Earlier in the day I was with my daughter in the waiting room at doctor's office and Billy Joel's "Vienna" came on the radio. I pointed out to my daughter that the song was by the same guy who did "Piano Man," which Weird Al parodied into "Spider Man." Let me note for the record that I am aware that the Weird Al song is called "Ode to a Superhero." But for reference I find it easier to just call it "Spider Man." We had been talking about royalties, and how songwriters get paid when people put their songs on records. She asked me if Weird Al gets royalties for "Piano Man." She was surprised to learn that "Spider Man" was based on "Piano Man," and not vice versa.
But this past year, on roadtrip 2011, it was "Spiderman." He loves the character and anything about him, so of course he wanted repeat playings of the song. And more repeat playings of the song. And still more repeat playings of the song. At one point I put on the radio and we heard "Piano Man." It was during the instrumental break, and he was all happy until we heard Billy Joel's vocals.
So we, as a family, have a backward view of Weird Al. There are a bunch of his parodies that we are very familiar with, while we have at best a passing awareness of the original work. I love "White & Nerdy," while being unfamiliar with Chamillionaire's "Ridin'." And I can't say what "TMZ" and "Party in the CIA" are parodies of. Admittedly, though, there have been cases where an appreciation of one of his parodies led me to look up and appreciate the original work. I have a new appreciation of Coolio after hearing his song, "Gangsta's Paradise." I only found interest in that because of "Amish Paradise."