News & Politics

Watch Behind-the-Scenes Footage of Mike Tyson’s Super Bowl Ad

Screenshot via YouTube.

No commercial during the Super Bowl last night was as surprising as one for Michael and Son Services, the Alexandria-based plumbing and heating contractor. The 30-second spot featured a boxing match interrupted by former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who settles the match by decking a character called the “Vanilla Gorilla,” who had been pummeling another fighter played by Tyson’s actual son, Amir.

Michael and Son landed Iron Mike and his son by mining a few personal connections; the Washington Post has the full story of how the champ wound up on an ad that played just in the DC market right before halftime.

But the behind-the-scenes footage is just as good. In a video shared with Washingtonian by Jim Folliard, whose production company Gearshift shot the ad, Tyson appears eager to plug a home-improvement company based nearly 3,000 miles away from his home in Las Vegas.

“This is gonna be great,” Tyson says. “I love it. I’m good at it.”

Mike Tyson Behind the Scenes Super Bowl CommercialThe commercial was good but the Behind the Scenes is epic Tyson footage.

Posted by Jim Folliard on Sunday, February 7, 2016

The behind-the-scenes video shows Tyson going through multiple takes on his lines and the punch he throws at the camera at the end of the ad. There are also a few cuts of him singing Michael and Son’s jingle. (And no, his singing voice has not improved much since The Hangover.)

While Michael and Son’s commercial only aired locally, using Tyson got the company national attention. The Post reports that it’s part of a gambit by the company to get looks far beyond Washington without having to pay the national Super Bowl ad rates, which approached $5 million for 30 seconds during last night’s game. Michael and Son started toying with this strategy last year when it hired a President Obama impersonator to riff on Tom Brady‘s deflated footballs (and also home-heating services).

Torie Daly contributed reporting.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.