The Bizarre Reason Weird Al Yankovic Loves To Use The Number 27

The only people who are weirder and more attuned to lyrics that satirize (while paying loving tribute to) pop music than "Weird Al" Yankovic might be "Weird Al" Yankovic's fans. According to the Weird Al fanzine We've Got It All On UHF, readers of another Weird Al fanzine, The Midnight Star, noticed in 1994 that the number 27 made its way into Yankovic's songs multiple times — 27 instances of the number's appearance. We've Got It All On UHF got in on the fun and started The 27 List, collecting all Yankovic-related 27s in one comprehensive central location.

There are several different categories of "27" mentions, but what seems to have started it all are his uses of the number 27 in his lyrics and videos. Examples include the declaration that he's "seen Porky's 27 times this week" in "Cable TV," the kids that "started singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall for the 27th time that day" in "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota," and the use of the number 27 in scenes that incorporated "take a number" ticketing systems in the videos for both "Like A Surgeon" and "This Is The Life."

In 1993, the editors of the Midnight Star interviewed "Weird Al"'s drummer, Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, and asked about the significance of 27. Schwartz replied: ""There's no significance to those numbers. I asked Al, who evidently hadn't even noticed before. He hesitated, and said '27 is a funny number.'"

'Maybe it was the right number of syllables'

What makes all of this even more, well, weird is the fact that the number 27 seems to attract itself to the accordion master Yankovic, besides his own use of the specific number in songs and videos. We've Got It All On UHF notes that in 1993, "Weird Al" performed at a show at which he, along with the other performers, were assigned trailers to use as dressing rooms — and his happened to be trailer 27. Other examples include "Weird Al" winning a Grammy for "Eat It" at the 27th annual Grammy Awards, winning $27,800 on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, and making a cameo in the movie The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear that appears in the 27th minute of the movie's run time. 

In 2000, Yankovic was asked about his use of the number in an interview with Goldmine magazine. We've Got It All On UHF reported that Al replied, "I suppose I used the number 27 originally because I just thought it was a funny number or maybe it was the right number of syllables. But some fans brought that up to me, and some fans started to think maybe there was some kind of deeper significance to the number ... And I was aware this was going on, so I would kind of feed the flames a little bit, and from that point on, started putting the number in more consciously."