Following their harmonious homage to “Grease” in a Super Bowl commercial for T-Mobile, John Travolta, Zach Braff, and Donald Faison are contemplating a new musical endeavor.
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The telecommunications giant has released multiple versions of the ad, showcasing the trio singing an updated rendition of “Summer Nights,” promoting T-Mobile’s home Internet service as superior to competitors. Travolta channels his inner Danny Zuko, and Super Bowl viewers can anticipate seeing it during the fourth quarter of Fox’s game broadcast.
As one might expect, the offer has Travolta crooning, “Tell me more, tell me more.”
Travolta shared his thoughts with Variety, saying, “Chemistry cannot be created. It is or it isn’t. I love the dynamic between the three of us. It’s a special energy. I know it sounds odd, but it’s like a special art to do musical comedy and advertising, which has a vibe, a frequency that is different from other types of performance. When I see all three of us together, I feel like we should do something else with this, you know?”
In the previous year, Faison and Braff, known for their roles in the NBC sitcom “Scrubs,” performed a new version of “I Feel Pretty” for a T-Mobile Super Bowl ad. In 2023, they’ve taken the concept to new heights. Faison commented, “Zach and I are huge fans of musical theater, ever since we were kids. We have been training for this for such a long time.” While they knew the “Grease” idea was under consideration, Braff admitted, “but we didn’t know they would pick it.”
Travolta was delighted to have some fun with his history in “Grease.” He said the commercial is “in keeping with the spirit of the movie, as well as being humorous about it. All this is tongue in cheek, which is what I love about it, why I said, ‘Yes.’ It was the first time we’ve ever been asked to use a ‘Grease’ song and spoof it, to be honest. I’m curious why it hasn’t happened before.”
Revisiting the song was effortless. Travolta explained, “I did the play, on the road and on Broadway, for a year. It was part of my DNA, if you will.”
This isn’t the first Super Bowl ad for any of the trio. While Braff and Faison reprise their roles from T-Mobile’s 2022 Big Game spot, Travolta made an appearance alongside Martha Stewart in 2020 on behalf of Scotts Miracle-Gro. Travolta reflected on his start in ads during his theater days in New York: “I started in ads when I was in the theater in New York when I was 16 until I was 21 on ‘Welcome Back, Kotter.’ That was how you subsidized your career, with ads. I did everything from Pepsi to Honda motorcycles… Band-Aids, Safeguard soap.” He noted the art and skill required to make ads work: “You have to squeeze a presentational concept into the performance. It’s a heightened reality, almost like a cartoon.”
Fans can catch more of Travolta, Faison, and Braff’s talents in a two-minute version of the T-Mobile spot available online.