The Los Angeles Times has an article about Weird Al Yankovic — which reminds me: did I ever tell you guys my Weird Al story?
This happened several years ago. Mrs. P. and I were at a They Might Be Giants concert at the House of Blues, and at one point she said to me that she thought the guy standing next to us was Weird Al.
“I don’t know,” I said. “He’s not wearing glasses, for one thing. And where’s the mustache?”
“I don’t think he wears them any more,” Mrs. P. said. “But I heard the guy next to him talking to him. I think it’s him. For one thing, he told the guy he was.”
“Hmm,” I said. “The hair looks similar. But I’m suspicious.”
To understand what follows, you have to understand that I kind of have a deadpan sense of humor. What you also have to understand is that some people have told me that the more accurate term to describe my sense of humor is not “deadpan” but rather “not funny.”
They’re wrong, of course. Those people just don’t get it. There’s a reason I love “Curb Your Enthusiasm” so much — namely, because when I watch Larry David going around offending everyone in sight while amusing himself, I recognize a kindred spirit. But when people watch his show, they’re expecting comedy, so that makes it funny. Maybe if I had a guy walking behind me doing rim shots every time I made a deadpan joke, people would find my humor funnier.
Anyway. I said to Mrs. P.: “I’m going to ask him.”
So when Weird Al was done talking to the other guy, the following conversation ensued:
ME: So my wife tells me you claim to be Weird Al.
WEIRD AL: I don’t “claim to be.” I am Weird Al.
ME: Well, I’m not sure I believe you.
WEIRD AL: [Not smiling] Well, I am.
ME: You’re going to have to convince me. How about you sing a couple bars of “Eat It”?
WEIRD AL: [Not smiling] No.
Eventually we overcame that awkward moment, I believe after my wife explained that I didn’t mean to be rude, I just have an offbeat sense of humor and Al should ignore me the way other people do. We discussed a Saturday morning show he had going on, our mutual appreciation of They Might Be Giants, and exchanged other pleasantries.
Still, I learned a valuable lesson: sometimes people who are famous for supposedly having a sense of humor are actually quite humorless when you meet them in person.