By now, you’ve probably seen Metallica’s amazing ESPN commercial where the heavy metal gods loaf around the network’s offices, offering up free guitar lessons and providing promo music for ESPN’s coverage of the PGA Senior Tour. The clip was such a comedic goldmine that ESPN has now shared outtakes from the ad, with each blooper just as funny as what eventually made the final cut.
In an alternative universe where Metallica isn’t a controversial Glastonbury headliner or working on a new album, the band has nothing to do once retired New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera no longer needs their “Enter Sandman” as intro music. “ESPN’s commercials have a tendency to be hilarious. We were like, ‘That sounds like a good time,'” Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone about filming the commercial. “All these anchors and sports personalities are just so incredibly good at the deadpan element. It’s just really fun to be around that environment, because there’s a high degree of impulsivity and they don’t take themselves very seriously.”
Ulrich told Rolling Stone that his favorite moment in the commercial comes when Stuart Scott uses Kirk Hammett’s “guitar lessons” flyer in the break room to throw out gum, only to find Hammett sitting there noodling on his guitar. In these bloopers, we see why Ulrich called this moment “classic” as the improv skills of both Scott and Hammett are on full display. “I also teach flamenco!” Hammett says in one take, while adding “I also do group rates!” in another. Meanwhile, Ulrich and James Hetfield plan to kill some time by following longtime ESPN personality Bob Ley around the office.
Here is the original This Is SportsCenter ad: