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.
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.
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.
10. Mikhail Gorbachev for Pizza Hut
The former president of the Soviet Union stumping for pizza? It happened in 1998.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5. Jennifer Aniston for Heineken beer
Once again, Jen finds herself passed up for something a bit more intoxicating… beer.
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.
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?
2. Nicolas Cage for Sankyo pachinko
Pachinko is a Japanese arcade game. And, apparently, Nic Cage is absolutely bonkers over it.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger for Alinamin energy drink
Just watch it (circa 1990s).
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.