May 13, 2003 01:15 PM

Eminem has apparently lost his sense of humor over his song “Lose Yourself.”

The rapper is attempting to prevent pop parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic from shooting a video for his new song, “Couch Potato,” a take-off on Eminem’s Oscar-winning tune from his film “8 Mile,” Yankovic tells the Associated Press.

“The only reason I could glean was that making a ‘Weird Al’ music video would detract from his legacy as a serious hip-hop artist,” says Yankovic, 43. “It’s very disappointing. This could have been my best video ever.”

Eminem scholars will note that the rapper parodied Elvis — the fat Elvis, at that — in his video “Without Me,” but Eminem’s spokesman, Dennis Dennehy, tells AP that “Lose Yourself” is close to the heart of the rapper, who apparently doesn’t want it tainted by satire.

“It’s an important personal piece of music for him, a piece of art,” says Dennehy. “He doesn’t mind him doing the song, (but) he didn’t want to change kids’ visual perception on what that image was. He wanted to make sure the image would remain intact.”

Yankovic, who usually speaks with tongue planted firmly in cheek, said that Eminem originally permitted the parody to be done — but Eminem wanted to view the video before granting approval. That approval was then not given.

“We started preproduction on (the video) already, because we just assumed that there wouldn’t a problem,” Yankovic said.

Even so, the song can still be heard on Yankovic’s new album “Poodle Hat,” to be released May 20 — and which also features parodies of songs by Avril Lavigne and Nelly.

This isn’t the first time Yankovic has run into trouble with serious rappers. Coolio also once lashed out at “Weird Al” after Yankovic’s album “Bad Hair Day” featured “Amish Paradise,” a parody of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

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