Watch the video clip below of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo starring alongside famed Hollywood actor Erik Estrada in a special Halloween episode of the television show CHiPs and let this little gem of pop culture be forever etched in your heavy metal loving brains.
In the ChiPs episode 18 year old Rob Trujillo played a character named Flippy. And in the Halloween spirit, Flippy is arrested after setting up pumpkins on a street for cars to run over. In an opportunity to get out of trouble, Flippy befriends Ponch, who has the young man chaperone kids for trick-or-treating. Flippy is eventually rescued from underneath a fuel tanker truck just seconds before it explodes.
To be honest: CHiPs wasn’t exactly ground-breaking television, for years we watch the same 10 car pileup sequence appear in multiple episodes. But it was certainly Rob’s most recognized acting role before he moved onto the music biz and started hitting strides with Suicidal Tendencies and Metallica.
Metallica fans can’t be blamed for missing the aspiring bassist in the 1982 CHiPs episode. After all, Rob Trujillo was only 18 years during filming.
“I went to jazz school when I was 19. I really wanted to be a studio musician but I was still passionate about rock and metal.” – Robert Trujillo
While this CHiPs role offered Trujillo arguably the most memorable role of his acting career, it wasn’t his on-screen debut. That honor goes to House Calls, a 1978 film starring Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson and Art Carney. Trujillo had a brief, non-speaking role in the romantic comedy, credited as “Mexican Boy.” – Source
While Rob Trujillo’s career, and certainly his wallet, is probably better off having focused on music rather than acting, it’s still fun to look back at the heavy metal bassist early brush with stardom. While fans are unlikely to see Trujillo returning to his thespian roots, we’ll always have Flippy.
Robert Trujillo of Metallica – CHiPs Episode 1982
Rob Trujillo also honored the late great Cliff Burton by playing “(Anesthesia) – Pulling Teeth”