When it comes to surprising, show-stopping moments, Jack Black certainly knows how to captivate an audience. The ever-popular School of Rock superstar recently reminded us of his masterful showmanship. In a truly unexpected turn of events, this charismatic actor and musician took to the stage at the historic Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles on October 25, 2023. However, thanks to the ongoing actors' strike, it wasn't for another fiery Bowser performance. Instead, Black surprised everyone by channeling his inner Swiftie and performing Taylor Swift's "Anti-Hero" in his underwear. You're not alone if you find it hard to believe this is a sentence you'd encounter in 2023. But fear not; this daring move was all in the name of a noble cause!
In a video shared by a fan on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), Jack Black graces the stage immediately after delivering a hilarious stand-up comedy routine at the "Give Back-ular Spectacular!" event hosted at the Orpheum Theater. This star-studded event aimed to support SAG-AFTRA members facing hardships due to the ongoing strike. The impressive lineup of performers also featured the likes of Janelle James, Halle Berry, Lily Tomlin, and Dax Shepard.
The High Fidelity alum playfully shed his shirt following a comedy set, casually discarding it on the stage floor. He confidently strolled across the stage in his boxers, gazing out at the enthusiastic audience who showered him with applause and cheers. Holding the microphone toward the crowd, Black playfully inquired if they had any song requests in mind. In response, a spirited audience member eagerly called out a song – quite possibly his Mario Bros. Movie hit song “Peaches,” which had skyrocketed up the billboard charts after its inclusion in 2023’s first billion-dollar hit film. This prompted a playful reply from Black, who responded:
I know that. Yes, I know that one. I can’t do that one. We’re in a strike.
Another voice chimed in from the audience, suggesting the hit song by Swift. The Orange County actor, with his trademark humor, delivered a hilarious retort:
But I know that one. Everyone knows that fucking song.
The Tenacious D frontman launched into a spirited rendition of "Anti-Hero," belting out the opening lines with fervor, proclaiming, "It's me, hi, I'm the problem, it's me." He turned the stage into his playground, showcasing his boundless energy with exuberant dance moves and even a couple of lively kicks as he serenaded the ecstatic crowd. The Nacho Libre star, who has been characteristically humble about his remarkable vocal range, left the audience in awe.
As the song progressed, Black's performance took on a raw, guttural quality, a trademark of his live shows. However, as it became evident that he was losing the thread of the lyrics, he seamlessly transitioned into an impromptu performance, singing playful gibberish that miraculously remained in tune with the melody. I agree with Chris Pratt; the Bowser voice actor seriously could win an EGOT.
During the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes that have cast a shadow over the industry since their commencement in July, this lighthearted moment from Black emerges as a ray of sunshine. The "Give Back-ular Spectacular!" sought essential relief for union and non-union crew members who have endured a long, difficult hiatus without pay. This relief became necessary due to the enduring tensions between SAG-AFTRA and the studios. The SAG-AFTRA strike has now extended for 104 days, while the combined strikes involving writers and actors have persisted for nearly half a year.
It's incredibly generous of Jack to bare it all, both literally and figuratively, as he aims to alleviate the stress faced by those in his industry in need. He's far from an anti-hero in my book; he's the shirtless hero we all could use now.
If you haven't had a chance to catch Jack Black's latest performance in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, or if you simply want to enjoy it once more, you'll have the opportunity to stream it with a Peacock subscription.