Jonathan Coulton on Seeing His Glee Flap Play out on The Good Wife


For Brooklyn-based indie musician Jonathan Coulton, Sunday night’s installment of The Good Wife, in which warring lawyers Alicia (Julianna Margulies) and Will (Josh Charles) battle in court over intellectual-property rights, was a case of art imitating life. The episode took its ripped-from-the-headlines inspiration from his January 2013 kerfuffle with the producers of Glee, after the Fox show used Coulton’s self-described “kind of poppy, kind of folky, white-guy” cover arrangement of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” without permission or credit. While Glee had acted within its legal rights, the court of public opinion let it be known that Coulton was in the right: His “Baby Got Back” cover, an Internet hit upon its release in 2005, shot up the iTunes charts and overtook the Glee version, in part because Coulton’s legion of fans torpedoed the latter with negative reviews. On The Good Wife, the rap ditty in legal question was named “Thicky Trick”; Glee became Drama Camp; and Coulton’s alter ego was a bespectacled, lanky, slightly obtuse musician named Rowby (portrayed by guest star Matthew Lillard), who comprised one half of the fictitious folk-pop duo Rowby and Marshall. (Christopher Fitzgerald played Marshall.) Here, Coulton — who also serves as the house musician on the NPR game show Ask Me Another — tells Vulture what he thought of the episode, what it was like seeing his life play out in scripted format, and how long it took him to get “Thicky Trick” out of his head.  Read More...


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