The Dorklyst: The 8 Most Bizarre Celebrity Videogame Pitchmen

By Hudson Hongo / September 10, 2013

The Dorklyst: The 8 Most Bizarre Celebrity Videogame Pitchmen

When deciding how to spend your hard-earned gaming dollar, a celebrity endorsement is about as convincing as a YouTube comment reading "SONIC RULEZ." Nevertheless, game publishers have used famous faces to sell their products for years. Of course, few of these stars have any actual connection to videogames, leading to Nintendo Hard mindfucks like "Would I enjoy the same paddle-based arcade action as Don Knotts?" In honor of deputy Fife and other questionably chosen game reps, here are some of the strangest people to ever pimp a PlayStation.

8. Don Knotts for Atari Breakout

Even after repeat viewings, it's basically impossible to follow the thought process behind this 1978 commercial. "Okay, so for Home Run we'll have Pete Rose and for Air Sea Battle we'll use, um, PelĂ©, and for Breakout…screw it, Don Knotts, I guess?" Admittedly, Breakout doesn't have a lot in the story department other than "smash the bricks with your ball," but they still could have found a more convincing jailbird than The Incredible Mr. Limpet. Or, if they were going the comedy route, someone who's Atari-directed threats came across as just a bit less murder-y.

7. George Plimpton for Intellivision

Marketed as a sort of thinking man's Atari, the Intellivision never had a Frogger's chance in traffic of matching its rival in sales. But when it came to weirdly aristocratic gravitas, Mattel's console absolutely dominated. Apparently determined to sell BurgerTime to the steak tartare crowd, Mattel hired writer, actor and arch-WASP George Plimpton to give their ads a distinctly Ivy League air. The result is almost impressively unfun for an invitation to play videogames, as demonstrated by this SAT practice test cleverly disguised as a commercial.

6. Mr. T and Vern Troyer for Pac-Man World

Back in 1999, before reality television showed us the (often literally) naked desperation of marginal celebrities, it was possible to imagine the A-Team Guy and the Austin Powers Guy as two cool dudes living it up in their adjacent mansions. It was also possible to imagine Pac-Man moving in across the street from them, provided you were the head of Sony's advertising department or the guy doing cocaine with him that day. Other than that one bizarre idea, this commercial for Pac-Man World is pretty much just a string of midget jokes told by Mr. T, which is pretty rich, coming from a man who owns more jewelry than most grandmothers.

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