After a rotating cast of fake spokesmen, Harland Sanders will once again appear in KFC commercials.
Over the past two-plus years, a lot of different actors and comedians have worn Colonel Sanders shoes… and white suit, glasses and iconic bow tie. In what has turned into an ever-changing parade of people assuming the role of the late Kentucky Fried Chicken-founder, Darrell Hammond first portrayed him in May 2015. Norm Macdonald followed not long after. Jim Gaffigan took over next, followed by an always well-tanned George Hamilton. WWE wrestler Dolph Zigger donned the outfit briefly to sell fried chicken to wrestling fans, and Vincent Kartheiser gave his likeness to the Colonel on a fictional record cover, before comedian Rob Riggle was more formally handled the role late last year. Kicking off 2017, Billy Zane attained the rank of Colonel, and most recently Rob Lowe took over in April.
Finally, however, KFC says it’s decided that no one plays the Colonel quite like the man himself. And though the legendary real-life character passed away in 1980 at the age of 90, the company he founded has found a convenient workaround – utilizing footage from classic KFC commercials produced in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
“We've had some amazing celebrity Colonels over the past two years, and each of them has put their own twist on our original Colonel Harland Sanders,” George Felix, KFC U.S. director of advertising, said in a statement. “But no one can play the Colonel like the Colonel can play the Colonel. Unfortunately, our original Colonel stopped making ads in the 1970s, so we utilized technology to bring him into the 21st century to sell modern-day offers like our $5 Fill Up and $10 Chicken Share himself.”
Yes, in a newly produced advertisement, the magic of modern filmmaking is used to place the actual Colonel Sanders alongside modern deals sold in 2017 dollars. Former fake Colonel Norm Macdonald even gets to make a cameo in the same clip as his real-life counterpart – which we can only assume fulfills one of any actor’s life dreams. Sure, some people might consider this method of blurring the lines between past and present to be sacrilege, but hey, after being portrayed by such a strange string of celebrities, the Colonel would probably be happy to have his real identity back.