"Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Stein handcuffed together in a commercial!" That was probably all it took for Digitas to sell through its potentially amusing new ad to Comcast execs. But the result feels oddly forced and flat. "Shaq 'n' Stein" exude little of their usual charm (the latter's about 120 years old, so maybe he's losing some steam) as they don manacles to illustrate that Comcast offers both quality and value. Shaq's somnambulistic reading of the tired quip "I love you, Ben" underscores the tedium. He also suggests they co-star in a Shaq 'n' Stein movie, which recalls the ultimate treatment of the "big black guy joined to a small white guy" theme: The Thing With Two Heads, in which Ray Milland's racist head gets soldered onto Rosey Grier's massive frame, and low-budget mayhem ensues. It's probably available on demand with Comcast.
—Posted by David Gianatasio