Big business has been using celebrities to sell their products since the very early days of television and radio. While a number of actors do serious voice overs, it’s often the commercials that demonstrate a sense of humor that have the biggest impact on the buying public. Sometimes a comedian will be used to voice the commercial and that makes it funny, while in other cases it’s a funny line that does the trick when selling a product.
Comedian and character actor Wanda Sykes is known for her sarcasm and put-down ability. In addition to her stand-up routine and performances on classic television programs like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Sykes does many commercials. Her funniest may be as the voice of the apple for Applebee’s Restaurants.
The star of “X Files” and “Californication” may be just as well-known for his performances as the voice of Pedigree Dog Foods. It’s not that the commercials will leave you rolling on the floor with laughter, it’s more that Pedigree has chosen someone like Duchovny to represent their product. Duchovny seems to be all about having fun and never taking anything seriously, yet his endorsement has helped make this product successful. You wouldn’t think it works, but it does.
The former star of “Cheers” and “Frasier” is a voice over regular. He plays it straight and authoritative in many of his commercials, but Grammer was also the original voice of the gecko for Geico Insurance. Grammer played the role of the high-faluting goof on both of his most well-known TV roles and that tone comes across when he does a voiceover and it makes viewers laugh when they hear him do a commercial.
She’s always got a big and powerful presence in a movie or television role, and she does the same with her commercials. But Queen Latifah doesn’t appear to take herself too seriously and when she does he commercial voiceover for Pizza Hut’s Dipping Strips, you can’t help but laugh because you hear the humor and the irony in Latifah’s booming voice.
The 30 Rock star has a deep and powerful voice and knows how to demonstrate a “star’s” image with his over-the-top portrayals of authority figures. However, it’s just an act and he loves skewering the real stuffed shirts and that’s why he’s an appealing commercial voice. He’s funny whether he’s hawking credit cards or any other product, but his funniest work came for a the sporting goods company New Era, in which he plays a Yankees fan who goes at it verbally with a Red Sox fan.