Look By Look: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic vs. Lady Gaga In ‘Perform This Way’

Eons ago, when I was a zygote writing for newspapers (they are these things made out of trees that we used for communication…you can still see them in museums), I thought about refining my “craft.” Back then, I imagined uncovering political scandals or exposing cutting-edge art, not sitting down to do a fashion assessment of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s videos. But you know, the work we do here is just as groundbreaking, because not only has Al gone after THE BIGGEST POP STAR IN THE WORLD in one of his parodies, but he is, in many ways, commenting on modern society as a whole. In makeup. With a body double. But still, his message…it speaks.

“I bet you’ve never seen a skirt steak worn this way…”
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Once upon a time Al went after Nirvana with “Smells Like Nirvana.” Nirvana diehards flipped; this is art, not laughing material. But if Weird Al can’t take the wind out yo’ sails, who can? After a slightly controversial (Gaga apparently wouldn’t let Al parody her, turns out she is fine with it) and hyped exchange, Al has come out with his Lady Gaga parody. And while we don’t expect the goofy dude with our dad’s sense of humor to get the intricacies of Alexander McQueen Armadillo Shoes, he adeptly takes on Gaga’s most talked-about outfits (using moves from her “Born This Way” video on the deft body of a double) and then throws in a couple crazy ideas for Mother Monster to maybe use later on. So did he do Gaga justice?

The hatching.
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Weird Al starts his song by saying, “My mama told me, when I was hatched…,” alluding to Gaga’s giant Hussein Chalayan-created Grammy egg. Hers was conceptual. His is pink. We kind of like his better.

“Save your allowance, buy a bubble dress…”
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The battle of the bubbles. In fact, the bubble dress may have been one of the first instances of the collective world at large thinking Gaga was a bit of a style deviant, so kudos to Al for figuring that out. We love both versions—though, it would be funnier if it was actually Al in the bubbles, not a hot body double.

“I’m sure my critics will say it is a grotesque display. Well, they can bite me baby, I perform this way.”
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Weird Al just looks…weird, in his heavy female makeup, but his contorted face reminds us that he is a comedian. This raises a crucial question: Where does one go to obtain a floppy white neck-wrapping nun hat/cape, anyway?

“I’ll wrap my small intestines ’round my neck and set fire to myself on stage.”
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While Lady Gaga has never *literally* worn her insides outside (though the bone protrusions just “grew” she says), we see the connection that Al is making. Here is a pop star literally willing to kill herself, splaying her insides open and then lighting herself on fire in order to be beloved. He is commenting on the self-destructive nature of pop music and the industry as a cannibalistic machine. Oooorrr, he just likes being gross with fake intestines.

Weird Al is right: Gagaloo is a performer. So, are any of his crazy Gaga-esque ideas worth stealing for her next look?

Covered with bees.
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Live, moving parts might be missing. We love Al “covered with bees,” which would still stick to Gaga’s form-fitting modus operandi but add an allure of danger and possible allergic reaction.

The Evil Gaga Queen.
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Gaga isn’t afraid to recontextualize icons, so she might opt to try her hand at some fictional glamour stalwarts, as well. We dig the severe evil queen thing, and we all could recognize the Disney reference. It’d also give Gaga a chance to do something fun with her eyebrows. And nothing is better than eyebrow fun.