Art & Culture

Weird Al on editorial stunt, music industry and tech

Weird Al Yankovic signs copies of Mad Magazine on April 20, 2015, in New York City.
Mark Sagliocco | Getty Images

Grammy winner and comic singer "Weird Al" Yankovic has undertaken an editorial stunt by accepting the position of guest editor for Mad magazine's latest issue.

Weird Al, who is better known for his songs "Amish Paradise," "Eat It" and "Like a Surgeon"—respective parodies of Coolio and L.V's "Gangsta Paradise," Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and Madonna's "Like a Virgin"—was offered the opportunity to venture into writing and editing when editor-in-chief John Ficarra asked him to be the first guest editor of the magazine.

"It took me about a nanosecond to say, 'Yes, of course I'd love to!' " said Yankovic to CNBC's "Squawk Alley."

Read More Sports content key to success: Italy media giant CEO

Writing for the magazine was totally different from what he was accustomed to, but Yankovic said he was helped by friends, including Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon and Seth Green.

"A lot of people consider what I do sort of the audio equivalent of Mad magazine," said Yankovic.

Yankovic's experience at Mad revolved around creativity. He used "things on the magazine that were too horrible to actually record on an album."

"There is an article called 'Pages from Weird Al's Notebook,' which are kind of bad ideas on purpose," Yankovic said. "It's like it's too horrible to record but good enough for Mad magazine."

As Yankovic prepares his musical tour, he answered a few questions on the state of the music industry. The comedian said that music tours were the best source of revenues for artists, given that the record industry isn't what it was 15-20 years ago.

Read More Mayweather-Pacquiao bout faces 21st century issues

"When I first started out, basically you would tour in order to sell records, and now the reverse is true, you sell records so that you can go out on tour," he said.

When asked about his making fun of California's Silicon Valley and technology, Yankovic explained that he enjoyed technology, as well, insisting that he was certainly not a Luddite.

"I poke fun at everything happening and because I spend an unhealthy amount of time online and with technology," said the comedian. "Back in the '80s a lot of my songs were about television and food, and in the last couple decades it's been about Internet culture and new technology."

Related Tags