March 16, 2014
“Smoke” Plays The Bandit
Back in 1977, an action comedy was released called Smokey and the Bandit. It starred Burt Reynolds, who played Bo “Bandit” Darville, Sally Field as Carrie (“Frog”), Jerry Reed as Cledus “Snowman” Snow, and Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice (“Smokey Bear”).
Two other sequels were also released, Smokey and the Bandit II, Smokey and the Bandit Part 3, along with 1994 films, Bandit Goes Country, Bandit Bandit, Beauty and the Bandit, and Bandit’s Silver Angel.
The Bandit’s car used in the original film was a 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. However, there were actually four vehicles used, all modified to resemble a 1977 model.
It’s now the year 2014 and to one racecar driver, the Smokey and the Bandit films are still a part of his life. The driver is “Smoke”: Tony Stewart.
In a Top Speed article, Tony has teamed up with Mobil 1 to star in a few commercials in the format of the original Smokey and the Bandit film. In the ads, Tony plays the Bandit and drives a Trans Am almost identical to the one used in the 1977 film.
Mobil 1 has produced a six-part series and a trailer (above), three have already been released and can be seen below. Keeping to the movie plot, the scenes in the “Smoke is the Bandit with Mobil 1” commercials are almost identical to the ones in the movie, with a few humorous modifications.
According to Fox News, in the videos, along with Tony, NASCAR announcer and former driver Darrell Waltrip plays “Snowman,” NASCAR announcer and former crew chief Jeff Hammond plays “Sheriff Buford T. Justice,” former drivers Ricky Craven and Hermie Sadler play “Big Enos” and “Lil’ Enos” respectively, and Nicole Briscoe plays “Frog.”
“I’ve gotten to do some cool things. They always want to do something fun, something we are going to enjoy. They asked me what my favorite movie was just in casual conversation one day. I said ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’ Didn’t hear anything else about it, and then they came back to me with this,” Stewart said as the first episode was released.
The episodes will be shown this month on Mobil 1’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, along with behind-the-scenes photos. The full-length episode containing all six videos is scheduled for release on March 25.
Tony owns a Trans Am like the one used in the movie. A tradition of his is to watch the movie with three friends the night before they vacation together. He says, “That’s how our trip starts every time. We recite the movie the whole time it’s going on. We’re just all kind of passionate about it. There’s a lot of things in that movie that nowadays, our culture, that people would throw a fit. Every year that we watch it over and over again, you’re like, ‘Man, they could never remake that movie.’ It just was good the way it was.”
Image Credit: TopSpeed.com