Michael Bolton Still Flying YouTube Pirate Flag

Appearing on Saturday Night Live as a Pirates of the Caribbean obsessed version of himself has turned out to be Michael Bolton’s savviest career move.

The instant-classic 2010-11 season digital short with SNL‘s Lonely Island trio is up for an Emmy Award. And as the singer tells the Press-Democrat ahead of a Labor Day weekend performance in Santa Rosa, the 41-million-plus-YouTube-views smash has also triggered a whole new wave of fandom:

“You won’t believe the people that are yelling “Jack Sparrow!” as soon as I walk on stage. I finish the first song and it’s “Jack Sparrow!” “Jack Sparrow!” And I’m also getting high-fives from an audience that is not my touring audience — the 14- to 40-year-old male YouTube audience.”

Bolton’s daughter has already told dad she thinks his isle of Tortuga efforts will reach 100 million views on YouTube. Johnny Depp, what have you semi-wrought!?

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.