It’s no secret that Prince is really controlling of his image, music and general state of Being Prince. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the purple one is the only artist to ever tell “Weird Al” Yankovic he can’t parody one of his songs.
“I ask permission from every artist to parody their song,” Yankovic told NME. “Legally I don’t have to but I want them to be in on the joke, not just to turn on the radio one day and be like, ‘What?’
He continued, “I’ve asked Prince several times; he’s the only one to turn me down! All throughout the ’80s I asked him – I had ideas for ‘Kiss’ and ‘When Doves Cry’ but his management turned me down every time. I still hold out hope – if he had another big hit of course I’d want to do my own version.”
We can only hope; as Maura Johnston puts it in an extensive review of Yankovic’s new Mandatory Fun record, “The fact that ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic still has people figuring out his lighter-than-air jokes three decades into his career puts him miles ahead of most other comedians.” Meanwhile, Prince is busy putting together his first “cohesive statement” in years. Not to mention songs that already look and sound like parodies…