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I certainly don't see Sutherland as any less of a sellout than Hackman. I mean, come on, he's turned himself into a car salesman for a big corporation. If that's not a quintessential sellout, I don't know what is. Are Volvos more dignified than Home Depot because you have to be rich to buy one (a new one, that is -- not a 16 year old rust bucket like mine)?


My reasoning was that Volvos are really good cars: well designed, durable, safe, etc., and therefore Donald Sutherland could argue that there's nothing wrong with getting paid to endorse something he's likely to approve of anyway. Yes, Volvo is a big corporation, and one doesn't want to view them with rose-colored glasses just because their boxy look is kind of quietly iconic (not to mention popular with Portland liberals like us).

But I think we ought not to lump all corporations together.

Home Depot is a company I dislike because the overwhelming majority of their nationwide big-box retail stores are part of hideous and badly functioning suburban communities that are over-reliant on automobiles and eschew the values of mass transit, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, and high density residential zoning.

Come to think of it, though, Volvo makes some of the cars that clog those suburban roadways, so maybe the ground beneath my argument isn't as solid as I first thought. But at least Sutherland isn't hawking SUVs!


I hate those Pizza Hut ones with Queen Latifah.

carol klein

Who is the voice in the United Airlines
animated commercials? Driving us crazy wondering in Dallas. Usually we can figure out this stuff.


Why is it selling out to make money any way you can? This stretching of elastic ethics to cover what this or that person or group approves of is ludicrous. And since when is doing work-for-hire voice-overs "endorsement"? They're anonymous, and sort of the inverse opposide of endorsements, which means you're supposed to identify product with celebrity and wet yourself over the thrill of getting to use the same toilet paper that just might touch Tom Cruise's tiny little Ken Doll butt.

Sellout's a tired old word if you ask me. If you don't want to participate in the greedfest, opt out of consumerism entirely and do not be an actor, performer, or entertainer of any kind. Jeesh.


Easy there, big fella.


Here's just a small list of A-list actors who have done voice work or actually appeared in television commercials.

Martin Sheen (Pepsi, Toyota)
Donald Sutherland (Volvo)
Keifer Sutherland (Cingular)
Paul Reiser (MCI)
Carrot Top (1800ATT)
Candice Bergen (MCI)
Jack Lemmon (Honda)
Richard Dreyfuss (Honda)
Jeff Goldblum (Toyota, Apple)
Queen Latifah (Pizza Hut)
Dennis Weaver (Wells Fargo)
Jonathan Pryce (Infiniti)
Gary Sinise (Cadillac)
Stockard Channing (Oil of Olay)
Keith David (UPS, BMW, US Navy)
Mark Lenard (Saab)
Gene Hackman (Lowe's, United Airlines)
Robert Redford (Alaskan Airlines)
Jeff Bridges (Duracel)
Alec Baldwin (GE, Subaru)
James Coburn (Chevy trucks)
Catherine Zeta Jones (TMobile)
James Earl Jones (Verizon)
Tommy Lee Jones (Red Dog beer, SBC)
Dennis Leary (Quaker State)
Jerry Seinfeld (American Express)
Robert De Niro (American Express)
Martin Scorsese (American Express)
Teri Hatcher (Radio Shack)
Ving Rhames (Radio Shack)
Vanessa Williams (Radio Shack)
David Arquette (1800ATT)
Eric Idle (Aquafina)
Michael J Fox (Pepsi, Aquafina)
Dennis Haysbert (All State Insurance)
Christian Slater (Panasonic)
Julia Roberts (America Online)
James Garner (Chevy trucks)
James Stewart (Home cooking soup)
Wilford Brimley (Quaker Oatmeal, Liberty Mutual Life Insurance)
MC Hammer (Taco Bell)
Steven Segal (Mountain Dew)

.............the list goes on.
My point is, some of those above mentioned ads are 20 years old now. It's been a popular thing to do for awhile.


carrot top, david arquette, steven segal, and mc hammer. The cream of "A-list" actors.


Richard Dreyfuss does not do the Honda commercials. They are done by a voice over actor named David A. Thomas, Jr.


Actually, the voice-overs are attractive to many actors mostly because of a comfort/time thing. They are easier to do and garner them almost the same amount of money for much less of a time investment. The actor doesn't have to do all the workout/make up/wardrobe stuff, and voice work takes much less production time. If you've ever worked on a movie or T.V. set, you know that 90% of the time is taken setting up for the next take (lighting and stuff like that). If the actor is actually appearing in that movie or TV show, they have to wait through all that (that's where the whole "I'll be in my trailer" thing comes from). On a voice gig, there is a lot less of this.
I learned this being an extra on Northern Exposure. I watched Janine Turner and Rob Morrow work 16 hours for 5 minutes of film, then turn around and take half a Saturday to make twice as much on a single voice over they did in a few days of shooting.


