If you were wondering who was behind the retro ads that aired during the ABC special Live in Front of a Studio Audience Tuesday night, it may not totally shock you to know that the Canadian-born actor Ryan Reynolds, known for his meta-humor on and off the screen, is responsible.
The Live special in question, where the commercials aired, was a star-studded recreation of the classic sitcoms Diff’rent Strokes and its spinoff, The Fact of Life, two shows that started their original run in the 1970s. The one-night-only live event featured Hollywood stars like Kevin Hart, Damon Wayans, John Lithgow, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn and even Snoop Dogg.
The retro ads featured Fresh Prince‘s Alfonso Ribeiro hawking everything from Oscar Mayer hotdogs to Kraft singles to Kool-Aid to Heinz. There’s also a hilariously surreal ad for Jack in the Box peddling a shoulder padded suit jacket for business women that can store cheeseburgers. Each of the ads seem ripped straight out of the ’80s or ’90s, complete with a scratchy VHS filter.
The ads were produced by Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort ad company, alongside Jimmy Kimmel’s Kimmelot production company. For good measure, Reynolds also sprinkled in a couple ads for the gin company he owns, Aviation American Gin. Check out the ads, which Reynolds tweeted out, right here.
Reynolds is beloved by many pop culture fans for bringing his vision of an R-rated, fourth-wall-breaking superhero to the big screen with 2016’s record-smashing Deadpool. A sequel in 2018 was equally as crowd-pleasing and soon the Merc with the Mouth will be making his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut when a third installment is expected to come out in 2023, following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox.