Alfred Matthew Yankovic was born in Downey, California, on 23 October 1959. He graduated in 1975 from Lynwood High School as valedictorian of his senior class and attended California Polytechnic State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
Having learned the accordion from an early age, Yankovic had begun writing original and parody songs and, at the age of 16, passed a tape recording of some of these to radio DJ Dr Demento (Barret Eugene Hansen) who played one of the tracks on his show.
The world was first exposed to Al’s sense of humour and accordion playing in 1979 when he released My Bologna, a spoof of The Knack‘s chart-topping My Sharona.
In 1989, Yankovic starred in a full-length feature film called UHF, co-written by himself and manager Jay Levey. A satire of the television and film industries, the film also starred Michael Richards, Fran Drescher, and Victoria Jackson.
He starred in kids’ tv show The Weird Al Show for CBS in 1997 but the series was not successful and was cancelled after only one season.