Seeing as I am both the world’s foremost authority on the career of Channing Tatum and an avid aficionado of Mountain Dew (I’m known as a brommelier in some soda circles), some of my UPROXXian colleagues were rather perturbed to discover that I had never written about C-Tates’s 2002 Mountain Dew commercial. Our favorite former male stripper didn’t begin his acting career until he played Bob Davenport on an episode of CSI: Miami in 2004, and he wouldn’t become the legendary Tyler Gage in Step Up until 2006.
But way back in 2002, long before he’d become one of the biggest stars in the world, Channing Tatum was just a bro, forgetting his Mountain Dew on the trunk of someone’s car.
In 2002, the world was still shaking from the joyride that was The Fast and the Furious, while we were another year away from the numerical awesomeness of 2 Fast 2 Furious. At the same time, a new California rock band named Hoobastank was climbing up the charts with “Crawling in the Dark,” its first single off the band’s self-titled debut. And somewhere, an aspiring male stripper turned model from Alabama was trying to make it big.
One day, a Mountain Dew ad exec named Johnny Jetski was watching Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” video and stressing out over the casting for his latest commercial. He had the idea – The Fast and the Furious retold in one minute – and he had the song – “F*CK YEAH, BRO! Hoobastank’s here to stay, man!” – but he needed the sexy face with the perfect speechless attitude. It was in that moment that Johnny Jetski paused his TV and shouted, “That’s him! The guy with the sh*t on his face in a split second of the video!”
Originally, C-Tates wasn’t supposed to speak in the commercial, and he was simply going to flip his car and snag the Dew from the random bro at the convenience store. But Johnny Jetski knew that he’d struck gold, so they wrote in the iconic line: “Forgot my Dew.”
Fun fact: The way he says, “Forgot my Dew” is basically how my imaginary C-Tates character sounds in my head. Like, almost identical. But then, maybe I just already knew way back in 2002 what this man was destined for.