Jane Lynch Got Her Big Break in Christopher Guest’s Frosted Flakes Commercial

She’s still waiting to meet Tony the Tiger
Jane Lynch Got Her Big Break in Christopher Guest’s Frosted Flakes Commercial

Before there was Glee, before there was Talladega NightsJane Lynch got one of her first starring roles in Weirdo Couple Obsessed With Frosted Flakes

“In 1999, I did a bunch of commercials,” Lynch told Martin Short on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. “I dont know if you remember, but it was the year of Jane Lynch. Maxium, Chevrolet, I did all sorts of stuff. A bug spray.”

Ooh, a bug spray! Those are lucrative gigs for a struggling comic, but Lynch’s big break was yet to come. “I went into a callback for a Kelloggs Frosted Flakes commercial,” she remembered. At the audition, she found out who was set to direct the spot: Christopher Guest.

Lynch had seen Waiting for Guffman and knew Guest from his work with Short and Billy Crystal on Saturday Night Live. “You guys were just amazing, and so, I was very nervous,” she told Short. “But he cast me in that commercial.”

Even though Lynch never got to meet the actual Tony the Tiger, the commercial ended up paying big dividends for her comedy career. Three or four months later, she was having breakfast at the Newsroom, a restaurant in Beverly Hills. “I was having a pancake the size of your head,” she explained, “and in walks Christopher Guest. He was going to the gym next door and he looked at me and went, ‘Ah!’”

Recognizing his Frosted Flakes pitchwoman (seriously, how did Jerry Seinfeld miss casting Lynch in Unfrosted?), Guest struck up a friendly conversation. “We talked a little bit. He said, ‘Come to my office,’ which was across the street, about five in the afternoon and so I did. He basically offered me (a part in Best in Show).”

Short praised his SNL mate‘s dry humor, even if it often makes him the butt of his Guest’s jokes. “When I was making this film Captain Ron, Christopher said, ‘So Martin, what is this film you’re making?’”

“Well, it’s called Captain Ron,” Short replied. “And I play a man who has two children who inherits a boat…”

“I didn’t say spoil it for me,” Guest replied. 

As for Lynch’s relationship with Guest, she once told the Television Academy Foundation, “Doing the Christopher Guest movies gave me a confidence to stand in my own power. When you do a Christopher Guest movie, you really have to pack heavy. You show up knowing exactly who your character is. You’ve done your work, you know how your character would react in every situation. You know them so well because you have to improvise. So that level of preparation and that confidence to just stand there and say, ‘I can do this,’ it was truly an internal shift.”

In other words, Lynch thinks Guest is g-r-r-r-reat.


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