The Face and The Voice - Brian Baker


The Sprint Commercials

All good things must come to an end, and shortly after this website was created, Sprint had the bad taste to let Brian go as spokesman. The more fool they. If I had used Sprint, I would have gotten rid of them after that!

There are 37 Sprint commercials featuring Brian. Your help is needed! If you remember the plots of any of the other commercials, and their approximate first air date, please let me know!

# Station During Time Content
38. ? NBC, Ch 11 Olympics 9:15 pm Central, February 10, 2002 Several skiers riding up a huge gondola to the top of a mountain. One skier is sleeping on the shoulder of another. The rest of the skiers discuss amongst their phones how to play a practical joke on him. Baker in trench coat shown very briefly, smiling bemusedly. The gondola stops a bit short, the skiers wake up their friend, he jumps out of the gondola face down into the snow. Commercial is for text messaging via phone.

37. ABC, Ch 5 Drew Carey 8.30 pm Central Another 2002, Winter Olympics in Utah-themed commercial. Voice-over from someone who is not Brian Baker as skier Johhny Mosely, standing at the top of a snow-covered hill, tries to dial for a phone call with his gloves on. Camera pans to Baker who slogs up to Mosely (voice-over calls him 'a man in a trench-coat') hands him a phone, smiles, and walks back the way he came. Commercial is for voice activated phone.

36. A and E Law and Order 6.30 pm Central This is a 2002, Winter Olympics in Utah themed commercial, with a ''2002 skeleton rider'' named Jim Shea Jr. as the main focus. He's sharpening his sled blades. His phone rings, bouncy theme music (War's 1975 hit ''Low Rider'') begins to play. The commercial cuts to his grandfather (oldest living Gold Medalist) in a chair, singing, then his father (Jim Shea Sr., Olympic medalist) suddenly appears in the chair next to him. Cuts to two women singing in a supermarket. Cuts to a close-up of a smiling Baker flanked by two other people, singing to the song. Quick pull-back to show Baker standing in the middle of a line of people, singing. The camera is on him for less than five seconds.

From the New York Post
January 31, 2002 -- THOSE Sprint commercials featuring 91-year-old former Olympian Jack Shea, who was killed last week by a drunk driver, are still on TV because his family wants it that way.

"My grandmother loves the ad," grandson Jimmy Shea Jr. told Katie Couric on yesterday's "Today" show.

A slightly revised version of the ad, which will run through Sunday, now features a tagline with the words, "In Loving Memory of Jack Shea, 1910-2002."

Jack Shea won two gold medals at the 1932 Winter Games in Lake Placid.

His story intrigued Madison Avenue because his son, Jim Shea Sr., competed at the 1964 Winter Games in Austria and his grandson, Jim Shea Jr., will compete as a bobsledder next month in Salt Lake City.

The ads - promoting Sprint wireless downloadable services - feature Jimmy Shea at the top of a sled track, preparing for competition as several people, including his father and grandfather, try calling him on his Sprint phone.

"We had pulled the ad for one day out of respect for the family, but they requested that we immediately return the spot to the air because they were proud of Jim Jr.'s achievement and saw this as a tribute to Jack Shea," says Dan Wilinsky, a spokesman for Sprint PCS.

Tragically, on January 22, 2001, a drunk driver destroyed Jim Shea's Jr.'s hope of having his grandfather see him win a medal in the Olympics. Here's a brief note from ESPN news:

''Jack Shea, a member of the first family with three generations of Olympians, died Tuesday from injuries in a car accident [his car was run into by a drunk driver]. At 91, he was America's oldest living Winter Games gold medalist. Shea's grandson, Jim Shea Jr., qualified last month for the U.S. Olympic skeleton team for the Salt Lake City Games. Jim Shea Sr. competed in the Nordic combined and two cross-country ski races at the 1964 Innsbruck Games. Jack Shea won two gold medals in speedskating at the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics in his hometown.''

Sprint will no longer air this commerical.

33. NBC, Ch 11 Olympics ? pm Central, February 10, 2002 Several people dressed in bulky silver uniforms and full-face helmets. (Snow jumpers?) They appear in several scenes. In one scene in a supermarket, Brian is shown staring at them briefly. When they look back at him he goes back to studying a lettuce. No lines for him. Commercial is for audio voice mail.

? ? ? ? A man in a Santa suit tells of the time he tried to order a Santa suit and gets a Panda suit. ''I'm Panda Claus!'' Amusing shots of the Panda Man getting into his chair, children to afraid to approach. Baker is shown very briefly handing him the phone. No lines.
34? ? ? ? Assistant football coach tells of how he thought he was told to get the Captain and Tenneile, instead of a 'backup for O'Neill' (their quarterback). Baker is shown very briefly handing him a phone. No lines. Lots of shots of a scantily clad Tenneile singing 'do that to me one more time.'
33? ? ? ? Baker voices over: He's in his apartment, eating breakfast, goes to a closet to choose one of ten identical suit coats, gets the keys from his dog, ''Thanks, boy' as he's ready to go out and save the world.
32? ? ? ? Mom calls the babysitter. ''I asked HOW are the kids... and she FLOURED the kids!'' Baker sitting in room with kids with floured faces.
31? ? ? ? A husband, Mr. Marshall, calls the Sprint Guy because his wife is talking and moving a mile a minute. When she'd say "coffee?" suddenly Baker has a cup of coffee in his hand. ''Wonderful wife you've got, Mr. Marshall.''
30? ? ? ? A wife who calls her husband and says, "Let's go hiking tomorrow." Because of cell phone static, the husband thinks she says "Bring home Charo," so he does.

29? ? ? ? He meets a gray-haired engineer reminiscent of the character Q in James Bond flicks. The engineer reveals a slick new wireless phone that taps the Web. The Sprint Guy wonders if people are ready. ''Some are,'' his cohort says. ''Others will follow.''
28? ? ? ? Flashy ads for the new Sprint PCS Wireless Web show a benevolent Sprint guy beckoning squinty-eyed Net surfers to come out of their houses to wirelessly take to the Web.

and many more... This page last updated on January 22, 2002.

Email Caroline if you would like to contribute anything to this site, or if you're also a fan of Mr. Baker!