Lyricist Anthony Newley has said in interviews that upon hearing Woods' rendition for the first time, he was appalled at the lack of commerciality in the performance — worrying that it would possibly be depriving the duo of not only a hit record but an Oscar nomination as well.
Newley's distaste for the performance became so intense that he was willing to forego his own performance fee if he were to be allowed to re-arrange and re-record the song himself, and pay for the session as well.
When this was denied by producer David Wolper due to contractual stipulations by film composer Walter Scharf, Newley tried another tactic — lobbying to be allowed to at least re-dub his own vocal, possibly becoming the ghost voice for Woods; however, Woods' contract forbade that as well.
Chris Evans originally played the song on his popular drive time BBC Radio 2 show every Friday afternoon. Once he replaced Terry Wogan on the breakfast show in January 2010, he has continued to play the tune every Friday morning, immediately following the 8:00 am news. The song was also used on a TV trailer, promoting his new breakfast show.
Danny Baker used the song extensively as a theme during his breakfast show for BBC London 94.9. He would reward listeners who phoned into the show and greeted him as Candy Man. During his time on the show he amassed a large number of existing versions of the song and commissioned guests such as Ray Gelato to produce new versions. He continued to use the song as a theme tune for his afternoon show on BBC London 94.9 until its cancellation.
In an episode of My Name Is Earl (season 1, episode 24), Randy Hickey finds a coin in a drain, which is accompanied by an instrumental rendition of The Candy Man.
Comedian Tim Hawkins released a parody of the song entitled "the Government Can" in 2009. The video for the song went viral and has garnered over 5.7 million hits on YouTube.
M&M Mars used the song from time to time as a jingle for "The M&M's Man". EDM artist Zedd later released his single "Candyman", which samples the original song, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of M&M's candy. An M&M's ad featuring the song shows Red and Yellow trying to remix the "M&M's Man" jingle with help from Zedd and Aloe Blacc.
In an episode of We Bare Bears, Panda sings a parody of the song called "Girl Be Selling Sunshine" after he falls in love with a girl that saves him from a peanut allergy.
In an episode of Malcolm in the Middle entitled "New Neighbours," Commandant Spangler makes the cadets sing the song in order to impress his hero, Oliver North.
The Kidsongs singers sing this song on their 1987 video: "What I Want to Be".
In the Dreamworks Animation movie Madagascar, the song was used twice - the first was in normal speed when Alex the lion got tranquilized at Grand Central Station, then it played again in a very fast speed when he got tranquilized again before being boxed up.
A company called Launa Windows, based in Devon, England, used the song to advertise their company on UK television in the early 2000s. Using the same melody but with new lyrics including the most memorable part "Who can fix your windows, make your home secure? The Launa Man can"