Weird Al Switches to the Dark Side

As part of Cartoon Network’s efforts to reinvent themselves as a cheap knockoff of The Disney Channel, they’ve hired “Weird Al” Yankovic to direct a live-action feature film. According to Weird Al, “Cartoon Network had requested that I develop a show with a much younger protagonist — the actual star of the movie will most likely be teenage.”

(Thanks, David Blumenstein)


  • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

    If Al gets to make a movie, I don’t care if it’s the National Socialist Party producing it. Woo-hoo!

  • Mike!

    Weird Al, nooooo! And after his great string of animated music videos too. …well, hopefully whatever he’s doing will be funny and original, unlike the other live action shows on the Network formerly known as Cartoon.

  • Fanboy

    As lame as CN is; Weird Al IS pretty awesome.

  • squirrel

    This show could go either way. Weird Al’s old show is only legendary because he keeps making songs, and his fans still play the theme from his CDs. But just the fact that CN is planning this will immediately detract viewers. And here I thought they learned their lesson.

  • http://www.degrandland.com David DeGrand

    I agree with Fanboy, even Weird Al at his worst is better than most of the current CN programming.

  • Dylan King

    I agree with Fanboy as well. Although I absolutely hate that horrid CNReal, Weird Al is amazing. It did say in his blog that they wanted him to provide content, which could also mean some cartoons in the mix. I’d love to see him write for Flapjack or Adventure Time. Just think of the possibilities…

    Let’s just hope this goes over well…

  • http://www.hunteachother.com Max W.

    If it’s anything like UHF, I can’t wait to see it…

  • Deaniac

    You failed to acknowlege the fact that in the same quote, Weird Al also said he was also asked to provide ANIMATION for the network.

    Oh wait, I forgot, there isn’t supposed to be any positivity or animation news on Cartoon Brew. My bad.

  • amid

    Deaniac: You misread his comment. He was never asked to provide animation; he says he discussed producing a variety of ideas with CN because “they were open to anything.” However, the only project they approved was this live-action feature. It’s unfortunate that Weird Al, who used to be animation-friendly, would contribute to the decline of cartoons over there.

  • Dock Miles

    Well, I guess us outsiders who always found him obvious and mechanical — about as funny as a pay toilet in a polio ward — should be gloating or something. What, you just noticed this guy was a whatever-goes Ho?

  • http://highlyrecommended.blogspot.com Satorical

    Weird Al could eat a live puppy on pay-per-view and I’d still love him. However, it would be nice if someone could get a line open to him and let him know that live action on CN is an overall bad trend.

  • it’s pat

    I think UHF was his best work and don’t care for his music so I like this :)

  • http://www.thehungryreader.com Krepta

    What part of the word ‘feature film’ is everyone missing? This isn’t going to be running ON the Cartoon Network, it’s going to be a MOVIE. MOOO-VIIIIE. As in ON THE BIG SCREEN. This is not taking airtime away from cartoons on Cartoon Network.

  • eggplant

    His blog doesn’t say that only this one live-action project has been approved. It says “The first thing I’m on track to do for them is, in fact, a live-action feature film.” Who knows what’s to follow?

    Al seems fairly animation-friendly to me. Look at his recent videos. How many were animated? How many small studios/animators did he help out by working with them? Optimism for his show is all I can muster, no matter the medium (it’s freakin Yankovic), even if it means making a non-cartoon deal with the our precious CN.

  • Deaniac

    Again, Weird Al said “…the good folks at Cartoon Network decided that they liked me and wanted me to provide some content for them – series, features, animation, live-action… they were open to anything.” He even mentioned the LA film is the FIRST thing he is doing, which implies he will make more content in the future, or in this case, the said content above. (Hopefully animation.)

    Furthermore, despite the fact that it’s recieving good reception at the network, Weird Al said the script hasn’t even been greenlighted yet, which means there’s a slim chance the film may not see the light of day.

    We can only hope.

  • Curt Vile

    You guys are grumps! This sounds awesome! If it was a Disney Channel knock off, it’d be someone far duller, younger, blander and blonder. Or sassy and psychic.

  • http://weirdurl.com Zekey

    at least weird al is kind of like a living cartoon himself.
    still though, i thought cartoon network gave up on the live action idea.
    ah well.

  • http://smomotion.com :: smo ::

    i don’t blame weird al for getting a job. i still like him.

    just like i don’t blame conan o brien for what nbc screwed up.

    cartoon network is no longer cartoon network. someone else should take the reins and make a real cartoon network again.

  • Jessie

    Oh for goodness sakes! Cartoon Network has .. what … 5 or 6 new animated shows in production? And you people STILL think they’re declining animation? We have Genndy’s new show, Gen. Rex, Firebreather, ADVENTURE TIME, and The Regular Show (plus one other I can’t remember from NY ..).

    And CNS still has Flapjack and Chowder (canceled, sadly, but still) – what can Disney say? Or even – when will Nickelodeon stop simply taking Dreamworks movies into shows?

    Stop picking on Cartoon Network – no one here mentioned the Looney Tunes marathon they had recently! Sure – no one likes the CNReal crap, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the good stuff they have!

  • Deaniac

    Kudos to Jessie for summing up the situation very well.

