Super Bowl food ads are one of the best traditions of the NFL championships, and when the ads are funny, it's even better. When they also feature celebrity cameos, it's a huge bonus. Rather than accusing celebrities of selling out by appearing in well-paying spots for mega-brands, fans stay glued to the set to see which of their favorite stars will show up next and what laugh-worthy antics they'll be engaged in. For companies, it's a risky recipe for Super Bowl success that costs millions of dollars in hopes of sprinkling showbiz glitter onto follow-up sales numbers. For viewers, it's one of the most anticipated aspects of the game.
Through the years, colossal brands ranging from Miller Lite to Doritos to Pepsi have employed celebrities in cameos that maximize humor to engage and entice football fans. We ran through the archive and picked out what we think are the all-time funniest celebrity cameos in Super Bowl food ads. Whether it's a world-famous supermodel trying to kick a soft drink habit or a TV hunk getting knocked out of his chair for a cup of yogurt, these clips are the ones that make us giggle and guffaw most.
Read more: Fast Food Hamburgers Ranked Worst To Best
Betty White (Snickers, 2010)
Not only was Betty White one of the funniest comedic performers ever, but she was also game for just about anything. This was never more apparent than in the 2010 Snickers ad she appeared in during the Super Bowl. The Saints may have been playing for the ring, but this angel of the sitcom set had audiences breathless when her hilarious commercial appeared.
White makes her way across a muddy park field, surrounded by players in an amateur football game. As she runs the play, she takes a bone-crushing tackle from another player, right into a mud puddle. What could have possessed her to step onto the turf and risk being pummeled by guys twice her size? She huddles up, answering to the name Mike and letting off steam with dude-speak. Another player accuses Mike of playing "like Betty White out there," and the gag is revealed as White replies, "That's not what your girlfriend says."
The fun twist arrives as Mike's girlfriend brings her a Snickers bar. One bite and Mike's back to his old self again ... just in time to watch Abe Vigoda -- another golden-age '70s television celebrity -- take the next hit. This one never gets old (pun intended).
Ben Affleck And Jennifer Lopez (Dunkin', 2023)
The "Bennifer" reunion took everyone by surprise, bringing early-2000s power couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez back together after two decades apart. The fun kept rolling for their shared cameo in a 2023 Super Bowl ad for Dunkin' that played off of the fan frenzy. The donut giant was a natural fit for Affleck's Boston background, coming up with an ad that capitalized on the couple's sense of humor and savvy self-awareness. Smart move, Dunkin'.
In the ad, Affleck adopts his deepest Boston accent as he takes orders for donuts and coffee through a Dunkin' drive-thru window. It's easy to tell from his customers' stunned reactions that Affleck was stationed in a real Dunkin' location taking true-to-life orders, with cameras on hand to catch the dropping jaws and widening eyes. Engaging playfully with his fans, the superstar seems to be having a blast ... until a familiar face drives up to the window. Enter Lopez, looking none too happy to find him fooling around at the drive-thru, asks him, "Is this what you do when you say you're going to work all day?" Affleck sheepishly removes his microphone and says his goodbyes, but not before Lopez insists he grab her a glazed donut for the road. The one-two punch of Affleck and Lopez in this ad, and the great closing gag, make this one of the best Super Bowl ads in recent memory.
Jack Harlow, Missy Elliott, And Elton John (Doritos, 2023)
Who would believe one of music's up-and-coming superstars would ditch his proven formula in favor of exalting the triangle? Well, it's exactly what happens in one of the most ridiculous Super Bowl spots of 2023, an ad for Doritos, during which Jack Harlow is mesmerized by the career-altering shape of a Dorito — of every Dorito, to be exact.
The minute-long commercial opens with Harlow in the studio, witnessing the alignment of a woman's Dorito with the unsung instrument of orchestras and grade school music rooms everywhere: the triangle. His imagination drifts to an image of himself on a stage, standing in a laser-light pyramid playing the triangle, his new obsession. Against the pleas of Missy Elliott, Harlow insists he has to follow his new passion. In short order, he's teaching children to play the simple instrument, selling out shows with his triangle-based album, and inspiring a new shape in everything from fashion to international currency. His new path leads him to a glittering award ceremony, where the Triangle Player of the Year award is presented to ... Elton John, shown on stage playing a triangle in place of his famous grand piano. The best ads are those that can surprise as well as entertain, and the appearance of the legendary Elton John is the pièce de résistance of this memorable Doritos commercial.
Paul Rudd And Seth Rogen (Lays, 2022)
Two of Hollywood's most reliable funnymen, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen came together yet again to reminisce about the good times for a 2022 Super Bowl ad for Lays potato chips, which may be one of the best foods to bring to a party for the big game. When this pair cuts up onscreen, there's no question viewers will have a lot to laugh about, and this silly spot is no exception.
On the church steps before Rogen's wedding, Rudd steadies his friend's nerves with Lays as they relive a series of fraught yet hilarious scenarios during which the popular chips have seen them through. They reminisce about a road trip sharing vocals on Shania Twain's "Still the One", a near-miss plane crash where Rudd confesses that he's never seen any of Rogen's movies, and a kidnap situation where their captor was kind enough to present them with a selection of Lays in various flavors. There's even time for a jump scare when Rogen purchases a house, complete with a levitating ghoul.
