Ferris saves! Actors who reprised their iconic roles for adverts


31st January 2012

The internet lost its collective shit this week when a heartless, evil corporation sullied the memory of a cinematic 80s icon by FORCING actor Matthew Broderick to accept bundles of cash for a car advert.

Ferris Bueller doesn't play by the rules. He lives outside the system. He screws with the system. He wedgies the system. Seen Principal Rooney lately? Don't look him up unless you want to feel sad. It's safe to say Ferris won that battle. Bueller 1, System 0.

It's understandable, then, that fans of John Hughes' anti-establishment classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off are so aggrieved at this new Superbowl advert from Honda, which shows Matthew Broderick - playing himself, but for all intents and purposes, Being Ferris - besmirching his most iconic role in the name of comfortable automobiles. Looksee.

"The worst performance of my career?" That's about the size of it. Before you even take into consideration the fact that Matthew Broderick might not be the ideal spokesman for vehicular transport, it's an ill-judged advert at best, flying in the face of everything John Hughes' creation stood for. Alas, this is the way of all things: money always wins the fight against artistic integrity eventually. Big cars go nicely in big garages.

Don't make the mistake of thinking actors reprising their most famous roles for a nice fat payday is a new thing, though. Oh no. Cash-hungry thesps have been auctioning off their dignity for years...
Clark Griswold sells... vacation rentals!

Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprised their roles from the Vacation series in this 2011 Superbowl ad for holiday homes. I'll be honest with you guys, I didn't even watch this. It's 13 minutes and 47 seconds long. That's not a commercial. If your commercial lasts so long it could have its own commercials, it exists beyond advertising. Who knew Karate Dog wasn't the lowest point of Chevy's career?
Yoda sells... mobile phones!

(*long sigh, followed by intense bout of staring into the middle distance*) I get that Star Wars is a billion dollar merchandising empire. I accept the production line of DVD boxsets, Blu-rays, 3D re-releases, toys, games, pyjamas, action figures and dildos (I imagine). But mobile phones? How does that even work? Yoda exists in our universe now? I guess if C3P0 and R2-D2 can flog shit at PC World, it stands to reason that Yoda would be recruited for Vodafone. Boba Fett works in Comet, last time I checked.
Marty McFly sells... the Scream awards!

It's actually against the law to be unkind to Michael J Fox, so it's no surprise everyone greeted his return to the Back To The Future franchise - albeit in short advert form - with whoops of joy and patronising, 'Isn't he brave?' style comments. Cut the heartwarming bullshit, however, and you'll see it's still an actor getting paid big bucks by trading on his cool image to advertise something distinctly uncool:a cable television awards ceremony. Not me, though. I love this guy. It's Michael J Fox.
Doc Brown sells... Argentinian televisions!

You could argue that Michael J Fox is technically playing himself in the ad above. That argument doesn't hold water here. This series of Garbarino ads - an electronics chain in Argentina - features Christopher Lloyd arriving from the past in his DeLorean time machine, introducing himself as Doctor Emmett Brown and dribbling all over the iPads. You can forgive an old man for collecting a paycheque, but seriously... how is this allowed?
Alfred the Butler sells... Diet Coke!

This advert is particularly confusing for a number of reasons. Firstly, gratz to the Coke lawyers for wrangling image rights for Michael Keaton's Batman, who seemingly appears in this ad without even knowing it. The most baffling thing, however, is that it's all backwards, with Michael Gough's butler Alfred getting to drink the last Diet Coke, while Batman - THE GODDAMN BATMAN - has to drive to the 'corner shop' to get more. Apparently Gotham honours 'Opposite Day' like the rest of the world.
Bullitt sells... the Ford Puma!

To be fair, Steve McQueen didn't get much of a say in this, being dead and all. That didn't stop Ford from technically reanimating his corpse and having him drive a namby-pamby car up and down the rolling hills of San Francisco, eternally shaming his coolest character, just in case he wasn't having a hard enough time of it in Hell.
James Bond sells... Japanese ham!

Does James Bond eat ham? I'm pretty sure James Bond eats ham. In that case, this one's cool. It's in character. I firmly believe that Sean Connery's 007 would stride forward purposely in a room on his own and announce his fondness for ham. That's canon.
Spinal Tap sell... pizza rolls!

Are we seeing Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer advertising Australia's premier pizza rolls, or is it actually Nigel Tufnell, David St Hubbins and Derek Smalls? There's no hiding behind their heavy metal alter egos this time - fictional characters can't cash cheques.
The cast of Twin Peaks sell... coffee in a can!

Who knew David Lynch was such a sell-out? And for coffee... in a can? I hope it washes away the BITTER TASTE THIS AD LEFT BEHIND.
Easy Rider's Billy sells... the Ford Cougar!

The other version of this advert was just Dennis Hopper taking a shit on a picture of the sixties.
Thanks to Twitter folk @AchinglyChic, @ChrisJDonoghue, @RobertSeabury, @bendunc and @JoeOkell for unearthing some of these rotting corpses.

Follow us on Twitter @The_Shiznit for more fun features, film reviews and occasional commentary on what the best type of crisps are.
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