NBA’s New Taxi Ads With Rainn Wilson, Look Familiar?

(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:


5 Responses to “NBA’s New Taxi Ads With Rainn Wilson, Look Familiar?”

  1. 1 thegrip 11/10/2009 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t think it’s possible to differentiate between a rip-off and an inspiration anymore. The internet ruined everything.

  2. 2 Peaz 11/10/2009 at 3:35 pm

    This is an absolute rip-off!

  3. 3 dizzy3413 11/13/2009 at 1:50 pm

    it may be a rip-off, and ten22 may get a nod for pointing this out, but he still gets a big fat F for not posting the fucking flyer to my show tonight. This blog is dead to me. My dreams have been killed…

  4. 4 Onye 11/28/2009 at 2:48 pm

    OK. So i’m not the only one that noticed the similarity…

  5. 5 Thetruth 03/03/2010 at 7:10 am

    This ain’t a rip off you twat….. Yea its a taxi but the big difference is in one video the taxi driver is kidnapping the person and driving crazy and the other the taxi driver is just bitching.I would say this is a rip off of the Taxi driver in the By The Way video by the Red hot Chilli Peppers.

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