Fans sorry to see the inevitable NFL Hall-of-Famer leave the gridiron can hold out hope for his second act as a sketch comedian
Those dismayed by news that NFL legend Peyton Manning will be retiring can comfort themselves with the extra time that unemployment will afford the future Hall-of-Famer to do more comedy.
His commercials and “Saturday Night Live” appearances over the years have endeared the folksy football player to fans with turns as an accountant groupie for MasterCard, as one half of a rap duo with brother Eli for DirecTV, and as the worst role model alive on “SNL.”
Watch Peyton Manning’s nine funniest TV appearances below.
“SNL” Digital Short: United Way
There’s little funnier than being terrible to children, and Manning shows a unique capacity for it in this send-up of United Way mentor programs, deftly drilling kids in the head with a rocket over the middle and demonstrating how to break into a car.
Average Joe Superfan
Before Ray Rice and commissioner Roger Goodell set the NFL-fan relations effort back 50 years, Manning advanced it with a series of commercials for MasterCard that placed him on the sideline of regular people doing regular jobs. The chant “D-Caf! D-Caf!” remains a cultural touchstone over a decade after it aired.
Football on Your Phone
The Manning brothers teamed up in 2013 to promote DirecTV’s NFL mobile initiative, donning Color Me Badd wigs and acid-washed jeans to make watching professional football on a phone sexy again for the first time never.
“SNL” Locker Room Dance
The first time audiences got to see Manning’s moves off the field was in the 2007 episode of “Saturday Night Live” he hosted, wherein he’s the senior leader of a high school basketball team that’s getting creamed at halftime. His dance out of the locker room into second half oblivion capped off the sketch that Will Forte told Fast Company is his favorite from all of his time at “SNL.”
Skinny Legs Peyton Manning
In yet another campaign for DirecTV, Manning apes the concept made famous by Rob Lowe, encouraging viewers to be like the hale, dish-subscribing version of the quarterback rather than his scrawny-legged cable-connected doppelganger. Of course, the cord-cutting version of Peyton Manning is Tom Brady.
Average Joe Superfan, Part 2
In another of MasterCard’s odes to the typical fan, Manning shows up at the workplaces of insurance adjusters, butchers and gas station attendants, tailgating and cheering on their comparatively mundane, purposeless slowdeaths.
Fantasy Football Fantasy
Things get a little too real as the Manning brothers’ rap duo reunites in 2014 to promote DirecTV’s dedicated fantasy football channel, when lecherous Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath makes a cameo as lecherous Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath.
BONUS CLIP: Xbox Trash Talk
Manning’s never been known for smack talk, something Xbox copywriters keyed on in 2003 to promote the tech giant’s first gaming console and its attendant online play. Over 30 seconds, the incurably white Manning efforts lines like “Get out my house” and “How do you like me now?” before enunciating, “Your defense is offensive” to two dumbfounded teens via headset.