February 08, 2010

Alumnus part of top-rated Super Bowl ad

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Super Bowl is almost as famous for its commercials as it is for football.

Maybe not quite, but those who enjoy the commercials may have spotted a Saluki in one of the most popular commercials aired during Sunday’s game. Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumnus Bert Belasco is featured in the Super Bowl commercial with Betty White for Snickers. In this commercial, Betty White gets tackled during a pick-up game of football among friends. As she sits on the ground, disgruntled, a friend says, “Mike, you’re playing like Betty White today.” The solution to Mike’s problem is a Snickers. The actor who tells “Mike” he played like the famous actress and philanthropist is Bert Belasco.

The commercial scored the No. 1 spot in the USA Today Ad Meter Poll. If you missed it, find it on YouTube under the heading “Betty White Snickers Commercial.”

Belasco earned his theater degree from SIUC in 2005. As a senior, he starred in “Home,” a play directed by Segun Ojewuyi, assistant professor in theater. The play centered on “a man’s search for himself.” He also played the lead in other SIUC plays, including “The Greenbird” and “Parade.”

Besides SIUC, Belasco put in time at Chicago’s famed Second City, and participated in the TVI Actors Studio Summer Institute in Los Angeles, and a master class with acting instructor David Aulicino.

His television credits include a spot on “House M.D.” and appearances in pilots for “Starting Under,” a Bernie Mac show, and “Dash 4 Cash.”

To see a clip of Belasco in the Bernie Mac pilot, visit www.speedreels.com/talent/bbelasco.