Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"Like a Surgeon" by "Weird Al" Yankovic

Song#:  2369
Date:  06/22/1985
Debut:  74
Peak:  47
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Comedy

Pop Bits:  Yankovic truly established his career with his second album In 3-D. That platinum album featured the #12 hit parody "Eat It" along with two other charting singles. For his follow-up, Dare to be Stupid, Yankovic once again recorded a mix of parody songs, originals, and a polka medley. To get the ball rollin', this parody of Madonna's #1 hit "Like a Virgin" was released. While the video was another winner on MTV, the actual single didn't quite catch fire on the radio. It stalled before it could reach the Pop Top 40. However, for a comedy song, that result wasn't too bad. Yankovic's humor was perfect for the new MTV video format and four songs from the album would receive videos. The clips would be popular, yet further singles from the album failed to chart. The album would quickly go gold and then eventually become Yankovic's second platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  While this song was certainly ripe for a parody, I'm not sure I'd put it among his best efforts. It just falls a little flat on record. But like a lot of his material, it's better when there is an accompanying video. What makes it fun are the little touches that reference Madonna and her original video, such as the lion walking around and Weird Al mimicking Madonna's dancing. Without the visuals, the song is just not as clever as some of his other parodies.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  When Yankovic does a parody song, he usually comes up with the idea and then seeks permission from the original artist to record his version. However, in the case of this tune, it was the one time where the original artist basically came up with the parody idea. It seems that at some point following the success of "Like a Virgin," Madonna joked with a friend about how long it would take before Yankovic would turn her song into "Like a Surgeon." That friend happened to also be a friend of Yankovic's manager, and eventually word got to Weird Al that Madonna had talked about a parody. He thought it was a great idea and proceeded to write "Like a Surgeon."



  1. 9/10 for me. One of my favorite parodies from him. I also have a strong love for novelty and comedy songs, as I own the 45's to "Shaddap You Face", "Take Off", and Billy Crystal's "You Look Marvelous", which will also be coming soon in your song reviews! My favorite Weird Al parody is "Fat" from 1988. If you can believe it, it debuted and peaked at ONLY NO. 99 ON THE CHARTS. Don't ask me why. LOL

    1. Well, don't expect much from me when it comes to comedy and novelty records. I've never been a big fan. Weird Al can be an exception because his work can be very smart and clever. But typically I can hear these songs once and never have the urge to hear them again.