Weird Fucking Al In Hershey

A friend makes a random Facebook post, “Hey, I’ve got an extra ticket to see Weird Al Yankovic in Hershey, who wants to go?” The wheels start turning as I’ve always gotten a kick out of Weird Al. I actually bought one or two of his cassettes in the 80s/90s and I might possibly be the only person who enjoyed his movie UHF. But…What how would a Weird Al live show be? A few Facebook pretend-friends chimed in that they couldn’t go but that they’ve seen him in the past and “he puts on a good show”. So what the heck, I message my buddy and let him know that “I’m in”.

The day of the show I had nothing on my agenda. I just did my usual routine, I drank my morning coffee, took my morning constitutional and then stared wantonly at the lovely newsbunnies on Fox 43’s morning show (while trying to ignore their annoying voices).  I then got the great idea to kill some time pre-show at Hollywood Casino in Grantville.

Hollywood Casino might be the most depressing place in all of Central Pennsylvania, which puts it high in the running to be one of the most depressing places in the world. If you have ever seen one of their commercials with attractive 30-somethings having an exciting evening of live music, high-stakes gaming and waspy high-fives I can assure you – it’s all a lie. The average gamer’s age is somewhere upwards of 70 — however they are quite spry. You’d think being on a hoverround and tethered to oxygen would slow these folks down, but they were slapping the slot machine buttons like they were slapping their ginger step-grandchild.

Slot machines aren’t slot machines anymore, they are basically confusing video games with lots of flashing LEDs and noises. You just keep hitting the Max-Bet button repeatedly and reflect on all the poor decisions in life that led you to this moment, sitting at a casino, in Grantville, at 3pm on a Tuesday. Sober. Sometimes the machine will make excited noises like a hot and heavy love making session between Dr. Theopolis and Twiki from Buck Rogers, but then you do the math. Grandmom is excited with all the lights flashing and beeping because she “won” 200 credits… on her 400 credit bet. Yes, there are flashing lights and sounds celebrating your $2.00 loss.

Sufficiently downtrodden from losing $200 I figured it was best to relocate to a bar closer to the Hershey theater and to start drinking heavily until showtime. Some frown on the evils of drinking, but it really is great way to pass time while having infuriating political arguments on facebook.

I’m fast-forwarding though drinks at Red Robin and Houlihans because I don’t remember. I have credit card receipts that say I was there drinking but it’s unclear at this point.

NERDS!!!!
NERDS!!!!

This was my first visit to the Hershey Theater. My buddy Abe and I lined up outside in queue with a diverse crowd of Caucasian nerds waiting for Weird Al. Not unlike Dead Heads or Parrotheads that follow the Grateful Dead and Jimmy Buffet, Weird Al has his own minions. Not sure what to call them. Nerds is too generic. There were people with Weird Al berets on, others with tin-foil hats and whole families in their Weird Al t-shirts.

We made our way in and went up to the balcony area to get a few more cocktails in us before the show, and to stare down at the sea of pasty white flesh still flowing into the theater. Three Jim Beams later the lights started flashing which either means a seizure is imminent or the show’s going to start in a few minutes. Either way, seemed like a good time to find our seats.

I guess being about 10 paragraphs into this Weird Al article I should actually review the show. I don’t know what I was expecting but the show definitely exceeded my expectations. Weird Al is definitely a showman and he worked he worked his ass off for 2 hours which impressed me. One of my pet peeves when I go to a live show is lazy performers. I got sucked into seeing Built To Spill once and the douches would play a song, than chat among themselves for 30 seconds as they talked about what they were going to play next. Not Weird Al. The show is big production combining footage on the big screen, tons of costume changes for Al and his band, and of course live music as he took you through his decades of parodies. The songs just kept coming and I was constantly saying, “Wow, I forgot about that one”.

In conclusion, if you have the opportunity and want to go to a kid-friendly, nerd-friendly show, Weird Al will absolutely entertain you for 2 hours. Even someone like me that hasn’t kept up with his recent songs still enjoyed it. Just skip going to Hollywood Casino prior and spend that $200 on more Jim Beam.