Mandatory Fun

Stereogum founder Scott Lapatine has noted several times lately that the polka medleys have always been the best part of Weird Al Yankovic’s albums, and he might have a point. Basically, in addition to numerous parodies and originals, Yankovic always stitches together a string of pop hits covered as ebullient traditional polka tunes; Here’s a full list for reference. The medley from Yankovic’s new Mandatory Fun is called “NOW That’s What I Call Polka!” It features pop’s leading genius nerd rampaging through polka versions of the following songs:

Miley Cyrus – “Wrecking Ball”
Foster The People – “Pumped Up Kicks”
One Direction – “The Best Song Ever”
Psy – “Gangnam Style”
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe”
will.i.am – “Scream & Shout” (Feat. Britney Spears)
Gotye – “Somebody That I Used To Know” (Feat. Kimbra)
Pitbull – “Timber” (Feat. Ke$ha)
LMFAO – “Sexy And I Know It”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Thrift Shop” (Feat. Wanz)
Daft Punk – “Get Lucky”

There’s been a lot of fanfare surrounding the release of Mandatory Fun about how the album format prohibits Yankovic from releasing his parodies in a timely fashion by modern standards, the implication being that he should (and will) switch to independently distributing singles in order to strike while the irony is hot. That concept seems especially true in the case of this medley; some of the songs date back all the way to 2011, and they feel ancient here. Still, the lack of timeliness doesn’t stop “NOW That’s What I Call Polka!” from being anything but a blast. It’s a great gimmick regardless of when the songs came out, and I laughed out loud at the little twist Yankovic added to “Best Song Ever.” Listen below.

Mandatory Fun is out now on RCA.

Comments (5)
  1. When I was a kid, I heard him do this to “Black Hole Sun” and just lost it. Like, I cried with laughter. It probably wasn’t even THAT funny, but the day my cousin gave me his portable cd player and I popped that polka medley on will forever burn in my memory banks.

    • Wow, now I feel really old. By the time that one came out it was already in the era when I didn’t know most of the songs in the medley. I knew every song in the medleys from the 80s and some of the 90s not much after that. Still all in all, he’s by far the most talented parodist of all time. Amazing for him to span 4 decades and probably make more $ and higher sales these days then back when he first came on the seen. Go Al! I mean stay Al!

  2. Get Lucky could actually sound really great with that horn section!

  3. to be fair, pretty much all his polka medleys feature songs that are a few years old by the time the album drops. i don’t think anything here feels particularly ancient

  4. Post can’t wait until the official video drops? OWWWOOOOOOOO!

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