Kirkland’s brother, have decided to join the force.

I like this film but it’s an interesting case study: the first film was basic training, the second film was an assignment, so why are we back to basic training again? Perhaps the second film was considered a failure so the studio decided to play it safe? I don’t know, but there are gags in this film that mirror gags in the first film. It’s nice to see Mahoney and the gang share their “wisdom” with the new recruits but there’s really nowhere else for the characters to go, is there? On the bright side, Zed and Sweetchuck make for a funny pair, there are some cool karate and boxing scenes, and there is still some semblance of a plot, though the arbitrary conflict involves some jewel thieves who show up out of nowhere – this might’ve worked better had they been introduced earlier but in these films, the villains are usually an afterthought anyway. “What’s the story here with Fu Manchu?”

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987) – Commandant Lassard has a new idea: C.O.P., which stands for Citizens on Patrol, a community program specializing in crime prevention. This time, Mahoney and the gang find themselves training civilians, including an adorable gun-crazy old lady named Mrs. Feldman (Billie Bird). Mahoney also has a romance with a reporter (played by a young Sharon Stone!) and the character of Harris from the first film is back. There is also a subplot involving some skateboarding delinquents (one of whom is played by a young David Spade). The climax involves ninjas (!) on a pirate ship and some jail breakers who take to the friendly skies at an air show. Naturally, our heroes save the day.

I’m not crazy about this one. I realize that’s like shooting fish in a barrel but there’s an odd sense of self-awareness on display. C.O.P. has its own theme song which Mahoney and Jones groove to in the car over the opening credits, a hot air balloon is seen with the Police Academy logo on it (it just comes from out of nowhere!), and the main characters are all too good – they’ve conquered their demons and they have nowhere else to go. They’re perfect do-gooders, to whom nothing bad happens. This time Zed gets a romantic subplot, though the rivalry between Mahoney and Harris for the hot reporter’s affections was left mostly on the cutting-room floor. There are also plenty of pranks including another trip to The Blue Oyster and a bizarre scene where Mahoney and Co. teach some of the new guys a lesson. Having said that, the aerial finale is well done. I’ll say one thing about all these films: they all have great stunt work. “I thought you only got contempt of court for opening your mouth.”

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988) – This time, the gang is off to Miami where Lassard is to be honored as “Police Officer of the Decade.” Unfortunately, they run into some jewel thieves and Lassard mistakes his kidnapping for a procedural demonstration. Matt McCoy steps in as Lassard’s nephew, replacing Guttenberg’s Mahoney as the likeable leading man. He’s a cop in Miami and has a romantic subplot with a fellow officer played by Janet Jones (best known today as Mrs. Wayne Gretzky). Harris and Proctor are along for the ride as well: Harris expects to be named Commandant after Lassard is forced into retirement, but this obviously doesn’t work out for him.

I feel like I’m repeating myself: this film is stupid but it’s all harmless fun. On the plus side, there’s an actual story again and not a series of loosely connected set pieces. We also meet the jewel thieves early on and they have their own scenes throughout the film, instead of previous villains who were mostly shoehorned in during the last act. The leader of the jewel thieves is played by Rene Auberjonois, then best known for his co-starring role on Benson and today best known to geeks for playing Odo on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He’s too good an actor to be in this film but he’s a professional and he gives it his all. Matt McCoy turns out to be a likable guy though I can’t blame audiences for missing Guttenberg. The climax involves an airboat chase in the Everglades. Hightower ends up saving Harris from an alligator and gets promoted to lieutenant. Amazing… actual character development! “Can we get a couple of those potato coladas?”

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989) – There’s a crime wave throughout the city and our heroes get assigned to Harris’ precinct in an attempt to stop it. The bad guys are working for a shadowy figure who turns out to be the mayor (the late Kenneth Mars), who’s involved in a multi-billion dollar real estate scam. Matt McCoy returns, there is no romantic subplot, the characters use a computer for the first time, and the climactic bus/cherry picker/monster truck chase is actually pretty good. Jones gets to show off his Jimi Hendrix impression, Proctor and Harris share a funny scene on a window washing platform (guess what happens), and there are scenes that take place in the sewer that are reminiscent of The Third Man (the director’s words, not mine!). One can do worse than to pick this movie. It’s just a lot of kid-friendly fun and I know I cracked up at a scene where Harris falls through a hole in an armored truck and is forced to run when the truck accelerates. Of course, I was seven years old at the time. “He feels sure that they will bring these scoundrels to the – you know, to the court thing.”

