Before hitting it big in Hollywood, some of today’s most powerful stars got their start in obscure (and often hilarious) television commercials.
But even the world’s richest and most famous celebrities occasionally jump the pond to cash in on international ad dollars by appearing in ads for soda, beer, soup, air conditioners and more. Perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger thought no one outside of Japan would see his wacky energy drink ad. He thought wrong.
Keep clicking to see Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Nicolas Cage and more A-list stars as you’ve never seen them before — shamelessly shilling for everyday products.
13. Ben Affleck for Burger King
Three years before getting his big break in “School Ties,” Ben Affleck was appearing in TV movies and delivering fast food… in this 1989 commercial.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/asnbSNxmy4M 480 360]
12. Jason Alexander for McDonalds’ McD.L.T.
Just before his career took off with “Seinfeld,” Jason Alexander sang and danced while promoting this short-lived McDonalds sandwich in 1985.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/A_IVEdui0Z4 480 360]
11. Bruce Willis for Seagrams wine coolers
After watching Bruce croon his way through a front-porch rendition of the wine cooler blues in the late ’80s, it’s amazing that his career didn’t die hard with a vengeance.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/F1daIIDQsXI 480 360]
10. Mikhail Gorbachev for Pizza Hut
The former president of the Soviet Union stumping for pizza? It happened in 1998.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/C9lvzzH0STw 480 360]
9. Orson Welles for Paul Masson wine
These outtakes from Hollywood legend Orson Welles’ late-’70s wine commercial are far more interesting (and famous) than the final product.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/VFevH5vP32s 480 360]
8. Brad Pitt for Pringles potato chips
This 1988 ad for Pringles promotes potato chips as “the fever reliever,” although it’s unlikely that statement was evaluated by the FDA.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/mucuLrWHGqc 480 360]
7. Fred Flintstone for Winston cigarettes
My, how times have changed. In this early ’60s ad, beloved children’s cartoon character Fred Flintstone promotes the great taste of cigarettes.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/7qfmWWZ9uSE 480 360]
6. James Brown for Nissin miso soup
The Godfather of Soul feels really, really good about miso soup, as evidenced by his funky 1992 commercial for the Japanese brand Nissin.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/hzJMnl085yI 480 360]
5. Jennifer Aniston for Heineken beer
Once again, Jen finds herself passed up for something a bit more intoxicating… beer.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/5uVI9hZgzNs 480 360]
4. Ringo Starr and the Monkees for Pizza Hut
Ringo joined forces with the Monkees in 1995 to promote the pizza giant’s new “stuffed crust” product. And the rest is cheesy history.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/iGcRYE9NbD0 480 360]
3. Hulk Hogan for Bigflow air conditioners
What’cha gonna do when it gets a little too hot in your house? In 1990, the Hulkster told his Japanese fans to go out and buy an air conditioner… and a baby?
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/0CCROasz8F0 480 360]
2. Nicolas Cage for Sankyo pachinko
Pachinko is a Japanese arcade game. And, apparently, Nic Cage is absolutely bonkers over it.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/VZDvoyenKpo 480 360]
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger for Alinamin energy drink
Just watch it (circa 1990s).
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/iU26Lm3Sf4Q 480 360]
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.