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“Weird Al” Yankovic Announces Dates, Venues for Intimate Tour (Exclusive)

“Weird Al” Yankovic has a helpful habit of providing the world with some good news when it sorely needs it. He did that when he took over the internet in the summer of 2014 ahead of his Mandatory Fun release, and now he is providing some much needed levity again with his forthcoming barebones tour, The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour.

After 200 mega-sized shows to support 2014’s number-one selling album Mandatory Fun, the musical comedy legend is going on a 74-date jaunt across the country to perform deep cuts, original material, and rarities that exist beyond the scope of his well-known parodies. Promising to switch up his set-list for each concert, Weird Al will be performing at smaller venues, promising a laid-back environment that is not planned down to the millisecond, like his usual theatrical productions. Opening for Yankovic is his longtime friend and UHF colleague Emo Philips, who will perform about 30 minutes of comedy before Yankovic’s 90-ish minute set.

We caught up with Yankovic and asked him about his upcoming tour and what we can expect from the experience. Check out our full correspondence below and his full tour dates below that. Tickets will go on sale on October 20, and for more info head to Yankovic’s official website.

Nerdist: So you just wrapped your biggest tour ever not that long ago. How do you possibly have this much stamina?

Al Yankovic: I’ve definitely had time to relax, reconnect with my family, even take a shower! But yeah, when I’m on the road, it’s pretty exhausting–I get a real workout every night. This upcoming tour shouldn’t be too taxing though; we’re just going to walk out on stage, sit down on stools, and play a bunch of songs. No running and jumping around, or changing into thirty different costumes. It’ll be a little rougher on my vocal cords, because I won’t have any video breaks during the show. But the whole vibe of this next tour is going to be pretty laid back. It’s the “Let’s Not Work Up Too Much of a Sweat” tour.

N: What do you hope fans will take away from this tour?

AY: Primarily, lots of MERCH. That would be good. Besides that… this tour is geared specifically for the long-time hardcore fans, so I just hope that some of them get their minds blown by hearing some obscure old favorite songs that they never dreamed they’d ever get a chance to hear live. And we’re really pulling out the deep cuts for this show. We’re rehearsing 50 or 60 songs, most of which we’ve either never played live before, or haven’t played in decades. It’s a lot of work. I’d also like to think that, since this show will be comprised almost entirely of my original songs, it might shine a light on the fact that I’ve done some decent non-parody material over the last three decades. But hey, I’m not kidding myself – I know that to 95% of the general population, I’ll always just be the “Eat It” guy.

N: What are you personally hoping to get out of this tour?

AY: The band and I are really just looking forward to a change of pace. I’ve been putting on fat suits and riding Segways around the stage, and I just wanted to do something totally different this time out. I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of this: this is quite possibly a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It’ll also be really fun for me to play some of the songs that I was always proud of, but somehow slipped through the cracks. There are only so many songs I can perform in my live show, and the parodies are the audience-pleasers, so we have to focus on those, and as a result, a lot of my original material never makes the cut. But this is not an audience-pleasing show. It’s probably going to be an audience-baffling show. As I’ve said before, there’s a subset of my fan base that’s going to go absolutely nuts for this tour, but it might not be for everybody.

N: Are you nervous about the less structured approach?

AY: Well, I wasn’t really nervous until you just brought it up! Yeah, I always get a little nervous right before a tour, and particularly when I’m doing something new. And this tour is extremely different from every other tour I’ve done. I guess I just have to go into it with a good attitude. I know it’s not going to be perfect… it’s not supposed to be perfect. All my other shows were rigidly planned down to the second, and on this tour, we’re literally doing a different set list every night. I’m going to talk a lot more on stage. See, this is really going against my nature and stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m the kind of guy that likes to have everything super-planned out and over-rehearsed and always know exactly what I’m going to do and say. On this tour, I’m just going to walk out on stage and see what happens. It could suck; it could be amazing. That’s a little terrifying to think about… so… I’m going to stop thinking about it.

N: What does it mean to be touring with an old colleague, Emo Philips?

AY: I’m really looking forward to that. Emo’s one of my oldest friends, and I think he’s seriously one of the funniest guys in the world. I’ve never traveled with a support act before. For a long time, promoters would hire local comedians to open the show. We never knew anything about them before we got there. Some were good, some were not so good, and some were totally inappropriate. And then, when our show length passed the two-hour mark, we decided to eschew the opening act entirely and make it an “Evening With Al.” But we’re going to try not to bust anybody’s bladder on this tour: Emo’s doing about 30 minutes, and I’m doing about 90. It’ll be really fun; I always have a good time with him, and it’ll be a blast riding a bus with him for 15 weeks. I just hope he doesn’t snore, or perform daily ritual sacrifices or anything. Eh, whatever, I’m sure I’d get used to it.

