Smash Mouth initially resisted their song's meme status, but eventually embraced it (and its potential to revitalize their career). They embraced it so much, in fact, that they found themselves playing at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. In 2020. Where masks werent worn. Hey, guess what happened.
103 COVID cases across eight states were linked to the rally/aural atrocity, and from there a study estimated that 267,000 cases (and 12.2 billion dollars in public health expenses) could be traced back to the "perfect storm" of a superspreader event. But Mr. Smash Mouth did yell "Fuck that COVID shit" at the show, so who knows which side to believe here?
But 10 Years Ago ...
Before Smash Mouth burned through a good chunk of their impenetrable internet irony-drenched goodwill, they looked destined to become an obscure one-hit wonder akin to your Semisonics and Three Doors Downs. In 2011, they only had a handful of Twitter followers and were only attracting attention from writer Jon Hendren, who offered lead singer/guy Steve Harwell 20 bucks to eat two dozen eggs.
This somehow evolved into people promising various charitable donations, and while Smash Mouth did their best to ignore this too, Harwell eventually promised to eat eggs if $10,000 was raised for St. Jude Hospital. The money promptly arrived, because nothing motivates internet charity like the stupidest prompts imaginable, and so Harwell found himself at a Guy Fieri restaurant opening, being made eggs by the Mayor of Flavor Town himself, in the presence of people driven to madness by Twitter and also, for some reason, the mascot of the San Jose Sharks. Harwell managed to get through about a third of the spicy concoction before calling on the audience for help, and that was the last food-related drama Harwell experienced until he threw a temper tantrum at a food festival gig a few years later.
Anyway, this all sounds like a lesson about fame, although we honestly have no idea what that exact lesson is. If you're washed up, just keep clinging to the margins and maybe you'll be propelled back into the limelight for reasons that aren't clear to anyone? Sure, let's go with that.
Mark is on Twitter and wrote a book.
Top Image: Netflix, Amazon Studios