TNT just launched a new ad campaign for the NBA featuring Rainn Wilson as a goofy-looking Wisconsin-accented cabbie driving around various NBA stars and bothering them with his aggressively awkward banter.
We all love Rainn Wilson, and the commercials are actually pretty funny, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t objectively point out that the campaign is exactly identical to the early-90s Jimmy The Cab Driver MTV commercials, which featured Donal Logue as a goofy-looking Jersey-accented cabbie driving people around and bothering them with his aggressively awkward banter. Judge for yourself:
Rainn Wilson & Deron Williams TNT Commercial:
Jimmy The Cab Driver MTV Commercial:
Also, here’s Rainn Wilson on The Jay Leno Show last night talking about how he came up with the character. I’m not saying he necessarily ripped off the MTV ads, but geez, it’s almost as suspicious as TNT’s “Beavis and The Closer” ads.