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Here’s who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

Daniel Radcliffe as ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

Weird The Al Yankovic Story; CENTURY CITY, CA – MARCH 7: Musician Weird Al Yankovic attending “N.A.R.M. Gala” on March 7, 1986 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Credit: Aaron Epstein/ROKU; Ron Galella Collection/Getty

It’s the titular role! The actor who first gained fame for playing Harry Potter will now portray the musician behind such beloved parody pop songs as “My Bologna” and “Amish Paradise” in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

“Weird Al” Yankovic personally selected Daniel Radcliffe to play him in the film. The actor recently told Jimmy Fallon that it was because he sang Tom Lehrer’s parody song “The Elements” on The Graham Norton Show in 2010. 

“I guess Al saw that and was like, ‘this guy maybe gets it,'” Radcliffe said on The Tonight Show

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Evan Rachel Wood as Madonna

American singer-songwriter and actress Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone) posing on the set of the film Desperately Seeking Susan. New York, 1985 (Photo by Mondadori via Getty Images)

Credit: Roku; Mondadori/Getty

Of all the pop stars Yankovic has parodied over the years, Madonna is the only one who suggested the concept herself. The story goes that she wondered aloud to a mutual friend when Yankovic would turn “Like a Virgin” into “Like a Surgeon.” The rest is history…

…but Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is also playful in its approach to real life. In addition to showing Radcliffe in the hospital scrubs from the “Like a Surgeon” music video, the film also imagines a torrid love affair between him and Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood). 

Rainn Wilson as Dr. Demento

Dr. Demento, circa 1975. (Photo by Getty Images)

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What good is a music biopic without a shady older mentor to identify the star’s talent at an early stage? As Dr. Demento, the radio host specializing in comedy and novelty songs who first introduced Yankovic to a wide audience, Rainn Wilson is to Weird as Tom Hanks is to Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis — albeit hopefully with less fatal consequences. 

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Quinta Brunson as Oprah Winfrey

(L-R) Oprah Winfrey and Dolly Parton on ‘Dolly’ in 1987. (Photo by Julie Fineman/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Credit: Roku; Julie Fineman/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty

After making Emmys history as the first Black woman to receive three comedy nominations in the same year, Abbott Elementary star Quinta Brunson‘s next trick will be portraying Oprah Winfrey in Weird. Based on the first-look photo, it looks like Brunson’s Winfrey will do an MTV Cribs-style interview with Yankovic, showing off his closet full of Hawaiian shirts. 

“Let’s get #weird,” Brunson tweeted when her casting was announced. 

Toby Huss and Julianne Nicholson as Yankovic’s parents

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 17: Toby Huss attends Apple’s Global Premiere of “Dickinson” at ST. Ann’s Warehouse on October 17, 2019 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage); LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 13: Julianne Nicholson attends the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on March 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association)

Credit: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage; Kevin Mazur/Getty

Toby Huss (Dickinson) and Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown) will play Nick and Mary Yankovic, the parents of the comedy music superstar. As seen in the latest trailer for Weird, their performances are an exaggerated parody of disapproving parents. 

“Your dad and I agree it would be best if you just stop being who you are and doing the things you love,” Nicholson’s Mary tells her young son. 

Will Forte and Scott Aukerman as supporting characters

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 08: Will Forte attends the red carpet premiere & party for Peacock’s new comedy series “MacGruber” at California Science Center on December 08, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage); NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 23: Comedian Scott Aukerman visits SiriusXM Studios on September 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Credit: JC Olivera/WireImage; Roy Rochlin/Getty

Even beyond the lead roles, Weird is stacked with top-level comedic talent. Will Forte (MacGruber) plays a record executive, while Comedy Bang Bang host Scott Aukerman portrays a cop who catches young Yankovic at a “polka party.”

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Jack Black as Wolfman Jack

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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Dr. Demento wasn’t the only infamous radio DJ at the time. Jack Black shows up as his gravelly-voiced rival, Wolfman Jack.

Nina West as Divine

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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RuPaul’s Drag Race veteran Nina West plays foundational drag icon Divine — frequent collaborator of John Waters and supposed inspiration for Disney’s Ursula — in a scene set at Dr. Demento’s pool party.

West previously took on the role of Edna Turnblad in the national tour of Hairspray, a role originated by Divine in Waters’ 1988 film.

Jorma Taccone as Pee-wee Herman

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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Daniel Radcliffe’s personal favorite cameo in Weird is Lonely Island veteran Jorma  Taccone’s performance as Pee-wee Herman. 

“I would see him walking around set, and would just get immediately distracted,” Radcliffe said at New York Comic Con. “He’s incredible.”

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Akiva Schaffer as Alice Cooper

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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Jorma Taccone isn’t the only Lonely Island member in Weird. Akiva Schaffer also shows up as shock rock legend Alice Cooper.

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Conan O’Brien as Andy Warhol

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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Conan O’Brien covers his trademark red hair with a white wig to portray Andy Warhol, who almost certainly never met “Weird” Al Yankovic in real life but takes quite an interest in him in the film.

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Paul F. Tompkins as Gallagher

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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Just as modern drag queen Nina West is playing drag legend Divine, contemporary comedian Paul F. Tompkins takes on the role of the most famous prop comedian of all time. Don’t blink during the pool party scene, or you might miss him smashing a watermelon in the background. 

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David Dastmalchian as John Deacon

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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David Dastmalchian has played many strange characters in recent years, from Piter De Vries in Dune to Polka-Dot Man in The Suicide Squad. He continues that trend in Weird by playing Queen’s soft-spoken bassist, John Deacon.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda as ER doctor

Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Being “Weird” Al Yankovic is dangerous business — at least as portrayed in the film. When Radcliffe’s incarnation of the musician ends up in the ER, he finds himself treated by a doctor with a very familiar face. 

In real life, Lin-Manuel Miranda revealed in a recent interview that when he met Yankovic for the first time, he “pooped the bed” and talked his lifelong idol out of working with him on an unrealized musical. 

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Patton Oswalt as heckler

2017 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony – Arrivals

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Weird: The Al Yankovic Story originally started as a short film on Funny or Die starring Aaron Paul in the title role. After featuring it in his concerts for years, Yankovic called up director Eric Appel and suggested making the movie for real. Comedian Patton Oswalt is one of the only actors from the original short to appear in the full-length feature version.

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Arturo Castro as Pablo Escobar

Who’s playing who in ‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’

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Arturo Castro had a role on Netflix’s Narcos as David Rodríguez, but in Weird, he gets to play Pablo Escobar himself. 

You may be wondering, “what does Pablo Escobar have to do with a ‘Weird’ Al biopic?” You’ll just have to watch the film to find out. 

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“Weird” Al Yankovic as Tony Scotti

“Weird Al” Yankovic, Tony Scotti

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You didn’t think the man himself would pass up a cameo, did you? “Weird” Al Yankovic pops up in his own fictionalized biopic as record executive Tony Scotti, who really did work with Yankovic in real life. 

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