"Hey Man, Nice Shot" was the first song from 1990s industrial rock band Filter to garner airplay and fame. The song became notorious, as it was believed to be honoring the January 22, 1987, public suicide of Pennsylvania state treasurer Budd Dwyer, who shot himself during a press conference with a .357 magnum. A May 1996 interview with Filter in Addicted to Noise magazine and an official statement by the band confirmed this. Many have speculated that it could also be a lyrical paean to Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide. Filter explained in an official statement:
The song 'Hey Man Nice Shot' is a reaction to a well-documented public suicide. It is not a celebration or glorification of taking one's own life. The phrase 'hey man, nice shot' is a reference to the final act itself, an expression of guts and determination of a person standing up for what they believe is right. We are extremely sensitive and respectful to the family and friends of Mr. Dwyer. We have both lost friends to suicide and felt nothing but sympathy and loss for the victims, and those involved in such a tragedy.
The guitar line in the song's chorus was previously used in Stabbing Westward's song "Ungod," from the album of the same name. The line was written by Stuart Zechman, who played guitar for both Filter and Stabbing Westward.
The song is featured in a scene of Jim Carrey's The Cable Guy and also held a prominent role in The X-Files episode "D.P.O.". It was also the opening song for the movie Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. In 2002, it was used effectively in the season 2 premier episode of the NBC television series Crossing Jordan, "There's No Place Like Home." The song has also found its way into media even more than a decade after it was a hit. In 2005 parts of the song were used in the trailers for the movies Red Eye, Into the Blue, Stay and in The CW Television Network television series Supernatural episode "Skin". The song was also used in the CBS Network series Cold Case episode "Rampage" from 2006. The opening bars of the song have also been used as the opening theme for Australia's Channel 9 National Rugby League (NRL) broadcasts as well as being featured in a trailer for the film Iron Man. The song is also used in commercials airing in late 2006 / early 2007 advertising the 2007 season of Future Weapons on the Discovery Channel. It was also used in the third official trailer for Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.
The rock band Three Days Grace plays the chorus "Hey Man, Nice Shot" in the middle of their song "Home" when they play it live in concert.
There is also another version of the song, the "Nickel Bag Remix," which has guitar and trumpet sections. The guitar section is played over the verse and the trumpets are played before the chorus.