Charlie Puth Says His Sly, Beatboxing Cartoon Fox in Flamin’ Hot Super Bowl LVI Ad Is ‘Pretty Much Me’

2022-02-02T15:09:24+00:00February 2nd, 2022|News|

Charlie Puth is all about the music. So how did he end up as the “world’s hottest” beatboxing animated fox in the first-ever Frito-Lay Super Bowl commercial for its Flamin’ Hot brands? It’s pretty simple, actually.

“I’ve never done a Super Bowl commercial before and somehow I’m fortunate enough for it to happen for me this year. I’m still pinching myself,” Puth, 30, tells Billboard about his participation alongside Megan Thee Stallion in the “Unleash Your Flamin’ Hot” campaign that will bring Flamin’ Hot Doritos and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos together on the day of the big game (Feb. 13) between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams.

“Frito-Lay had reached out to me and told me they had a great idea for a commercial where they wanted it to be very musical, so when I heard the term ‘musical’ I was in right away,” he says. “The premise is that all these animals eat these Flamin’ Hot products and they become musically active, they start harmonizing and being in synch and perfect tempo with each other and that’s what happened to me life as well. I have some Cool Ranch Doritos and I’m off to the races writing 5 songs.”

After weeks of Cheetle-dusted teasers featuring hot girl Megan and Puth, the upcoming full ad featuring a menagerie of jungle animals harmonizing on Salt-N-Pepa’s iconic 1987 smash “Push It” reveals Charlie’s adorably musical fox character. And Puth could not be more excited to be drawn in alongside his newly graduated hip-hop co-star. “It’s technically a collaboration. I think she’s wonderful and I have nothing but good things to say about her,” he says about Stallion, who recently got her degree from Texas Southern University.

“And I know that she just graduated college, which is really impressive and great that she has time to do that while being a pop superstar.”

Puth says the fedora-and-shades-wearing sly fox perfectly fits his personality, because foxes are “very hyper,” which matches his online persona, unlike the more lethargic — but equally cute — sloth that also stars in the spot. “If you had told me 10 years ago when I was attending Berklee [College of Music] that I would be on a Super Bowl commercial animated showing myself musically I wouldn’t believe you,” says Puth, who recently dropped the funky single “Light Switch” from his upcoming Charlie album.

Though he loved the way his character turned out, Push says he was nervous doing his first-ever voice-over work. “I wanted to deliver for them and do a good job and they assured me they just want me to be me,” he says of the direction he got. “So, easiest role in the world. Just be Charlie, that’s what I’m doing in my everyday life more than ever now on my TikTok page. That’s what I’m doing to do for this commercial. I think that’s why it turned out so well, clearly I’m the best actor ever.”

Not a huge football guy — he was aware that the Rams are in the mix — Puth says he was invited to the game but will probably stay at home to watch his spot and avoid what is sure to be the even-more-insane than usual traffic on SB Sunday. One thing he is excited about, though, is the action-packed halftime show featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar.

In fact, while you may not notice it, the production on “Light Switch” was inspired by Dre’s signature sound from some of Charlie’s favorite albums, including the producer’s landmark The Chronic album, as well as his work behind the boards on Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut Doggystyle solo album.

“I’m going to glued to the TV [for the halftime show],” Puth says, explaining that the “loud snares” on “Light Switch” were inspired by something Dre might do in the studio. “His use of loud snares has always been really important to me… so you hear ‘Light Switch’ and the snare is the loudest part of the song — along with the kick — other than the vocals. So it’s kind of an ode to Dre too… I’m very inspired by that guy, so I’ll definitely be watching.”

Watch the Puth Super Bowl 56 ad below.

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