Bryan Cranston, the DEA's No. 1 pain in the ass during his iconic run as meth kingpin Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad, has been getting some press lately for his early-'80s work in the commercial below for Preparation H (a product that basically defined the Reagan Era). Cranston's earnest take on lines like "It accelerates the absorption of oxygen to help shrink swelling of inflamed hemorrhoidal tissue" is so unironic, it's ironic.
UProxx posted a bunch of his ads from that decade, and Cranston's vaunted range is on full display. He's a smarmy "high-paid fashion model" for JCPenney, a bugged airport runway worker for Deep Woods Off, and a B.O.-cursed bus commuter dressed up as a skunk for Shield deodorant soap. (In some of these, his glib line deliveries and feathered hair remind me of the late, great Phil Hartman.)
Breaking Bad co-star Aaron Paul also did some early commercial work, notably a mind-blowing Juicy Fruit ad with a telekinetic twist from 2000, also posted below. (I wish Paul would shill for Preparation H and coin the catch phrase, "For when it itches, bitches!") On Breaking Bad, Cranston and Paul's characters often escape by the seats of their pants, but with their peril growing as the show winds down to its final episode, it will take more than Preparation H to save them from a painful end.