It’s 3 p.m.! Let The A.V. Club briefly make use of the waning hours of your productivity with some pop culture ephemera pulled from the depths of YouTube.
Eminem has a lot of beefs going on right now, a Nietzsche-an abyss you can gaze into, at mortal risk of it gazing back. Or you can save yourself the trouble and just enjoy a more palatable beef of yore: The one between Eminem and “Weird Al” Yankovic from 2003.
The trouble started innocently enough, when Yankovic decided to make one of his classic parody songs based on Eminem’s Academy Award-winning track, “Lose Yourself.” Eminem agreed and thus the song “Couch Potato,” which satirized TV-obsessed Americans, was born. But when it came time to make a music video for the song and promote it as the lead single on Yankovic’s upcoming album Poodle Hat, Eminem was suddenly concerned the parody “would be harmful to his image or career,” and put the kibosh on the whole thing.
Flash forward a few months and Yankovic is producing another one of his Al TV specials for MTV, this one featuring the above “interview” between the comedian and his new nemesis, Marshall Mathers. The spliced together clip pokes fun at Eminem’s penchant for ending every sentence with, “Know what I’m saying?” and his confusing, occasional use of triple negatives. But the real highlight comes at the halfway point, when Yankovic unloads on the rapper for claiming to believe an artist “should be able to say whatever he wants to say” while simultaneously preventing Yankovic from promoting his new song and album. He then gets Eminem to “admit” that the parody version is the better version of the song.
It’s a good bit, and it’s unfortunate that the second half of the video devolves into a bunch of jokes about whether or not Eminem is gay. But this was 2003, after all. As further evidence, here he is performing the offending track on The Late Late Show With Craig Kilgorn: