The Minnesota Wild hit a treasure trove when they debuted the Gus Bus Commercial last week. The hilarious commercial seemed to tickle every sort of fan’s funny bone. However, seemed to derive the basics from the “Vibes” side of Wild Twitter (or X).
First off, here is the commercial if you haven’t seen it:
Some of the roles in this commercial also seem to cross to on-ice personalities. That Filip Gustavsson is the goalie driving the bus makes sense beyond his nickname. Gustavsson is calm when he’s in the net. He doesn’t deal with nonsense.
He also seems to be the only Swede on the team willing to have a little fun. (Sorry, Jonas Brodin, Marcus Johansson, and Joel Eriksson Ek, but none of you have starred in a staged commercial yet.) Imagine if they put Marc-Andre Fleury in the driver’s seat. He could never be that stern. Contrast Gustavsson’s serious head shaking with Fleury’s almost giggle as he emerges from a pile of flowers.
Onto the “children” waiting for the bus. Marcus Foligno is the only veteran in the commercial, highlighting his Mama Moose ways. Connor Dewar and Brandon Duhaime are together in the commercial, just like they’re together on the ice. Dewey 1 (Duhaime) and Dewey 2 (Dewar) are dressed in matching polo shirts that they’ve buttoned all the way up to the collar, which is appropriate for the goofy way these two seem to play together. These two are hilarious even when they aren’t trying to be.
The video below best sums up their relationship:
Duhaime thinks he’s the leader and starts demanding that Dewar get in the car. Duhaime has no plan. On the other hand, Dewar lets Duhaime think he’s in charge but doesn’t make an immediate move to follow Duhaime’s instructions. It’s a glimpse at their complicated relationship in a two-minute video.
Matt Boldy and Brock Faber are the other two youngins in the commercial. Boldy is loudly sipping a juice box, which is one of the most annoying sounds in the world. He doesn’t need help or someone to open it for him. He might be young, but he can fend for himself. That also goes for when he’s on the ice.
Faber’s performance is the coup de grâce that ties the commercial together. The fidget spinner that he’s playing with at the beginning. His real-life mother makes an appearance to put his trademark glasses on his face. The one extra second after he chastises his mother makes the entire thing feel like a scene from Napoleon Dynamite.
In a way, Faber’s appearance in the commercial is the opposite of his style on the ice. He is composed on the ice so that he looks like a veteran despite only playing five regular-season NHL games and six playoff games. Perhaps his immature appearance in the commercial is a metaphor for how opponents might view him. He might look like a teenager, but he is a force to be reckoned with.
What about the players who weren’t in the commercial? How would they stack up? Jared Spurgeon couldn’t play in a commercial like this because, at age 33, he has just started to look older than a high schooler. He’s a bit of a perpetual “Josie Grossie from Never Been Kissed” character. His defensive partner Jake Middleton has the opposite problem.
Ryan Hartman would’ve played a great “bad boy with a soft side.” Think John Bender, the “criminal” from The Breakfast Club, or Patrick Verona from 10 Things I Hate About You. He’s known for being a rat on the ice, but he also seems to have a heart of gold underneath. Mats Zuccarello could also fit somewhat into this category. It’s the crazy eyes and his small size that seal the deal for him. They don’t let guys like Zuccarello and Hartman ride the bus anymore because they keep doodling graffiti on the seats.
Joel Eriksson Ek is a bit of a conundrum. He seems like he would be a bit nerdy but also incredibly sporty. Eriksson Ek is an odd duck who seems like he would be the star of the sports teams but would eschew the popularity aspect. He would’ve been riding a moped to school instead of riding the Gus Bus.
Freddy Gaudreau is sort of a drama club kid who is really quiet but gets on stage and absolutely rocks whatever role they put him in. In a way, Dewar would also fall into this personality if he wasn’t attached to Duhaime at the hip. Gaudreau would’ve sat at the front of the bus wearing headphones and listening to emo music while he ignored the rest of the world.
Marco Rossi seems like the “boy next door” type. Everyone likes him. Everyone is rooting for him and his success. Jonas Brodin might fall into this area, too. They both have very easygoing personalities, and they seem down for whatever. They wouldn’t ride a bus. They’d have a Toyota Camry or a reliable Saturn to drive. Nothing flashy, but it’s dependable.
Jon Merrill is that artsy-fartsy, out-of-the-box thinker who is friends with everyone. The entire school population simply accepts the quirkiness, and he floats from group to group. He would miss the bus every morning and would have to drive instead. His car would be a junker. But in a time of creative energy, he’s started drawing designs on the entire outside with markers.
Calen Addison is the prom king type. He’d drive a jeep without doors, even in the winter. Even though he’s a popular athlete, he’d inexplicably also play bass guitar in a local punk band. Somehow, it all makes sense even though it shouldn’t.
The most important thing to highlight about this commercial is how willingly the players committed to the silly bit and seemed to enjoy doing it. There are plenty of scoffs about having a “good locker room.” But ultimately, players who can be silly and dumb together feel comfortable around each other. That is one ingredient that goes into making a winning team.
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