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    Friday, May 24, 2024

    Celebrities food endorsements — myth or reality?

    Have you ever wondered why we never see Famous Persons endorsing truly excellent restaurants?

    Here are commercials that haven’t and won’t happen:

    EXT. NIGHT — BRICK BUILDING WITH NEON “MR. JIU’S” SIGN. CLOSE-UP ON NBA STAR STEPH CURRY. HE’S SPINNING A BASKETBALL ON ONE FINGER AND HOLDING A DISH OF PEKING DUCK WITH THE OTHER HAND

    STEPH

    The reason I keep re-signing with the Warriors is so I can stay close to Mr. Jiu’s and their Michelin-starred presentations in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown.

    Or:

    INT. DARK THEATER. SPOTLIGHT ON TWO ACTORS ONSTAGE READYING TO LEAVE STAGE

    DANIEL DAY-LEWIS

    That was a fine rehearsal, Emma Thompson. This will be the best production of a Neil Simon play ever. I’ll bet you could go for a fine meal at Semma.

    EMMA THOMPSON

    The excellent Southern Indian place in Greenwich village? Hell, yeah, Mr. Daniel Day-Lewis. That suggestion alone means you’re a star-spangled GUY!

    And the reason these commercials don’t happen is because Famous People don’t want people like ME showing up at these ritzy restaurants and ruining their experiences. Instead, they make diversionary commercials endorsing lower-budget places they’d NEVER go to.

    It’s a win-win situation. They get paid even more money and WE race to the franchise joints they endorse because we believe that a) not only do celebrities eat there but b) as such, we stand a very real chance of running into them waiting to order. Meanwhile, the Famous People eat their expensive food in peace.

    By now, I should know better. But the celebrities on the commercials are so damned convincing. “Maybe they really do like Wendy’s,” I think.

    Years ago, in Los Angeles, we saw Randolph Mantooth in a Fatburger.

    “That’s Randolph Mantooth!” I whispered excitedly to my wife. “He played paramedic Johnny Gage on ‘Emergency!’ See? Famous people DO eat the products they endorse!”

    “When did Randolph Mantooth endorse Fatburger?”

    “Oh. I guess he didn’t.”

    But I remain hopeful. I could easily show up tomorrow at a convenience store to buy some Lay’s chips and Pepsi products — only to be told that Eli and Peyton Manning just bought every last can, bottle and chip bag.

    “It’s just like on TV,” the clerk will explain. “Those Manning siblings like nothing better than to throw big chip and soda parties.”

    Or I’ll go into the McDonald’s on Colman and …

    “Wow, Cardi B and Offset!” I’ll exclaim. “You really show up and personally enjoy the official Cardi B and Offset Meal, comprising a classic cheeseburger with barbecue sauce and a large Coca-Cola for you, Cardi B, and a Quarter Pounder with cheese and a large Hi-C Orange for you, Offset.”

    “Exactly! Would you like to share our large order of fries and the apple pie?” Offset will smile.

    Nope.

    I suppose my reluctant acceptance of a sad reality — that Famous Person endorsements are a fiction — at least comes at a crucial time. I was just getting ready to buy a Buick because Tiger Woods endorses them. Or DID endorse them. I’m not sure that gig’s still in place or, frankly, why Buick would want him anyway.

    In 2009, when he smashed into a fire hydrant outside his Florida house, El Tigré was in a Cadillac Escalade. Then, when he had a single car accident in 2021 in California, he was behind (and then over) the wheel of a Genesis GV80 SUV.

    Maybe Woods could endorse a Buick hearse!

    I suspect the only guaranteed celebrity/fast food sighting would involve Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams. You’ve seen the ads: He’s the guy with a Taco Bell franchise in his own HOUSE. I drove by there recently to grab six crispy tacos and a Cheesy Double Beef Burrito.

    “We don’t open till 11,” Davante said.

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