Top[ 200

What does “Weird Al” Yankovic and Jason Mraz have in common? Both artists, in their own right, are hoping that their recent albums will make it to #1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Industry forecasters project Mraz’s “Yes!” and Yankovic’s “Mandatory Fun”, both released on July 15th, will sell around 70,000 to 75,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, July 20. Mraz has previously topped out at No. 2 with his previous album, 2012’s “Love Is a Four Letter Word.” In total, he’s collected three top 10 sets. As for Yankovic, he’s claimed two top 10 efforts, though his chart history stretches back much farther than Mraz’s. Yankovic arrived on the Billboard 200 back in May of 1983 with his self-titled album, containing his first Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Ricky” (a spoof of Toni Basil’s No. 1 “Mickey”). Mraz, meanwhile, made his Billboard 200 debut 20 years later with “Waiting For My Rocket to Come.”

“Mandatory Fun” — Yankovic’s first release since 2011’s “Alpocalypse” — also features parodies of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” (as “Handy”), Lorde’s “Royals” (“Foil”) and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” (as “Inactive”). On the originals front, Yankovic tries his hand at a marching band-style anthem (“Sports Song”) and apes the styles of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (“Mission Statement”), the Pixies (“First World Problems”), Cat Stevens (“Jackson Park Express”) and others. “I always start with the originals, because those age better,” Yankovic explains. “So I get those in hand and I always do the parodies last so they can be as fresh and timely and topical as possible. It’s difficult to ascertain when something’s gone mainstream or made some kind of mark on the zeitgeist. I’m actually using my daughter now — she’s 11 years old and just going into the sixth grade. I used her to figure out when Iggy Azalea had reached the tipping point. I was following Iggy on her rise up the charts and I thought, ‘Oh, this might work,’ and I asked my daughter, ‘Are people talking about Iggy Azalea at school?’ and she said, ‘No, not so much.’ then I asked her again two weeks later and she said, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s all they’re talking about right now.’ So I said, ‘OK, tipping point! It’s time!’

As you may recall, last July RSU Public TV welcomed “Weird Al” Yankovic as he returned to Tulsa to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the production of his feature film, “UHF”. The movie, shot in 1988 in Tulsa, tells the story of a daydreaming slacker who saves a small television station with his quirky programming that becomes an international cult classic.