‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Tells Howard Stern About Getting Kurt Cobain’s Approval For ‘Smells Like Nirvana’ Parody

“Weird Al” Yankovic (previously) sat down for an interview with Howard Stern, where he spoke about his earliest influences, his often humorous interactions with musicians whose songs he wanted to parody and the way in which he got explicit approval from Kurt Cobain to do “Smells Like Nirvana”, a parody of the Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

I basically told him that I wanted to do a parody of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and his first thing was ‘is it going to be about food?’. I said no, it was going to be about how people, how nobody can understand your lyrics. And he said yeah, sure.

Yankovic also talked about how the video was made.

We got a lot of the same people who were in the Nirvana video to come out. …We had the same janitor, some of the same cheerleaders and actually a lot of the same crowd. I don’t know how we found them, but we found a lot of the people who were in the moshing scene. …One of my favorite quotes is Kurt Cobain said he didn’t realize he had made it until he saw the ‘Weird Al’ video.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.