Add to the list Tom Selleck in the mid-90's AT&T "You Will" campaign and a very unknown Jay Leno on various "Imagine That" spots for the Radio Advertising Bureau's "I Saw It on the Radio" campaign.


Who does the voice over for the Home Depot TV ads? I just can't place his name or face in my mind but I know he was an actor on a Show I watched alot.


On the new honda "Mr. Opportunity" commercials, who does the voice overs? To me it sounds like Matthew Perry, but I'm probably wrong. Any help would be awesome, it's just driving me insane!!!


I thought the same thing, but I guess it is the voice of Rob Paulson. They got me!


who is the voice over on the new johnsonville fresh sausage commercial? it's driving me crazy!


Better ad Sam Elliot to the list for the beef commercials


About the Honda commercials with Mr. Opportunity, I thought that it was Michael Sutcliffe, who you may not know if you are not a fan of Gilmore Girls. That voice has been driving me crazy, and I know for sure that it is not Matthew Perry, I am as big of a Friends fan as I am Gilmore Girls, and it is definitely not him. If there are any other GG fans out there who whink it sounds like Christopher, please let me know.


Its been driving me nuts, too. And I finally got my answer. The actor's name is Rob Paulsen and he also does a voice on the Lilo and Stitch: The Series cartoon. Whew, what a relief to finally know!


Re: Johnsonville commercial, I think it's Peri Gilpin who played Roz on Frasier. It's been driving me crazy too. Does anyone know if I'm right?


When did Carrot Top become an A list actor?

I googled this website because I just heard a Lowes commercial and always thought that it was Gene Hackman doing the voice over. As far as actor's "selling out" and possibly hoping people dont recognize their voices, I couldn't disagree more. Voice overs are just one aspect of the acting profession - someone has to do it... And we dont even know why well-known celebrities and actors lend their voices to some companies - maybe Gene Hackman is a good friend of the owner of Lowes, or perhaps its just something he can do in between movies that is quick and doesn't require a lot of preparation.


I believe the voice of Mr. Opportunity is none other the "Don Johnson". Listen really close.


The voice of Mr. Opportunity is actually Rob Paulsen.


re: Home Depot voice actor

The guy who played Wilson on "Home Improvement" used to do the ads for Home Depot; it took me a while to realize who it was, although it shouldn't have. . . it was a guy I couldn't see offering advice about how to make life better, and it involved home improvement products.


I belive Kiefer Sutherland did some Verizon commercials about a year ago. Kelsey Grammer did a bunch of Hyundai commercials (part of the "duh!" campaign). Also, doesn't David Duchovny do Pedigree commercials?


Can anyone tell me who does the voice for Verizon on the actual telephone prompts, telling you to leave a message? I think it is Bonnie Hunt, my wife disagrees. Let me know.


Off-topic slightly, but I love the arrogant sentiment that links Lowes and Home Depot to a suburban community overly dependent on "cars." You can name the number of major urban and suburban communities with effective mass transit systems on 2 hands (probably 1 if you're picky). For most people "cars" are the only practical solution. However, that's not to say I wish that weren't true.


To the first comment by ALLAN. I know it has been two years since you typed your comment and you'll probably never read this, but you made a wrong analogy between Home Depot and Volvo. It was Lowes. Please pay more attention to details. Thank you.


Is one of the beavers in the Bell Mobility ads Norm MacDonald from Saturday Night Live?

sara ines

thanks for solving that lowe's voiceover dilemma for me! you're the best!

Gordon Cohn

Sounds to me like John Doman of "The Wire" is currently doing the Home Depot commercials.

Phyllis benson

I think th voice in the Home Depot commercials is Norm McDonald from Saturday Night Live.


I think the voice for Home Depot is Ed Harris.

David Spector

For many years the main spokesperson in Toyota ads was a distinctive, enthusiastic, yet calm young, thin, white man. He's just reappeared on a Toyota ad with white hair and wrinkles (time passes). The Web doesn't seem to know who he is. My opinion is an actor named Larry Squire, except that "Squire" is spelled in an unusual way (like "Squyre"). He was also active in the Transcendental Meditation movement in the late 1960s. I have no idea how to research this (Google didn't help).

Lona Harwood

Home Depot in 2010 sounds like Ed Harris.And is it Richard Thomas who is doing Mercedes? I love this game!!!


Robert Mitchum used to also do the voiceovers for Beef commercials. You know the ones that went..."Beef, its whats for dinner."

That was him.

Stephan P. Ferreira

You guys are missing one of the big reasons companies hire actors like these - the hidden marketing draw is that they are voices you recognize but can't immediately place. The tactic sort of plants the unplaceable voice in your head- and voices like these carry hosts of associations (John Doman for example sounds husky, do-it-yourselfer and sort of neighborly-wise). And because they are weirdly recognizable but never overtly so, they carry a sense of familiarity too. Otherwise they'd be hiring a voice actor for far less.

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