Yesterday, my mailman arrived with the most fortuitous of deliveries. Right as I was about to settle in on the couch to watch a movie with my teenage son, a drab beige box appeared on my doorstep, and inside that box were two drabber, beige-er, bags of Rob’s Backstage Popcorn.
Now, I’m not much for pre-popped bagged popcorn, nor did I have any idea who this “Rob” was or if I could trust him. (Normally, when a man asks you to come backstage for popcorn, you run.) But because I was about to watch The Lighthouse, I ripped open both bags right away, passed one to my son, and told him to buckle up for the cinematic ride of his life. He was not blown away by the brutal magnificence of Willem Dafoe. He was, however, blown away by this mysterious Rob and his brutally magnificent popcorn.
Then I learned that behind the popcorn stands not one man, but four: One of the men is Rob, and the other three are The Jonas Brothers. I did not expect even one celebrity to be affiliated with a such a bland-looking bag of popcorn, much less three. I mean, if I was a celebrity who was trying to make waves in the ready-to-eat popcorn racket, I’d want the packaging to be covered in cool stuff like lighthouses and holograms. The Jonas Brothers evidently felt that Rob’s Backstage Popcorn should look like rations you find at a military surplus store.
But make no mistake about it: the real celebrity in this popcorn picture is Rob Garbowsky, patriarch of the Garbowsky Family of Northern New Jersey, which has long broken bread with the Jonas Clan of Wyckoff (exit 120 off the Garden State Parkway).
One fateful night, Nick Jonas paid a visit to the Garbowsky home to see Rob’s son Gregg, completely unaware that inside the house lay a popcorn that would change his life forever. Nick begged Rob to start making the popcorn for the band’s prophetically named “Happiness Begins” tour, because true happiness can only begin once one knows the sweet and savory taste of Rob’s Popcorn.
I must agree with all three Jonas Brothers: Rob’s Backstage Popcorn is phenomenal, and though its secret recipe is full of familiar flavors (the back of the bag lists onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and carrots among its ingredients), in the world of ready-to-eat popcorn, it tastes thrillingly unfamiliar. It’s a little bit salty, a little bit sweet, deeply savory, and impossible to stop eating once you’ve had your first fistful.
Until now, Rob’s Backstage Popcorn was theoretically only available to those willing to brave the concession stand lines throughout the Jonas Brothers’ last arena tour. But today, Rob’s Popcorn has taken its first major leap toward popcorn industry domination, and can be purchased by one and all at EatRobs.com. It appears to be sold out at the time of this writing, but you can enter your email to be informed when it’s back in stock.
The Jonas Brothers, it turns out, know a lot about good popcorn and good brand collaborations. That, combined with their musical talents, makes them almost as remarkable as Willem Dafoe.