This was the last Police Academy film till the seventh one, subtitled Mission to Moscow, was released in 1994. Don’t go near it! There was also an animated series in the 80s and a syndicated live-action series in the late 90s, starring Michael Winslow, Joe Flaherty (!), and a bunch of nobodies. I’ve seen bits and pieces and it’s just more of the same, but geared for the Saturday morning crowd. There are rumors of a possible remake and, at this point, I expect nothing but if they manage to convince some of the original cast members to return, then I might be tempted to check it out.

If we’re influenced by the movies and TV shows we grow up with, I suppose my younger brother and I could’ve done much worse! (Yes, we taped the first film off of network TV – our mother was strict with R ratings.) I should also mention that these films are apolitical but the basic idea – a bunch of screw-ups who better themselves and work to restore law and order – does seem to lean in a general rightward direction.

49 comments:

tryanmax said...

Scott, great run-down. I haven't seen all of them, and I'm not even sure which ones I've seen. Whichever made it to Sunday afternoon broadcast TV, I guess. They're the kind of movies that I don't go out of my way for, but I'll stop flipping channels once I see them.

BTW - the link for "bizarre scene" is broken.

ScottDS said...

The link should work now.

Thanks for the kind words! For most (normal) people, the films tend to blend together and no one is sure which ones they've seen. They don't air on TV that often today, which is a huge change from 20 years ago when the broadcast networks actually aired these movies in primetime: "ABC Saturday Night at the Movies!" and so on.

I miss those days. A TV premiere of a big movie like Jurassic Park was an Event. Today, most movies premiere on cable with little to no fanfare.

Eric P said...

Finally saw the first one last year (despite his Stonecutters affiliation, I'm not that strong a Guttenberg fan) and after these appreciated summaries, at some point will get around to the others. The boxed set courtesy the fine folks at Warner Bros. staring at me will eventually wear me down to the point of pressing "play" (or "fast forward" as necessary).

Still can't believe they released one a year for the first six of 'em.

Eric P said...

P.S. It's Jimi, not Jimmy, Hendrix. Guessing you were in a purplish haze when writing this. ;-)

ScottDS said...

Fixed! I wish I had been in a purplish haze - then I'd have an excuse for my first typo in an article. :-)

I own the DVD box set and if they release a Blu-Ray set, I'll most likely upgrade. Yeah, they managed to film one a year for six years with 90% of the cast intact. (Then again, the Harry Potter films nearly managed to pull that off, too.) I wonder if the actors were contracted for multiple films or if they had to re-sign each time.

Don't rush to see the rest of the films on my account! And again, please stay away from the seventh film - it's just a cartoon (and a cheap unfunny one at that).

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Excellent article. Sorry the link didn't work. I thought I'd checked that. I'll share my thoughts in a few moments. There are many things here that you've triggered. :)

ScottDS said...

No worries about the link. I took care of it.

Chime in at your leisure. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry about that, busy morning. Let me do this in pieces.

First, some general thoughts. I love these movies. I don't mean that in the sense of "these are the greatest films of all time," but I mean it in terms of: they hit the perfect formula for pure escapism. These are films that you can watch, where you enjoy the characters and the situation, where you laugh a good deal, and you never once think of the outside world. It's like pure stress-free fantasy.

Also, it's a remarkably politics free film. It comes from before the PC era, so it has none of that. It was first made as Reaganism was sweeping the nation (even Hollywood), so there's no anti-Reagan stuff. It doesn't push "causes" like environmentalism, feminism, etc. In fact, it rather lampoons those gently through the whole idea of these misfits -- a topic which could have gotten very political as they are black and female and whatnot. But it avoided all of that and was just pure fun.

To me, that's a huge thing.

AndrewPrice said...

On the idea of the film having two halves, I think this is a very common film formula. All of the superhero films do that too. And in fact, that's what I think these films really were (the first one at least) -- a comedic superhero origin story.

ScottDS said...

