From '90s Hit to Justin Timberlake Joke, Revisiting Semisonic's 'Closing Time'
Semisonic's late-'90s hit 'Closing Time' plays as a racy, recurring gag in "Friends With Benefits," the new Justin Timberlake-Mila Kunis movie. How does it feel to be a pop culture punchline? "Silly and profoundly awesome," says frontman Dan Wilson.
Thanks to the racy red band trailer for the forthcoming Justin Timberlake-Mila Kunis rom-com Friends with Benefits (not to be confused with the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman vehicle No Strings Attached, which promises a similar plot), where a mid-coitus Kunis implores Timberlake to distract her with, what she calls, a Third Eye Blind song, Semisonic's 1998 hit "Closing Time" is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Long used to shoo out bar patrons who had overstayed their welcome, it’s now officially entered the realm of pop culture punchline, which, for singer Dan Wilson, is both a huge compliment and cause for pause. Fortunately, not he nor the rest of the band, which includes drummer Jacob Slichter who wrote the 2004 book So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star, define their lives by this one radio moment that never went away. THR got in touch with Wilson, now a successful songwriter for hire (Josh Groban, Keith Urban), who recently moved to Los Angeles, to talk about the song’s legacy.
THR: As the person who wrote and sang “Closing Time,” how does it feel to see the song used as a gag?
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