Reaction among the Disneyland faithful to Weird “Al” Yankovic’s Jungle-Cruise-themed new song “Skipper Dan” has been both intense and varied. To get the inside scoop, we phoned the sole Vegetarian Times subscriber named Al, and after establishing our identity and confirming that the person we were speaking with was indeed weird, conducted the following interview:
DisneyLies: Congratulations, Al, on the release of your new song “Skipper Dan.”
Weird Al: Thank you. We’re all very excited around here.
DL: Where did you get the inspiration for the song?
WA: It’s pretty much a true story. I was in group therapy for years trying to get over my addiction to potatoes, and I met this guy who is essentially the guy in the song. He was really, really depressed. I did change his name to “Dan Pantsworth” from “John Lasseter” for the song, so that nobody’d ever guess it was really about him. The poor guy was so talented, and there he was stuck on the Jungle Cruise. Sometimes, I still wonder what happened to him.
DL: We understand that some Disneyland fans have been less than thrilled with your portrayal of Jungle Cruise skippers as, quoting from an anonymous source claiming to be you, “a bunch of wannabe losers in bad pants and funny hats with impotent hippo guns.” What makes you think that the Jungle Cruise hippos are impotent?
WA: I don’t think —
DL: Then you should be more careful what you say. When did you first realize that Disney fans weren’t going to take this lying down?
WA: I guess it was when they burned my house down. That was a hint. Then there was the picketing, the effigies, the bonfire burnings of computers that had downloaded the song — the evidence just kept adding up.
DL: And how does that make you feel?
WA: At the moment, homeless.
DL: How is this going to change your future musical plans?
WA: It really won’t. “Skipper Dan” is part of a four-song project I’m calling Internet Leakland. This is going to be four songs released digitally over the course of the summer. There’s “Dan,” of course. Then there’s “Tiki! Tiki! Tiki!” which is a Tiki Room-themed parody of the Byrds song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” After that is a song about a guy who takes the Lincoln robot home, called “People Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Pres Friend.” It closes in August with “it’s a mind-numbingly repetitive song after all,” which, I have to say, really captures the horror of a certain attraction filled with dolls of children.
DL: And Disney characters.
WA: Don’t remind me.
DL: You’re kind of new on the Disney-humor scene. How do you feel about more established Disney humor bands like Edison Square and The Copyright Infringers?
WA: I really enjoy Edison Square’s stuff, amateurish as it is, and I think I can say with complete sincerity that I will crush them if they get in my way. The Copyright Infringers are still hiding out in Argentina, aren’t they? They’re not even on my radar.
DL: Any last words for our readers before we wrap this up?
WA: Sure. I hope you can accept my work in the spirit of happiness and humor in which it was intended and stop sending hate letters and ticking packages to my family and friends. I really love Disneyland, even though it’s never been the same since Steve Martin left.
DL: Thank you, Al.
WA: You’re paying me for this, right?