Getting Weird With the Weird Al Fans of Houston

Every fanbase is a little different, each full of its own quirks. From sports teams to politicians to music acts, when people find other people who are passionate about the same thing as they are, magic happens, even if that magic seems a little weird from the outside.

I've said this before, but I'm not sure I could be friends with someone who hated "Weird Al" Yankovic. That idea is so completely foreign to me that it just hurts my brain. Sure, there's nothing wrong with hating parody songs — the Internet is full of awful ones these days — but there's something so joyful, so pure about Al that hating him just seems wrong.

Which brings us to the other side of the coin: "Weird Al" fans. The first time I ever saw him live, Al was headlining a day at a music festival. The show was fantastic, but there was something weird about the crowd. It felt like a lot of the people around me, at least initially, showed up ironically, only to be won over by Al's dedication to the music. There's something about "Fat" that wins over even the toughest crowds. 

The second time I saw him, headlining at his own show, I was struck by how many of the people in attendance, based on the conversations around me, weren't the type of folks who go to concerts. They weren't the type of folks who love music but hate other people, and thus never go to shows; they were people who just really loved "Weird Al" in particular. 

And there's something really cool about that, maybe due in large part to how downright scary some modern fanbases can be. I'll give you my hot takes about Nickelback and nu-metal all day long, but say something about Beyoncé or Rihanna? Nah, I like to keep my mentions clean, thank you very much.

The people you meet at a "Weird Al" show remind me a lot of the people you meet at a Rifftrax event: people who love a certain type of comedy who are genuinely excited to experience it with a group of strangers. They're the type who'll start making references to song lyrics hoping that you'll smile the same way that they're smiling. It's awesome, and we thought that you'd enjoy meeting them as much as we have, so we put together the above video. Stay weird, Houston.

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