As promised, the Wonders — the fictional band at the heart of That Thing You Do! — reunited via Zoom Friday night to watch and provide commentary to the 1996 film. The watch party raised money for MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Actors Johnathon Schaech, Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn and Ethan Embry called in from their respective quarantines — technically their first reunion in 24 years — to reminisce about the beloved film alongside fans of That Thing You Do! who watched along with the YouTube livestream.
While the film’s director (and the band’s manager in the movie) Tom Hanks didn’t make it to the watch party as hoped, his son Colin Hanks (who had a brief role in the film) sat in for the majority of the screening. As Scott noted during the broadcast, Liv Tyler also wanted to partake but it was too late in the United Kingdom, where the actress is currently.
The live-watch party also featured surprise cameos from actors Giovanni Ribisi, the One-ders’ original drummer in the film, and Kevin Pollak, who played Pittsburgh DJ Boss Vic Koss and Zoomed in during his scene.
The Wonders’ reunion was a tribute in part to Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, who also penned the Wonders’ hit “That Thing You Do!”; Schlesinger died at the age of 52 from complications related to COVID-19. “Adam Schlesinger, we will always remember you,” Scott said during the end credits.
Prior to the watch party, the Wonders spoke to Rolling Stone about Schlesinger. “He had to make a song that sounded like it was a hit song from the Sixties,” Scott said. “It had to have the words ‘that thing you do,’ because that came first. I remember them saying 300 songs had been submitted. But that was the one.”