Come closer and I’ll tell you a secret about me. Okay, that’s close enough. I’m really good at recognizing celebrity voice-overs in TV commercials. It’s something I pride myself on, and one day I hope someone invents a “Name That Tune”-style game show where I can put my talent to good use. Of course, I could just be watching television with people who are really bad at identifying celebrities by their voices and therefore look like a genius by comparison. But either way I’m here to bring you fifteen TV commercials you might not have realized had celebrity voice-overs. If you want to turn this into a little quiz for yourself, watch the video first and then scroll down a couple of lines to find out the celebrity. May your commercial-viewing experience be all the more enjoyable because of this.
1. Jason Sudeikis for Applebee’s
Who better to advertise an affordable, casual dining experience than the kind of guy I’d like to imagine actually appreciates an affordable, casual dining experience? Am I the only one who thinks it would be totally rad and also totally plausible to go to Applebee’s and eat chicken wings with Jason on a Friday night?
2. John Krasinski for Esurance
John was known on The Office for all the faces he made at the camera, but he also happens to have a really pleasant and trustworthy voice. And that’s exactly what you want when you’re selling insurance. Flo from Progressive is still my homegirl, though. Fun fact: John also lends his voice to Carnival Cruise ads.
3. Lisa Kudrow for Yoplait
Yogurt is a very important part of my life as a lady, so I want a familiar voice telling me to buy it. Since I watch Friends reruns on a practically daily basis, good ol’ Phoebe is the perfect choice to get me to listen to all the new and exciting flavors. She has that quirky way of speaking that just makes yogurt ten times more fun. And it was pretty fun already, so…
4. Jon Hamm for Mercedes Benz
Did you ever want to have sex with a voice? If you have, odds are it was because of this commercial or others like it, in which Jon Hamm tells you all about how revolutionary and artistic and meaningful and oh so sexy it is to drive a car. And honestly, who better to sell us something than the king of ads himself, Don Draper?
5. Antonio Banderas for Nasonex
You might have thought that dashing Spanish bee is just someone doing an impression of Antonio, but it’s actually him. Never have I ever been so attracted to a cartoon insect, and hopefully never will I ever be again.
6. Susan Sarandon for Stouffer’s
Susan Sarandon has a very homey voice that makes me think of her role in Little Women, so she’s a great choice to sell me yummy lasagna.
7. Zach Braff for Cottonelle
Who would have guessed that the guy from Scrubs would turn out to be the guy who voices that adorable little puppy who makes you forget you’re watching an advertisement about toilet paper and briefly tricks you into thinking you’re buying a puppy?
8. Julia Roberts for Nationwide
So that’s where Julia has been hiding all this time. I know she still does movies and things, but it just feels like she’s disappeared, only to show up once in a blue moon at award shows or in television showings of Eat Pray Love. And apparently also in TV commercials.
9. Michael C. Hall for Dodge
I’d know that murdery voice anywhere. Since his character on Dexter is always narrating his own life, fans of the show will probably recognize this one. Fun fact: David Giuntoli, current star of Grimm, is the first guy lying in bed in the ad above.
10. Ed Helms for Hotels.com
It’s Andy Bernard himself! He’s got just the right amount of pleasant quirkiness in his voice to really pull off a cartoon character.
11. Wanda Sykes for Gain
Who doesn’t want to do laundry with Wanda? I certainly do, especially when she makes those detergent scents sound so fun and sassy.
12. Bill Hader for Planters Peanuts
When he’s not dealing with a phone he hates in those new T-Mobile ads or stealing the show at James Franco’s roast, he’s the new voice of Mr. Peanut for Planters. That’s right. He left SNL for this. Keep calm. Don’t do anything rash. Fun fact: Mr. Peanut used to be voiced by none other than Robert Downey, Jr.
13. Allison Janney for Kaiser-Permanente
I think Allison Janney is one of the most underrated actresses out there, and she also happens to be one of the most underrated voice-over celebrities as well, if you ask me. You go Allison Janney!
14. Chris Parnell for Progressive
The third SNL alum on our list. Chris also voices a character on the FX cartoon Archer. Am I the only one who watches this commercial and hears nothing but Dr. Spaceman?
15. Lisa Loeb for Stacy’s Pita Chips
I’m super proud of myself for knowing this one, so I had to throw it in here. After years and years of worshipping Lisa’s music and humming along to “Stay” every time it comes on in the supermarket or a restaurant or the lobby or in a movie or a TV show or in somebody’s car driving next to me, my ears perked up when I heard her speaking voice advertising this and other commercials, including Bounty paper towels. Now if she could start writing jingles to go along with her narration, my life would be complete.
(Photo: Dominic Chan/WENN.com)