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The Steve Carell McDonald's Commercial You Forgot Existed

No matter who your favorite movie or TV star is, there's a likely chance that, before becoming household names, they were auditioning for (and hopefully booking) television commercials. Prior to his transformation into the lovable and good-natured Joey Tribbiani, "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc appeared in numerous commercials for brands like Coca-Cola, Heinz ketchup, and KFC. A pre-"Seinfeld," pre-balding Jason Alexander was hawking potato chips in the '80s. You get the point.

So it should be no surprise to fans of "The Office" that, over two decades ago, its star was also making the rounds, appearing in various TV commercials. It's true. Long before Michael Scott was connecting the world with ads for Dunder Mifflin's paper on "The Office," Steve Carell was hustling his way into Hollywood, appearing in ads for FedEx and Brown's Chicken (it's Cholesterol free!).

Recently TikTok was buzzing after user @downatthearcade posted a video of a very young Carell in a McDonald's commercial pitching customers on their new (at the time) $3 meal deal.

Steve Carell thought he hit the big time with his McDonald's commercial

In the fast food commercial, a suited Carell sells the McDonald's "$3-For-All," which he says is "a triple taste of a McDonald's triple cheeseburger, a large order of fries, and a medium Coke classic." The salesman is so excited that he shows us he's using three arms to enjoy his three-pronged meal. 

It's hard not to see shades of Carell's particular comedic brand when, at the end of the ad, he sings the McDonald's jingle and ends it with a very Carell-like "yeah!" According to a Facebook post from The Office Superfans page, the ad aired around 1990. In the early '90s, Carell was teaching and performing regularly at The Second City in Chicago, alongside other comedy heavyweights including Amy Sedaris and Stephen Colbert. 

Though Carell would eventually go on to be one of the most successful and highest paid actors years later, at the time of shooting this commercial, "The Office" star was sure he had already reached the pinnacle of success. In a 2005 interview with New University, the actor said he when shot the McDonald's commercial in which he had three arms, "there was a guy behind me, helping me eat the burger," Carell said. "I thought, this is it! I've gotten a McDonald's commercial where I eat a triple cheeseburger. It can't get any better."

Of course, things got much better for Carell, as he began booking bigger and better parts over the years, eventually landing his career-making role on "The Office" as Michael Scott. Interestingly, he never fully left his McDonald's past behind, as Michael stored several months worth of Filet-o-Fish sandwich containers in his car.