Song as Punchline: 10 Movies That Use Music for Laughs
6:33 PM PST 12/6/2010 by Shirley Halperin
After our fun and enlightening chat with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson about how his band’s 1998 hit “Closing Time” became a pop culture punchline, we scoured YouTube for more examples of films that feature a song as a gag. Truth be told, there were so many hilarious scenes, we had a hard down narrowing them down to 10!
Semisonic’s “Closing Time” in Friends With Benefits (2011)
In the red band trailer for the forthcoming movie Friends With Benefits (due out in June 2011), Justin Timberlake is made to sing Semisonic’s last call anthem “Closing Time,” which is mockingly attributed to Third Eye Blind, mid-coitus.
Natasha Beddingfield’s “Pocketful of Sunshine” in Easy A (2010)
Emma Stone’s character Olive can’t seem to shake the Natasha Beddingfield hit “Pocketful of Sunshine,” which serves as a running gag in the high school comedy Easy A.
Air Supply’s “All Out of Love” in Old Dogs (2009)
The ad for the Disney movie Old Dogs aired ad infinitum and featured Seth Green curled up on a gorilla’s lap singing Air Supply’s classic lament, “All Out of Love.”
Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” in The Hangover (2009)
In one of countless unexpected scenes from Todd Phillips’ Vegas-gone-wrong opus The Hangover, boxer Mike Tyson takes on Phil Collins’ classic '80s hit “In the Air Tonight” sounding like a bad American Idol audition.
Andrea Bocelli’s “Por Ti Volare” in Stepbrothers (2008)
Stepbrothers reaches a whole new level of absurdity when Will Ferrell’s Brennan musters the courage to sing in front of an audience of hecklers. His tune of choice: the Andrea Bocelli aria which zombiefied Carmella back in The Sopranos days.
The Guess Who’s “These Eyes” in Superbad (2007)
In one of several sticky situations, Michael Cera’s Superbad character Evan uses “These Eyes,” the soft-rock classic by The Guess Who, to diffuse a group of tough guys.
“Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” in The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
In one of the greatest codas to hit the screen, Steve Carrell and his 40 Year Old Virgin costars -- including Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Jane Lynch -- embrace their inner hippies and reenact the Hair classic "Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In.”
Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On” in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)
The soundtrack to Harold and Kumar’s bromance? It’s not Bob Marley or Snoop Dogg, but rather Wilson Phillips, whose 1990 soft rock hit is belted at top volume by the best buds, played by John Cho and Kal Penn.
The Carpenters’ “Superstar” in Tommy Boy (1995)
In another classic driving scene, David Spade and the late Chris Farley show their sensitive side by serenading each other with The Carpenters classic, “Superstar.”
Queen’s "Bohemian Rhapsody" in Wayne’s World (1992)
Wayne’s World’s dynamic duo, played by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, hold a special place in singalong history. After their headbanging take on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the song shot up to No. 2 on the Billboard singles charts while the soundtrack was the country’s best-selling album in February 1992.
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