Virus Alert is a song by "Weird Al" Yankovic on his 2006 album, Straight Outta Lynwood. It is a pastiche of the glam rock band Sparks. The song is a satire of hoax computer virus warnings such as the "Goodtimes virus" (also spoofed as "Bad Times".)
The narrative of the song is told from the perspective of someone forwarding an email detailing and warning about the (fictional) "STINKY CHEESE" computer virus
, with over-exaggerated effects and consequences. These range from plausible behaviors that have occurred in real life, such as deleting data and translating documents into another language (in this case Swahili
); to the impossible, such as "causing a major rift in time and space", "messing up the pH
balance in your pool", "giving your laundry static cling" and "making you physically attracted to sheep." The e-mailer continually requests its recipients to "forward
this message on to everybody," and gives instructions on what to do, should a computer become infected with this virus (such as dropping the computer down a 43-foot hole, and burning any articles of clothing "you may have worn anytime you were online"). Also, the virus seems to be spread like the ILOVEYOU
virus, by e-mail spamming and scamming into downloading the virus (although the virus seems to infect right by opening the e-mail).
The music video was animated by David Lovelace
, creator of the notorious Newgrounds
cartoon Retarded Animal Babies
. There is a reference to David's roots in Newgrounds
. In one scene, just before a computer monitor explodes, you can see the Newgrounds logo on the screen; also, four of the five Retarded Animal Babies make appearances in the video, in one instance the Bunny character being clickable to see two of the babies watching the video. An interesting note is that the viruses bear a strong resemblance to the viruses from the classic NES
game Dr. Mario
. Also, the mail program used in the video is "AlMail," a parody of GMail
. The video also contains a reference to the Mike Judge
movie Office Space
. The office building where the Al character works in the video is the home of a company called Initech, which is also the name of the company in Office Space
The movie's scenes involving the band also have a distinct Tron-style look, with the band members standing on blocky towers of neon-colored luminous tiles reminiscent of the movie. Also, as the virus infiltrates reality, the band's instruments transform into strange objects (a guitar into a fish, the drum set into a giant lobster, and a keyboard into an octopus). Also present is a reference to the Indiana Jones
film Raiders of the Lost Ark
, where three characters (dressed the same as the Germans from the film) get their faces melted "right off their skulls."
"Weird Al"'s website features a computer game based on the music video. Named Virus Alert 3D, the game is from the same people who worked on the song's music video. "Weird Al" plays an employee of Company-Tech Co., Ltd. LLC, a computer technology company. He advances in his job by collecting computer disks, installing anti-viruses
on computers, killing the viruses and completing the levels. A free demo is available, while the actual game is $16.95.
http://virusalert3d.com/ - the computer game