I had always suspected that Old ‘Shmouth might be the greatest movie soundtrack band ever, only because I could think of more than several movies that featured their crunchy West Coast grooves just off the top of my head. But it wasn’t all the attention that Smash Mouth has been getting recently that made me want to dig deeper, what with them headlining a cruise ship with Sugar Ray (RIP Smash Mouth cruise), or the lead singer eating a two dozen eggs for charity, or the fact that Buzzfeed has been constantly “Smashing” 90’s nostalgia into the Internet’s “Mouth. It was actually during a recent re-watching of Can’t Hardly Wait that I decided it was time to put on my journalism pants and get to the bottom of it. If you haven’t seen Can’t Hardly Wait in a while, it features Smash Mouth’s breakout hit “Walkin’ On The Sun.” Twice. They play that song two times in that movie. That is double the amount of times that any one song usually gets played in any one movie.
Right now, you’re probably starting to think about all the movies you’ve seen in your life, and cross-referencing those movies with Smash Mouth songs, the same way I did after hearing "Walkin’ On" come on for the second time during Can’t Hardly Wait. A few movies are already popping into your head: Shrek, Mystery Men, Rat Race. And now, upon reading those titles of those three movies, you may be realizing that they don’t just have the band Smash Mouth in common, they actually have the same Smash Mouth song in common: "All Star." Now you’re probably thinking, “Yeah, that song is in a lot of movies. But just that one song, right? And the other one was already mentioned in this article. Right?” No, you are wrong. It goes deeper than you could ever imagine, as it always does when I do Private Investigative Journalism.
I started my investigation at the one place I knew I would find some answers. The Library.
Just kidding, I used the Internet. But I did go to the New York Public Library and took some pictures by that Lion in the opening shot of Ghostbusters.
Anyway, the Internet. After using several different keyword combinations, I optimized my search engine search, and discovered that ‘Shmouth has been heard in 28 films (that we know about)! You might be thinking 28 movies equates to 28 songs. Wrong again. You keep getting it wrong! 41 Mouth-smashed ditties have been played in 28 movies. That averages out to nearly 1½ ‘Smouth tracks per movie when you round to the nearest tenth of a decimal. It’s really 1.46, but let’s not split hairs, we’re talking about Smash Mouth and their dominion over the film industry here.
"All Star" wins the prize for winningest Smash Mouth song in filmdom, with 7 appearances, or rather “a-hear-ances,” because you hear songs. You can’t see a song.
The film with by far the most Smashing Sandwich-Socket cantandos is Zoom, starring Tim Allen as “Former superhero Jack [who is] called back to work to transform an unlikely group of ragtag kids into superheroes at a private Academy.” A movie with that bad-ass of a synopsis could ONLY feature no less than seven ‘Shmouth jives.
And finally, the award for Best A-hear-ance of a Smash Mouth Song in a Feature Film goes to “Sorry About Your Penis,” which is a real song that I didn’t make up and is featured in Orgasmo, a movie by the guys behind South Park. Again, I can’t stress how very real this song is and it exists.
Smash Mouth have slowed their roll a little bit; their last film a-hear-ance being in 2010’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But if my calculations are correct, the human race is on the verge of a major Smash-Mouth-in-Flim event that could create a massive spike in the ‘Shmouth-song-per-movie average that could push it all the way up to 1.47, maybe even 1.49.
If we’re lucky.
David Bailey is crazy for this one. Follow him on Twitter - @theringadingkid