Earlier this month, Kris posted this ridiculous ad for Kool-Aid featuring Pete Rose. If you didn't see it before, let's toss it up here again. Hell, if you saw it before, you should really watch it again, because it is bonkers.
Holy crap, right? Kris says the ad may have been "a commentary on humanity's disregard for the planet that supports us," and I think he might be right. What I love most about the clip is that the Kool-Aid Man significantly destroys two baseball stadiums. Also, the Reds are trailing 8-7 to the a team -- maybe the Mets? -- when Rose hits a deep fly to center; for some reason the outfielders fail to get in position for the catch, but at least they weren't killed by the shrapnel from the outfield wall when the Kool-Aid Man crashes through the fence.
After reading Kris' post, I started searching YouTube for other commercials featuring Pete Rose, and I think I learned something: Pete Rose may have been in more absolutely freaking insane commercials than any other person in history. Let's take a little trip down Pete Rose pitchman memory lane.
This is probably my favorite Pete Rose commercial, and with good reason: It takes place in a world where baseball is less popular than Aqua Velva. For some reason, a fan is allowed to essentially interrupt a game to ask Pete Rose what kind of after shave he likes. The umpire's in on this, too, as is a popcorn hawker. Then, somehow, those four all materialize on the field and begin singing a song about Aqua Velva. What about the game? Where's the other team? Is this really why Pete Rose is banned from baseball?
I also particularly like this comment on YouTube: "[C]an you imagine if this happened in real life?" Uhm, it did happen, dude. There's video evidence of it!
Fun fact: That's Vic Tayback (from Alice) as the man in the stands.
Pete Rose was apparently a dedicated Aqua Velva pitchman; this ad from 1979 is great because it also features Joe Morgan! Rose runs from first to second -- without a batting helmet, mind you, though this may have been typical for the time -- and happens to run into his old teammate from the Reds, Morgan. "Hey, it's Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies," Morgan says shockingly. Apparently Joe Morgan had no idea Rose played with him for several years, or that Rose was batting earlier that inning, or even what team he's playing against.
It gets weirder. The first (only?) thing Joe Morgan asks Rose is what kind of aftershave he's using. Rose is, of course, an Aqua Velva man, and then ends this ad with some more singing. Truly, there is something about Aqua Velva.
Oh, look, here's another Aqua Velva commercial, but this one has the added bonus of being kinda sexist as well! Oh, the time before political correctness, how we miss ye. In this one, a reporter (from Working PRESS magazine) asks Pete Rose what he likes in an aftershave while he's taking batting practice. Rose also creepily stares at the reporter, although she is certainly flirting with him as well. There's also some weird sexual innuendo where Rose flips his bat away at the end of this ad. The less thought about this, the better.
Rose gets into more trouble with a fan in this Nestle Crunch commercial from 1986. A little girl manages to distract him enough that he takes a strike. He then realizes she's eating a Nestle Crunch and so he manages to hit a pitch (off the "J" team) over the Blue Monster for a homer! Pete Rose celebrates by taking a seat in the stands in front of the little girl and eating a Nestle Crunch. I rescind my previous comment; I think this is why Pete Rose was banned from baseball.
Now, in this commercial, an Atari 2600 video game cartridge strikes out Pete Rose. It also imprisons Don Knotts; who knew how powerful Atari really was?
Apparently, by 1987, Pete Rose wasn't interested in even smelling like a man anymore. He just -- really angrily -- wanted people to know that he only used the toughest of shampoos, Tegrin. The gem of this commercial is the really creepy shot of Rose in the shower, massaging his scalp. This also has a cameo with Rose's wife! ("And your wife!" is maybe my favorite line in any of these ads.) Incidentally, Tegrin shampoo is apparently no longer being made.
This is quite a jingle, eh? The first four lines of this ad are incredible.
Lots of hustle, that's our Pete
That's why he's eating what the big boys eat
Loved his Wheaties since he was small
Now dig in big boy have a ball
The ad also features a shot of some old people -- possibly Rose's mother, possibly the stars of The Golden Girls -- celebrating Rose's record-breaking hit.
In this ad, Pete Rose has a full-on Moe Howard haircut and shills for Grecian Formula. He actually insists that hair color affects one's batting average. I don't care if that's a commercial, that's even stupider than anything any dumb sportswriter has ever said. Also, apparently no one will notice if your hair goes from gray to pitch black because it will happen gradually. Whatever you say.
This is definitely the calmest of all the Pete Rose ads, but in hindsight it might be the funniest. Vince Coleman, Doc Gooden and Pete Rose, all in one commercial! If only Darryl Strawberry were in this ad could it have been a more infamous group of 1980s baseball stars.
I know what you're saying: What about Pete Rose today? Well, in this commercial for Cincinnati radio station WEBN, two dudes make a lot of jokes about Pete Rose's giant penis -- but Rose says Tony Perez's is even bigger! It turns out they're talking about Rose's World Series ring, which is apparently destroyed at the end of the ad. It's good to see that Rose continues his string of incredibly strange commercials into the modern era. And, hey,at least nobody was killed in a horrible traffic accident, as opposed to this WEBN ad.
Hey, look, here's Pete Rose stiffing a bunch of kids on Halloween despite being a famous Hall of Fame-caliber baseball player! Luckily, pro wrestler Kane (formerly known as Isaac Yankem, D.D.S., the evil dentist) shows up and apparently kills Pete.
Those are all the Rose ads on YouTube. Any one of these would put him near the top on the list of most insane pitchmen ever, but all together? He's crazier than Crazy Eddie. Put Pete Rose in the Marketing Hall of Fame.
Of course, there is something even weirder than a Pete Rose TV commercial:
Yep, that would be Pete Rose getting a copy of Loose Change from a 9/11 truther. We can only hope Rose will, one day, be on a commercial telling people Flight 93 actually landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport.