‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Fans Invade Orange County August 1
COSTA MESA, Calif., May 11 /PRNewswire/ — AL FEST, a “Weird Al” Yankovic fan convention and celebration of comedy music, will be held 10 am to 10 pm Saturday, August 1, 2009 at the Holiday Inn in Costa Mesa, Calif. Admission is $47 per person age 11 and up, $27 for children 5 to 10. Tickets are available on the event website at http://www.alfest2009.com.
Convention highlights include a presentation by Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, Yankovic’s drummer since 1981; a slack key guitar performance by Jim “Kimo” West, Yankovic’s guitar player since 1982; and a “UHF” 20th anniversary celebrity panel featuring Victoria Jackson, Gedde Watanabe and the film’s director/co-writer Jay Levey.
The convention concludes with a screening of Yankovic’s 1989 debut feature film and cult classic, “UHF,” complete with costumed participants acting out the action on screen in the style of the midnight shadow casting made popular by the fans of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” In 2002 “UHF” (which Yankovic co-wrote and starred in) became an instant top ten bestseller upon its release on DVD.
Other events at AL FEST include live performances by comedy musicians, an auction of Weird Al memorabilia, photo op and autograph sessions with stars from UHF and some members of Yankovic’s band, and a Weird Al fan variety show. Fans from across the United States, Europe and South America have already bought tickets to attend. To make the event truly global, organizers are offering free tickets to the first fans who register from Africa, Asia and Australia (airfare not included).
Three decades into his celebrated career, Yankovic is still going strong. He is currently creating an Epcot-like attraction called “Al’s Brain: A Journey Through the Human Brain,” which will feature exhibits on the brain and a 3-D movie starring Yankovic. The attraction’s world premiere is July 10, 2009 at the Orange County Super Fair in Costa Mesa and will then travel to fairs and festivals throughout North America. Weird Al fans traveling to Southern California for AL FEST will have the opportunity to receive unlimited fast pass access (no waiting in line) to the “Al’s Brain” attraction for the Friday preceding or the Sunday following the event.
Yankovic (who is not scheduled to attend AL FEST) has reigned for three decades as the most successful musical comedy artist in history, with over 12 million albums sold, three Grammy Awards (nine nominations), 10 MTV/VH1 specials, and CBS television series.
Yankovic is known for parodies of the biggest stars in the musical universe, from Madonna and Michael Jackson to U2 and Mick Jagger — all with full blessings of the artists. He has amassed 38 Gold and Platinum albums and singles.
Born October 23, 1959 in Lynwood, Calif., Yankovic became known in 1979, when as a college disc jockey he recorded “My Bologna,” a spoof of the Knack’s “My Sharona,” in the bathroom of the campus radio station at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His career took off when the song became a sensation on radio’s nationally syndicated “Dr. Demento Show.”
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