Monday, December 11, 2006

The Amazing Prescient Powers Of "Weird" Al Yankovic

So, Sylvester Stallone has a new Rocky film coming out.
This past Saturday, I heard an interview with Stallone on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, and Sly let slip that as Rocky Balboa opens, the former champ is now running an Italian restaurant. As I heard that, it struck me that the idea of a retired Rocky as restaurateur is not a new or original one. The concept was, in fact, first posited by none other than "Weird" Al Yankovic in the song "Theme From Rocky XIII (The Rye or The Kaiser)," a parody of Survivor's "The Eye of The Tiger," the theme from whichever Rocky movie was the most recent at the time Yankovic released his second album "Weird" Al Yankovic in 3-D (1984).
In that song, Al tells the tale of a champ grown "fat and weak," who has "...Sold his gloves, threw his eggs down the drain." Yet, Yankovic goes on to assure the listener that:
"...he's no bum, he works down the street
He bought the neighborhood deli
Back on his feet, now he's choppin' up meat
Come inside, maybe you'll hear him say
Try the rye or the kaiser
They're on special tonight
If you want, you can have an appetizer
You might like our salami and the liver's all right
And they'd really go well with the rye
Or the kaiser"
(By the way, as further proof, if any were needed, that you can find just about anything, no matter how stupid, on the wacked out, wild and wooly World Wide Web, the lyrics to "Theme From Rocky XIII (The Rye or The Kaiser)," as well those to what looks like every song that "Weird" Al Yankovic has ever written, can be found here. Just for fun, if such things are your idea of fun, compare and contrast Yankovic's parody to the lyrics of Survivor's original.)
Anyway, I'm wondering: since Stallone is sort of using Yankovic's idea, doesn't he owe the Weird One some sort of royalty, or at least a credit line in the new flick?

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