I’m betting Tina Fey got a little “business drunk” earlier this week when her long-lost first commercial from her Second City days hit the web. The 1995 spot for Mutual Savings Bank features a short-haired, vest-wearing Tina in all her 90s glory prattling on about high interest rates, and her brother Phil. It’s proof positive that lesbians are not the only people who continue to be haunted by bad ’90s vests.
Now I couldn’t get a close look in the commercial, but if Tina paired that appliqué vest with a pair of bi-curious shoes then I finally understand where all the lesbian jokes on 30 Rock come from.
Of course, Tina isn’t the only star with commercial work in her past. The results range from cute to cringe-worthy. So to prove I’m an equal opportunity embarrasser, here are a few other stars shilling for the camera early in their career.
Ellen DeGeneres for Veryfine Juice
The old Mary Poppins and the never-ending carpetbag routine never gets old. But there is no way you’re convincing me that Ellen, even back in 1994, carried a purse.
Kate Moennig for Fleet Bank
OK, if Ellen with a purse was unbelievable, Shane with a purse and a boyfriend is super unbelievable.
Jane Lynch for Frosted Flakes
She could even steal a scene from Tony the Tiger. Also, Christopher Guest directed this spot, which led to Jane’s role in Best in Show.
Christina Hendricks for Visa
You have to wade through a lot of Bond, James Bond before you get to Joan Holloway. The accent is OK, but the ad isn’t really taking advantage of her best, um, assets.
Sara Ramirez for MTV
People who were surprised by Callie’s sexual orientation on Grey’s Anatomy clearly never watched this MTV spot. Also, note to advertisers, having Sara make out with ladies is the genius way for me to not fast forward through your spot. Just a suggestion.
Leisha Hailey for Yoplait
I kind of miss seeing her in these ads. And the short hair.
Kristen Stewart for Porsche
Tiny, adorable Bella! Who needs Edward or Jacob when you have a 911 Porsche Carrera?
Sara Gilbert for Kool-Aid
That hat, those braids, that T-shirt — how could we not have know Sara would grow up to be family?
Jodie Foster for Crest
Um, what I said about Sara, times 1,000.
Tina Fey in 1-900-OK-FACE
Sure this is a fake ad, but, really, is it more embarrassing than her real one? Tough call.
So, there you have it. Who is the cutest? Who is the cringiest?