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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: 5 doses of Terry Crews’ awesomeness

From President Camacho to Old Spice and beyond, his muscled comedic brilliance will leave you in stitches!

“I call myself the Amusement Park. That’s because I’m funny and scary at the same time.” –Terry Crews

Every once in a while, something entertaining comes along that simply delights me in a unique way, that nothing else has before. Have a listen to the band Murder By Death as they play through their (mostly instrumental) song, You Are the Last Dragon (You Possess the Power of the Glow).

Well, that’s same type of delight, awe, and I’m not going to lie, a little bit of uncomfortable fear, is what I feel whenever I watch the antics of Terry Crews.

Image credit: via Alumni Wellness at

A couple of years after a four-season long NFL (the “other” football, for those outside the USA) career — and most people don’t know this — he was completely broke, and took a job sweeping the floors of a factory. But while doing that, he realized that he’d do whatever it took to support and contribute to his family, and he started to take control of his life.

It turns out he was an art major in college, and translated that skill, plus his natural humor, and went into acting with an amazing gimmick: heavily muscled, very fit, intense, high-energy guy who’s always yelling, but full of laughter.

Image credit: Andy Kropa, on the set of one of the Expendables movies, via

He also exudes a tremendously kind and charming vibe, even when he’s screaming at you. The first thing I ever saw him in was back in 2005, when he did an episode of Damon Wayans’ show…

5.) Euro Training on My Wife And Kids. You’ll notice a number of motifs here that recur very frequently with Terry:

  • The popping pecs,
  • The incredible showing-off of his physique,
  • Intensity, anger, yelling, and focus, followed by
  • an extremely calm, fear-inducing threat of what might happen if you don’t comply with him.

But much more famously, most of you will probably recognize him first from his stint as…

4.) The Old Spice spokesman. In all his glory, Terry Crews simply oozes power. I love how he can’t even stay in his own commercial (starting at 2:17 or so), and that he shoots transformative muscle rays with his breath.

And those of you who saw Idiocracy on the big screen may remember a different (NSFW language) role of his…

3.) President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho. Arguably the third smartest person in the year 2505 after Joe and Rita arrive, President Camacho is one of the most memorable characters in the movie known for Brawndo, anti-intellectualism and men getting kicked in the groin. For the 2012 election, Crews reprised his role as Camacho in a series of Funny or Die videos, reminding us all that we’re not quite an Idiocracy yet.

2.) Brooklyn Nine-Nine. More recently, he’s taken on a role in the new sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine as a super-muscled, super-sensitive detective. But every once in a while — like you see, above — they give him a chance to let classic Terry Crews out. Congratulations, by the way, on your Golden Globe.

And after all that, I was overjoyed earlier this week to see him reprise his role as the Old Spice spokesman… making muscle music!

1.) Old Spice Muscle Music video. Muscle! Muscle! What?! Muscle! Flex! Do it! Keyboard solo! Danger! (Also, I want a flame sax!) That is the power of music.

And despite how many superhero films have been coming out, there are precious few roles for men of color or women in general. Too bad, because, well, if you’ve ever heard of the Marvel Superhero Luke Cage (a.k.a., Power Man), I can’t think of a better fit for it than Terry Crews!

Image credit: Andy Kropa, Getty Images / Marvel.

And I hope — if you’re a fan of people being awesome and finding a role for themselves in this world loving what they do — that you’re as entertained as I am! If not, we’ll have many chances during the week to share the natural wonders of the Universe, and if so, enjoy a “Nip Synching” Terry Crews bonus, courtesy of the tonight show.

Travel the Universe with astrophysicist Ethan Siegel. Subscribers will get the newsletter every Saturday. All aboard!

(And if you’re wondering whether he can dance, here’s one more!)

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