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Why Tony Bolognavich In The Jimmy John's 'Meet The King' Commercial Looks So Familiar

If you've ever watched the Super Bowl with a big group, chances are, someone there is just watching it "for the ads." Super Bowl commercials have become events in and of themselves, complete with teasers in advance of their release and plenty of replay in the weeks after the game has ended. 

One ad that debuted during the Super Bowl in 2021 has left some fans perplexed, in part because the ad's star, playing self-proclaimed cold cuts king Tony Bolognavich, looks familiar to them. In the ad, Bolognavich explains that he is the reigning king of the sandwich world, but that he's starting to worry about incursions into his empire by Jimmy Johns.

The sandwich chain, which he refers to as "Jimmies John's," causes Bolognavich such consternation that he eventually spies on the shop, convinced that there must be something wrong with their high quality ingredients and reasonable prices. The ad closes with Bolognavich promising that he's going to bring an all out war against Jimmy Johns. 

The ad, which was widely acclaimed for its sharp sense of humor, works in large part thanks to the performance of Brad Garrett, the actor who plays Bolognavich. But this spot certainly isn't Garrett's first role on the small screen.

Brad Garrett got his big break on Everybody Loves Raymond

If Garrett looks familiar, that could be for a myriad of different reasons, but the most obvious one is his role on Everybody Loves Raymond, which earned him and the rest of the cast critical acclaim and plenty of awards. Garrett, who is 6-foot-9, played Ray Romano's brother Robert on the show, and stood out almost immediately for his hangdog looks and impeccable comedic timing.

His distinctive, bassy voice makes everything he says sound important, and he's used it along with his enormous build to great comedic effect. On Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert is typically something of a sad sack. The show works in part because Garrett draws a sharp contrast with Romano, but the two play off of each other perfectly. Garrett starred in a huge assortment of projects before he showed up on Everybody Loves Raymond, but it was that sitcom that ultimately turned him into a star, and paved the way for all the roles that came afterward. 

Garrett jumped over to 'Til Death after Everybody Loves Raymond ended

After having a central role on one of the most successful sitcoms of its era, Garrett's next step was to jump over to another sitcom. On 'Til Death, Garrett was navigating very similar terrain to his role on Raymond. This time, though, he had the central role as the married man who has been committed to one woman for what feels like forever. 

Although 'Til Death took advantage of Garrett's droll sarcasm, the show was at its core a conventional sitcom in which a married couple reaffirms their love for one another regularly. The show was not as hugely successful as Everybody Loves Raymond had been, but it ran for four seasons and 81 episodes. Garrett successfully leveraged his work on Raymond into a leading role on a sitcom, and he led a show that ran for a respectable if not outstanding amount of time. 

Garrett provided voice work for Tangled

Because of his distinctive voice, Garrett has done plenty of work on animated projects in addition to his live action roles. If you watched the Jimmy John's commercial and only recognized his voice, his animated roles may explain why. In 2011, Garrett played the voice of the Hook Hand Thug in Tangled. While his character doesn't have a name, he gets a fairly prominent role and even gets the chance to do some singing. 

Prior to his role in Tangled, Garrett also played Gusteau, the dead chef who comes to Remy in visions in Ratatouille. That voice performance asks Garrett to adopt a French accent, a task which he proves himself capable of. His roles in Disney and Pixar films are definitely his most prominent work in the animation space, but he works consistently as a voice actor. With a voice like that, Garrett always finds himself in demand. 

Garrett had a central role on Fargo in 2015

More recently, Garrett has taken on a slew of guest spots in other TV shows, and he's also pivoted to some work as a more serious actor. In Fargo's hugely acclaimed second season, he played Joe Bulo, a front man for the northern expansion of the Kansas City crime syndicate.

Fargo frequently casts actors in roles that are somewhat outside of their normal comfort zone. Garrett is traditionally asked to provide some lighthearted comedy, but the show transforms him into a mundane criminal mastermind. Garrett makes a criminal organization feel like any other company. You clock in, you clock out, and sometimes you have to kill a few people to get what you want. 

Fargo is just the most recent high-profile project that Garrett has been attached to. In his decades-long career, he's done plenty of work that might make him a familiar face.