Today In...

August 3
the following Al and Al-related events occurred.....

1881: American business legend William George Fargo dies in Buffalo after suffering from an incurable disease for the last year. William teamed up with fellow entrepreneur Henry Wells in 1841 to start a series of business endeavors. Although most associate the duo with the Wells Fargo Company, which handled everything from banks to stagecoaches, an earlier project was their 1850 founding of none other than American Express. Originally launched to offer express mail services and then money orders and Travelers Cheques, in 1958 the company would officially introduce its eponymous credit card to consumers. Al and his wife would unsuccessfully attempt to use one such card to pay for their fast food meal in the hilarious R. Kelly parody "Trapped In The Drive-Thru."

1909: Piercefield, New York-area inventor and forestry company owner Abbot Augustus Low receives a patent for a new kind of "waste paper receptacle," one that would also destroy the paper in order to make it easier to dispose of later on. Abbot's invention was still quite rough around the edges and would never be manufactured, but it would nevertheless serve as the forerunner to the modern-day paper-shredder. At a June 2010 concert in Toledo, Ohio Al would use such a shredder to humorous effect while shooting the "Weird Al SHREDS!!!" YouTube video, in which he literally shreds pages of his tour rider to the wild applause of the audience. Later, in the Miley Cyrus parody "Party In The CIA," Al would happily count among his federal duties "shredding the files like yeah."

1950: Sometime-successful, sometime-mediocre director John Landis, one of Al's guests when he hosted VH1's The List, is born in Chicago. John would be brought in to discuss the "Greatest Movie Soundtrack" of all time. John was no stranger to theatrical musicals, since he had directed the uberclassic The Blues Brothers. Not only would Steve compare the infamous Weird Al/Missing Persons concert to a scene from John's film on Behind the Music, but Al would also allude to the flick (or rather, the record-breaking scene in which dozens of cop cars crash into each other) in the commentary on the UHF DVD. Furthermore, John's landmark video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" would be parodied at the end of Al's video for "Eat It," and another Jacko video that John directed, "Black Or White," would be mocked and "Chipmunked" during 1992's Al-TV and AlMusic specials.

1963: Metallica frontman James Hetfield is born in Downey, California, in most likely the same hospital Al was born in four years earlier. In addition to the group's hit "Enter Sandman" being included in the 1992 medley "Polka Your Eyes Out," Al would be able to get Wayne Newton(!) to admit that James's group was his favorite while backstage at the Billboard Music Awards in 1996.

1963: Not exactly Al-related, but it would be a crime to not mention that Allan Sherman's "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)" is released today!!! It would hit #2 on the Billboard singles chart later in the month.

1963: The up-and-coming Beatles play the last show of their two-year courtship with the Cavern Club in Liverpool after nearly three hundred performances there. Meanwhile in the United States, the Fab Four hit the Billboard "Pop Singles" chart for the first time with "From Me To You" entering at #125. The boys would go on to international stardom, so of course their songs would be parodied by Al over the years (such as with "Pac-Man" and "Gee I'm A Nerd").

1971: Speaking of which, former Beatle Paul McCartney makes it official that he has formed a new band called Wings. One of the group's biggest hits, "Live And Let Die," would inspire the concert-only Al classic "Chicken Pot Pie," which sadly would go unreleased because of Paul's strong vegetarian beliefs.

1984: The spooky Stephen King movie Children of the Corn opens in Sweden. Centered around the story of a cult of small-town kids who murder all the nearby adults in order to satisfy a vague evil cornfield god, the movie would be featured in the "1984" episode of VH1's mini-series I Love the '80s 3D in October 2005. Al tried to help recap the plot by explaining, "It's not as funny as it sounds."

1985: The single "Shout" by Tears for Fears tops Billboard's "Hot 100" for its first of three weeks. The song would also top the "Hot Dance Music/Club Play" and "Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales" charts and hit #6 on the "Mainstream Rock Tracks" chart and #56 on the "Hot R&B;/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks" chart. Over a year later, the song would be heard during Al's 1986 medley "Polka Party!"

1992 - Concert Date: While the band is on The Deep End Tour, they stop in Oakbrook, Illinois and play at the Drury Lane Theater.

1993: The debut album by laid-back country rocker Sheryl Crow, Tuesday Night Music Club, is released. The album would do very well in Billboard, hitting #2 on the "Heatseekers" chart and #3 on the "Billboard 200," helped in large part by the catchy single "All I Wanna Do." The song itself would top both the "Adult Contemporary" and "Top 40 Mainstream" charts, hit #2 on the "Hot 100," #4 on the "Modern Rock Tracks" and "Top 40 Adult Recurrents" charts, #31 on the "Rhythmic Top 40," #32 on the "Adult Top 40," and #35 on the "Mainstream Rock Tracks" chart. Almost three years later, Sheryl's hit would be added to Al's Bad Hair Day medley "The Alternative Polka."

