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The Iconic Commercial You Didn't Know Starred The Boys' Laz Alonso

Since making its way onto the Amazon Prime Video platform back in 2019, the hyper-violent superhero saga The Boys has become one of the most talked about shows in the streaming world. Based on Garth Ennis' comic book series of the same name, The Boys unfolds in an alternate reality where superheroes are not only real, but have been deified by the public, and largely had their unique abilities privatized by shady corporations. They're also not really the do-gooders their P.R. machines make them out to be, by the way — some of them are actually self-serving monsters who regularly engage in vile acts of violence, which is where the titular counter-superhero team, "the Boys," come into play. Led by the brazen Billy Butcher (Karl Urban), The Boys are essentially a black ops team dedicated to exposing the nefarious supers fronting the Vought International corporation for the dastardly cretins they largely are. 

Butcher is aided in his endeavor by a handful of brave compatriots, none of which has proven as important as one Marvin "Mother's" Milk, a man who's brute-force physicality is matched only by his penchant for methodically planning genius operations against the Vought baddies. The man himself is portrayed on The Boys by the brilliant actor Laz Alonso, who fans no doubt recognize from his performances in the likes of Justin Lin's Fast & Furious (2009), James Cameron's Avatar (2009), and Spike Lee's egregiously underrated WWII flick Miracle at St. Anna (2008).

Of course, if you haven't caught Alonso's work in any of those films, you may well recognize him from a decidedly smaller-scale production. Like many an actor before him, Alonso got his first big break starring in a television commercial. And if you want to know which one, we'll ask simply ... "Wassup?"

Laz Alonso helped make the word "Wassup" a part of the cultural zeitgeist

If you owned a TV in the late nineties or early 2000s, that catchphrase will undoubtedly conjure vivid memories of literally every televised sporting event of the era. That's because it originated in what's become an iconic ad campaign for Anheuser-Busch's flagship beer, Budweiser, which quickly became a staple of such events.

Based on an award-winning short film from Drumline director Charles Stone III (who also starred), the first "wassup" ad debuted during a Monday Night Football game in 1999, and became an instant hit with viewers, rapidly becoming a fixture at the forefront of pop culture. Naturally, the Budweiser team was quick to capitalize on the success, forging ahead with an entire campaign centered around the "wassup" craze. 

If you haven't seen any of those ads, their genius is in their simplicity, as they're built entirely around a group of friends hanging out, watching a game, and drinking a Bud. The comedy begins when they begin interacting via the famed "wassup" greeting, which itself turns into a friendly game of one-upmanship. That synopsis admittedly doesn't even come close to capturing the hilarity of the entire campaign, which really needs to be seen to be understood. 

Still, it's safe to assume much of The Boys fandom has no idea Laz Alonso got his break in the second "wassup" ad. The actor reminded the world of this fact in a January 2019 Facebook post, however, paying homage to his humble beginning with the accompanying message, "#TBT to my #budweiser #whatsup #Superbowl #Commercial. One of my favorite commercials I got to work on, with real friends, helped get a brotha on the map AND put some nice change in my pocket! 💰 💴 💵 😆 Thanks #CharlesStoneiii! #wassup."

Not for nothing, but that post is perhaps the kindest "wassup" of them all.