Wonderboy (Tenacious D song)

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Australia and New Zealand CD Cover
Single by Tenacious D
from the album Tenacious D

November 11, 2002
(US and UK)

November 25, 2002
(Australia and New Zealand)
Format CD
Recorded The Boat in Silver Lake, Los Angeles
Genre Hard rock, comedy rock
Length 4:06
Label Sony Music International
Writer(s) Jack Black, Kyle Gass
Producer(s) Dust Brothers
Tenacious D singles chronology
Tenacious D track listing
"Hard Fucking"
Audio sample
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"Wonderboy" is the second single from Tenacious D's self-titled debut album. It was released December 24, 2002. The song peaked at #36 in the UK and #44 in Australia; the video, directed by Spike Jonze, was also well received.


Strings were played by Andrew Gross, a classmate of Jack Black, who penned the orchestral score for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.[1] He also played strings on several songs on this album.

Jack Black's friend Buckethead covered the song occasionally when playing live.[2]

The guitar intro is similar to "It's a Boy" by The Who from Tommy.

The song makes reference to the Three Dog Night song An Old Fashioned Love Song.

Music video[edit]

The lyrics of the song tell the tale of the superhero Wonderboy (Black) as he forms an alliance with his lute-wielding arch-rival Young Nasty Man (KG) and forms the band Tenacious D. Wonderboy's powers are not revealed in the song but according to the lyrics we know that Young Nasty Man has powers that are "comparable" to Wonderboy's. Young Nasty Man has a variety of seemingly telekinetic powers, such as flight via levitation, "mind bullets" via telekinesis (with an apparent range of at least 200 yards and enough force to "kill a yak"), and "the power to move you". The song also mentions Wonderboy's castle made of clouds, the use of swords, and an attempt to destroy a hydra (The Mucky Muck Man), which is not seen in the video, but is mentioned in the song.[3]

In the video, Wonderboy and Young Nasty Man are portrayed as Medieval/Mythological skill-and-strength heroes, climbing a snowy mountain. At the end of the video they fight a monster (which is off-screen but its flaming breath can be seen) and Wonderboy perishes, having been run through by his own sword. The fates of Young Nasty Man and the monster (presumably the fire-breathing hydra mentioned in the lyrics) remain unknown.

The video was directed by Spike Jonze under the alias of Marcus Von Bueler.[4] The producer was Vincent Landay and K.K. Barrett was the stunt director. The production company was Satellite Films. The music video was first aired during the week beginning October 29, 2001.[5]

In 2002, Spike Jonze won an award from the MVPA (Music Video Production Association) for the "Best Direction of a New Artist" for his work on "Wonderboy".[6]

Sample of "Wonderboy" performed live by Tenacious D.

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Track listings[edit]

US CD single (Epic Records #673351 5)
  1. "Wonderboy" – 4:07
  2. "Cosmic Shame (live)" - 4:28 Recorded at the Cox Arena in San Diego on November 20, 2001.
  3. "Kyle Quit the Band (demo)" - 2:10
  4. "Wonderboy (Video)" - 4:07
Australia and New Zealand CD single (Epic Records #673286.2)
  1. "Wonderboy" – 4:07
  2. "Tribute (Channel V Performance)" - 4.34
  3. "Tribute" (Video) – 4:08
UK CD single (Epic Records #673351 2)
  1. "Wonderboy" – 4:07
  2. "Jesus Ranch (demo)" - 2:14
  3. "Tribute" (Video) – 4:08
Promotional CD (Epic Records #XPCD2756)
  1. "Wonderboy" – 4:07

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
UK Singles Chart[7] 24
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[8] 48



  1. ^ Starpulse News Blog (2006-12-10). "'Jack Black Has High School Friend Pen Score To 'Tenacious D In The Pick Of Destiny'". Starpulse News Blog. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 
  2. ^ https://archive.org/details/Buckethead2006-03-10.SBD.flac16
  3. ^ "Tenacious D - "Wonderboy" Lyrics". Retrieved May 14, 2007. 
  4. ^ mvdbase.com - Spike Jonze Videography
  5. ^ "Tenacious D - "Wonderboy"". Retrieved January 23, 2007. 
  6. ^ "mvpa - music video award winners 2002". Archived from the original on January 8, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  7. ^ "UK Albums chart". Everyhit.com. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  8. ^ "Tenacious D". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2008-02-14.