Stephen Colbert is arguably one of the most prolific names in television. He shot to fame after hosting “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central, playing the role of a conservative political commentator. Years before he became synonymous with witty satire, Colbert also dabbled in acting gigs for adverts. He appeared in this commercial for First Tier Bank, dressed in a suit clearly two sizes too big!
But he has no trouble pulling off the role of a confident banker in Nebraska. Although you see glimpses of wit behind those glasses, it’s almost inconceivable how the same man would become among the most incisive television hosts in the country!
Dakota Fanning is a force, and she’s had an early start being that way. Fanning has been around the Hollywood scene since she was 15, at least. Before that, she had already discovered a love for acting while growing up in her hometown, Georgia. She regularly performed in plays with the other kids in the community.
During one such performance, her performance really stood out, and her parents were advised to try taking their daughter to auditions in Los Angeles. The family moved soon after, and within weeks of their arrival, Fanning had already landed a commercial for Tide. She was only five years old and beat out many other children for the role.
The actor we love as the incomparable “Magnum P.I.” was no stranger to hustling. Tom Selleck always comes across as the most self-assured man there is. Yet, he went through his share of hits and misses. The actor starred in at least six failed pilots before hitting it big on the television series.
A few unsuccessful stints on “The Dating Game” later, Selleck knew he needed to bring in more money if he wanted to continue paying the bills and acting. And so, he turned to commercials in the late ‘60s. He appeared in several adverts during this time, including one for Close Up Toothpaste and Pepsi.
Megan Mullally was undeniable as the vodka-drenched and scathing Karen Walker in “Will & Grace.” Along with the titular characters, Mullally was the heart of the beloved show that ran for a staggering eight seasons. Before landing the role of a lifetime, the actor starred in a few commercials, as many beginners in the industry do.
Among them was a 1983 spot for Egg McMuffins. She sells the snack as confidently as she sashays in hours late for her secretary job in “Will & Grace.” Look closely, and you’ll also notice an appearance by John Goodman in this commercial.
Jane Lynch has taken on several roles in her career, but none as enduring as Sue Sylvester in “Glee.” It’s hard to remember a time when she wasn’t stalking the halls and making life for Mr. Shue a living nightmare. And much like her character on the show, Lynch in real life is full of surprises.
Before making it big in Hollywood, the actor appeared in a commercial for Frosted Flakes in 1998. She was 27 then and somehow looks the same as she does now! Fun fact about the commercial: it was directed by Christopher Guest, who met Lynch six months later and asked her to come in for a reading for “Best in Show,” The rest is history.