Song: Eat It

Running Time: 3:30

Year: 1984

Album: In 3-D, Greatest Hits 1, Food Album, Al-In-The-Box, Eat It, Album:The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic (both versions)

Parody of: "Beat It" by Michael Jackson

Genre: Hard rock

Guitar tuning: D standard

Lyrics: Lyrics

Video: Yes

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Download/Listen: Mp3

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Music video[edit | edit source]

  • The music video was different before the song started playing. In "Beat It", a gangster takes a sip of his coffee. Another gangster taps him, and he gets up. In "Eat It", a gangster takes a sip of his coffee. The gangster walks by, and taps him like in the original video. The gangster did his own coffee spit, and he gets up. In "Beat It", the two gangsters walk out the door. In "Eat It", the doors are not there.
  • The diner doors are smaller in the parody compared to the original version.
  • The gang members began to make their noise after clicking their fingers. In the original, the sounds are animal-like howls. In "Eat It", the gangsters sound like Curly Howard from The Three Stooges by making "woob, woob, woob" noises.
  • After the two gangsters climb out of the manhole, the second one being fat gets stuck as he tries to climb out.
  • The pool tables in the original video have no pockets, but in the parody, they do.
  • The gang leader in the white jacket had a smiley face, with "HAVE A NICE DAY" written on it, instead of a dragon in the original.
  • A gang member pulls his girlfriend's head off, and then kisses her, instead of pulling her head back in the original video.
  • As the gang leaders walk, various things happened to their trousers. First, the white coat leader and his members are walking with their tops and boxer shorts and then later they put their pants on (implying they forgot to do so earlier).
  • Instead of a person, as in the Jackson video, an alien (played by drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz) peers through the blinds.
  • A picture of Dr. Demento falls off the wall, not long after he sits up. The bedroom is cluttered with half-eaten food stuff.
  • In the original video, the second gang rode in the back of a pickup truck. In "Eat It", the gang is waiting for a bus.
  • When Weird Al dances out of his bedroom, he took a bite of a banana.
  • In the original video, the two gangs walk down separate alleys. In the parody, the second alley is empty as one of the gangs are still waiting for the bus. The gang does make it to the rumble through unknown means.
  • At the diner, Weird Al opened the doors just like Jackson does, but knocks someone over in the process. Yankovic dances uncoordinated, flailing his arms wildly, knocking over chairs as he goes and hurls himself through the gap in the counter, rather than sliding in smoothly like Jackson did.
  • During the pool hall scene, Weird Al's mouth fogs up the camera lens when it zooms in.
  • In the original video, the two gangs opened their garage doors. In "Eat It" the second garage door doesn't properly open and the second gang crawls under the door.
  • The instrumental break was done by Rick Derringer. The sound of the guitar blown up was heard at the end of the instrumental break.
  • In the original video, the gang leader rode a forklift. In "Eat It", the gang leader rode a wheel cart.
  • The gang leaders don't tie their hands up in rope, but rather hold a rubber chicken. Instead of switchblade knives, they have a switchblade fork and spoon.
  • When Weird Al is dancing among some boxes, he drops far more abruptly than Michael Jackson did.
  • Weird Al gives the gang leaders something to eat, before they burst into dance.
  • At the end of the video, Weird Al drops two antacids in a glass of water, referencing an abdominal pain from overeating.
  • Also at the end of the video, Weird Al is seen with bulging yellow eyes, in a reference to the ending sequence of Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Al cites the release of the single and the premiere of the video on MTV as his breakthrough success; he claims he was recognized in public as "the 'Eat It' guy" as soon as the day after.
  • "Eat It" earned Al his first Grammy Award in 1984 for Best Comedy Recording.
  • The song peaked at #12 in the United States.
  • "Eat It" was a #1 single in Australia, while the original "Beat It" peaked at #2.
  • The song also charted in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
  • The artwork parodies the artwork for the Michael Jackson album "Thriller".
  • Vincent Patterson, the choreographer for the original "Beat It" video, also played a gang leader in both the original and parody videos.
  • The original song is played in the key of D sharp minor, while Al's version is in A minor; Al sometimes changes the keys of his parody songs to better accommodate his vocal range.
  • The music video also references Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, the final shot of which has Jackson turn his face to the camera with yellow cat's eyes; Al does the same at the end of "Eat It" after putting Alka-Seltzer in a glass of water.
  • Dr. Demento makes a cameo in the video as a framed photo on Al's bedroom wall.
  • Part of the song was played at the start of an episode of Nature on PBS.
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