The Richmond Register

Local News

October 11, 2013

Richmond survives, even delights in the ‘Alpocalypse’

RICHMOND — There’s civil war in Syria, not far from the Valley of Megiddo, and chemical weapons have been used against civilians. The Iranians are feared to be developing nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them. The North Koreans already have both. The atmosphere is warming, seas are rising and storms are getting more destructive.

The Apocalypse is upon us!

No. Wait!

That isn’t the Antichrist. It’s Weird Al in a bad suit playing an accordion.

And those other guys aren’t horsemen named War, Famine, Pestilence and Disease. They’re Al’s drum, guitar and keyboard accompanists.

The “Alpocalypse” came to Richmond on Thursday night. It got here later than just about anywhere else, just as Mark Twain predicted.

But the wait only heightened the pleasure for the EKU Center for the Arts audience. If this is the end of the world, then it’s going out with a bang, not a whimper.

To be frank, only the tour’s name is a parody. “Weird Al” Yankovic’s performance was all about Al and his parodies of pop songs and celebrities. The tour name was inspired by the hype surrounding fears the world would end when the last Mayan calendar ran out on Dec. 22, 2012.

However, I may have been the only person in the audience weird enough to notice.

Everybody else was too busy enjoying the Weird Al experience.

His antics and his attire are as hilarious as his music.

For Weird Al to embark on a parody of the apocalypse can be seen as gallows humor. But if the end is really near, why not go out laughing. The only pain you’ll feel is the ache in your sides from laughing so hard.

Weird Al has more costumes than David Cassidy in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” My favorite Tuesday night was the tiger-patterned suit with optic-orange stripes.

Al delighted the crowd at times by wandering through the audience and cozying up to women like a Las Vegas love god.

There’s no need to wonder about what happened to the weird, gangly kid who played the accordion that you remember from your childhood. Everybody may have made fun of him, but the joke is on them.

“Weird Al” Yankovic has been one of the most enduringly popular entertainers still in show business.

You may think that parody or comedy are easy because they look easy. But that only indicates you’ve never tried it.

Weird Al makes it look easy because he is enormously talented, probably far more talented than those he parodies.

I think he could have made it as a conventional entertainer, but that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun for him – and his cult-like following. (Don’t worry. Weird Al is one cult leader who won’t ask you to drink the wrong kind of Kool-aid.)

Why settle for being just one entertainer when the multiple manifestations of Al can be endless.

Weird Al seems to have more personalities than Eve and Sybil combined.

He parodies everybody from Lawrence Welk and Michael Jackson to Madonna and Lady Gaga Spears. Tuesday night he ended one of his sets in a cloud of bubbles. (I suspect only the old audience members like me knew what the bubbles have in common with the accordion.)

I’ll admit that I’m not hip enough to be familiar with the music that Al parodies these days.

I still can’t get “My Bologna,” “Eat It,” “Like a Surgeon” and “I Lost on Jeopardy” out of my head. For many in the Tuesday night audience, their parents didn’t even know each other when those were first popular.

Some entertainers refuse Yankovic permission to parody their work. But they are the only ones too insecure to admit that he’s more talented and to be parodied by Weird Al is the ultimate form of flattery.

Although he’s thoroughly Californian, Weird Al has some Kentucky roots. According to, his mother moved from Kentucky to California where she met her husband.

Now that we’ve survived the “Alpocalypse,” facing the Apocalypse should be a piece of cake.

Bill Robinson can be reached at

or at 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • County’s jobless rate improves

    Madison County’s unemployment rate for June, 6.5 percent, was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier and 0.2 points lower than in May.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results