Is Ed Helms a Musician in Real Life? Did He Really Sing in Family Switch?

Towards the end of Netflix’s comedy film ‘Family Switch,’ Wyatt Walker, who is trapped in the body of his father Bill Walker (Ed Helms), gets forced to sing a song for the sake of the latter. After much deliberation about the same, Wyatt sings the famed Christmas song “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” Helms delivers a captivating performance as the frontman of Dad or Alive, who makes his haters dance to his song. The actor portrays the singer with immense authenticity, which isn’t accidental. In addition to a career as a celebrated actor, Helms is also a gifted musician!

Musician Helms

Helms started his journey as a musician well before becoming a comedian and actor. While attending Oberlin College, Ohio, in the 1990s, he formed a band named The Lonesome Trio with his collegemates Ian Riggs and Jacob Tilove. In addition to singing, he plays guitar and banjo for the band. Although the conclusion of their academics temporarily put an end to the performances of the band, the trio regrouped in New York City. The band went on to play at venues such as Parkside Lounge and Rockwood Music Hall. In 2015, Helms’ band released a self-titled album which comprises twelve original tracks.

“We’ve been pretty straightforward about the presentation of our show. It’s really an earnest music show. That said, it’s also pretty lighthearted and fun. Some of the music is — it’s not comedy music at all — but there are some sort of sly, cheeky songs, and those are fun,” Helms told Robin Young while appearing in ‘Here & Now’ about his band’s music. The actor has a noteworthy history as a singer as well since he sang in several of his movies and other projects. ‘The Office’ features several of his songs, including the Stephen Sondheim-approved version of “Sweeney Todd.”

Helms sang the now-beloved “Stu’s Song” for ‘The Hangover.’ The actor wrote it after “playing around” a piano at a shooting location of the film. For the 2012 animated musical movie ‘The Lorax,’ Helms recorded four songs, which are “Everybody Needs a Thneed,” “How Bad Can I Be,” “These Trees,” and “This Is the Place (Tricky Version).” Other projects that feature Helms’ song or songs are ‘The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard,’ ‘The Muppets,’ ‘Tag,’ ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie,’ ‘Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock,’ ‘Big Mouth,’ etc.

Helms is also a collector of guitars and banjos. “I’m very passionate about instruments. I have lots of instruments, lots of guitars, banjos, ukuleles, you name it and I love to play them,” Helms said while appearing in Variety’s ‘Show & Tell.’ He also performed “Til the End of the World Rolls Around” in the same episode to pay his respects to the medical workers who worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Helms’ Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town

Helms really sang in ‘Family Switch.’ He performed “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” for the film with the Grammy Award-winning band Weezer. Rivers Cuomo, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bell, and Scott Shriner, the current members of Weezer, performed the song with the actor as the members of Dad or Alive. In an interview, director McG said that Helms and the band members “got along great” while filming the comedy movie. The actor’s experience as a singer helped him portray the frontman authentically, reminding us of his performance to honor his former colleague Jon Stewart at the 2022 Mark Twain Prize ceremony.

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