Close but No Cigar
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|"Close but No Cigar"|
A still from the "Close but No Cigar" music video, directed by John Kricfalusi.
|Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Straight Outta Lynwood|
|Released||September 24, 2006|
|Genre||Comedy, Alternative rock|
|Writer||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
|Producer||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
"Close But No Cigar" is a song by "Weird Al" Yankovic, released on his album Straight Outta Lynwood. A style parody of the band Cake, the song recounts the narrator's relationships with three attractive and near-ideal women, each of which ends when he perceives a minor flaw in her character or appearance. He dumps each one for her slight imperfection with the catchphrase, "close, but no cigar."
The song's lyrics describe three women: Jillian, who was "sweeter than aspartame", but who always incorrectly used the word infer in place of imply; Janet, with a "body hotter than a habanero", but who owned a copy of Joe Dirt on DVD; and Julie, a "world famous billionaire bikini supermodel astrophysicist" who had an earlobe that was "...just a little tiny bit too big". Every time the narrator leaves one of the women, he contrasts their relationship with an activity that presumably doesn't need complete accuracy: playing horseshoes, throwing hand grenades, and doing government work. Yankovic was inspired to write the song based on a friend of his, who displayed similar tendencies when dating others and generally breaking off the relationship after finding nitpicks that other people would commonly overlook.
The song is musically a style parody of Cake. Yankovic and Cake's lead singer, John McCrea, are close friends, and Yankovic thought it would be "fun" to create a song in "distinct style". Cake typically uses the vibraslap, electric country guitar, a single trumpet, and syncopated, almost spoken, lyrics. Yankovic borrows much of the music from a selection of Cake's songs, mostly from the album Comfort Eagle:
- "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" contributed the end chorus (most notably the backing "Nah Nah Nah" part) and holds a nearly identical bass line. The lyrical theme for "Close But No Cigar" is also very similar.
- "Opera Singer" contributed the guitar part.
- "Love You Madly" contributed the backing trumpet solo.
- The song ends with unaccompanied horn and guitar as in "Sheep Go to Heaven" from Prolonging the Magic.
The music video for "Close but No Cigar" was directed by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi. Cigarettes the Cat from John's cartoon Weekend Pussy Hunt played a big role in the video, similar to how John's character Jimmy the Idiot Boy played a major role in the music video John made for Björk's song "I Miss You." Katie Rice lent a hand by drawing and animating the girls and the cats in the crowd sequence. Kricfalusi, an animation historian, included a sequence that includes some caricatures of both Tweety Bird and Mickey Mouse.
The video features Cigarettes stopping by Jillian's window and falling in love with her after watching her take a bath. He shows his love by bringing her a dead mouse and bird as presents, then making her a necklace out of a squirrel's intestines. However, he is annoyed by how she uses "infer" instead of "imply". As Cigarettes shouts the chorus, Jillian shrinks and gets eaten by him. He then finds Janet and falls in love with her beauty. He becomes so crazy in love with her that he stabs Tweety Bird and Mickey Mouse. However, he quickly dumps and eats the shrunken Janet after learning "she actually owned a copy of Joe Dirt on DVD". Cigarettes moves on to Julie and is head over heels for her. Suddenly, he discovers that she has a big earlobe and shouts the chorus at her. Julie doesn't shrink and tries to make Cigarettes change his mind, but he winds up eating her face. After Cigarettes brags to the other neighborhood cats, the video ends with him urinating in a very unclean urinal.