Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, a popular radio personality and sports analyst known for his comic rants, is the star of Preacher’s hilarious version of the latest ESPN TV commercial.
After catching the ad over the holidays, Russo launched into a theatrically indignant tirade on "First Take," demanding to know why he had been excluded from the ESPN promo.
Russo appears every Wednesday to host the ESPN show with Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim.
"The bosses at ESPN! After I scream and yell every week and act like an idiot and get myself yelled at all over the place on the internet so we move the needle, you think maybe I can get three seconds on that stupid 60-second spot you did,” Russo ranted in the January 3 episode.
On January 10, "First Take" surprised the fiery sports analyst with his very own version of the ESPN ad, turning Russo's outrage into a side-splitting spectacle.
Preacher recut the promo, inserting Russo's digitally-grafted head onto various athletes and seamlessly weaving in snippets of his on-air rant.
"Chris Russo's unique personality offered a perfect opportunity to add his humor to our 'Watch This' campaign. We couldn't resist the chance to pounce on it. It was too much fun,” Seth Ader, VP of brand marketing at ESPN, told Ad Age.
Will Kelleher, associate creative director at Preacher, echoed the sentiment. "Mad Dog's reaction was pure comedy gold, and we knew we had to act. The whole team jumped in to give him his rightful moment in the Spotlight."
Russo, ever the showman, clearly relished his starring role in the revised promo.