One example of the un-PC stuff comes in the form of a lot of Asian jokes in parts 2 and 3. In the 2nd film, the two Lassards dine at a Japanese steakhouse and of course the chef works at the table and is presented as somewhat over the top with his handling of the silverware, etc. I finally found the scene here.

In the third film, we meet an Asian cadet who also appears in the fourth film. He's the butt of a few jokes but he's also portrayed as a nice guy who loves this country and who can also kick ass. Mauser asks Proctor to ship him to Lassard's academy: "He can use a good sushi chef!"

Doc Whoa said...

Scott, Thanks for the look back on my youth! :)

I remember these films very fondly, though I haven't seen them in years. I love the Blue Oyster Bar. The music is perfect and it becomes the perfect set up for later whenever they run randomly into a building trying to hide (I can't think of which film that was).

And yeah, the film had a couple racist jokes, but they were all good natured, and yes that is possible.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, Fascinating idea about these being a superhero story. I hadn't thought of that, but it's true isn't it?

ScottDS said...

Doc -

Your welcome! According to Wikipedia, the Blue Oyster was originally located on Howell St. [in Toronto] in the first movie but was relocated to 655 Cowan Ave. in the second (Proctor erroneously gives the address number as 621).

I assume they used the Howell St. location in the third and fourth films.

The song is called "El Bimbo," a 1974 tango from a French "euro disco" group called Bimbo Jet.

You mention youth and I'm just remembering this now. When the cartoon was airing, there was a line of action figures and my brother and I actually had most of them. We eventually gave them away to my aunt who worked for the police department: she'd use the action figures to decorate her desk!

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Interesting comments about the superhero genre. I can't disagree. A good example is 1989's Batman which focuses so much on the origin stories (of both Batman and the Joker) that the poisonous cosmetics subplot almost seems like an afterthought (but I still love the movie!).

ScyFyterry said...

This was back when Kim Catrall was still hot! :D

I think my favorites are 1,2, and 3. After that it gets really sketchy.

ScottDS said...

ScyFy -

I would agree. As I mentioned, I'm not too fond of 4 and 5 and 6 are okay, just harmless fun.

And yeah, between this and Porky's, Kim Cattrall was definitely hot. She was also hot as Lt. Valeris in Star Trek VI.

ScyFyterry said...

Scott, It's funny to me that Sex in the City has so defined her now that I can't really see her as anything other than a cougar.

ScottDS said...

Me neither! I never watched SATC but it's always nice to see an actress over the age of 35 achieve success.

AndrewPrice said...

Continuing... I didn't like Goldthwait at the time, but he worked for me in these films. His standup routine, however, was very, very tiresome.

I think the casting worked out well. Harris and Mauser were excellent choices and Guttenberg did a really good job. I think Tackleberry steals the show, however. What a great character.

Colleen Camp is an interesting actress. She's been in every movie I've ever liked and I've never recognized her. She was even in Apocalypse Now as one of the bunnies. She deserves an award or something.


P.S. Eric, "his stonecutters affiliation" -- LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, There is a lot of nonPC stuff in it, but this was before the era of political correctness. That was really a 1990s phenomena. At this point, you just avoided things that would be in bad taste not things that would upset the overly-sensitive -- like angry racists jokes. But it was still ok to point out differences and cliches and laugh at them. It was a happier time where the jokes were much better natured.

I can't hear the Blue Oyster Bar music without instantly thinking of that bar!

I've soured on origin stories unless they are done very, very carefully. Batman is one case where I don't mind. But the follow-ups, where they tried to do origin stories for the villains (Penguin, Cat Woman, Freeze, Riddler) just fell flat.

ScottDS said...

I was a kid so I didn't know anything about Goldthwait. And this was just before the Internet so it wasn't as if I could go on IMDb and look him up. He also stars in another stupid movie from the 80s I like called Hot to Trot about a talking horse.

G.W. Bailey and Art Metrano are excellent actors. Bailey is still working constantly - he's a regular on that show The Closer and he and Guttenberg co-starred in another 80s favorite, Short Circuit.

Metrano became disabled after taking a nasty fall off a ladder. He took his problem and made a one-man show titled Jews Don't Belong on Ladders!

