WandaVision Star Paul Bettany Had No Idea What "Yakety Yak" Was Before Filming

WandaVision is finally here and the first episode of the show channeled some iconic classic sitcoms from the late 1950s and early 1960s like I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) find themselves in a classic sitcom shenanigan when they are left hosting a last-minute dinner for Vision's boss (Fred Melamed) and his wife (Debra Jo Rupp). To distract his guests from Wanda's mayhem in the kitchen, Vision starts singing the "Yakety Yak," a famous bop that was released by The Coasters in 1959. During a recent chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Bettany revealed that the song came into play last minute and he had somehow never heard it before.

"It was worse than that," Bettany explained with a laugh when asked what his first reaction was to learning he had to sing the song in front of a live studio audience. "We had another song planned. I play the guitar, but I don’t play the ukulele. They’re different shapes, but I’m a quick study on stringed instruments. So it was much worse than that. I had learned another song, and on the day, they came up to me and went, 'We’ve got a problem.' And I went, 'What’s that?' And they went, 'We can’t play that song.' And I went, 'Whaaat!?' And they said, 'But we can play 'Yakety Yak'!' And I went, 'What’s ‘Yakety Yak'!?' (Laughs.) I didn’t know 'Yakety Yak' so I had to learn 'Yakety Yak.' On the couch, I think we also sang 'Old MacDonald,' and I had to figure it out there, in the wings, before playing it in front of an audience."

Impressive work, Paul! While talking to THR, Bettany also teased that the light-hearted sitcom world won't last. "Yes, initially, it really was [relieving], but it’d be a pretty boring TV show if it stayed that way," Bettany told THR. "What you will begin to realize is that it’s not an arbitrary decision or a cute decision to set this story in these sitcoms. What’s wonderful about the comfort level that comes with these sitcoms is that you have a seemingly insoluble problem that when the couple unite, the problem becomes eminently soluble. Unfortunately, real life isn’t quite like that, and it can’t stay that way forever."

The first two episodes of WandaVision are now streaming on Disney+. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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