In the latter half of the 1990s, there were two movies that made table games seem astonishingly cool — Rounders and Swingers.
The first film is all high-stakes poker in clandestine locations, with the specter of physical harm or even death lingering on the wrong end of a bad beat. But in Swingers, very little money is wagered. Mikey (Jon Favreau) loses most of his meager bankroll doubling down on a blackjack hand before the action shifts to a cheesy casino tiki bar and then to a trailer home in the desert, where Heart’s “Barracuda” signals the prospect of some next-day nookie.
Central to these scenes’ appeal is the madcap performance of Vince “Vegas, Baby, Vegas” Vaughn as Trent, who made every other cinematic fast-talker seem a couple of steps slow.
It’s no small wonder, then, that it’s taken a major gaming company so long to welcome Vaughn into its celebrity fold. But now comes Caesars with a fresh spot, set to debut during Monday Night Football’s Patriots-Bears tilt, starring Vaughn as “Prince Vaughn,” a.k.a. “the Sultan of Slots” and “the Lord of Live Dealers.”
The 30-second advertisement features Vaughn, J.B. Smoove, and the ubiquitous Manning clan seated around a regal table, with the least-known (but probably funniest) Manning brother, Cooper, remarking that he’s “going full Caesar.” When Vaughn asks what this means, a server informs him that “it’s when you place a free bet while eating a Caesars Rewards meal at a Caesars Rewards location.”
At this juncture, a bunch of pint-sized Caesars in the likeness of Smoove begin dancing around Cooper’s head, of which Vaughn observes, “That’s out of nowhere — a bunch of tiny Caesars.”
As gambling ads go, it’s harmless fun. But what should get people really excited for the potential of the Vaughn-Caesars partnership is the 20-second “Prince Vaughn” introductory spot. Here, Vaughn, clad in a golden suit with Caesars logos all over it, steps out of an elevator, where he encounters a group of casino employees in suits of armor.
“Hey, centurions, I said by the exit, not the elevator,” Vaughn says, his mouth moving a mile a minute. “Thank goodness I saw you. I would have never found you in a crowd. Let’s go — buddy system, hands on hands. I hope you didn’t forget the cheese.”
Whether this is ad-libbed or not is of little importance. What is important is that Vaughn is gleefully resurrecting Trent, letting folks know that they’d best buckle up for the knight of their lives.
Photo courtesy of Caesars