Colleen Camp is a producer now, though she appears in things now and then. She's in Die Hard with a Vengeance as one of McClane's fellow cops. "They don't allow trucks on the FDR!!"

She guest starred on a disgusting episode of Entourage. I say "disgusting" because it involved a gross sexual fetish. I don't know if Camp was wearing a fat suit or something but if she wasn't... she's, uh, ballooned.

But man, she was hot as the French maid in Clue!

The actor who played Tackleberry sadly passed away several years ago. He was only in his 50s - he was at a family function and died of a heart attack. My brother and I loved the character - he was like a precursor to John Casey on Chuck.

"You'll do it, NOW MISTER!!"

Ed said...

I jumped on the avatar bandwagon too! :D

Scott, thanks for the trip down memory lane! I enjoyed these films a lot and I still catch the now and then, although I couldn't tell you which scenes came from which.

tryanmax said...

Porky's is another one I haven't seen, though it instantly brings to mind the Weird Al song "Cable TV."

My friends are gettin' kinda worried
They think I'm turning into some kinda freak
Oh, but they're just jealous 'cause I've seen Porky's
Twenty-seven times this week.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Welcome to the world of the avatar'd! :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Weird Al had his moments. I still remember one line in one of his album songs that never made it on air about leaving a beauty queen to die in the desert. What a strange man.

And then he gave us Amish Paradise. :)

Porky's was one of those films I saw a couple times and thought it was good, but not great. You don't really see it on television much anymore.

ScottDS said...

Ed -

Your welcome!

Yeah, where these movies are concerned, most people just have vague recollections ("Yeah, the one with the fat guy and the sound effects guy and they're doing... something... somewhere..."). :-)

I'm the same way with the later Pink Panther films.

ScottDS said...

tryanmax -

I did a quick recap of Porky's in my 80s article. It's harmless fun but not nearly as funny as its reputation suggests.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Comedy Central used to air Porky's all the time, albeit heavily edited. It shows up now and then on the cable channels I rarely visit (Encore Comedy or one of those in the 100s).

As for Weird Al, I can't say I'm a huge follower of his work but he's someone I've always appreciated. I took this useless media class in high school and we each had to partner up and produce a radio show. This one kid and I did an all-Weird Al show - we weren't too popular after that. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm not much of a fan either because most of his work is "low hanging fruit" (i.e. very obvious). But he's got his moments and he's got some interesting stuff off the beaten path. The problem is that musical comedy really wears out fast -- probably faster than any other form.

I'll take your word for Porky's being on television. I haven't really looked for it since the 1980s.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scot, Scott, Scott!!! I have great respect for your film acumen, and I will grant you the police academy franchise . . . . . BUT as a guilty pleasure only (l.o.l.) Hey, we like what we like, and you are hardly trying to pass this stuff off as cinema verite. I have my own guilty pleasures so there is no intent to be jusgemental. However, when you start off a sentence "yes it's stupid, but it actually has a plot" . . . well, . . . . there it is. I was working way too hard for my own good in the 80's and missed more movies than I saw. After the first one, I saw no need to do anymore. Your sentence above though pretty much sealed the deal on my going back and seeing them.

O.K., O.K. just kidding, sort of. We can all use some old fashion low ball humor from time to time, and there is usually not a lot of rhyme nor reason to what we like or not. To me, it was Frank Drebben, Animal House, and Porky's. I just never bought into this particular franchise so far from me to rip it. :)

On a brighter note, "The Bucaneer" Blu-Ray arrived today, so it will be fun to see how that one measures up to my old romantic notions of "the good old days." :)

ScottDS said...

Jed -

Ha! Believe me, I am in no way defending these films. I simply wanted to revisit them - for the most part, I haven't seen them in years even though the DVD boxset currently sits on my shelf. And I was just a kid in the 80s so I had nothing better to do!

There is definitely no rhyme or reason to what we like. I have a friend who likes to make fun of my affinity for "stupid movies" (as long as they're done well)... but at the same time, he laughs at the most ridiculous things... so who's to say?

Besides, there are plenty of really stupid movies out there that I refuse to see (the endless Date Movie/Epic Movie spoofs, the upcoming Three Stooges abomination, etc.). I wouldn't piss on those filmmakers if they were on fire.

