John Travolta On Why He Agreed To Grease Spoof For Super Bowl Ad Opposite Scrubs Stars

John Travolta in Grease spoof for T-Mobile Super Bowl ad.
(Image credit: T-Mobile)

Whether or not you’re interested in the actual football game once the Super Bowl rolls around, most people are at least excited about tuning in for the commercials. Companies pony up lots of cash for a coveted ad slot, and Super Bowl LVII’s funniest commercials pulled out all the stops to grab fans’ attention. T-Mobile nailed the trifecta of celebrities, humor and nostalgia to push its 5G home Internet service, pairing John Travolta with Scrubs stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison for a spoof of the Grease hit “Summer Nights,” and Travolta opened up about what made him say yes to the project.

John Travolta went full Danny Zuko for T-Mobile’s Super Bowl ad, singing the popular song from the 1978 musical alongside the Fake Doctors, Real Friends podcast hosts. Rather than staying out till 10 o’clock and making out under the dock, Zach Braff and Donald Faison sang about only needing one cord to be able to stream movies, as Travolta popped the collar of his black jacket and asked them to “Tell me more, tell me more.” The Grease star said he enjoyed the good-natured throwback to the movie, telling Variety

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.

I’m as surprised as John Travolta is about the lack of Grease spoofs, but he hits it on the head by pointing out that the ad stays in line with the movie’s nonsensical humor, because there are plenty of things that don’t make sense about Grease

There was just something special about how well the Pulp Fiction actor fit in with the Scrubs stars, and John Travolta really seemed to enjoy the bond they seemed to have. He continued: 

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, It’s like a special art to do musical comedy and advertising, that has a vibe, a frequency that is different than other types of performance. When I see all three of us together, I feel like we should do something else with this, you know?

Might we see these three team up again for the 2024 Super Bowl? Zach Braff and Donald Faison were also featured in a T-Mobile ad during Super Bowl LVI last year, singing “I Feel Pretty,” so it certainly seems possible that John Travolta could join the fun again. Or maybe we’ll see them tackle a different project together. For now, you can see the extended version of their “Summer Nights” spoof below: 

Other highlights from Super Bowl LVII included another fantastic nostalgia grab, as Alicia Silverstone reprised her classic character Cher from Clueless alongside Elisa Donovan’s Amber for Rakuten. Maya Rudolph tried to ruin M&Ms (sorry, Ma&Ya’s candy-coated clam bites), and we can’t forget about Rihanna giving history’s most epic pregnancy announcement, with her reps confirming just minutes after her halftime performance that she is expecting her second child.

Those wanting to relive the non-spoofed music of Grease can stream the movie with a Netflix subscription or Paramount+ subscription. All nine seasons of Scrubs, meanwhile, are available to Hulu subscription holders. 

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.