Dare to Be Stupid (song)

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"Dare to Be Stupid"
The Touch Single.jpg
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Dare to Be Stupid & The Transformers The Movie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
ReleasedAugust 1986 (1986-08)
RecordedJanuary 3, 1985
GenreNew wave, synth-pop, parody
Songwriter(s)"Weird Al" Yankovic
Producer(s)Rick Derringer
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"Hooked on Polkas"
"Dare to Be Stupid"
"Living with a Hernia"
Dare to Be Stupid track listing
  1. "Like a Surgeon"
  2. "Dare to Be Stupid"
  3. "I Want a New Duck"
  4. "One More Minute"
  5. "Yoda"
  6. "George of the Jungle"
  7. "Slime Creatures from Outer Space"
  8. "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch"
  9. "This Is the Life"
  10. "Cable TV"
  11. "Hooked on Polkas"

"Dare to Be Stupid" is an original song by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is a musical pastiche (or "style parody") of the band Devo.[1]

Lyrics and Style[edit]

Lyrically, the song dares the listener to be stupid in various ways; mostly by advising the listener to do the opposite of common idioms (e.g. "let the bedbugs bite" or "put all your eggs in one basket"), with the occasional absurd non sequitur (e.g. "stick your head in the microwave and get yourself a tan").

In an interview on VH1's Behind the Music, Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh stated in reaction to the song that: "I was in shock. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. He sort of re-sculpted that song into something else and... I hate him for it, basically."[2][3]

The song was featured in The Transformers: The Movie.[4] It was later released as a double a-side along with "The Touch" by Stan Bush.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Touch" by Stan Bush – 3:54
  2. "Dare to Be Stupid" – 3:23

Music video[edit]

The music video is, according to Yankovic, also a "style parody" of Devo's works:[5]

  • Yankovic and his band wear the yellow radiation suits from Devo's cover of The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" video throughout. Many of the performance segments of the video are modeled on the "Satisfaction" music video, including the man having a fit on a wallpapered wall and floor. This is a parody of dancer Craig Allen Rothwell, nicknamed "Spazz Attack," who was featured in Devo's video with his signature flip onto his back.[6]
  • Segments of the video are reminiscent of several of Devo's other videos:
    • "Devo Corporate Anthem" – In one scene, the band is standing in the same pose as Devo.
    • "Jocko Homo" – In another segment, the band wears nylon stockings over their heads.
    • "Beautiful World" – There are also several scenes of black-and-white stock footage, directed by Al (wearing a costume different from the one he wore in the rest of the video) in front of an Interocitor. In addition, "tell me, what did I say?" also resembles the line from this song, and the aforementioned costume resembles the one worn on stage by Mark Mothersbaugh (As Booji Boy) when Devo performed the song live during their tour for Oh, No! It's Devo in 1982.
    • "Time Out for Fun" – The scenes where they come together and sing the main chorus is similar to where Devo comes together in the music video for this song and sings their main chorus.
    • "Come Back Jonee" – In one scene, the elderly men dressed up in cowboy suits are reminiscent of the elderly men bowling in the "Come Back Jonee" video.
    • "The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize" – In this part the group passes in front of very simple computer graphics on a blue screen while playing their instruments.
    • "Freedom of Choice" – The use of stop-motion animation and computer graphics is also reminiscent of this Devo video. The use of Roman togas also comes from "Freedom of Choice," and at one point, a man must choose between a banana and an accordion - in Devo's original, it's a gun or a grenade.
    • "Whip It" – The guitarist is alone, wearing a cowboy outfit (although the guitarist wearing a cowboy outfit was from the music video to the theme from the movie Doctor Detroit, which Devo performed, it is likely a coincidence, as the set was based on the "Whip It" video). There are cowboys in the "Whip it" video as well.
    • "Love Without Anger" – The scene in which the lyrics "you can just give up the ship" is displayed in a screen, mimics the display of the lyrics "love without anger isn't love at all" in the Devo video.
    • In addition, the scene of moving Mr. Potato Heads is reminiscent of a sequence in a Devo video shown at the start of live performances during their New Traditionalists tour and other subsequent tours, in which Mr. Potato Head figures emulate a concert crowd. Likewise, the woman signing lyrics mirrors a portion of the same video.
    • A General Boy lookalike makes an appearance with three other generals, all wearing orange traffic safety cones on their heads while standing around a battlefield map.
  • The man with a pipe, smiling and watching television with a chainsaw near the beginning of the video is a very typical Devo-like image as well, juxtaposing violent, out of context or unexplained occurrences and objects with a 1950s-like "wholesome American" feel. This man is meant to be J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, Head of the Church of the SubGenius.[citation needed]
  • The video also includes much bizarre imagery, which, for the most part, is irrelevant to the lyrics, such as Yankovic's face emerging from a screen filled with tiny baby figurines (a nod to the similarly Devo-esque scene in the video of "Mexican Radio" from early 80's band - and friend of Devo's - Wall of Voodoo, when lead singer Stan Ridgway's face emerges from a bowl of cooked pinto beans).
  • The machine Yankovic controls during parts of the video is an interocitor from the film This Island Earth.
  • The tune somewhat resembles that of "Deep Sleep", "Time Out For Fun" and "Big Mess" from Devo's Oh, No! It's Devo album.
    • Al's line "Yes!" in a slightly altered voice is reminiscent of the "Yes!" from "Explosions" on the same album.
    • A descending synth line heard before some verses is similar to one used in "Deep Sleep."
    • The recurring synth line heard throughout the song is very similar to the opening synth line from "Time Out For Fun"
    • A descending three-note synth line heard at the end of some verses is very reminiscent of one used heavily in "Whip It".
  • The swim goggles Yankovic wears over his eyes resembles those of Devo vocalist Mark Mothersbaugh's in the "Satisfaction", "The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise" and "Come Back Jonee" videos.

Relation with Transformers[edit]

  • The song is played in The Transformers: The Movie as the theme of the Junkions, a group of robots living on the planet of Junk. Like the song, the Junkion speech was littered with cultural and television references.
  • In the TV series Transformers: Animated, Yankovic makes a guest appearance as a Transformer named Wreck-Gar (who was the leader of the Junkions in the original movie). Near the end of the episode, he exclaims "I am Wreck-Gar! I dare to be stupid!"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dare To Be Stupid by Weird Al Yankovic Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  2. ^ "Behind the Music" 'Weird Al' Yankovic (TV episode 1999) - IMDb
  3. ^ "The Weird Al Story 4/6". YouTube. 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  4. ^ "Various - The Transformers - The Movie, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  5. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ask Al Archive". Weirdal.com. Archived from the original on 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXYXwe7n84M