Ever seen someone in a movie or in a TV show that looked very familiar but you can’t quite put your finger on where you know them from? Chances are you’d seen them in a commercial.
Lots of actors start their careers by appearing in ads, but, sadly, most of them never make it big. Let’s take a look at what’s happened down the years with these people that we all remember from commercials.
1. The “Can you hear me now?” guy
You probably know the guy who used to pop up in the most unexpected places to prove that Verizon Wireless did have the best reception. But the best achievement of that ad was that we used to repeat his catchphrase everytime we dropped a call on a cell phone.
YouTube | Cosmic Fantasies
His name is Paul Marcarelli. And he is still boasting about cell phone reception. But, he switched providers! He doesn’t work for Verizon anymore; instead he is the spokesperson for Sprint!
YouTube | Sprint
2. The “Wassup?” guys
Some might call it the best beer commercial of all time. This ad for Budweiser has had us all yelling “Waasssuuuup” for almost 20 years now. It came out in 1999.
However, these guys appeared once more to support Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. One of them, Charles Stone III (the guy who answers the phone) has had quite a successful career since. He has directed some major motion pictures such as 2002 musical comedy Drumline and 2004 sports comedy Mr. 3000.
YouTube | 60frames
3. The “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” guy
Who hasn’t said the line while imitating this surfer-dude’s accent? It didn’t matter if someone was really getting a Dell or not.
Ben Curtis is now almost 37 years old, but he’s aged pretty well. He was arrested for marijuana possession in 2003. In 2015, he claimed he’s been clean for two years.
Ben returned to acting when he auditioned for Orange is the New Black in 2015.
YouTube | BI Tech
4. The Wendy’s girl
Maybe no-one officially revealed her name to be Wendy, but we all know it was. The actress’s real name is Morgan Smith, and she actually managed to have a career despite being the star of a popular commercial.
Morgan has had several appearances in the award-winning HBO show Veep, which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
5. The ShamWow guy
Remember the ShamWow guy? Well, apparently, Vince Offer, the actor, got in trouble with the law in 2009 when he was arrested after an alleged altercation with a sex worker.
After that, he changed his ways. He appeared in another ad trying to sell us something else we didn’t need: The Schticky.
Vince isn’t afraid to make fun of himself, though. During the Shticky commercial, he posed in a mugshot!
YouTube | therealvinceoffer
6. The “I’m a PC” guy
Apple and Microsoft are always trying to one-up on each other. In one commercial, Apple had a young, hip, and trendy guy play the “Mac,” and an older, uncool guy playing the part of “PC.” John Hogdman was the latter.
YouTube | SEANTIME
Since then, John has appeared several times in different shows, such as Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Daily Show, where he portrayed the character of ‘Deranged Millionaire’.
7. The Old Spice guy
This man made you drop whatever you were doing and start paying attention to the TV. His name is Isaiah Mustafa and since the Old Spice ad, he has continued his career in acting. He is currently playing a major role in the TV show Shadowhunters.
8. The other Old Spice guy
That would be Terry Crews. In the Old Spice commercials, Terry and Isaiah eventually started appearing together and facing off against each other.
But Terry has also had a successful acting career, his most notable role being that of Terry Jeffords in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
9. The Pepsi girl
The Pepsi girl is actually called Hallie Eisenberg. After becoming a star in the world of soda, she got a few roles in movies like Bicentiennial Man with Robin Williams, but eventually decided to quit acting.
YouTube | Tyler Angel
Another member of her family, however, did become a famous actor. Her brother is Jesse Eisenberg, who played Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016.