(Jimmy the cab driver, circa 1993)
When I first saw the new NBA commercials featuring Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) as a crazy cab driver with different NBA players in the back, I thought they were hilarious. Then I realized it reminded me of a similar ad campaign from the 90’s… which I automatically assumed was from the NBA, and they had just re-worked it.
Thanks to The Google, my memory became more accurate. The ads weren’t from the NBA, they were from MTV. The character of ‘Jimmy the cab driver’ was a household name and commercial in the 1990’s, played by actor Donal Logue. Classic commercials that everyone born before ’84 should remember.
So, what is it….. a blatant rip-off, or a clever homage to a childhood hero, Jimmy the cab driver?
Original MTV ad:
NBA’s current ad: