The American group The Lemonheads did a popular cover of this song in 1992 that went to #8 on the Modern Rock chart and introduced the song to many in Generation X (it also hit #19 on the UK Singles chart). The Lemonheads were asked to record the song for the 25th anniversary release of The Graduate
, prompting frontman Evan Dando to comment, "Some people, probably wearing Italian shoes, said, 'Hmmm, we need to get The Graduate
out to more of a flannel-wearing kind of audience."
Dando would later say, "I'm more proud of my own songs than the version of 'Mrs. Robinson,' which frankly I can take or leave – mostly leave." He refused to perform the song except under duress when sufficiently cajoled by his record company. His disdainful attitude toward the song was a protection mechanism of sorts to keep credibility with his core audience, who loathed anything reeking of corporate influence. "For the longest time, I couldn't believe we did it, and a lot of our fans were disappointed that we put that out," he explained in a 2019 Songfacts interview
. "They thought we were better than that, that we were kind of selling out."
Dando adjusted his attitude when the Lemonheads cover was used in the 2013 Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street
, earning him a nice royalty check. "I thought, If it's in a Scorsese movie, it's finally making good for me," he told Songfacts. "I'm OK with it."