They’ve been on a 21-year hiatus, but iconic pop band The Wonders – best known as the subjects of Tom Hanks’ 1996 film, That Thing You Do – have reunited, and it happened on a comedy show in Hollywood.
It all started when Tom Everett Scott, drummer for The Wonders (who also appeared in films like Dead Man on Campus and An American Werewolf in Paris) attended some of the show’s tapings for Comedy Central, a few months ago at LA’s Fonda Theater.
“Jason Gallagher is the producer on The After Jam, the post-show to The Comedy Jam, and his sister is married to Tom Scott, AKA ‘Shades,’” Meyers explains. “Tom came to the tapings and had a great time — I threw him the idea, and initially he said no. Then Jason worked on him, and he was in.”
From there, the idea snowballed as other former Wonders found out.
“Ethan [Embry] found out and was in,” says Meyers, “then Jon [Schaech]. We were supposed to do it in March, but then Steve Zahn wanted in and had to finish up a movie, so we waited – but unfortunately, Steve lives in Kentucky and just couldn’t make it.”
That doesn’t mean Zahn was left out – Comedy Jam “roadie” Jeremiah Watkins was onstage in a Zahn mask the entire time, representing The Wonders’ original guitarist.
The guys were great to work with, reports Meyers. “They don’t actually play instruments, so they were extremely nervous. Jason worked with them, and then we had the rehearsal the night before the show – they came in and killed.”
So on the night of, The Wonders were ready to go, and the crowd was totally surprised.
“They all showed up wearing the same outfit and we played the song like it was performed it was in the movie: my band started the song and then my drummer, Nick Liberatore, acted like he broke his arm. He runs offstage and I asked the audience if there was a drummer in the house – Tom came out, and then the rest of the band. We jumped into the song and the crowd went nuts. After it was done, everyone in attendance had the biggest smile on their face. It was magical.”