A close look at Zack Kassian’s star turn in one of the worst Subway commercials ever [VIDEO]

Zack Kassian played 96 total regular-season and playoff games with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. It was an eventful tour of duty. During his time there, he led the Spitfires to an OHL championship and a Memorial Cup, he put up 113 points, he was suspended 23 total games for two nasty hits, and he got arrested for a barfight.

Also, at some point, he made this Subway commercial, which was brought to our attention on Monday by Kelvin Yu, likely after it surfaced on Reddit. How to describe it? Well, as mentioned, Kassian had some very good moments and some very bad moments in Windsor, but I think you could argue that this was simultaneously the best and the worst thing he did as a Spitfire. Watch and cringe:

It’s hard to put everything that’s wrong with this ad into words, especially when it renders you speechless and agape. Maybe the plan is to stuff a sandwich into your mouth when your jaw drops, then force you to pay for it? Let’s taker a closer look at this monstrosity.

First, they couldn’t get the sandwich artist out of the shot? And if not, they couldn’t suggest, say, that said sandwich artist look busy, instead of peering over the counter like a weirdie?

Speaking of things that shouldn’t be in the shot, what is up with the giant taco or sandwich or whatever that thing was? I suspect the script called for Kassian to shoo it out of the frame, but without context, and with Kassian’s weird, awkward, half-hearted, stiff-arm, it just sort of looks like a giant sandwich wandered into the frame and Kassian wanted to play with it, but he wasn’t allowed. He looks strangely disappointed to have to tell the sandwich to go elsewhere.

I would be too. My motto: when life hands you a giant sandwich, you take giant bites.

The giant sandwich exchange suffers, obviously, from Kassian’s acting, which is really, really bad. Be sure to appreciate his opening line-read:

“I’mZackKassiannothingcomesbetweenmeandmyfivedollarfootlong.”

What makes it even better is that the only reason there’s any sort of break between that monotone mouthful and “The cold cut combo from Subway restaurants” is because there’s a cut. Yes, Kassian had 20 words to say, there was clearly no expectation that he say them well, and they couldn’t get it all in one take. In fact, he couldn’t even get the back half in one take. Watch for the cut after “cold cut combo”.

Thankfully, Kassian is spared the embarrassment of being the worst actor in his commercial with the arrival of teammate Alexander Khokhlachev. But before Khokhlachev says a single line, we have another odd moment: recalling that Kassian just told us nothing comes between him and his five-dollar foot-long, it seems incredibly strange that a) Kassian willingly hands it to Khokhlachev, and b) it’s not a foot-long, it’s a six-inch.

But there’s no time to dwell on all the bewildering elements of the sandwich handoff (or yet another awkward exchange, as Khokhlachev stands really close to Kassian, and for a moment, it’s uncomfortably unclear what he wants). Khokhlachev immediately hits us with the line-read of the day:

“I LOVE. FIVE DOLLARS. FOOT-LONG.”

When Kassian chimes back in and drones through his final line — “Subway restaurants, the official sandwich of the Windsor Spitfires”, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was Alec Baldwin compared to Khokhlachev’s line. And this is despite the fact that you can clearly see his eyes scanning the cue card. It sort of takes you out of the moment.

Incredibly, when Kassian reaches for a piece of his sandwich, he suddenly becomes really natural. In my mind, the director saw this last part and was like, Wait, he’s capable of this? Maybe we should start over. Then he remembered how many takes it took him to get through the first 20 words, and he opted to call it a day.

12 comments

  1. swizzler
    February 5, 2013

    Call the (Soviet) Union

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    Rating: +21 (from 23 votes)
  2. Canucksgold
    February 5, 2013

    This and the IWTG reference of John Garret’s insane comment about Puerto Vallarta made me laugh so much it made my morning. It will probably make my whole day just thinking about it.

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    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)
  3. Rituro
    February 5, 2013

    Ah, junior hockey ads. Is there anything more awkward and cringe-inducing?

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    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
  4. Nee
    February 5, 2013

    Awesome.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  5. Lenny
    February 5, 2013

    As a professional videographer, I concur with everything you said about this commercial. Staring into the camera lens and reciting lines is a lot of difficult than most people think.

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    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  6. raftgeek
    February 5, 2013

    What I thought was creepy was after Khokhlachev takes a bite from the sub Zach reaches up and grabs a bite after Khokhlachev. That just doesn’t seem right. Also I agree about it being a six inch but looked like it might have been a footlong at one point but take after take of taking a bite reduced it to a six inch.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  7. steveB
    February 5, 2013

    for some reason I am compelled to immediately drive down to my nearest Subway® franchise and order a fivedollarfootlongcoldcutcombo.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  8. Sarah
    February 5, 2013

    I don’t know, I do want subway now.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  9. Knight of Cydonia
    February 5, 2013

    This gives Andrea “primo pasta and sauce” Bargnani a run for his money…

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  10. Poozt
    February 5, 2013

    ‘Weirdie beans at?’

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  11. Canucklehead_in_T.O.
    February 5, 2013

    This is probably the best piece of sports journalism I’ve read this year, nay, this decade.

    Also, I will heretofore be replacing all instances in which I would formerly have used the term “creeper” with the (far superior) term “weirdie”.
    Thanks, PITB, fre keeping it fresh……..JUST LIKE SUBWAY.

    Boom.

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    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  12. TestingTesting
    February 6, 2013

    Lol. OMG, that was awkward to watch.

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    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)