Looking back on the good times calms him down and Rogen is ready to say "I do", with Rudd officiating the marriage ... which happens to be to the levitating ghoul herself. As the happy couple walks (or floats) down the aisle, guests throw Lays instead of rice as the final punchline.
MC Hammer (Cheetos Popcorn, 2020)
'90s rap mega-star MC Hammer set himself up for eternal quoting with his hit single, "U Can't Touch This." Both the song and the star reappeared in 2020 for a Super Bowl ad for Cheetos Popcorn, which left the fingers of snackers covered in orange dust, just like the original Cheetos. There may never have been a more appropriate theme song for an advertised product — or a more suitable figure to appear in the ad.
When an office worker shows off his dust-covered fingertips to boast his new Cheetos Popcorn, his boss smartly declines to turn over a stack of work, enlightening the worker about the hands-off possibilities of this new snack. Who should pop up over the cubicle wall like a prairie dog but Hammer himself, kicking off his hit with the all-too-familiar words. The song follows the worker as he avoids other no-touch situations. In every scenario, Hammer appears, his head sticking out of rolled-up rugs and coiled garden hoses, and even appearing superimposed on the body of a baby. It seems there's no scenario Cheeto Fingers can't get this character out of ... or is there? Just as the orange-fingered loafer lets his boss drop to the ground during a company picnic trust fall, Hammer bursts out of a picnic basket and steals the Cheetos Popcorn bag, calling out "I touched it" as he Hammer-shuffles away.
John Stamos (Oikos, 2012)
John Stamos isn't only ageless, he's also a timeless favorite for fans of "Full House" who've grown up to discover his penchant for making fun of his heartthrob image. In a 2012 Oikos yogurt Super Bowl ad, he crushes that image entirely, but not before a winsome setup in which he flirts with danger — literally.
As the spot begins, Stamos is playing coy with the actress sharing the kitchen table with him. She feeds him a spoonful of her blueberry-swirled Oikos before he takes the spoon to return the favor. But instead of sharing, Stamos playfully pulls the spoon away and takes the bite for himself. Before he can bait her again, his table partner decides she's had quite enough. She clutches his wrist and holds his arm fast for the next spoonful, taking him by surprise. And when Stamos smirks and swivels the spoon in his direction to steal another bite, she rears back and smashes him squarely in the forehead with a bone-rattling headbutt that knocks him to the ground, his shoes flying through the air. Then she takes the spoon and continues to eat the yogurt she was enjoying before Mr. Hollywood showed up to make things messy.
John Madden (Miller Lite, 1981)
One of the biggest personalities to ever emerge from the football industry, John Madden parlayed his louder-than-life persona into a cameo for Miller Lite during a 1981 Super Bowl ad. He's not just the guy whose name is on the football video games; he's also one of the most recognizable figures from the '80s, and this ad plays his notoriety to the hilt.
Breaking the fourth wall in this clip, Madden grouses to the camera about how much he's changed since his coaching career came to an end and enjoying Miller Lite is a part of his new life -- a fact he's proud to share with viewers. While Madden's dialogue starts calmly and at a sensible volume, it slowly begins to increase in both sound and fury. Soon, the most animated man in football is engaged in a full-blown rant, so overtaken with emotion that even the onscreen promo graphic can't contain him. He bursts through the paper like a beer-drinking Kool-Aid man, enthusiastically explaining why Miller Lite is the best light beer around. It's one of the most on-brand ads Super Bowl advertising has ever produced, an early adopter of the celebrity cameo, and one of the funniest ever.
Danny DeVito (M&M's, 2018)
It's strange enough that M&M's come to life as CGI characters to promote themselves being eaten. But things get even stranger when Red M&M transforms into Danny DeVito for a 2018 Super Bowl spot for the confectionary company, spoofing the idea that people can't resist trying to eat super-sized chocolate candies, even in their 3D animated form.
In the spot, Red strolls down a city street while complaining to his friend, Brown M&M, about the three people who've tried to eat him that day alone. He finds a lucky penny and makes a wish to be human, and lo and behold — he transforms into DeVito. In a bright red M shirt, DeVito is utterly gleeful, asking unsuspecting passers-by -- one of whom is YouTube star and singer Todrick Hall in a cameo-within-a-cameo -- "Do you want to eat me?" Uncomfortable looks follow as each stranger declines. DeVito proclaims joyously how lucky he is that no one wants to eat him, just before he gets tossed in the air by a garbage truck. Thankfully, DeVito lands safely in boxes of produce on a nearby corner, where Brown hands him back his "lucky" penny.
Has candy ever been this funny, animated or otherwise? It seems like Danny DeVito is the real lucky charm in this transaction.
Michael Richards, Cindy Crawford, And Rodney Dangerfield (Pepsi, 1994)
"Seinfeld" was hitting its stride in 1994, and Cindy Crawford was riding high at the top of the supermodel stack, so it was the perfect year to bring the two together for a super-silly, star-filled Pepsi ad made especially for Super Bowl watchers.
