Weird Al's album cover for Mandatory Fun.
Stranger things have happened, but not much.
Pop music's king of strange, "Weird Al" Yankovic, lands atop the Billboard album chart this week, with sales of 104,000 copies in the week ending July 20, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That makes it the first comedy album to reach No.1 on the chart since 1963.
"If you'd told me 30 years ago this would happen, I never would've believed it," the singer wrote early Wednesday on Twitter. "If you'd told me 2 WEEKS ago, I never would've believed it."
As Billboard's Keith Caulfield points out, Mandatory Fun is the first comedy album to hit No.1 since Allan Sherman's My Son, the Nut - made famous by Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter from Camp) -went atop the tally and spent eight weeks there in 1963.
With parodies of well known tunes by Lorde, Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, among others, Yankovic's album arrived accompanied by a series of music videos that earned widespread attention on the internet last week. The clip for Word Crimes - a grammar-inspired redo of Thicke's Blurred Lines - has been viewed over 10 million times on YouTube.
Behind Mandatory Fun, Jason Mraz entered the Billboard 200 at No.2 (102,000 copies) with his latest set of mellow folk-pop ditties, Yes!, followed by the Chicago punk band Rise Against's The Black Market at No.3 (53,000) and Kidz Bop Pop’s Kidz Bop 26 at No.4 (46,000).
The indomitable Frozen soundtrack marks its 30th straight week in the top five, though it dips three spots from last week to No.5, with sales of 43,000. The last album to enjoy a longer reign was Adele's blockbuster 21, which concluded a 39-week run in December 2011.
Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour and Ed Sheeran's x also fall, respectively landing at No.6 (35,000, down 17 per cent) and No.7 (24,000, down 32 per cent). The Now 50 compilation dips from No.7 to No.8, despite a slight rise in sales -- 4 per cent, to 23,000 -- and Trey Songz's Trigga down from No.4 to No.9 with nearly 23,000, down 35 per cent.
The top 10 closes with a surging album: Blake Shelton's Based On a True Story..., which jumps from No.63 to No.10 with sales of with 22,000 -- up 386 per cent. The album was sale-priced in the iTunes Store last week for $US5.99 and grew by 1000 per cent in overall download sales.