You know you've really made it when you're the butt of the joke of a Saturday Night Live skit. And a few years ago, singer/songwriter/ultimate feel-good mellow dude Jack Johnson found himself in just that situation.
All of a sudden, there was Andy Samberg on the television sporting that signature close-cut Johnson haircut (though it is no longer, as Johnson is now sporting a full-on shag), barefoot, puka shell necklace-clad and armed with an acoustic guitar.
"Hi, I'm Jack Johnson," Samberg dragged. "Welcome to The Mellow Show... cargo shorts!"
But were there any hard feelings over the reoccuring skit, featuring cameos from the likes of "Jason Mraz" (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and "Dave Matthews" (Bill Hader)?
"No, no, it was great. I thought it was real funny when I saw them," Johnson shares over the phone during a tour stop in Kansas City.
But the skits led into another project Johnson himself couldn't even have predicted: a music video for his next single, "At Or With Me."
Johnson's usual music video director, Emmett Malloy of the Malloys (the White Stripes, Vampire Weekend, Matt Costa, the Cold War Kids, Ben Harper and more) was actually involved with Samberg on a project when they started talking about the connection between Malloy and Johnson.
And so, the big fight scene of "At Or With Me" was born--complete with injuries both fake, real and accidental--but believe me when we say it was tough to get the info out of Johnson at first.
When I asked Johnson about a tweet I had seen that he was injured on the set, he laughed quietly, and asked, "Oh yeah? And what else did you hear?"
Turns out the quietness was for a reason: Johnson had wanted to keep the whole video concept of "At Or With Me" hush-hush "in order to try to keep it exciting when it comes out."
He goes on to explain he wanted to leak images from the video to get people talking, almost as if Samberg and Johnson had really gotten into it over the SNL skits.
End result of the video shoot?
"A little black eye--a shiner," Johnson explains. "I almost broke my nose when we did this one stunt. Andy was like, 'Why don't we just let the stunt guys do the stunts?' But then I started doing them and he was like, 'Oh god,' and he started doing them, too."
He then shares his story of that one prop breakaway vodka bottle "hurt like hell" when Samberg accidentally knocked him over the head with the corner of the bottle.
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"I'm kind of overly proud," Johnson adds, with another warm laugh. "Holy cow, I had to jump over the top of the table at one point... fake bottles were broken our heads. He broke a chair over my back--and that kind of hurt, actually."
Watch the video below:
Jack Johnson performs at the Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Tues., Oct. 12, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 855-8095; www.ticketmaster.com. $45-$65.35. All ages.