Real Name: Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny
Salary Deal: $1 million
No one expected these two greats to meet in a commercial, but then again no one expected Space Jam to turn into one of the most memorable films of the nineties. These two famous names appeared in a Nike commercial in 1992, as Jordan promoted his latest line of shoes. Bugs was there just to help out.
Jordan made $1 million just for this one ad, but that’s peanuts compared to how much Jordan has made with his collaboration with Nike – all told, somewhere in the area of $1.2 billion. His first style came out in 1982, and there are more every year.
Real Name: Matt Frewer
Salary Deal : $100,000
The creepy AI character Max Headroom came from the head of Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton and was played by actor Matt Frewer. It has a stuttering, distorted voice as well as plenty of witty remarks, and first appeared in the “20 Minutes into the Future” commercial, in 1984.
While Max Headroom was a short-lived show, he also appeared in this Coke commercial, and the character also appeared in the 2015 movie, Pixels. Frewer received $100,000 for his spot. The name came from journalist Edison Carter, who saw the words “MAX. HEADROOM: 2.3 M”, moments before slipping into a coma.
Real Name: Willard Scott
Salary Deal: $10 million
For a whopping ten million dollars, radio personality Willard Scott played the burger chain's famous mascot starting in 1963, filming three different spots and growing McDonald's into the mega-industry we know today. Scott had plenty of experience under the greasepaint, playing the role of Bozo the Clown for his radio station in Washington D.C. from 1959 to 1962. His clowning caught the eye of McDonald's ad execs.
The McD's clown was originally known as “The Hamburger Happy Clown,” and it was a lot more colorful and energetic than the version we know of today. At least the current version doesn't have a cup for a nose. Or looks like a creepier version of Jigsaw from the famous Saw films.
The Red Robin Lady
Real Name: Melanie Paxson
Salary Deal : $50,250
Paxson is a commercial veteran, appearing in commercials for Gladware before Red Robin got their mitts on her. She was born in Illinois and acted for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and has been onscreen since the 1990s, appearing in Early Edition and starring as Jaclyn in Cupid from 98-99.
She's also been in The Drew Carey Show, Joey, Kitchen Confidential, CSI, Rules of Engagement, The Exes, and Medium. She currently has a recurring role in the NBC show Happy Family, as “Sara Brennan.” Her current deal with Red Robin is a little over $50,000.
Hot Construction Worker Drinking Diet Coke
Real Name: John Vanous
Salary Deal: $1 million
With just one shirtless scene, John Vanous turned the commercial world upside down in 1994, appearing as a hot construction worker who takes a break to crack open a Diet Coke, catching the eye of the ladies in the office building nearby – a spoof on the often-mocked and very much overdone “hot girl” ad campaigns.
Vanous has since shot several commercials for Coke. He served in the US army before starting as a model in New York. He's appeared in a number of non-commercial projects, including 18 Wheels of Justice as Chance Bowman and Pacific Palisades as Matt Dunning. Vanous got a million dollars for cracking a Coke and looking good.