N: Will you be hosting any special guests throughout the tour?

AY: Besides Emo? Hmm, well, no, there’s nothing planned. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen…

Weird Al Yankovic “Ill-Advised” Tour Dates

2/27/18 – Poughkeepsie, NY – Bardavon 1869 Opera House
3/1/18 – Tarrytown, NY – Tarrytown Music Hall
3/2/18 – Ledyard, CT – Foxwoods Resort Casino – Fox Theater
3/3/18 – Portsmouth, NH – The Music Hall
3/4/18 – Boston, MA – Wilbur Theatre
3/7/18 – Montreal, QC – Place Des Arts – Theatre Maisonneuve
3/9/18 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
3/10/18 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
3/11/18 – Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan Theater
3/13/18 – Buffalo, NY – University At Buffalo Center for the Arts
3/14/18 – Ithaca, NY – State Theatre
3/16/18 – Atlantic City, NJ – Caesars Atlantic City – Circus Maximus
3/17/18 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount
3/18/18 – Lancaster, PA – American Music Theatre
3/20/18 – Bethesda, MD – Music Center at Strathmore
3/23/18 – New York, NY – Apollo Theater
3/24/18 – Greensburg, PA – Palace Theatre
3/25/18 – Cleveland, OH – Playhouse Square – Ohio Theatre
3/26/18 – Lexington, KY – Lexington Opera House
3/28/18 – Louisville, KY – Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
3/30/18 – Champaign, IL – Virginia Theatre
3/31/18 – Des Moines, IA – Hoyt Sherman Place
4/2/18 – Rochester, MN – Mayo Civic Center Presentation Hall
4/3/18 – Minneapolis, MN – Pantages Theatre
4/4/18 – Minneapolis, MN – Pantages Theatre
4/6/18 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
4/7/18 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
4/10/18 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
4/12/18 – Wabash, IN – Honeywell Center
4/13/18 – Chattanooga, TN – Walker Theater
4/14/18 – Augusta, GA – Miller Theater
4/15/18 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
4/17/18 – Nashville, TN – Nashville Comedy Fest – War Memorial
4/19/18 – Springfield, MO – Gillioz Theatre
4/20/18 – Longview, TX – S.E.Belcher Jr Chapel and Performance Center
4/21/18 – Austin, TX – Moontower Comedy Festival – Paramount Theatre
4/22/18 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Performance Arts Center
4/24/18 – Stafford, TX – Stafford Centre for Performing Arts Theatre
4/25/18 – San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
4/27/18 – Dallas, TX – The Majestic Theatre
4/28/18 – Wichita, KS – Orpheum Theater
4/29/18 – Kansas City, MO – Folly Theater
5/1/18 – Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
5/3/18 – Grand Junction, CO – Avalon Theatre
5/4/18 – Ivins, UT – Tuacahn Ampitheatre at Tuacahn Center for the Arts
5/5/18 – Tucson, AZ – Fox Tucson Theatre
5/6/18 – Santa Fe, NM – Lensic Performing Arts Center
5/8/18 – Mesa, AZ – Meza Arts Center- Ikeda Theatre
5/9/18 – Palm Desert, CA – McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts
5/11/18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Theatre at Ace Hotel
5/12/18 – San Diego, CA – Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
5/15/18 – Sacramento, CA – Crest Theatre
5/17/18 – Monterey, CA – Golden State Theatre
5/18/18 – Turlock, CA – Turlock Community Theatre
5/19/18 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre
5/20/18 – Napa, CA – Uptown Theatre
5/22/18 – Redding, CA – Cascade Theatre
5/24/18 – Eugene, OR – McDonald Theatre
5/25/18 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
5/26/18 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
5/27/18 – Spokane, WA – Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox
5/29/18 – Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre
5/31/18 – Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle Resort & Casino – Event Centre
6/1/18 – Regina, SK – Casino Regina – Show Lounge
6/2/18 – Enoch, AB – River Cree Casino and Resort Entertainment Centre
6/3/18 – Medicine Hat, AB – Esplanade Theatre
6/5/18 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts
6/6/18 – Fargo, ND – Fargo Theatre
6/8/18 – Columbia, MO – Jesse Auditorium
6/9/18 – Clear Lake, IA – Surf Ballroom
6/10/18 – Green Bay, WI – Meyer Theatre

Featured Image: Todd Heisler/The New York Times/Redux 

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