(By Christopher Wilson)
If successful commercials are measured by their ability to get a viewer's attention, then aside from the puppy-monkey-baby hybrid, a company cannot find a better spokesperson than Dick Vitale.
Below are five classic commercials, featuring Vitale doing everything from driving a school bus to being handcuffed to a puppet.
This Taco Bell ad is the first commercial I remember seeing with Vitale. He is driving a school bus of seven 7-footers (wearing Sioux City jerseys) and decides the best way to feed them is by stopping at Taco Bell. Rather than letting them choose what to order, Vitale decides to order each of them a 7-layer burrito, though Taco Bell added an eighth ingredient, a choice of either chicken or beef. I assume Vitale also chose which players ate chicken and which ate beef.
I don't frequent Wendy's drive-thru windows, but prior to watching this commercial, I didn't realize I was denying myself a chance to have Vitale take my order. Wendy's also advertised a chance to win lunch with Vitale. The winner didn't have to worry about any awkward silences during that meal.
I can't decide if this is either a shrunken Vitale and a normal size bucket of chicken or a normal size Vitale and a really big bucket of chicken. Either way, KFC should consider hiring Vitale to be the new Colonel Sanders at some point.
Websites are constantly being redesigned and updated, so these images and screenshots of what ESPN's website looked like 20 years ago are the modern-day equivalent of unearthing a mummy. Plus, whoever was using the mouse in this commercial hit Vitale in the face with the cursor.
This was made to promote, not a sitcom, but actual college basketball games . . . back when ESPN had creative marketers. Starring Deborah Quayle and Sarah Dammann (who were both geniune actresses), along with George Gervin and Vitale, if "Hoops Malone" had been an actual show, I would own every season on DVD and have either a plush toy or figurine of O'Hoolix.
Christopher is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of MyBriefs.com, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of his solo columns here.