John Forever.

Did you have a childhood crush when you were a preteen?  Of course you did.  When I was a little girl, right on the cusp of puberty but not quite there yet, the most crushable boys for my age group were:

Joey from New Kids on the Block,
Fred Savage from The Wonder Years,
Jonathan Taylor-Thomas from Home Improvement,
Jonathan Brandis (RIP) from such cinema classics as Ladybugs and The Never-Ending Story II: The Next Chapter.

We thought they were sooooooo cute!  And to indulge us, at least one of these young man’s faces would be gracing the covers of Bop and/or Tiger Beat any given month. By the time we girls graduated to YM and Seventeen, we were beginning to get the picture that Johnny Depp was proper crush material, too.

But let’s pretend you were only mildly intrigued by the likes of Joey, Fred, Jonathan Taylor, Jonathan B. and even Johnny Depp.  Let’s say, hypothetically, that as an 11 year-old, your tastes veered toward the older. The more mature. The men, not the boys. A man who could sing, and a man who sure as hell could dance.

Let’s just say you loved this guy.

Now stay with me here, people.  I know John Travolta is a Scientologist.  I know he played Edna in the Hairspray remake, officially rendering him the ugliest, least attractive drag queen alive.  I know that with each word I type, you’re rolling your eyes and thinking: honestly, Tolly. John Travolta?

But. None of that changes the fact that I watched Grease roughly 26 times between the ages of 11 and 13, memorizing all the words and the songs (and possibly hand motions) and downright begged my summer camp counselors to let me play Sandy in our end-of-session “Watershow Spectactular” (a “musical,” performed for parents, around a pool.  Still my finest thespian accomplishment).

I did it all for Danny Zuko.

I’m sorry, but this is a beautiful man.  Look at him here, on the cover of his own album!

I had no idea John recorded “Let Her In” (haha. That title. A title I took the liberty of YouTubing).  It apparently broke the U.S. Top Ten, even without my 11-year-old allowance available to make an adoring contribution.

As a child, I hated Kirstie Alley in Look Who’s Talking! (though that didn’t stop me from seeing it in the theater – likely opening weekend – and later the sequel Look Who’s Talking Too! as well as Look Who’s Talking Now!, where they cleverly substituted talking pets for talking babies), and as the years progressed, I also took advantage of Nick at Nite’s brief Welcome Back, Kotter offering.

After roughly the 17th viewing of Grease, which I insisted on subjecting my friends to during each and every slumber party, my mother could see this crush was serious. Upon her suggestion, I rented both Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive from Blockbuster.

….And watched each 5-6 times apiece.

Trivia: Did you know Staying Alive was directed by Sylvester Stallone?  One look at that movie still above, though, and we’re not all that surprised, are we?

But my favorite John was always Danny, and for a significant portion of my childhood and early adolescence, Danny and his wisecraking band of greasers outshone ANY New Kid on the Block. A Cadillac to a Pinto, a diamond to a Bedazzler, a filet mignon to a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

I’ve always wondered whether I share this celebrity crush with anyone.  Each time I tell somebody about my childhood obsession, I usually get a quizzical, “um, good for you?” in response. And this shocks me! Those dimples, ladies. Those dimples, and those dance moves, are you kidding me?

Maybe it’s too much jaw.  You could sell real estate on that jaw.  He and Jay Leno could have a Jaw-Off, and it’d be an extremely close call.

But, let’s not think of such things.  Jaw or no, Xenu or no, I love you, ’70s era John Travolta. And I always will.


PS: This post was inspired by Hipstercrite’s wonderful, touching, and funnier story about Jeff Goldblum. Go read it, when you have a chance.

PPS: If you are in Austin, and you crave a little John action yourself, there’s a Pulp Fiction quote-a-long this Thursday at the Drafthouse.