Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Whatever Happened to Weird Al's Mustache?

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Whatever Happened to Weird Al's Mustache?

Article excerpt

WANT TO GO? Weird Al Yankovic WHEN: 7:30 p.m. today WHERE: Clay Center TICKETS: $48.50 and $58.50 INFO: 304-561-3570 or theclaycenter.org

Pop culture is a tricky business to be in. There's no telling what direction it will go. Over the past 40 years, pop-parody superstar "Weird Al" Yankovic said he's seen it go everywhere and has no idea where it will go next.

Yankovic, who performs tonight at the Clay Center, said, "I'm never surprised by pop culture. It's always ridiculous."

One of the stranger aspects about pop culture is that pop stars are often attached to a specific image. To keep their fans, they sometimes have to maintain a particular style year after year.

A few pop stars buck the rule, but that's a style, too - to be constantly evolving and changing. David Bowie did that. Lady Gaga and Madonna have done that, but not everyone can make it work.

Sometimes, if an artist goes too far astray from what people expect, the fans don't follow.

For almost 20 years, "Weird Al" Yankovic was known for his shaggy, curly hair, a pair of nerdy glasses and a slightly cheesy mustache.

It was a good look for the undisputed king of pop-music parodies. He'd worn it as he spoofed Michael Jackson, Madonna and Nirvana. It's what he looked like when he appeared in the cult-classic comedy "UHF," but then, almost 20 years ago, Weird Al ditched the glasses and shaved off his mustache.

Yankovic said he wasn't trying to go in a new direction. He was just trying to keep from falling down.

Yankovic said, "Lasik surgery had gotten to the point where it didn't seem like it was going to be a great risk."

Being able to get out of bed without stumbling around the house looking for his glasses seemed like a good thing to him.

"I thought it would be nice to not be blind," he said.

Once the glasses were gone, Yankovic wondered if he could do without the mustache, too.

Not having a mustache was practical for skits and music videos.

He said, "If I didn't have a mustache, then my face is a little more adaptable. I don't always have to be a character with a mustache.

So he shaved it off.

Besides, it was about time for the facial hair to go. …

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