  • Krayon

    Gawd!!!! Cartoon Network still haven’t learned that they need to cancel this after more than 6 months of bad ratings, they still trying to ride with this? Even though Weird Al is great and all, it still in all not going to help them. What Cartoon Network need to stop showing real people and reruns and make/get some new shows is not that hard.

  • Dumbledorito

    Look, there’s a big difference between chiding CN for having live-action shows and sounding like a bitter old man on his porch waving a broken bottle at kids who get too close to his lawn. As a kid, I groused about football or politics interrupting my Saturday Morning shows, but I didn’t bring it up in a grumpy way every time I saw a stadium.

    And really, isn’t that where our love of cartoons most likely came from, Saturday mornings? How many of those shows were craptacular festivals of repeat animation that we still loved anyway? How many of them had live action elements or were completely live action (i.e. “Hero High,” “Jason of Star Command,” anything by Sid & Marty Krofft)?

    Cartoons are expensive and a big gamble for networks. And just because something is animated doesn’t make it good (see Hanna-Barbera’s endless “Flintsones” and “Scooby-Doo” spin-offs, the questionable revival of “Ren & Stimpy” on SpikeTV, Bakshi’s “Cool World,” etc.). And to target Weird Al as some kind of traitor to animation is a lot like a guy dressed as a Stormtrooper looking across the comicon at a guy in a Starfleet uniform and declaring, “look at how that guy is ruining sci-fi movies for everyone.”

  • Andy

    I love Weird Al and I am happy to hear about this. Go Cartoon Network!

  • Mike Johnson

    As a major Weird Al admirer, this is good news to me. As much as his work is loved by a lot of people, I still think his talent as an artist is severely underrated, and to see another live-action film from him, even if Bar-toon Nitwork is behind it, has me chomping at the bit. UHF was a pitch-perfect comic parody, and if anyone can deliver the goods here, it’s Weird Al!

  • http://www.ghiblicon.blogspot.com daniel thomas macinnes

    Yeehh!! UHF! UHF! UHF!

    I really don’t care if Cartoon Brew is financing a new Weird Al movie. We’re getting a new Werid Al movie, and that’s all that counts. I’m not sure what he could do without copying UHF, which was really just a movie version of his albums. I hope he’s still got the zany touch.

    He also needs Michael Richards again. I hope the stink from his notorious meltdown has worn off. We need Stanley Spudowski back.

  • Ethan

    I have the feeling you won’t be happy as long as there exists something other than animation.

    We must cleanse the world of this live action filth!
    They destroy our art form by not doing animation!

    Does that make any sense?

  • pheslaki

    Cartoon Network is a business, and it is going to follow whatevot some kind of museumer trend sells. Remember when MTV used to play music videos? Besides, from what I’ve seen their own shows are doing more to “contribute to the decline of cartoons” than anything else.

  • Gary Flinn

    I wonder if Dr. Demento will make a cameo appearance.

  • http://partyformyenemies.blogspot.com skid

    YAY!

  • http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/mjf7583 Michael F.

    Weird Al is one of the few comedy musicians out there who hasn’t devolved into the geekdom/nerd genre these days. Maybe Lemon Demon will make some songs for the film?

  • Isaac

    I’m with Jessie, and Weird Al.

  • http://checkeredgeekcartoons.blogspot.com Zach Cole

    I just now read about this on Rotten Tomatoes, and thought, “I bet Cartoon Brew wrote about this.”

    Weird Al WAS doing animated music videos with Bill Plympton and John K. What happened?!

  • http://kirbydream.com/ Leirin

    So Weird Al is non-Cartoon Newtork’s saving grace these days?

  • Raven M.

    I just wanna see another Weird Al movie. And hell, if people like his ideas enough at the network, and Weird Al likes cartoons, who’s to say he can’t affect the trends better from inside?

  • NoTimeForThat

    *sigh*

    Sadly, if I thought that anyone out there would have cared about the way CN is going down the toilet, it would have been Weird Al.

    I guess he doesn’t. He’s contributing to it. Wouldn’t any other network take his idea? Either way, i’ve lost some respect for him. A good deal of it, in fact.

  • Sylvain

    *takes a deep breath* I respectfully disagree with your position. That constant opposing of live action and animation as a “with us or against us” concept. I would say that the “dark side”, to use your words, is the excess of fanaticism.

  • http://www.cartoonreviewsite.com Garrett

    So, Weird Al’s first scheduled project for CN is live action, and he’s suddenly a traitor?

    The man has been extremely friendly to animation, and when you get right down to it, even his live action work has the sensibilities of animation in mind. As Dumbledorito put it, the Saturday morning cartoon block always had room for some live action shows and/or parts of shows, and it’s likely that what Weird Al is up to represents this a lot more than any of the other live action shows to air recently on Cartoon Network with the possible exception of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

    And, come to think of it, didn’t the Banana Splits air on Cartoon Network in its earliest days? The show certainly airs on Boomerang from time to time without complaint.

  • Chris A.

    Forget this whole live action vs. animation debate, I just hope the weird al movie is better than dude what would happen, destroy build destroy, and all the other CN real crap. And maybe he will help out animation a bit. I haven’t seen much of weird al, but I’ve heard he’s good. However, ANOTHER movie starring a teenager? Hopefully there won’t be any big high school scenes.