Watching television is like playing a game of Memory: where have I seen this character before? I’m a fan of utilizing context-dependent memory, so as long as an actor or actress has appeared on my television screen at a single point in time, I can place which other shows, movies and/or commercials the agency-represented talent has graced with his or her acting ability.
Lately, I’ve noticed a trend where both current and syndicated television stars are advertising products to me, chewing gum to insurance, and instead of making me want to purchase the products they so seductively offer, I just want to see them have more guest appearances on my favorite NBC shows.
First up is Mark Saul, the adorably nerdy guy from 90′s-cult hit All That. He won audiences over during this year’s Super Bowl spot, Jack in the Box ‘Marry Bacon’. He also appears in the Mentos UP2U gum commercial where he has a run-in with a tiger. For some reason I think he’s super cute. Am I alone here?
Next up is Dean Winters who IS super cute, and I am NOT alone here. He play All State Insurance’s main man “Mayhem”, the most clever mainstream ad campaign I’ve seen since Goodby, Silverstein & Partners “Got Milk?” brainchild.
When he’s not distracting drivers, Winters plays Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon’s on-again-off-again boyfriend Dennis on her show 30 Rock. I don’t know how make up artists do it, but somehow they manage to make Mayhem look like a sexy fox and Dennis look like a creepy weird-haired pedophile. Magic of the entertainment industry, I guess.
Finally comes the guy who appears in a variety of commercials; however, I first noticed him as the quirky Farmers Insurance Trainee. He has a trustworthy demeanor; hell, I’d let him sell me just about anything. I don’t even have Farmers Insurance, but he, for whatever psychological reason, makes me respect the company. He also makes some very incorruptible appearances in Toyota Camry, Kingsford Grilling, and other commercials that I have a difficult time YouTubing. Maybe I can’t name any television shows or movies he has been in, but he definitely has enough television time to book him a good gig in the near future.
I promise I also have other hobbies that are more exciting that playing Memory with my television set. These hobbies don’t involve knitting or feeding my cats. I don’t even have cats. In fact, I’m allergic to cats. Well, I hope you have learned something. I’m going to go play outside now.
Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.