Michael Richards portrays a frenzied scientist on the verge of a breakthrough at the so-called Institute for Beverage Research, conjuring images of his popular Kramer persona. In this setting, the jittery comedian is experimenting by locking supermodel Cindy Crawford in an entirely Pepsi-less environment to see how she fares. She may enter the tank as the gold standard for '90s beauty and fashion, but she emerges one month later as ... Rodney Dangerfield. When asked how she feels, Crawford's voice emerges from Dangerfield's mouth, proclaiming that she's "dying for a Pepsi." It's a fun twist on the body switch trope, underlined by Pepsi's log line at the time that's stamped across the final frame: "Be Young, Have Fun, Drink Pepsi."
Bob Dole (Pepsi, 2001)
Maybe politicians shouldn't be considered celebrities. But when they bring name recognition like Bob Dole did in 2001 and they're up for a bit of goofy fun, there's no reason not to rope them into a Super Bowl ad that lets them show their sillier side. Pepsi did just that, playing on Dole's earnestness before turning it on its ear in uproarious fashion.
The ad finds Dole strolling on a beach at sunset, his voice narrating over slow-motion scenes of waves crashing as he tosses a stick to his golden retriever. He's explaining how he's found a product that's made him feel vital and youthful again, referring to this wonder stuff as "my little blue friend." The instant inference made by anyone watching at the time would be that his "friend" is Viagra, the little blue pill that was making a big splash in the world. But no, Dole is referencing the blue of a Pepsi can, which has similar healing powers, according to the former Senator and Presidential candidate.
Sharp viewers will also catch Eric Stonestreet from "Modern Family" in an early role as a pharmacist-slash-convenience store clerk endorsing Pepsi like it's a prescription pharmaceutical. By the final shot, Dole is doing backflips on the shore and enjoying the return of his youthful energy, all thanks to Pepsi.
Shaquille O'Neal (Pepsi, 1994)
With a celebrity as big as Shaquille O'Neal, you need a super-sized Super Bowl ad just to fit your star in the frame. Shaq was larger than life both figuratively and literally when Pepsi wrangled him for a spot that made his colossal size part of the story and turned the NBA giant into an even bigger deal.
As the clip begins, the thundering footsteps of an approaching Shaq signal to children playing on a city playground basketball court that something surprising is on its way. Shaq's enormous hands appear as he rips the gate off of the hinges and steps onto the court. He's large enough to pull down the basketball hoop and toss the ball in for a nothing-but-net swish that requires no vertical jump whatsoever. Then, he stalks to the cooler where the kids have been grabbing bottles of Pepsi, reaches in, and finds nothing left but ice water.
Disappointed, Shaq turns to see one of the smaller boys holding a fresh bottle and makes his way over. He bends down, smiling kindly, and as he reaches out to take the bottle, the kid warns, "Don't even think about it." When it comes to Pepsi, sometimes the little guy gets the best (and only) line.
Will Ferrell (Bud Light, 2008)
Nobody does comedy like Will Ferrell, whether it's starring on "Saturday Night Live," creating hilarious clips for "Funny or Die," or headlining movies that become permanent pop culture fixtures. One of his funniest opportunities came as part of a Super Bowl ad campaign for Bud Light during the 2008 broadcast.
Capitalizing on his Jackie Moon character from the movie "Semi-Pro," Ferrell dons a 1970s-style basketball uniform, complete with a headband, too-short shorts, and a shaggy perm. There's no storyline to the ad, instead, the spot imagines the hilariously arrogant Moon starring in a beer commercial, throwing out improvised and wildly inappropriate dialogue as his director calls cut again and again. When he finally hits the right line, he's ready to collect his payday and move on.
Appearing on Sunday, February 3 of that year, the ad was timed perfectly as a lead-in for the movie, which was released on February 19. The meta nature of a fake sports figure shooting a fake ad that's actually a real ad is mind-bending and incredibly funny.
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Pepsi One, 1999)
Following his supporting role in "Jerry Maguire" -- where the phrase "Show me the money!" came from -- Cuba Gooding Jr. rode a wave of celebrity that made him the prime choice for a Pepsi One ad for the 1999 Super Bowl. The spot Gooding Jr. starred in was an explosive 30 seconds that showcased his comedic chops while hawking a one-calorie cola that dropped off the radar in 2015. In 1999, however, it was worth an ad during the big game.
A suited Gooding Jr. stands casually at a roadside refreshment counter when a car filled with upscale criminal types -- looking like they wouldn't be out of place in a Martin Scorsese movie -- approaches. The crew exits the car in slow motion and walks over to the stand as Gooding Jr. recommends Pepsi One. The driver fumbles with the fob, trying to get the car to lock, as the head of the gang insists, "We don't do one calorie." Gooding Jr. mocks him and grabs the fob while the leader tastes what's in the can. The fob finally works and the car explodes, to the shock of the shady pack. Everyone is jarred, except the leader, who flashes the Pepsi can and proclaims, "This is great." It seems like a waste of a perfectly good vehicle just for a 30-second ad, but Gooding Jr. makes an affable foil that adds humor to cool the fire.
Read the original article on Mashed.