Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Top 5 Best Lil' Penny Commercials Ever

Shown above you'll see the greatest NBA on NBC intro of them all, as one of the most famous puppets of television history brings the world into Game 1 of the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals between the Magic and Bulls. Now since it's not a commercial, it doesn't belong in this list. And oh boy what a difficult list this was. Nike has tried to duplicate this masterful creation with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, but it just doesn't compare.

Youtube has over a dozen different ads of Penny Hardaway and Chris Rock (Lil' Penny) doing their banter. A lot of gems unfortunately had to be left off. There was a time where Lil' Penny was more well known than Mickey Mouse. So here we go:

#5: Japan Invasion
David Stern should hunt me down and give me a high five for finding this baby. The Commissioner will surely be known for one thing when he decides to step down, expanding the game internationally. Nike jumped on board with that approach as Lil' Penny made his trip to Japan as the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets entertained an audience halfway around the world in November of '96.

#4: This is SportsCenter
The only non-Nike ad on the list. Any time you can team up Lil' Penny with Gheorghe Muresan, laughs and epicness will be had. Also, you had a prime Stuart Scott (Yes, anchors have their primes as well), and Dan Patrick was his usual self. Also, this being a diversity commercial made it even more enjoyable.

#3: Super Bowl Party
If this wasn't the grainiest, low quality video of the lot it could have been higher on the list. This classic is pumped full of a lot of top notch athletes and celebrities that are still recognized to this day. There are so many big names in that clip that you watch it a few times and strain yourself to see which new person you may spot. Nike liked taking risks on young guys like Ken Griffey Jr. and Tiger Woods (Who said he never partied?).

#2: They Playin' Basketball
"The Secret Service couldn't guard me." A quote that would be repeated by on air personalities like Bob Costas for quite some time. It's Tyra Banks at her finest, it's Lil' Penny at his funniest, you have a great song still enjoyed today, and you have Penny cleaning the pool. An odd combo of success.

#1: Outdoor Court Edition
The production of this is ad is so artistic and shows pure brilliance. You also have your 3 most recognizable characters of the commercial's run: Penny, Lil', and Tyra. I really don't have to make much of a case for this to be #1.

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