"Weird Al" Yankovic launched his career with send-ups of Michael Jackson hits in the 1980's, but his latest release from isn't another parody. He joins Soundcheck from the studios of NPR West to talk about his latest work, a children's book, My New Teacher And Me, which is a sequel of sorts to his first book, When I Grow Up.
Plus, we ask Yankovic about his "Madonna Moment":
"Weird Al" Yankovic on what inspired him to write My New Teacher And Me:
I probably drew a little from personal experiences. I did have a couple of teachers earlier in my life where we didn't get quite get along. I had an eighth grade electric shop teacher who was a bit harsh. Billy, the character in my book, is the kid I wish I could have been. He speaks up for himself. He finds his voice. I was a bit more intimidated at that age.
On imagination and creativity:
That's the nature and the essence of being a kid really. This book is sort of a cautionary tale of having that creativity beaten out of you. There are people in your life that will maybe tell you to "grow up" and they might stifle some of that childlike wonder.
On how he got the idea to parody Madonna's "Like A Virgin":
Madonna was actually the person who suggested that I do the parody "Like a Surgeon." She was apparently talking to a friend of hers as they were walking through New York City one day, and she just happened to wonder aloud, "I wonder when Weird Al's gonna do a parody of "Like A Virgin" called "Like A Surgeon." It got back to me, and I thought -- not a bad idea, thanks Madonna, think I will!