Celebrities Selling: The best of Broadway stars in commercials (WEBway video)

Inside Track   Celebrities Selling: The best of Broadway stars in commercials (WEBway video)
The other day, my co-worker Ari and I had a very important conversation. It went a little something like this:

Ari: “Remember Lauren Bacall in those funny beef commercials in the ’80s?”
Blake: “What?! Lauren Bacall was never in a beef commercial.”
Ari: “Oh yes she was! It’s the one where she’s laying on a couch and purring to a waiter about a burger.”
Blake: “You’re nuts!”
Ari: “I’ll bet you $5.”

Like any modern-day argument, a simple Google search was all that was needed to declare a winner. And, one minute later, I was five bucks poorer.

This got me thinking about celebrity commercials. Almost every celebrity today has been featured in an advertisement of some sort. It seems like everyone from Liza Minnelli to Brad Pitt to Catherine Deneuve to Bob Dole has, at one point or another, tried to sell consumers candy bars or beer or perfume or even that “little blue pill.”

For today’s WEBway Wednesday, we look at some of Broadway’s best featured in commercials.

Before he won a Tony Award, Nathan Lane was desperately seeking some NyQuil so he could rest.

Nancy Walker was in over a dozen Broadway shows in her day, and was nominated for two Tony Awards. She was also the “Quicker Picker Upper” lady in these old Bounty paper towel commercials from the ’70s. Before that, she was Madge the manicurist in a Palmolive ad.

What Wheaties are to athletes, Wheat Thins are to Broadway actors.  Tony nominee Sandy Duncan was the face of the popular snack for years. Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz was later seen (but not heard) in a commercial for the chip.

Bert Lahr was a Tony winner for his role in Foxy, but he was perhaps best known as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. He also did a series of well-known Lay’s potato chip commercials, helping to make the slogan “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One” one of the most well-known advertising slogans of all time.

Michael Arden toured with Barbra Streisand, starred in Broadway shows, and also had his own Dominos Pizza commercial with Donald Trump!

Two divas, one commercial. Here is Liza Minnelli and Aretha Franklin satisfying their hunger with a Snickers.

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