Spotting Movie/TV actors in commercials

I saw a Dairy Queen commercial this week with Brian Thomas Smith (Zack from The Big Bang Theory) playing the part of a dad. If you look closely you see Charles Robinson (Mac from Night Court) playing the head coach in a Von Miller Old Spice commercial. It’s a little jarring and makes you wonder what is going on with their careers.

What other working actors have you seen in commercials not playing off their other roles in TV/Movies or their fame, but just being actors in commercials?

I’m always surprised to see George Clooney in Nespresso commercials. I wouldn’t think he needed that work. I wonder if he does them because he’s friends with the company owners.

While I agree with your thoughts, I don’t think this matches the criteria for the thread. George Clooney is being used in those commercials because he’s a big movie star and he’s playing himself. The whole series of commercials is based on you knowing who he is.

Peri Gilpin (“Roz Doyle” on Frasier) was in a commercial a couple of years ago, in which she pulled up next to a big delivery truck at a stoplight and asked the driver some questions through her car window. Can’t remember what they were plugging, though. (According to People Pill, she’s done commercials for Wells Fargo and Johnsonville meats, but I don’t think this was for either company. Some breakfast cereal, maybe?)

Is it necessarily a bad thing to do commercials? It’s a paycheck for acting, right? Or is it the last gasp of a fading career?

Not being snarky - genuinely curious.

There’s JK Simmons in those Farmers insurance commercials.

Sometimes it’s both. :frowning:

This is my favorite celeb commercial. Early '70s, I think:

Must’ve really needed to pay the bills that week. But doesn’t that toup’ look great? :cool:

I was browsing a folder of stuff I copied off of old tapes several years ago. One was labeled “Walter White Tylenol.”

Here you go. (At least it isn’t the Preparation H one.)

He uses the money to monitor war crimes in Sudan.

In the past, doing commercials was something that most established stars generally avoided – it was seen as being “beneath them,” and possibly even damaging to their reputations.

That said, it wasn’t uncommon for U.S. stars to appear in ads in other countries (the Bill Murray film Lost in Translation is about an American actor who goes to Japan to film an ad for Suntory whiskey), or for them to do voiceovers for U.S. TV ads.

But, over the past decade or two, that stigma seems to have largely gone away, and it’s not uncommon at all to see established stars doing TV ads.

However, to the OP’s point, when an advertiser uses an established, recognizeable actor, it’s because they want that actor, and are willing to pay a lot, because they want the viewers to recognize that actor. However, that’s the exception to the rule for most TV ad casting – in most cases, the producers don’t have the budget to hire a big-name actor if they just “need an actor” (and there are certainly a huge number of actors to choose from who cost a lot less than hiring George Clooney or Jennifer Garner).

There are also the commercials that use celebrity voices, so I’m sitting there wondering whose voice that is.

I wonder also: “I know that voice; who is it?” Unless it’s Sam Elliott (Coors beer, Dodge Ram trucks)–there is no mistaking Elliott’s voice.

There are a surprising number of A-list actors who do commercial voice-overs. Before he retired, Gene Hackman voiced the ads for Lowe’s while Julia Roberts was the voice for Nationwide Insurance.

What I find fascinating is that I’m able to recognize the voices, so if I hear a commercial for Chase Bank, I recognize Julianna Margulies’s voice, or Fred Savage doing a Honda commercial.

And Donald Sutherland shilling orange juice.

Back to the OP, I saw an ad last night for cough syrup (Robitussin?) with a woman who I’m pretty sure was Eden Sher, who played Sue Heck in “The Middle”.

I think Rachel Dratch from SNL was doing one for TGI Friday’s, maybe?
Here’s an old McDonald’s commercial that has a number of familiar (at least at the time) faces.

I always get a little schadenfreude when I see Lola Glaudini in a commercial.

This website is great for finding these actors in spots. She’s done a bunch. It took me a while to remember her from Agents of SHIELD.

She has a series for Ruby Tuesdays. But I think she was hired because she’s Rachel Dratch and recognizable, not to be a no name character.