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Doug’s Brush With Fame: Brian Thomas Smith

Brian Thomas Smith
Brian Thomas Smith

I started a brush with fame segment last month and I thought I’d bring it back, this time with somebody I knew from college. You may have seen him in many commercials and I’m proud to say I graduated with him at the University of Central Missouri in 2000.

Brian Thomas Smith has had quite the streak when it comes to commercials, and a few recurring roles on sitcoms and videos over the net.  Recently you may have saw him at the All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium, dressed in a white mustache and white hair as Phil Shifley.


I had the chance to ask Brian about this role and he said, “I auditioned for a DirecTV commercial back in April and booked it. They were casting three different spots with three different hero characters. I was pumped to find out I had booked the Phil Shifley one. I had auditioned for all three roles.”

Once the rave of this commercial caught on, he was asked to go to the All-Star Game, which happened to be in Kansas City.  However, he hails from the St. Louis area, and you can guess what jersey he wore.

“DirecTV called about two weeks before the game and said it was a possibility,” Smith said.  “I had literally just booked a trip to India with my girlfriend (this happens every time I book a flight).  Finally the deal came in and they would also pay for all my flight changes.  They said I could wear anything I wanted, so it was a no brainer to go with the old school powder blue red birds shirt. There were lots of Cards fans there.  Most people just gave me weird looks. Some recognized Phil though and took pics. It was pretty cool.”

He has also has had quite a few TV appearances, from season six on ‘The Amazing Race’ to being Zach on ‘The Big Bang Theory,” which he hopes makes future appearances on.  Smith said, “Hopefully they work Zack back in next season. I get stopped by lots of people that all love the character.”  He also made an apperance on ‘Happy Endings,’ and is one of the stars in an online series called ‘Casual. ‘

Ever since his appearance on Fear Factor and Amazing Race, he has been in many commercials and he told me his favorites.  “I would say this Direct TV has been my favorite and most well received by America. My Heineken with Jennifer Aniston, Bud light campaign, Miller Lite Speedo, and then this Carl’s Junior ad where I stuff my mouth with pool balls.”


Apparently after the All-Star Game, Phil Shifley did go to India and other points unknown, his popularity has spread, enough that a facebook and twitter page were put up.

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