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Why FanDuel's Charles Barkley Commercial Has The Internet So Divided

For anyone who's had to endure the barrage of advertisements filling our screens between segments of television, the name "FanDuel" is no doubt a familiar one. The online sports betting app and its largest competitors have filled the airwaves with star-studded ad spots as they vie for control of the multibillion-dollar sports betting industry in recent months.

FanDuel's latest ad, timed to be released during the 2022 NBA Playoffs, enlists basketball superstar Charles Barkley and "Saturday Night Live" cast member Chris Redd to promote its platform. Following its release, the commercial has proven surprisingly divisive amongst viewers. Titled "Voice in Your Head," the spot shows Barkley sitting on a couch and placing a bet on the FanDuel app, highlighting a feature that supposedly allows for more flexibility when cashing out a bet. Chris Redd appears as a voice in the "Space Jam" actor's head, telling him to cash out a bet before things go south. "Let's get out while it's still good," Redd's character says, hovering in miniature over Barkley's shoulder and using a comedically exaggerated impression of the player's voice. "You don't want to end up looking like a knucklehead."

For some viewers, the 30-second commercial might blip by like any other ad, but for others, it has certainly caught their attention. The internet seems to be divided by the ad, with some finding it effective and others seething with anger.

Chris Redd's Barkley impression is getting a mixed reaction on social media

Charles Barkley and Chris Redd's FanDuel commercial has divided people into two camps. Some find the "SNL" cast member's impression of the NBA legend funny while others think it sounds nothing like him.

In the camp of those who didn't find the commercial funny, most seem to find Redd's mimicry of Barkley lacking in accuracy or comedic value. @RickSnip_ summed the sentiment up succinctly, tweeting, "That 'SNL' dude in the FanDuel commercial legit has the worst Barkley impression I've ever heard." Some thought Redd simply wasn't right for the job and suggested other "Saturday Night Live" cast members might be better suited to the task. Twitter users @ArgeniFS wrote, "I like Chris Redd. He's a funny dude but FanDuel couldn't get Kenan [Thompson] for that commercial?" Other people had no idea who Redd is but thought his Barkley impression was trash all the same. @TheJShield tweeted, "Whoever [that] that person is trying to impersonate Charles Barkley in that FanDuel commercial is NOT FUNNY. It is one of the worst Charles Barkley impersonations I've ever heard."

Meanwhile, a similarly large contingent of viewers found the FanDuel spot funny and didn't think it warranted too much scrutiny. "That Fanduel commercial with Barkley is jokes," tweeted @GetOffMyDelta. Some commenters found Redd endearing and were happy to see him booking work, which some "SNL" stars struggle to do. That sentiment was encapsulated by sports writer @jon_greenberg, who wrote, "Get that FanDuel money, @Reddsaidit! Might be the only good gambling commercial out there."