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Tween-agers go Bananas for Cody Linley

Monkey (Step and Rolling Around) with Cody Linley by Nancy Friedman

Thumbnail image for sega-smb-2-2010-4.jpgCody Linley loves his mother. "My mom is amazingly strong and wise, " the twenty year old star of Hannah Montana fame told me last night. "I'm really lucky to have a super-mom, because that's what she is."

There you have it, proof positive that Cody Linley is not only a tween heart throb, not only talented, not only the on-again, off-again, on-screen boyfriend of Hannah Montana (he plays Jake), he's perfect in every way.

I got the chance to talk to Cody the other night at the launch party for Sega's Super Monkey Ball Step and Roll the newly updated version of their wildly popular game for the Nintendo Wii, Super Monkey Ball. In a downtown restaurant filled with tween girls thrilled to be near him and (mostly) too embarrassed to talk to the young star, Cody played the game - in more ways than one.

sega-smb-2-2010-9.jpgWhen we got there, Cody was playing Super Monkey Ball Step and Roll. And like any kid (hey, if you're young enough to be my kid, you are a kid) he was totally absorbed. Did he see the fawning metal mouthed tween-agers gawking? Probably not, he was too busy racing his Monkey around. Like the original Super Monkey Ball, the Step and Roll version has players move their favorite Monkey characters through an increasingly difficult serious of challenges. This version adds new characters, new brain teasers, and most important, the Wii Fitness Board. (As long as you have one - it doesn't come with the game or anything and you can play it without one.) Now, players can use either their Wii Remote or their Wii Fit boards to move their Monkey through the many levels of the game. You can even set the game to count the Monkey Calories you burn - the more you move, the more you burn. (That's what I like to call the "mother-marketing" aspect of the game: if you tell a mom she can burn calories doing something fun...you can bet she's gonna do it.)

sega-smb-2-2010-44.jpgWhen it was time for Cody to play the celebrity game - to stop playing and get to work shaking hands, giving interviews, and posing for pictures, just like that, he changed gears. (Further proof of Cody's perfection.) Wouldn't it be nice if all of our kids did that? Imagine, if they had (home)work to get to, we asked them to stop playing a video game....and they did right away!!!!

In work mode, Cody thrilled my daughter by posing for a photo with her, giving her his autograph, and (and this was big) telling her he liked her shirt. He answered the questions sent to me by Role Mommy Beth Feldman's daughter:

Question: Do you like Hannah Montana in real life?
Cody: We're really good friends. I haven't spoken to her in a couple of weeks, because she's really busy. But she's so nice, and her family is really great.

Question: How long have you been playing DS and Wii games?
Cody: Since I was two! I have older siblings, and they showed me a lot of stuff when I was young.

He also told me that he's in New York rehearsing for his Broadway debut in the musical "Over Here" in which he reprises the role originated by John Travolta in the 1970's. It's set in the 1940's, and he's getting to use his Dancing with the Stars experience to do some Jitterbugging in the show. He loves New York, he says. Growing up in Texas, he didn't have anything like Times Square or the Statue of Liberty outside of his window.

Through all of this, though, I couldn't help but wonder - what does Cody Linley have to do with Sega, or Chiquita? (Chiquita and Sega are partnering up for the "Super Bananza Sweepstakes" where you can win prizes such as a complete game room makeover including a 50" HDTV, sofas/chairs, and Wii console and Balance Board!)

And then I saw a bunch of tween-aged girls swarm Cody for a picture and an autograph, and I realized...it's because everybody goes bananas over him!

Role Mommy correspondent Nancy Friedman is a former TV promotions producer turned writer, author, ghost writer extraordinaire, retired Bar/Bat Mitzvah singer and contributor to See Mom Run. Nancy, her husband and twin daughter and son live in NYC with their new puppy who was recently discovered by a big time pet agent (no joke). Her blog, From Hip to Housewife offers a hilarious glimpse into Nancy's life as she ponders important feminine topics like aging gracefully without the influence of botox and her 20 year quest to lose the same 10 pounds.

Posted in: Events on 02/07/2010

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