Monday, May 11, 2009

Stan Cortel ... obviously! [Old School Legends T Mobile]

Okay, I am sure you've seen the "Old School Legends" T Mobile commercial. You know, the one with Charles Barkey, D. Wade, Dr. J., and Magic Johnson. If you haven't (and even if you don't love sports) check out the ad:

You can click here for the video if it's disabled above.

Well, there has been copious curiosity as to whom the adorable old man is that walks past with a walker and says, "Hang up the phone, Barkley. I'm taking you to the hole!"

Some people thought it was Frank Layden (including my sis). I guessed either Sonny Smith or Bob Cousy. It has become quite the controversy. So... my sister decided to email Reggie Miller. (For those of you who don't know, Reggie Miller is a former basketball star and commentator on TNT. He has a mailbag for fans to send important questions such as this one to him.) Anyway, the exchange went like this:

To: Reggie's Mailbag
Sent: Sat May 09 22:10:42 2009
Who is the old white guy in the new Tmobile commercial- the one using the walker that says, "Hang up the phone, Barkley. I'm taking you to the Hole."

Maybe you could ask Barkley...

My friends and I can't find a definitive answer, but my best guess is Frank Layden.

Thanks for your help!


Reggie aka the "talking vampire bat" (thanks, Nick) responded with:

From: Reggie's Mailbag
Date: Sat, May 9, 2009 at 8:36 PM
Subject: Re: QUESTION
No idea...

I wouldn't stand for such an apathetic response, so naturally I got involved:

Date: Mon, May 11, 2009 at 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: QUESTION
Dear Reggie,

We know you're not "Reggie" and we love you just the same. Maybe even more.
But were you Reggie... why NOT ask Chuck who the old guy is?

Is it... Sonny Smith, Chuck's old coach from Auburn? Is it Bob Cousy? (My guesses.)

It may not be as important as the million of questions you receive
about short jumpers off the back board or Artest's much improved
perimeter defense but... COME ON! We're not the only ones wondering
you know.

Tell your sister I said hello.


Reggie aka the "computer programmed to respond in two word phrases, followed by ellipses" says:

From: Reggie's Mailbag
Date: Mon, May 11, 2009 at 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: QUESTION
Will do....

You'll do what? Ask Chuck? Tell Cheryl hi? I mean, come on! What a disappointment!

Luckily, SHNICKENS is VERY resourceful so he did some investigating and found the ad-agency that produced the commercial for Tmobile. He suggested I give them a call; he had phone numbers, addresses, emails, everything so of course I had to call. I left a very ahem, graceful voice message and followed up with this email (our contact's name has been changed for her sake but BIG props to "Gracie" for being such a good sport!):

Date: Mon, May 11, 2009 at 1:21 PM
Subject: T Mobile "Old School Legends" Spot Inquiry
To: "Gracie"
Dear Gracie,

I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to follow up to the voice message I left you this morning.

I have a question regarding your firm’s ad, the T Mobile “Old School Legends” spot.

We appreciate Charles Barkley, Dwayne Wade, Dr. J. and Magic Johnson’s performances in the ad but we are curious as to whom the old man with the walker is. The one who says, “Hang up the phone, Barkley. I’m taking you to the hole!”

Can you please let us know who this gentleman is? Some speculation has been made that it is Sonny Smith or Bob Cousy.

If you could clear this up for me, it would be greatly appreciated. Reggie Miller’s people won’t answer our calls.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Best regards,

Events & PR Manager

Immediately I got a return email that "Gracie" was looking into this for me! What a sweetheart! Shortly after, I received the following email from her... MYSTERY SOLVED!!!

Date: Mon, 11 May 2009 15:10:25 -0600
Subject: Re: T Mobile "Old School Legends" Spot Inquiry
How funny! This is not the first time this question has been asked..

The actor is a very charming gentleman named Stan Cortel from Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Sr. Corporate Communications Manager

Things like this make me happy. Especially because my sister will be able to sleep tonight. As will SHNICKENS. And me. And RC.


  1. This also has been bothering me. Thanks and Reggie you are a douche.

  2. I don't understand why they didn't try to get some other old, beyond "Old School" player. But the commercial does always succeed in getting me to laugh.

  3. Next question: Who is the actor supposed to look like? I still think Cousy, makes sense from an era-standpoint...

  4. Did Reggie ever get back to you?

  5. anony's:

    i don't know if they were having him imitate someone or not. maybe they didn't realize how many people would fixate on him. if they were, i'm with you... i say Cousy.

    reggie never got back to us. he's a chicken.

  6. Reggie asked him the question tonite after Magic game. And, not surprisingly, Barkeley had no idea what his name was.

  7. Carly, your resourcefulness is one of the reasons I love you. You crack me up, my friend.

  8. dolph schayes is my guess ... I think that 'call to the ad agency' is b.s.

  9. dolph schayes is a valid guess but he's also like 7' tall and waaaay older than this guy. and seriously, why would a "made up ad agency" pay money for dolph when no one is going to know him from an actor named stan? (yourself included.)

    i have better things to do with my time and my imagination isn't that good, so do some research b.s.

  10. Notwithstanding all the speculation, what would make ANYONE think it is Bob Cousy? At age 79, Cousy looks as if he has mostly maintained his body weight pretty close to what it was when he was playing. He looks good, and is NOT on a walker. Plus, the "old white guy" looks NOTHING like Bob Cousy. Not all white basketball players look alike.

  11. Reminds me of Walton...

  12. I was thinking of an old Celtic, not Cousy, but possibly Heinsohn (though the voice wasn't right). At any rate, it was really starting to bug me as to who that guy actually was...thanks to you good people, I now have my answer! ..As underwhelming as it may be. Thanks again folks, nice work hammering Reggie with those emails. lol


chew it up or spit it out: