Michael Bolton is the soft-rock crooner with a heart of gold, chiseled features and locks of golden curls that make him one of the sexiest men alive. Bolton’s career has been benchmarked by his songwriting successes, his take interpretations of classic hit songs, and his charity work to end domestic violence. Imagine then the perplexed looks of the public when Bolton teamed up with the comedy troupe Lonely Island whose digital shorts have graced Saturday Night Live. The result of the partnership is the digital short dubbed “Jack Sparrow.” The project gave Bolton a new dimension to his reputation as an entertainer. His persona now has an element of humor and the public eye has been delighted by the transformation. The video has over 80 million views on Youtube and counting. With the help of Lonely Island, Bolton reinvented himself, unintentionally.
In the short, Bolton plays a cinephile whose outdated movie references ruin the base thumping club track Lonely Island tries to throw down. Bolton’s promised “big sexy hook” is actually an ode to Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. When trying to “get back on track” Bolton references several other cinema classics including Forrest Gump, Erin Brockovich and Scarface. “Jack Sparrow” became an overnight sensation. In an interview with GQ Magazine, Bolton said he was unsure how his role in the video would be received. “I saw Jimmy Fallon right after the Emmy performance; we went to his party after. And Jimmy got down on one knee and started doing the “I’m not worthy” to me, so I felt like, ‘Okay, it went over; it went over,’” which reassured Bolton of his comedic worth.
Since the release of the video, Bolton has enjoyed the attention from new generations of fans who have shared the Youtube . When asked if his life has changed since his Youtube success, Bolton said, “’Oh definitely. First I was getting only the guys shouting out ‘Do Jack Sparrow’ on the street, now I’m getting women who are yelling out for it at my concert! I don’t know why, but sometimes people ask you to…they ask you to sing in strange places sometimes. I think it might be a matter of how many drinks they’ve had before they ask you to sing. But I have been asked to sing ‘Jack Sparrow’ in public places, including restaurants, where I just smile and I say, ‘Well, keep watching it on YouTube! Let’s get to 100 million!’”
Bolton was even recently asked to appear on the 100th celebration of the SNL Digital Short for a revival of Captain Jack Sparrow. The short celebrated the history of Lonely Island’s shorts with many guest appearances by Justin Timberlake, Natalie Portman and of course, Bolton who donned the Jack Sparrow costume to the amusement of SNL viewers around the world. Since the clip aired, “Jack Sparrow” jumped from over 70 million views to over 80 million views.
In short, with the success of “Jack Sparrow,” one can only wonder what other tricks this legendary entertainer has up his sleeve. One thing for sure is that you can add “funny” to Bolton’s reputation. When Bolton sails into Fraze on June 4th, you may not expect to see him in full pirate gear, but you can expect more of those “big sexy hooks.”