If you happened to catch this year's Super Bowl on the television, you may have seen a Skechers commercial featuring the Hit King himself, Pete Rose. It was a decent spot, but as a native Cincinnatian I immediately knew this wasn't Pete's all-time best performance in an ad. I knew off the top of my head which ad would occupy the top spot in the rankings, but I couldn't help wondering what other credits ol' Charlie Hustle had to his name. Here, now, are Pete Rose's top 5 television commercials (that are available on YouTube):
5. Skechers - In the Hall
We begin with the aforementioned Super Bowl commercial from Skechers, featuring a cameo appearance from Pete's fiancee, former Playboy model Kiana Kim. Not a bad setup, although the premise of this commercial actually taking place in the Baseball Hall of Fame never really takes hold. My favorite part of this commercial is the idea that Pete Rose's fiancee does not allow him to enter certain areas of his own house.
4. Grecian Formula - Old Man River
To put it politely, there have been many comments made about Pete Rose's hair over the past five decades. I have no idea if he still actively uses Grecian Formula, but as you saw in the Skechers ad, loss of pigmentation is the least of his hair-related concerns. The visual of a completely gray vintage Pete Rose Cut pushes Grecian Formula into the #4 slot.
3. Kool Aid - Hot Shot
takes place in is the 1980's. Also, from a historical standpoint, the 1986 timeframe for the ad puts it toward the end of Pete's 3-year run as the most recent player-manager in Major League Baseball. When you're getting hits taken away from you by Andy Reid, it might be time to hang up the cleats. (Pete dropped the "player" portion from his job title the following season.)
2. Aqua Velva - Pete Rose Sings!!
Pete made frequent appearances in Aqua Velva commercials over his playing career, and this installment is the cream of that particular crop. Honorable mention goes to a different ad featuring a strange conversation at second base, wherein former longtime Reds teammate Joe Morgan greets him as "Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies" and initiates a conversation about aftershave - immediately after Pete dives into the bag for a stolen base. Back to the one with the singing, however, "cool and refreshed" is the opposite of how I felt after watching this commercial. God damn is it awkward. I don't know how uncomfortable it was for those four men to film that commercial, but I was certainly uncomfortable on their behalf. It was nice to see the hot dog vendor get his 15 minutes of fame, although I would have preferred to see the heckler get tossed for interrupting the game for this nonsense.
1. Muenchen's Furniture - We'll Take It All
Pete and Kiana are back at it in this ad for Muenchen's Furniture, and this commercial has everything. It's simply unrivaled by any other Pete Rose commercial in almost every aspect - acting, writing, hat choice, number of mentions of Paula Deen bedroom sets, the list goes on. Look closely in the Skechers ad, and you might even be able to spot an Amish kitchen table in the background. This ad is the clear winner on a list of five great commercials. They don't call him the Hit King for nothing.