The Walking Dead showrunner explains the use of a Weird Al song, Yankovic says he's "honored"

Watching the Walking Dead season 8 premiere, you might've thought you heard Queen's famous song "Another One Bites The Dust" playing in the background during Rick's visions of the future. After all, a song about people dropping dead on a show about the zombie apocalypse makes perfect sense, right? But it was actually Weird Al Yankovic's parody song, "Another One Rides The Bus".

Viewers seemed to be caught more off-guard by the childish song than any of the show's violence (or threats of violence) or all the, you know, walking corpses that eat people. It truly was a bizarre moment, but showrunner Scott Gimple has a reason for using the song:

"Storywise, it had to be a song that I wanted Judith [Rick's daughter] to be into, but I didn’t want her to be into something necessarily typical," Gimple recently told Entertainment Weekly. "I wanted to have it be distinctive. I will say there is a toddler in my life sort of obsessed with that song so that might have played into it a little bit. I try to check myself in those moments where I’m doing that for friends or whatever, but I put it in the script and was sitting there thinking about it."

Gimple went on to say that he picked the song precisely because it's strange to hear in such a serious show, and it was meant to throw viewers for a loop. The song's use confused someone else too: Weird Al himself:

The artist said at the time he had no idea why his song was being used in the episode, but that he was "honored" to have been included. And why shouldn't he be? The Walking Dead just showed that when the zombie apocalypse destroys most of humanity and civilization as we know it, we'll still have polka parody music.

Sam Prell

Sam is a former News Editor here at GamesRadar. His expert words have appeared on many of the web's well-known gaming sites, including Joystiq, Penny Arcade, Destructoid, and G4 Media, among others. Sam has a serious soft spot for MOBAs, MMOs, and emo music. Forever a farm boy, forever a '90s kid.