Vanilla Ice Shilling Mac & Cheese, and Musicians' Five Strangest Appearances in TV Commercials
We know how it is. You're a musician, perhaps not at your peak, perhaps worried about the future, and some smart company recognizes your downward swing and comes along and makes you a lucrative offer too good to refuse. This is how probably how Vanilla Ice just ended up in a commercial for Kraft Mac & Cheese:
Remarkable mostly for the self-deprecation involved, here we see Ice stocking supermarket shelves and thinking of previous glories. The only thing that could've made this better is if he'd said "Gonna rock and roll the place, with the power of a ninja turtle face" in addition to "Word to your mother." Still: solid effort. Here are five more of the strangest musician appearances in commercials.
John Lydon, for Country Life Butter
He may still be thought of as a serious badass in America, but John Lydon -- aka Johnny Rotten -- has a positively civilized image in his native U.K. these days. In recent years, the Public Image Limited frontman and Sex Pistols legend has performed for the Queen non-ironically, appeared on British reality television horror show, I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, and yes, shilled for butter. Just look at him here, in his morning robe, eating his toast -- the very picture of English normalcy.
Iggy Pop, for Swiftcover Car Insurance
Here's another example of a hard rocker who maintains his hedonistic image in America, but is willing to be genteel for the Brits. Iggy Pop has done a major series of car insurance commercials in the U.K., in which he's perfectly normal and fond of purple pajamas. It's puppet Iggy (yes, there's a puppet Iggy) who's responsible for any kind of classically Iggy crazy stuff, while Mr. Pop does crosswords in bed and wears old man reading specs. To be perfectly honest, this whole thing makes us feel sad inside, but dude probably doesn't have a pension plan, so we get it.
Alice Cooper, for Staples
We have many questions about this one. Primarily: does putting Alice Cooper in a commercial for Staples really help office supply sales? Does it make kids more enthusiastic to get school stationery? Is there any part of Alice that's sad that "School's Out" has been reduced to, well, this?
David Bowie, for Jun Rock Sake
You know those scenes in Lost in Translation, where Bill Murray's character is trying to film a commercial, sitting in a chair, looking awkward and clinging to a glass of whiskey while a Japanese director screams "More intensity!" and "James Bond!" at him? David Bowie apparently lived that in 1980, when he made a series of commercials for Jun Rock sake in Japan. There's one that's actually super-terrifying and David Lynchian that has Bowie just glaring at the camera for 30 seconds. The less scary version is above.
Devo, for Honda Scooters
Given the fact that Devo was a band formed around the idea that the human race was devolving and turning into a herd of cultureless consumers, we kind of can't believe that this commercial even happened. Not because we've got anything against Honda scooters, more that we can't believe Devo would take money to advertise anything. But they did, as this video illustrates. Maybe they were being ironic? Fingers crossed!