Courtesy Photo –– Parody songwriter and performer Weird Al Yankovic graduated from Cal Poly in 1980 with a B.S. in architecture.
Grammy Award-winning legend “Weird Al” Yankovic, the biggest selling comedy recording artist of all time, will return to his alma mater, Cal Poly, for his Alpocalypse Tour on Nov. 2 in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center.

Yankovic graduated from Cal Poly in 1980 with a B.S. in architecture, but found that architecture wasn’t in his future once he started working at KCPR, Cal Poly’s on-campus radio station. So, he pursued his other passion—writing parody songs. Today he is known for writing and performing his musical parodies, such as the parody of Michael Jacksons’ “Beat it” re-named “Eat it.”

Alpocalypse is Yankovic’s first full-length studio album in nearly five years. This album includes parodies of today’s biggest pop icons, including Lady Gaga (Perform This Way), Miley Cyrus (Party In The C.I.A.), T.I. (Whatever You Like) and Taylor Swift (TMZ).

“The albums’ title has a unique presence about it because of the saying that the world is coming to an end soon,” Yankovic said. “I wanted to write an album before that day came, and I liked the title and thought it fit in very well with today’s society.”

The album also features an assortment of Yankovic’s originals including, “Craigslist,” “If That Isn’t Love” and “Stop Forwarding That Crap To Me.”

Theatre arts sophomore Jennifer Nelson said she’s very excited to see Yankovic’s unique performance.

“I love when theatre and comedy is combined,” Nelson said. “He is one-of-a-kind. I have been listening to his music for years now, and I feel like I totally understand his personality.”

Yankovic’s career started to expand when he began spreading his personality. While just getting started, Yankovic sent in one of his homemade tapes, which he recorded on a cheap cassette player in his bedroom, to the Dr. Demento Radio Show, a local show out of Los Angeles known for playing comedy and novelty music. Demento played one of Yankovic’s original, “Belvedere Cruising,” giving him his first airplay, while still in high school in 1976. The song was about his family car that he learned how to drive at age 16.

“I originally inherited the name Weird Al from my Sierra Madre Tower Four dorm mates,” Yankovic said. “I took the name on professionally when I became the disk jockey at the on campus radio station because of the weird music I played. I wanted to be the surrogate Dr. Demento for San Luis Obispo, so ‘Weird Al’ seemed appropriate.”

But, Yankovic wasn’t always famous. After graduation, he returned to his parents’ home after not landing a record deal right away, he said. Instead, Yankovic got a day job in the mailroom at Westwood One Radio Networks, the company that distributed the Dr. Demento Show at the time. His time working in the back of the radio station inspired him to write a new original song about working in an office called “Dog Eat Dog,” which he later performed at a large nightclub in Phoenix.

After the performance, Yankovic met Jay Levey, a Los Angeles artists’ manager who told him to put together a band. He followed through, and in 1982, he signed a record deal with Scotti Bros. Records. Throughout his career, Yankovic has won three Grammys (with 12 nominations), and recorded 31 gold and platinum albums.

Self proclaimed super fan Lynn Azevedo said she could not choose a specific moment in Yanovic’s performances that she loves most.

“The best part of his performances is from start to end,” she said. “I have been to more of Al’s concerts than I can count on my fingers and toes because his shows are non-stop entertainment with several costume changes throughout the evening and his energy level is one that can’t be beat.”

In order to stay professional with his career, Yankovic said he prefers to talk to the original artist for each song he is interested in parodying.

“I ask permission from the original artists of the songs that I parody beforehand in order to receive my songwriter credits and also to have a healthy relationship with the artists,” Yankovic said.

Tickets for the all-ages show are on sale now and range from $36 to $56 at the Performing Arts Center Box Office. Get your tickets early because his previous performances have sold out.  Tickets are available online, too. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

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