The adage goes never meet your idols, but Encanto songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda sidestepped that warning. Growing up on Weird Al Yankovic’s iconic parody songs helped to inform Miranda as a composer and songwriter. So getting the chance to meet Yankovic after becoming a Broadway success was a childhood dream come true. Or he wanted it to be. Things took a turn as the Tick, Tick… Boom! director recalled ‘pooping the bed” while trying to get the Grammy winner to work with him.
The Hamilton creator opened up about his less-than-stellar first meeting with the Grammy winner during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Miranda was hot off the success of his first hit musical In the Heights when he got the chance to meet his childhood idol. Yankovic was meeting with different writers for a potential Broadway musical. The music composer was giddy to meet the comedy icon and pitch himself for the stage musical. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned once Miranda arrived at Yankovic’s home.
There’s nothing like self-sabotage to ruin a meeting with your childhood role model. Of course, Bobby Lopez is a great songwriter with accolades to match, but that was Miranda’s moment. But it seemed his nerves and self-doubt got the best of him. He just wanted to impress the “White and Nerdy” singer at this moment but pitched his close friend instead.
Miranda realized he had fumbled the opportunity before leaving Yankovic’s home. The In the Heights composer recalled never having a nervous episode before meeting the comic musician. A wave of self-doubt washed over the filmmaker once he got in his car.
Comparing his car breakdown to a Boogie Nights scene illustrated Miranda's miserable feelings after meeting Yankovic. He felt like blowing the chance to work with the comedy icon ever again. But meeting his idol made him nervous and overexcited. Luckily, he redeemed himself later as the two men became friends. He even hinted at appearing in the musician's star-studded biopic satire Weird.
Despite their horrible meeting, Miranda finally got the chance to work with Yankovic on the medley “The Hamilton Polka” for the Hamilton Mixtape. The comedy legend’s influence on the multihyphenate pre-dated his success on stage and in film. He recalled crafting a song in the style of Weird Al’s parody songs for his high school math class. So the first meeting between the pair was a childhood dream-turned-nightmare for Miranda.
Moviegoers will hear Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work (sans one sacred classic) when the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid arrives in theaters on May 26, 2023. He composed and produced the music for one of 2023’s new movie releases. In the meantime, you can watch the live recording of Hamilton through a Disney+ subscription.
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