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"Weird Al used music videos brilliantly. His parodies of both Michael Jackson and Madonna were even more memorable than the original videos themselves."
--Peter Fornatale,
Who Can It Be Now

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Entry for March 12, 2007

Since the Rock Hall induction ceremony is going on right now as this blog entry is being posted, consider this as counterprogramming.

Last week, to promote the current Australian/New Zealand leg of the Straight Outta Lynwood Tour, Al appeared on the Aussie game show Spicks and Specks, and we were lucky enough to have two field operatives representing the campaign at the taping. One of the volunteers, Narelle, recapped the experience for us afterward. Since this was the first stop on this year's petition tour, we asked her if we could include her Al adventure on the blog.

Keep in mind this recap was written right after the taping. The show would air on Australia's ABC a few days later, so please don't be confused and think that the future-tense references to the show means that it still has yet to air.

Spicks and Specks is a low budget show on our government broadcaster. It has a very good following as it is made well and very funny. The format of the show is two teams "compete" (in very loose terms) for points answering slightly twisted music trivia in three rounds. In one round you need to sing the melody of a well known song, but the lyrics instead come from a lawnmower manual or biology textbook, and then your team needs to guess what you are singing (like Al wasn't a shoe-in for that one). In other shows they would have a person riding a bicycle to "power up" a turntable playing a series of records--problem is that the team would be trying to guess the song, but the person is pedaling too fast or slow, etc. There might be a Pictionary-type round. Round three is always a "first in with the buzzer" Q&A. It's not really about the points, more so the mayhem and trivia that pop up as the guests loosen up.

The show with Al was hilarious, but I don't know how they will edit it as the other team's guest was a punk reggae woman from The Slits, and she was a VERY off the wall character and basically didn't get the show or understand when to shut up. So there will be a lot of editing. Hopefully she didn't mess up too many of the good moments. There were a lot of retakes and go-agains, jokes about running out of tape, "oh look it's Friday," but still she didn't get it.

Al was very professional and knew how to work the camera, lots of goofy or amazed looks at the other one's antics, well thought out comments and answers. The host did very good research and as a fan made good, factual, favourable comments on Al's career; showed three video grabs, "Fat," "Like a Surgeon," "Smells Like Nirvana"; followed a bit later with a "White & Nerdy" grab and a picture of Al at about twelve with accordion; and finished the show playing Bob in its entirety (introduced as a video).

The taping went over one-and-a-half hours (the studio was amazed--one of the longest). It will be edited down to--wait for it--27 minutes.

Emily, her friend, my husband, and I sat front row directly in front of Al. In the pre-show chat we were noticed by the host (a big Al fan and very funny comedian), who asked us about the clipboards. So we briefly explained the petition, and Al elaborated, and the host leapt off the stage advising everyone to sign up like he was about to. He then thought out loud that Al should sign it and handed it over, so he did. After the show people approached us!!!! We circulated it and got about a hundred signatures. We later got to meet Al, get some autographs, hugs, and photos. He wished us luck with the petition but hoped we wouldn't be too disappointed if it didn't come off.

We sincerely thank Narelle for sharing her experience with us, and we hope volunteers at every stop on our quickly growing petition tour will want to share their thoughts after their respective shows.

And how funny is it that Al explained the campaign to the host? How awkward of a position that must have been for him. We thank Al so much for being a good sport about this crazy, nutty, chewy campaign of ours, and we hope that this will result in something good for him. But still, who would have ever thought that Al himself would be our best pitchman in this year's campaign??

If you're in Australia, it's not too late to volunteer to bring the petition to any of the remaining shows there this month. And remember, U.S. dates are rapidly being announced left and right, so volunteer today!

Oh, yeah, and congrats to tonight's inductees.

2007-03-13 01:16:10 GMT
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