It has been a big year for Weird Al Yankovic. The world's foremost parody musician, Weird Al's most recent album, Mandatory Fun, rose to the top of the charts, and he released a series of music videos featuring celebrities and hilarity and good times. Now, Shout! Factory has re-released The Compleat Ai on DVD, giving fans a chance to check out some old fashioned Weird Al comedy.
This is very much old school, and very much just for the big time Yankovic fans. This faux biography came out in 1985, which was still quite early in his career. This is, after all, years before UHF even. It's been almost 30 years since this came out. A litany of fans were not even alive for The Compleat Al. He also was not, perhaps, quite as big of a star, although "Eat It" had come out so he had some popularity. This is only mentioned to let it be known that one should not expect the greatest of production value.
If nothing else, The Compleat Al features several music videos woven into the story, as well as some clips from some old Al TV shows on MTV. This stuff is solid, of course, and serve as a nice reminder that Yankovic does not just make funny music. He also makes funny videos and things of that ilk. He's just generally a funny guy. Alas, he does not get as much of a chance to use that in the rest of the story.
The film mixes actual facts from Al's life with made up silliness. When things are acted out, it gets kind of awkward. The timing is odd, the acting is not necessarily great, although you can't really blame Al's actual parents for not being good actors, and the humor is middling at best. There are a few good moments, and a funny running bit where every woman photographed with Weird Al is covering their face in shame. There is also an interminable scene where Al visits "Michael Jackson."
The Weird Al videos can be found on YouTube. Some of the old Al TV stuff is probably there too. However, if you consider yourself a Weird Al fan, this is worth picking up. It's a solid blast from the past, worth owning on merit, as well as a cultural curio from a bygone era.