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Weird Al Yankovic and Napolean Dynamite

I know this is way ripe, but I just have to know. Am I the only person in the universe that thinks “Napoleon Dynamite” is the film adaptation of Weird Al Yankovic’s “That Boy Could Dance”?

Apparently I am because a week after I posted this, this article became (and still is) number one in Google when you search “Napoleon Dynamite Weird Al Yankovic”

“That Boy Could Dance”
from the 1984 Weird Al Yankovic album “In 3-D”

We all used to call him Jimmy the Geek
He was a dumb-lookin’, scrawny, little four-eyed freak
He never used to hang around with the guys
He’d just sit in the corner, attractin’ the flies

He wasn’t much to look at
He never was very bright
but at least there was one thing that he could do all right
That boy could dance

He was kind of a jerk
He was kind of a bore
but the women would scream when he walked in the door
’cause one thing I could tell you for sure
That boy could dance

Picking teams, he would always be last
He couldn’t run very far,
He couldn’t think very fast
If he was on your side, you’d always lose
the guy had a problem, even tying his shoes

He never passed his drivers test
He was always afraid of cars
and he had a complexion that resembled the surface of Mars
but that boy could dance

Well, his hair was a mess
and his clothes didn’t fit
He smelled pretty bad, and he drooled just a bit
but you gotta admit
boy, that boy could dance

Now that boy is much older
he’s got his own dance studio
He’s got a teeny bopper fan club
yeah, he’s got his own TV show
now he owns half of Montana
they all call him “Diamond Jim”
and you know I’d do anything if I could be just like him
’cause that boy could dance

From the plot synopsis of “Napoleon Dynamite” on Wikipedia:

Pedro (Efren Ramirez) is a transfer student from Juárez, Mexico, who decides to run for class president against popular girl Summer Wheatley (Haylie Duff). Despite a couple of hiccups, the campaign goes well until the time Pedro is about to deliver his final speech, when he discovers that each candidate must perform a skit afterward. Having not prepared a routine, a despondent Pedro gives a lackluster speech, believing that his candidacy is over. Napoleon gives a music tape he had received from the visiting LaFawnduh to the sound engineer and performs a dance routine (to “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai), which wins a standing ovation from the school audience.

I always like to think that Napoleon grew up and now “owns half of Montana”. To paraphrase Louis from “Casablanca”, I guess I’m just a rank sentimentalist.

3 replies on “Weird Al Yankovic and Napolean Dynamite”

I’ve had this thought for a few years, but never tried to search out the connection until today! Uncanny!

Despite being a Weird Al fan, I’d never really listened to the lyrics of “That Boy Could Dance” even though there are a few other songs from the “..In 3D” album that have been some of my favorites. However, I just listened to the song today, after having not heard it since I was a kid, and I was stunned as to the similarities with Napolean Dynamite. Thinking that perhaps the movie was in fact a theatrical version of the song, I did a quick search to test my hypothesis, yet your blog is the only reference to such a similarity I could find.

There was a link to a video that someone had made with footage from the movie set to the song, but the video has been taken down. Anyway, if it is just a coincidence, it is quite strange indeed.

Chuck,
I welcome you as a charter member of the “Napoleon Dynamite is the film adaptation of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s ‘That Boy Could Dance’ Club”, forthwith to be known as NDitFAoWAYTBCDC! 🙂

“In 3D” was quit a popular album. I’m somewhat stunned that apparently you, I, and the creator of that video are the only people on the planet to make that connection in the 7 years that the movie has been out.

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