The Super Bowl may be the one televised event where we don't reach for the remote to fast-forward through the commercials. In fact, the tradition of the Super Bowl ads has become almost as much of a draw as the actual game — well the ads and the halftime show, if we're being honest. And there's one ad in particular we're looking out for this year.
Tony and Grammy-winning (and recently SAG-nominated) Hamilton star Daveed Diggs has partnered with the crew down at Sesame Street and DoorDash to deliver a whimsical and nostalgic Super Bowl Ad that will have you smiling and placing an order by halftime.
"I grew up on Sesame Street, and looking back on the guests who got to be a part of it, it's hard for me to think of myself in the company of some of those people, like Ladysmith Black Mambazo or Smokey Robinson or all these folks," Diggs tells InStyle. In the minute-long commercial airing during gametime on Sunday, Diggs sings and dances along to a re-made tune from the Street you may know and love from your own childhood. "It's wild to be a very small part of a very big and important tradition," he says.
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Joining the ranks of these icons is an honor that the talented (and very busy) actor, singer, and rapper certainly deserves, as Diggs has been everywhere lately — from a close-encounter with the "Great Beyond" in Disney's Soul to a dystopian train society on a frozen-over Earth in Snowpiercer to "under the sea," as Sebastian the crab in the upcoming live action version of The Little Mermaid.
Now, he's making his way down to Sesame Street to hang out with the likes of Big Bird, Grover, and Cookie Monster. Diggs and the bunch at Sesame Street created a series of ads promoting the food delivery service, with an unexpected choice of director — Oscar-winner Michel Gondry, known for his masterful work on pieces like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Mood Indigo. But Diggs tells us the process of filming with such a "serious," award-winning director was not quite what you'd expect.
"He makes these very precise pieces, and sometimes I imagine the personality type of someone like that must be a person who's very measured," Diggs tells InStyle. "But we just had fun. It was so much fun."
Although, how could filming with Big Bird, Grover and Cookie Monster be anything other than fun? And Diggs recalls the rapport he and the "homies from Sesame Street," (as he affectionately refers to them) found while filming.
"Michel came over to me at one point and said 'you're very natural acting with puppets,'" Diggs explains. "You end up kind of just talking to them. I have all of these great memories with these guys now. Just chilling on a couch with Cookie Monster for an hour talking about the gig," he laughs.
The only weird part of working with puppets? "When actually they're not inhabited by the performers — like you catch Big Bird off on the side on a break," he jokes.
In the 60-second Super Bowl spot, Daveed and the Sesame Street characters dance and sing down that beloved street to a new rendition of the classic Sesame Street song "The People In Your Neighborhood."
A few of the shorter teasers show Diggs helping the muppets retrieve their DoorDash orders — like bird seed for Big Bird, paper towels for Grover, and of course, cookies for Cookie Monster.
As for Daveed's DoorDash order? "I'm pretty sure I ate Thai food during the last Super Bowl," he recalls. And while he says the thought of ordering Thai again for the Super Bowl sounds pretty appealing, he's also made it his personal mission to "get to the bottom" of DoorDash.
"I'm trying to order everything just to mix it up because I order way more food than I should," he tells us with a laugh. But in all seriousness, he points out that DoorDash is a safe and effective way to support your local restaurants during the Covid-19 pandemic. "Particularly in LA where there's great restaurants and a lot of them have been struggling, it's nice that this still exists and can keep some of those [restaurants] functioning I hope."
Supporting local restaurants isn't the only way DoorDash plans to give back to the community. Starting Super Bowl Sunday, DoorDash will donate $1 for every order (up to $1 million) to Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street that helps provide education to kids in more than 150 countries, a cause close to Diggs's heart.
"I'm sort of interested in anything that's child and education focused these days," he says. "Those opportunities have kind of shaped my life in a way that is pretty profound, so I'm always looking for opportunities to be more involved in that space."
So place your DoorDash order early, and keep an eye peeled for Daveed and the Sesame Street "homies" during the Big Game.
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