Peyton Manning hasn’t played in an NFL game since winning Super Bowl 50 more than four years ago, but he’s still one of the game’s most popular players because of his second career — in entertainment. Namely in television commercials.
So in honor of Peyton Manning’s birthday today, we’ve collected some of his greatest moments on the small screen. While we’d love to make some sort of a play on his uniform number (18) or his age (now 44) in coming up with our list, we’ll stick to the traditional. As Manning helped present on David Letterman’s farewell show, we have a top 10 list of Peyton’s greatest hits.
The original “chicken parm you taste so good” commercial was such a runaway favorite with viewers (and now pretty much impossible to locate on YouTube) that it demanded a sequel.
Here’s Peyton trying to convince us he’s really not Peyton, but still fawning over that handsome NFL quarterback with the “laser rocket arm.”
Here’s Peyton showing off said laser rocket arm by throwing a weird-looking Nerf football … “into the wind.” The disclaimer at the end is one for the ages.
7. Universal Studios
A hidden gem, at least in the Manning catalog, is this one that ran during the Super Bowl two years ago. Several good lines in here, especially when Peyton encounters one of the Transformers.
While the chicken parm thread ran through several different ads, Nationwide has enjoyed an even longer-running theme by pairing Manning with country music star Brad Paisley. His insistence he knows both the music and insurance industries is a gift that keeps on giving.
A true classic. Peyton takes the point of view of a fan and cheers on everyday people doing their jobs, from insurance adjusters to butchers to accountants. Who can forget the legendary chant: “Cut that meat! Cut that meat!”
4. NBC ‘Sunday Night Football’
Teaming up with brother Eli to promote a Sunday night clash between the Colts and Giants, Peyton is the victim of a little sibling horseplay. A cameo appearance from dad Archie just adds to the fun.
3. ESPN ‘SportsCenter’
The Mannings take their brotherly shenanigans to another level when the family gets a guided tour of ESPN headquarters.
One more time, Peyton and Eli team up to pump up the volume for DirecTV’s “football on your phone” campaign. It has all the required elements for a rap video: a strong beat, plenty of bling, sexy backup singers and even an appearance by old-school Archie. Plus, it has the memorable line: Your phone ain’t for callin’/Your phone’s for footballin’
1. ‘Saturday Night Live’
Manning’s comic genius is unleashed by the SNL writers in this fake commercial for the United Way, a longtime NFL-sponsored charity. The pubic service announcement quickly devolves from a feel-good playground visit by a famous athlete to an explosion of Peyton’s inner competitiveness.