1995: The third Bat-movie Batman Forever opens in Germany. It is this inferior sequel that features the song "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2, which Al would parody later that year as "Cavity Search."

1996 - Concert Date: Still on The Bad Hair Tour, Al and the Bad Hair Band arrive in Kearney, Nebraska and perform at the Buffalo County Fair.

1999 - Concert Date: Still Touring With Scissors, the band stops by Westbury, New York to ironically play at Westbury Music Fair.

2000 - Concert Date: And the 2000 leg of Touring With Scissors continues, with a show at the Nampa Civic Centre in (gasp!) Nampa, Idaho.

2001: "Excuse me while I whip this out!" Mel Brooks's comedy masterpiece Blazing Saddles is rereleased in Greece, twenty-seven years after its original premiere. Al would seemingly allude to the classic spoof toward the end of the February 2008 Rifftrax MP3 for Jurassic Park, specifically when the Tyrannosaurus Rex saves our heroes by attacking one of the two advancing Velociraptors. As the other goes after the T-Rex in retaliation, Al comments as the Raptor, "You bit Ronnie, you beast! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!", emulating one of the effeminate dancers during the "French Mistake" closing number.

2001: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning...again!" Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam-themed "special edition" Apocalypse Now Redux has its American premieres in New York and Los Angeles. Early in the Rifftrax for Jurassic Park, Al and Mike Nelson would have a little back and forth during a scene in which wormy lawyer Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) arrives at the Mano de Dios amber mine, with Mike commenting that it resembled a budget version of Apocalypse's mission to kill Colonel Kurtz. Al would respond, "Terminate with extreme thriftiness," a play on one of this movie's iconic lines.

2002: The single "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne peaks on Billboard's "Hot 100" at #2. Ironically, this would be one of the magazine's only major charts on which the song did not reach the highest spot, as it would top the "Adult Top 40" chart, the "Top 40 Mainstream" chart, the "Top 40 Tracks" chart, and the "Top 40 Adult Recurrents" chart, not to mention hitting #13 on the "Adult Contemporary" chart. On some of the smaller charts the single would reach #20 on the "Latin Tropical/Salsa Airplay" chart (the hell??), #21 on the "Canadian Singles Chart," #28 on the "Latin Pop Airplay" chart (ooo-kay), and #30 on the "Rhythmic Top 40" chart. Not even a year later, Al would take the hit and match it with three different themes to create "A Complicated Song."

2003 - Concert Date: Still in the Midwest, The Poodle Hat Tour makes a stop in Wichita for a show at the Cotillion Ballroom.

2004: Join us...again! The creepy, funny modern-day horror classic Evil Dead II is finally released in Hungary direct to DVD...over seventeen years after it originally premiered. The video montages that open Al's concerts have always been a little freaky, but Al would added an extra dose of freakiness to the montage used for The Poodle Hat Tour by including a brief close-up from this film of a screaming, blood-soaked Ash (Bruce Campbell). A clip from another memorable scene, depicting a hysterically laughing mounted deer head, would later be seen during the opening montage on the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour.

2004 - Concert Date: And still in California, The Poodle Hat Tour takes Al and those other guys to Santa Rosa to play the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.

2007: Mike Judge's daffy satire Idiocracy, about an extremely dumbed-down future U.S. civilization, opens in Italy. One of the future "popular" television shows featured in the movie is the self-explanatory Ow! My Balls!, clips of which would be seen during the opening montages on the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour and then on the 2010 tour.

2007 - Concert Date: And Al takes the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour to the South for a few days, first to play the newly opened Dick Clark's American Bandstand theme restaurant and theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It marks the first time Al has played one of the entertainment complexes licensed from and named after his former Weird Al Show co-producer.

2008 - Concert Date: While on the 2008 leg of the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour, Al and the band wrap up their current journey through Canada by playing a free-with-gate-admission show at the Molson Canadian Rocks Grandstand as a part of the Buffalo Days festival at IPSCO Place's Credit Union Eventplex in Regina, Saskatchewan. They would have one final trek through the Great White North later in the month.

2010 - Concert Date: And it's back to Oregon as the 2010 tour continues, with the guys playing the Roseland Theater in Portland.

2012 - Concert Date: And The Alpocalypse Tour is back on for a month in the western half of the country, starting with two nights in Nevada, the guys' first appearance in the state since the start of the 2012 leg of the tour back in April. First up is a stop in Laughlin at the Edgewater Casino Resort's E Center.

2013 - Concert Date: It's the penultimate show of the summer 2013 leg of The Alpocalypse Tour! Still in the Midwest, the boys play the Mystic Lake Amphitheatre in Prior Lake, Minnesota.

Is there an event I forgot? By all means let me know!!!!

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Recording dates and tour dates available at, compiled by Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz. Most release dates, birthdays, and chart positions according to the Internet Movie Database, the Library of Congress, and the All Music Guide.