I'm not sure I like the amount of enthusiasm which Phil Hartman exudes in a commercial for an Atari game. I love it.
Actor Phil Hartman went on to bigger and brighter things before his untimely demise, but his best celebrity endorsement wasn't for Wilson Countersink Flanges, it was for Activsion's Ice Hockey on the Atari 2600. Ice Hockey was released in 1981, so this commercial was probably first seen in that year.
The shopkeeper strings Hartman along like he's a Stradivarius, inciting a impressively crazy outburst of desire for the pixelated hockey violence. You have to respect Hartman for putting the extra juice into his performance, especially the title card at the end where it sounds like he's shilling the game with his last mortal breath.
Also, I'm glad that game stores have upgraded over the years. I'd rather purchase games from a GameStop, if you can believe it, than go into the wood-paneled meth-lab hole in the ground that this guy appears to be operating. Sadly, that is how most games stores actually appeared in the 80s but, as with the Holocaust and Showgirls, I don't like to remember the horrors I've witnessed.
Hartman is not the only celebrity to have sold games back in the day. Pre-scandal Pete Rose and Mr. Chicken himself, Don Knotts, also got in the fun in this 1978 gem for the Atari system.
Then there's Jack Black, before he got the guitar and the extra 200 pounds, selling America on Pitfall in the first segment of this ad.
The lesson here? Appearing in a game commercial will make your acting career soar to new heights! Either you will be murdered by your wife, you will be disgraced by your profession in a gambling scandal or you'll be an unfunny fat dude with an equally fat untalented friend. I shudder to think of what will become of Mr. T.