Commercials have always been a necessary nuisance throughout the history of television, since those ads serve as the primary source of revenue for the shows people love to watch. While most of them are forgettable or even regrettable, some spots have actually become as memorable as the shows themselves.
The Super Bowl provides a good example of this, traditionally airing some of the most enjoyable ads ever. It is not unusual to find people, who at Super Bowl parties, prefer the commercials over the football game itself.
Advertisements have become so relevant to television, that occasionally the shows will have based their entire plots on regular characters actually doing a commercial. This is especially true when it comes to classic sitcoms like the following, which each have episodes where a cast member is selected to appear in a commercial for a fictional product.
Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show
Opie’s primary female caretaker, played by France’s Bauvier, is chosen to star in an ad for Foster’s Furniture, but her acting proves too insincere in an episode titled “The Foster Lady.”
Carol on The Brady Bunch
The matriarch (played by Florence Henderson) and her family are selected to appear in a commercial for a new and improved soap detergent, but the product turns out to be inferior to that of its competitor.
Edith Bunker on All in the Family
Archie’s wife (played by Jean Stapleton) blows the chance to star in an ad and make $250 because she is too honest to identify her employer’s pile of laundry as the cleanest.
Ann Marie on That Girl
An actress always seeking a big break, Ann (played by Marlo Thomas) lands the roll as the skating Twinkie Girl without admitting that she cannot roller skate.
Homer on The Simpsons
It is actually only his face that appears on an ad for Mr. Sparkle, a brand of detergent made in Japan.
Barney and Fred on The Flintstones
The two pals manage to get their barbershop quartet to sing the jingle for a Soft Soap commercial at the end of the Ann Margrock show.
Lucy Ricardo on I Love Lucy
“Lucy Does a Commercial” is the episode on which Ricky’s wife pitches the product known as Vitameatavegamin.
Joey Triviani on Friends
The gang’s pal does a TV plug for Ichiban, a lipstick for men.
Jesse on Full House
Danny Tanner’s brother in law (played by John Stamos) is excited to star in a promo for a cologne, until he finds out he must appear in a speedo by the shower.
Fred on Sanford and Son
Neighbor Julio merges his business with the salvage family, and they anticipate big dividends when they air a commercial featuring Fred (played by Redd Foxx).
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