Today’s Stars in Pre-Fame Television Commercials

A slightly younger and thinner Jack Black pitches Pitfal (the 10-pixel video game)

It’s hard for stars to hide from cheesy pre-fame television commercials when there’s YouTube, right?

Let’s enjoy a few of their early advertisements, which I’ve spent most of New Year’s Eve compiling for you (winner that I am)

  1. Jack Black doing Pitfall! (best ever)
  2. Lindsay Lohan in a Jello commercial in around 1996
  3. Keanu Reeves doing Kellogs Corn Flakes in 1980s.
  4. Seth Green doing a Nurf ad in 1992 (my favorite)
  5. Dick Van Dyke for Kodak film
  6. Greg Benson’s montage before Mediocrefilms/RetardedPoliceman fame
  7. Ronald Reagan Chesterfield cigarettes (photo not video)
  8. Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) in Burger King ad
  9. Tom Selleck sponsoring Right Guard
  10. Brad Pitt in Pringles ad (shirtless of course)
  11. Dave Spade and Chris Farley doing DirectTV (not exactly pre-fame)
  12. Jack Benny doing Texaco (too early of a reference for ya?)
  13. Leonardo DiCaprio doing Bubble Gum ad in 1988
  14. Ben Affleck doing Burger King delivery
  15. John Travolta doing a Safeguard soap commercial and promoting Tokyo Drink in this 1980s commercial (obviously he had already established some fame by then)

And two bonuses. Some actors better known for their television commercials than film or television careers. And David Letterman as a pre-talk-show weatherman.

Sources: Commercial Breaks (AOL), LiquidGenerationTube,

HBOLab’s “Hooking Up” Web Series Debuts Today. Satire Ensues.

HBOLab’s “Hooking Up” series debuts today (see premier episode), and here’s a sneak preview of photos of the cast. There’s also a new YouTube channel with a trailer for the series at YouTube.com/hookingup. I don’t know much about the story because I only read my own short scenes with Michael Buckley. The plot revolves around relationships in a world where most of our communication is electronic. Of course I play a professor, and Buckley’s a junior professor. SxePhil and Jessica (LonelyGirl15) play a couple, and I have seen some sneak peeks of their e-mail and Facebook flirting.

It will be interesting to see how YouTubers receive this series, which involves higher production and scripted dialogue — which they don’t often associate with some of these popular YouTubers like KevJumba, Charles Trippy, and  MrSafety. Being a popular YouTuber involves a lot more than acting (writing, directing, promoting, connecting with crowd, remaining topical, etc.).

In this web series, however, the YouTube weblebrities have little more than their acting to rely on. I, for one, felt completely out of my element. I’ve done stage acting before, and most of my video stuff is improv with script points. So I didn’t find it easy to stick with a script of a character I didn’t invent — and I’m kinda bracing to groan when I see the clips.

At least we had a blast in LA. I didn’t see most of the people at the HBOLabs set (the mock Bask University) since my scene involved Buckley alone. But we did catch up later doing the Retarded Policeman, and then a brief dinner before a red eye back to the East Coast to… be a marketer.

One thing’s for sure. You’re gonna find out what a bunch of fat asses we are when we aren’t vlogging directly to the camera, and don’t have the privilege of editing out unflattering body shots. Especially that Jessica. She must weigh about 95 pounds.

P.S. If you’ve seen the Hooking Up Trailer, then you’ve got to watch FallofAutumnDistro‘s biting satire of it titled “Selling Out.”