Sunday, January 17, 2010

John Forever.

Did you have a childhood crush when you were a preteen?  Of course you did.  When I was a little girl, right on the cusp of puberty but not quite there yet, the most crushable boys for my age group were:

-Joey from New Kids on the Block,
-Fred Savage from The Wonder Years,
-Jonathan Taylor-Thomas from Home Improvement,
-Jonathan Brandis (RIP) from such cinema classics as Ladybugs and The Never-Ending Story II: The Next Chapter.

We thought they were sooooooo cute!  And to indulge us, at least one of these young man's faces would be gracing the covers of Bop and/or Tiger Beat any given month. By the time we girls graduated to YM and Seventeen, we were beginning to get the picture that Johnny Depp was proper crush material, too.

But let's pretend you were only mildly intrigued by the likes of Joey, Fred, Jonathan Taylor, Jonathan B. and even Johnny Depp.  Let's say, hypothetically, that as an 11 year-old, your tastes veered toward the older. The more mature. The men, not the boys. A man who could sing, and a man who sure as hell could dance.

Let's just say you loved this guy.

Now stay with me here, people.  I know John Travolta is a Scientologist.  I know he played Edna in the Hairspray remake, officially rendering him the ugliest, least attractive drag queen alive.  I know that with each word I type, you're rolling your eyes and thinking: honestly, Tolly. John Travolta?

But. None of that changes the fact that I watched Grease roughly 26 times between the ages of 11 and 13, memorizing all the words and the songs (and possibly hand motions) and downright begged my summer camp counselors to let me play Sandy in our end-of-session "Watershow Spectactular" (a "musical," performed for parents, around a pool.  Still my finest thespian accomplishment).

I did it all for Danny Zuko.

I'm sorry, but this is a beautiful man.  Look at him here, on the cover of his own album!

I had no idea John recorded "Let Her In" (haha. That title. A title I took the liberty of YouTubing).  It apparently broke the U.S. Top Ten, even without my 11-year-old allowance available to make an adoring contribution.

As a child, I hated Kirstie Alley in Look Who's Talking! (though that didn't stop me from seeing it in the theater - likely opening weekend - and later the sequel Look Who's Talking Too! as well as Look Who's Talking Now!, where they cleverly substituted talking pets for talking babies), and as the years progressed, I also took advantage of Nick at Nite's brief Welcome Back, Kotter offering.

After roughly the 17th viewing of Grease, which I insisted on subjecting my friends to during each and every slumber party, my mother could see this crush was serious. Upon her suggestion, I rented both Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive from Blockbuster.

....And watched each 5-6 times apiece.

Trivia: Did you know Staying Alive was directed by Sylvester Stallone?  One look at that movie still above, though, and we're not all that surprised, are we?

But my favorite John was always Danny, and for a significant portion of my childhood and early adolescence, Danny and his wisecraking band of greasers outshone ANY New Kid on the Block. A Cadillac to a Pinto, a diamond to a Bedazzler, a filet mignon to a McDonald's Happy Meal.

I've always wondered whether I share this celebrity crush with anyone.  Each time I tell somebody about my childhood obsession, I usually get a quizzical, "um, good for you?" in response. And this shocks me! Those dimples, ladies. Those dimples, and those dance moves, are you kidding me?

Maybe it's too much jaw.  You could sell real estate on that jaw.  He and Jay Leno could have a Jaw-Off, and it'd be an extremely close call.

But, let's not think of such things.  Jaw or no, Xenu or no, I love you, '70s era John Travolta. And I always will.


PS: This post was inspired by Hipstercrite's wonderful, touching, and funnier story about Jeff Goldblum. Go read it, when you have a chance.

PPS: If you are in Austin, and you crave a little John action yourself, there's a Pulp Fiction quote-a-long this Thursday at the Drafthouse.


Hipstercrite said...

Thanks for the shout out Tolly!
I TOTALLY agree with you on John Travolta. Who doesn't love a good looking man who can act, sing, AND dance? Did you see him recently on Ellen with his daughter? He was on the brink of tears the whole interview. It was really touching.

kristen said...

yes!! john travolta in his hay day... and that butt! I too have seen Grease a million times... my freshman year homecoming I was decked out in a sparkly vintage '50s dress a la grease and my dancing shoes. my date wore sneakers and sweater from the thrift store. guess he didn't get the memo...

also, I must include that I liked Saturday Night Fever but I LOVED staying alive. and here's trivia for you... do you know sylvester stallone makes a brief cameo in it? seriously 2 seconds long, he's dressed like a pimp walking down the street. so classy.

Breanna said...

Okay, I'll admit that, way back when, John Travolta was a dreamboat.

I understand you, Tolly. My childhood crush? Elijah Wood. To this day, I'm convinced that we could be best friends. And I always, ALWAYS get an incredulous look when I mention his name, followed by a, "You mean that guy who played Frodo?" Oh, people, he is so much - SO MUCH - more than Frodo.

That Chelsea Girl™ said...

You forgot to mention Devon Sawa! He's really only in about 4 or 5 movies, but he was definitely a cutie from the end of Casper all the way to the beginning of Final Destination 2. I feel like he's fallen off the face of the planet since, but whatever, totally the keeper of my heart.
John Travolta seems nice enough. He has one of those careers where has one REALLY GOOD movie and then makes a REALLY TERRIBLE movie...or two or three...but you keep going back to the REALLY GOOD movie so it's okay.
Oh, and yes about the Sylvester trivia--VH1 used to play Staying Alive all the time, haha.

Tiffany Diane said...

No, I haven't yet, which I kind of regret. Instead of going on Sat, which everybody said was amazing, I opted for a lay-low night at Shangri La. All I know is it's a video dance club, and it's supposed to be a lot of fun and it is where Spiro's once was.

I was actually only in Tokyo for a hot minute during a layaway but Taiwan was great -- I will try to post a little something with pictures about that, just to throw in something a little different from the monotony of my flier posts (yawn).

Hope to see you soon, miss Tolly!

mai said...

Tolly, I'm a weirdo. I'm into Dan Aykroyd circa '75....


Austin Eavesdropper said...

DAN AYKROYD! Lol, Mai - you win Weirdest Celeb Crush Award. It's official.

TD - Would love love to see your Taiwan pictures. I always enjoy your photo posts.

Chelsea - That is indeed an accurate summation of John Travolta's current cinema career. Eh, what was that movie he just did in a grown-up biker gang? Or something? Haha. Clearly it made quite the impression.

Breanna - Elijah Wood! I get it. But you always go for the young'ns, you Mrs. Robinson you.

Kristen - Yay!!!! Another Staying Alive aficionado. Um, can we see pictures of your wonderful freshman homecoming get-up sometime?

Lauren - I know. A big part of me still loves him, Scientology and all. He seems like a genuinely kind person. Just like your Jeff...a kind smile for everybody!

Breanna said...

You're right T., I usually go for the young'uns, but Elijah Wood is only about 6 months younger than me:

Totally legit!

Tyler said...

I think that was more Travolta in 5 minutes than I have seen in the past 5 years...thanks for that, Tolly. :)

tattytiara said...

I had a friend who had, as a teenager in the 80s, been in a dance class with him. Apparently he was insanely nice.