At least the PA films are likable and sincere in their stupidity. (I just came up with that.) :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories, I loved the Police Academy movies (didn't watch the last one) when I was a kid and if I see one of them on TV and have nothing to do I'll sit and have a laugh.

They were stupid, but they were harmless fun which is missing to often these days. Oh and Tackleberry was my favourite character too.

Scott_AU

ScottDS said...

Anon (Scott) -

Your welcome. Please skip the last one, for the good of your health!

And sadly, I must agree - there are so few "fun" movies, and that applies to any genre. I certainly have nothing against serious films (I'm a fan) but the films that should be fun usually fail in that area.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

You left out Police Academy 7: Training Day starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The original 6 more accurately displayed policing than that movie and were mor eintentionally funny. :-)

ScottDS said...

Floyd -

Ha! I'm sorry for the exclusion - I should've labeled the article: "Revisiting the Oscar-winning Police Academy Movies"

But hey, King Kong ain't got nothin' on me. :-)

EricP said...

Fie on both of you non-Weird Al'ers! While far from perfect, UHF's a classic and not just saying that because I just chalked up the "one for thumb" concert. That's right, even though nowhere near the 35 times the guy next to me's seen Yankovic, I'm a super-fan. Must be an Eastern European thing. ;-)

Also, check out "I'll Sue You" sometime. The guy's come a long way from his more juvenile 80s/early 90s material, and far from low-hanging fruit.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, I admit that I'm not a superfan. I have enjoyed a good deal of his work, though I tend to see it as a novelty.

I did enjoy UHF very, very much. That's a fun movie! :)

I think my favorite of his songs is Amish Paradise because it's just so out there and he's very serious about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Training Day, LOL! Bravo! :)

T-Rav said...

There were SIX of these?!

AndrewPrice said...

Seven. One went direct to video.

ScottDS said...

Yes, there were seven. The seventh film, Mission to Moscow went direct to video here in the States in 1994 but it may have played theatrically overseas. It features Lassard, Harris, Jones, Tackleberry, and Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook, who I didn't even mention in my article), along with Charlie Schlatter as Cadet Connors, filling the "smooth talker" Guttenberg role.

It's shit.

They're off to Russia - shot on location - to stop a video game kingpin (played by Ron Perlman who I assume needed the money) from taking over the world with his addictive game, simply called The Game because to give it any other name would require a modicum of creativity on the part of the "screenwriters."

They drive their Russian counterparts crazy (the Russian commandant is played by Christopher Lee!), Connors has a romantic subplot with a hot Russian cop played by the lovely Claire Forlani, and if I write anything else about this, I'll go crazy (more so).

Avoid it at all costs! Hell, they even add cartoon sound effects to some of the gags.

T-Rav said...

At least from the pic, I now know where "One in the Oven" came from. (I'd only seen it on a Family Guy spoof.)

ScottDS said...

Glad I could be of service. I didn't know Family Guy spoofed it but if something exists, chances are Family Guy did something with it. :-)

DUQ said...

Scott, Fun article, thanks! I don't have much to add.

ScottDS said...

DUQ -

Your welcome!

I had no idea how many childhood memories I'd bring back. :-)

Floyd R. Turbo said...

@Scott... re "Mission to Moscow"....

Larry the Cable Guy was on Live with Kelly this morning promoting Tooth Fairy 2 -- I know. Anyway he got off a good line when asked about the plot. He said, "This one picks up where the other one left off -- on DVD." Clever -- and he clearly knows he's making it for the money.

ScottDS said...

Floyd -

I, like many people, groaned when I saw the DVD cover art for Tooth Fairy 2. But I can respect Larry for telling the truth. :-)

Eric P said...

Weird Al a certain taste for sure, but hard to qualify a 30-some year career as novelty. Few, if any, can morph their talents to match the music of the moment like Al, and his "original"/style spoofs have evolved as well, to the point "CNR," in the style of the White Stripes ranks as one of his best songs ever.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, He has fans, no doubt. But in my mind, musical comedy is novelty and isn't something I see as regular music to be listened to over and over. That's what I mean by novelty. He's like Ray Stephens or several others whose stuff I enjoy when I first hear it and I might share it with others, but I don't listen to it repeatedly like I do with other bands.

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