Hello, and welcome back to the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog! If you’re enjoying this project, feel free to share it with your friends, your enemies, or even people you don’t feel strongly about. Suggestions for particular topics, or for the website as a whole, are always welcome, too.
Today’s entry is an exciting one for me. I’ve been a fan of parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic’s music for a long time, and I can still distinctly remember the first time I heard “The Saga Begins”–his parody of Don McLean’s “American Pie”—which recaps the story of The Phantom Menace. Although I don’t listen to his music as much as I once did, I still occasionally break out the old albums for a nostalgia trip.
But this is also an exciting post for me because Yankovic is one of the supposed “Church of Christ celebrities” I frequently heard about growing up. (I even mentioned this on the About page for the blog.) Yankovic is notoriously loath to discuss his private life, however, and finding information to fact-check this claim was more difficult than it was for the previous two blog entries. Even his official biography–a fascinating read–was no help on this matter. (1) So, what did the other sources reveal?
(“‘Weird Al’ Yankovic performing live in concert during his 2010 Tour.” by Kristine Slipson is licensed under CC BY SA-3.0)
As mentioned above, Yankovic is a fairly private individual, but his website does give us some clues regarding his faith. For instance, one fan inquired back in 1995, “What religion are you? Would you call yourself a Christian?” Yankovic replied simply, “Yes.” (2)
Nearly a decade later, another person asked Yankovic to “identify for us the people on the cover of Poodle Hat” (that’s one of his albums, for the uninitiated among you). In the laundry list of names that follows, Yankovic includes “my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my electrician, a couple from my church, the owner of my favorite ice cream shop, my aunt’s boyfriend…” (3)
The real clincher, however, comes courtesy of some social media sleuthing. There is a 2016 post on the Facebook page for the Hollywood Church of Christ which reads in part, “HCC is going on a field trip to see our brother Al at the Hollywood Bowl!” (4) Although this post might seem entirely unremarkable on first glance, the language of “brother” and “sister” carries great weight within Churches of Christ, and it implies that the person being referred to as such is, indeed, a member.
So while there may not be as much documentation this time around as in weeks past, once again, our subject is CONFIRMED. Stay tuned as we spin the wheel (that’s a hint right there, folks) again in two weeks’ time here on the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog!
(1) Nathan Rabin and Al Yankovic, Weird Al: The Book (New York: Abrams Image, 2012)
(2) “Ask Al,” “Weird Al” Yankovic, July 1995, accessed August 18, 2017, http://weirdal.com/archives/miscellaneous/ask-al/.
(3) “Ask Al,” “Weird Al” Yankovic, July 5, 2003, accessed August 18, 2017, http://weirdal.com/archives/miscellaneous/ask-al/. The italics are mine for emphasis.
(4) “Hollywood Church of Christ,” Facebook, June 3, 2016, accessed August 18, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/Hollywood-Church-of-Christ-426033210815746/. You’ll have to scroll down to find the post in question.