“Weird Al” Yankovic and Kurt Cobain had an odd relationship. Apparently Cobain didn’t realize how famous he had become until he was parodied by Yankovic. Yankovic, meanwhile, had new life breathed into his stalled career thanks to his “Smells Like Teen Spirit” parody, “Smells Like Nirvana.” Here’s Al and his band talking about that song 20 years after the fact. Via Spin:
“I was such a fan of the band,” says parody kingpin “Weird Al” Yankovic about Nirvana. “I heard Nevermind and I thought, Oh this is really great. I wish it were popular enough for me to do a parody…but that’s never going to happen!”
For years, the food-obsessed zeitgeist surgeon and former college-radio DJ had been attracted to alternative music — see his note-perfect swagger-jacks of Devo, Talking Heads, and B-52’s from the ‘80s for proof. But after the three unlaundered, longhaired, unapologetically sloppy, Seattle-borne feedback enthusiasts started chewing up MTV‘s airspace, it was the first time alternative culture had come to him. “It’s hard to articulate for me exactly what I loved about Nirvana,” he says. “It was the energy, the attitude. I liked the sound of real instruments. I like guitars. I like people screaming.
It turns out they managed to convince the original “Teen Spirit” director to direct Yankovic video as well, which explains why it’s so perfect.